Bright oven light
Condensation builds up; leaks out of doors
Smokes during cooking
We purchased the Kalorik 26-Quart Digital MAXX Air Fryer Oven so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
When you’re trying to eat a healthier diet, but don’t want to give up fried foods forever, you turn to an air fryer. Air fryers crisp and brown traditionally fried foods like French fries, potato chips, and buffalo wings with very little to no oil, helping you save some of the added calories and grams of fat found in the deep-fried versions. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around food and can do so much more than creating lightened up fried favorites. Some home cooks use them to perfectly crisp bacon and make ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches.
A lot of air fryers today are jumping on the multi-cooker trend and offer additional cooking functions. You’ll find some that double as mini convection ovens, rotisseries, grills, food dehydrators, and more. The Kalorik 26-Quart Digital MAXX Air Fryer Oven promises to air fry, bake, grill, toast, roast, broil, rotisserie, dehydrate, slow cook, and mimic a pizza oven in one, with enough space to accommodate a 12-inch pizza, 9 slices of toast, or a 12-pound turkey. Can one appliance really deliver all that? We reviewed the Kalorik Air Fryer oven to find out.
Design: Some major flaws
Some appliances you just know are well built from the way they feel the second you take them out of the box. The Kalorik air fryer oven isn’t one of those. The box felt pretty heavy, so we thought this air fryer would be rock solid. We were bummed to find some scuffs on the stainless steel exterior right out of the box. The overall metal construction feels thin, flimsy, and lesser quality than other models we’ve reviewed.
The shape is box-like and on the heavy side weighing about 17 pounds. It fit beneath our cabinets with a few inches to spare. One thing to keep in mind about air fryer ovens is that they take up a lot of space but the actual cooking trays are small. Unless you purchase additional trays, you’re giving up a lot of counter space to cook only one small tray of food at a time.
The oven has single-handed automatic open glass French doors. We noticed the doors were hung unevenly and the open/close mechanism and magnetic closure felt wobbly and weak, making us wonder how this feature will stand up to heavy use. The doors don’t extend past the sides of the oven so it’s a tight fit to squeeze the cooking trays between them. We ended up knocking into the doors every time we used it.
Speaking of the accessories, they fit into the oven one way only. Other reviewers complained the cooking racks didn’t fit the oven, but when we looked closely we found arrows stamped on the trays to indicate how they should be slid in. Several accessories are non-stick and we couldn’t find any information whether the non-stick coating was free from certain chemicals like PFOA.
We noticed the doors were hung unevenly and the open/close mechanism and magnetic closure felt wobbly and weak, making us wonder how this feature will stand up to heavy use.
Setup: Lots to unpack
Our first impression of this air fryer is it sure comes with a lot of parts to unpack. With nine accessories, it took us a good bit of time to get everything unpacked, figure out what all the accessories are used for, give them an initial cleaning, and figure out how to store them.
Features: 21 cooking presets
The oven is equipped with Turbo Maxx Technology, which simply refers to the heating elements and fan that create hot circulated air that makes all air fryers and convection ovens work. It’s got 1700 watts of power to help the oven heat quickly, the temperature can be set from 80° to 500°F, and the time from 1 to 90 minutes—but the exact range depends on which cooking preset you select.
There are 21 cooking presets: air fry, chicken, fish, ribs, shrimp, steak, wings, bacon, eggs, corn, fries, vegetables, defrost, reheat, bake, broil, pastry, pizza, proof, roast, and toast. Fourteen presets are air fry mode and seven are oven mode. Although the manual claims this oven can be used to dehydrate, the maximum time is capped at 90 minutes, and dehydrating usually takes several hours.
There are nine accessories, including an air frying basket, baking pan, rack, crumb tray, bacon tray, two in one reversible steak and dehydration tray, rotisserie spit, rack handle, and rotisserie handle. The bacon tray has a wavy designed to keep bacon out of draining grease as it cooks.
One nice feature is that the rack, crisper tray, steak pan, bacon tray, and baking sheet can all be stored inside the oven, but you’ll have to remove them each time you use it, which could get tiresome. You’ll also have to store the rotisserie spit, handle, and tray handle elsewhere.
Performance: Cooks unevenly
After plugging it in, only the start/stop button lit up. We thought selecting either air fry or oven mode would get things started, but that didn’t do anything. Pressing the start button lit up the control panel and from there we had to select air fry or oven mode to highlight the presets and use the dial to rotate between them. The dial clicked and beeped loudly with each turn with no way to mute it. The buttons felt cheaply made and aren’t level. Other reviewers have noted the controls tend to stick.
