Dualit is a famously reliable brand to shop appliances from, with its coveted kettles and toasters now being joined by the Dualit Air Fryer, the newest addition to the family.
This 5.5-litre air fryer is a real space-saver and offers more in terms of capacity than you might think, with the clever design making the most of the room available. It's a sleek model, and Dualit fans won't be disappointed, with the same reliable performance that you get from the brand's other appliances.
We took this new appliance for a spin to see if it was worthy of a spot in our extensive guide to the best air fryers, and to establish if it's good enough to secure a long-term spot in your kitchen.
Dualit Air Fryer: Product specs
Capacity: 5.5 litre
Modes: Fry, bake, roast, dehydrate, grill and reheat
Presets: Fries, vegetables, meat on the bone, frozen finger food, fillet of meat, bakery and fish.
Size: 32.6(D) x 37.9(W) x 31.4(H) cm
Unboxing, setting up and first impressions of the Dualit Air Fryer
The Dualit Air Fryer comes with plenty of literature to get you started, including a sticker on the top of the model which details safety advice.
Never place anything on top of the device and make sure to leave plenty of space at the back of wherever you plug it in, to promote airflow. Then, once the air fryer is plugged in, you should be good to go.
The air fryer is packaged in polystyrene and cardboard, so it's not the most environmentally friendly parcel ever, but scaffolding the appliance is important when it's in transit, and you'll probably be glad of the excess if your purchase arrives unharmed.
Let's face it, all single-drawer air fryers look pretty similar. The most exciting design quirk you tend to get is a different coloured finish, like with the Cosori Lite Air Fryer, which comes in green or grey.
The Dualit Air Fryer isn't that exciting, but it does have a lovely textured finish that I think makes it feel very high-quality. The Dualit lettering is nice too, and I found that from the offset fingerprint marks are less visible on this model than with other similar off-black fryers I've tried.
The handle has a nice grip to it and is well-proportioned in comparison with the size of the drawer. I did find throughout the tests however that the drawer did stick quite a bit, and took a fair amount of force to dislodge. Hopefully, over time it will loosen up.
I also had a preliminary check to see if you can replace the air fryer drawer on the Dualit website, as one of our favourite things about the Dualit Toaster and Kettle set when we tested it was the sustainability element, in the fact that the parts of those appliances are entirely repairable and replaceable.
This air fryer is very new, so I couldn't see the opportunity to buy replacement parts yet, but hopefully, that will