As we navigated the control panel, we realized there’s no manual mode and no obvious way to alter time or temperature. You have to select a preset and then turn the dial clockwise or counterclockwise to change cooking time and temperature. The entire process was cumbersome and not at all intuitive.
As we navigated the control panel, we realized there’s no manual mode and no obvious way to alter time or temperature.
We’ve heard good things about air frying bacon, so we tried the special bacon tray and preset first. It took two rounds to cook an entire pack of turkey bacon since we could only fit four slices on the bacon tray.
No matter what mode you’re in, there doesn’t seem to be much, if any, preheating time. Only a minute or two went by from the time we pressed start until the timer automatically started counting down. We wondered how the oven could possibly be hot enough to fry bacon in such a short time.
The unit smoked and the oven doors clouded over during cooking. We realized it was condensation as we watched droplets roll down the interior of the doors and onto our counter. The doors aren’t sealed tightly, so unfortunately the moisture leaked right out.
After 6 minutes, our first batch of turkey bacon was beginning to curl and brown. It looked done so we pulled it out with the tray handle, but the bacon was still a little chewy and could have been warmer. We increased the time to 7 minutes for the next batch and the piece nearest the door was edible but the others burnt to a crisp—a clear indicator of uneven heating. When we read that other consumers had the same cooking experience, we knew there was no way we’d attempt broiling expensive steak or roasting (or wasting) an entire chicken or turkey.
We tried the toast function, which preset the time to 7 minutes. That seemed excessive, knowing if we toasted a submarine roll in our pop up toaster for that long it would likely burn. We turned the time down to 3 minutes and our roll was warmed through and the surface crisped to our liking. The lesson? Beware the cooking presets.
One way around the uneven cooking is to rotate trays halfway through the cook time, but for the price, we expect better. We air fried frozen breakfast potatoes, which cooked more evenly when we turned the crisper tray halfway.
Cleaning: Accessories are dishwasher safe
Cleaning might be the only aspect of using this air fryer oven that we didn’t have any issues with. All the accessories with the exception of the crumb tray are dishwasher safe.
Expect the oven’s interior to get pretty greasy if you air fry wings or roast a whole chicken. The manual recommends cleaning the interior and glass doors with a cloth dipped in soapy water, but in our experience, it’s hard to remove grease and food drips this way. This problem isn’t unique to the Kalorik, though—we found this kind of clean-up to be tough with other oven style air fryers as well.
The Kalorik Air Fryer Oven retails for $200, which is more expensive than stand-alone air fryers. The increased price may seem justified when you consider this cooker has been designed to offer more cooking space and do the job of 10 cooking appliances, but looks can be deceiving.
While some consumers are pleased with the Kalorik’s performance, others are disappointed to find the unit feels flimsy and cooks unevenly as we experienced. We have to agree with the latter—we expect better quality and consistent performance from an appliance with that high of a price tag. We might feel better about the price if the unit was backed by a solid warranty, but the limited warranty is only good for 1 year.
Kalorik Digital MAXX Air Fryer Oven vs. Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer 360
Emeril Lagasse’s Power AirFryer 360 is an oven style air fryer that’s more expensive at around $300. Both are designed of stainless steel with digital displays, but the overall shape of Power Air Fryer 360 is bigger and reminiscent of a large toaster oven, which may be too large for some kitchens and can be difficult to store.
The Power Air Fryer 360 has fewer accessories—it comes with a crisper basket, rack, baking pan, crumb/drip tray, and rotisserie spit. It basically offers the same heating functions as the Kalorik, with cooking presets for air fry, toast, bagel, pizza, bake, roast, broil, rotisserie, slow cook, reheat, dehydrate, and warm. In our research, the Kalorik operates quieter than the Air Fryer 360, but the 360 heats more evenly, feels more durable with smoother controls, and it’s more intuitive to set cooking time and temperature.
You can probably skip this model.
If you want to invest in an oven-style air fryer, we think there are other models worth checking out that offer superior heating and a better build than the Kalorik 26-Quart Digital MAXX Air Fryer Oven.
- Product Name 26 Quart Digital MAXX Air Fryer Oven
- Product Brand Kalorik
- MPN AFO 46045 SS
- Price $200
- Weight 17 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.5 x 15.75 x 14 in.
- Wattage 1700
- Warranty 1 year
- What's Included Air fryer oven, air frying basket, baking pan, air rack, crumb tray, bacon tray, steak tray, rotisserie spit, rack handle and rotisserie handle, instruction manual, recipe book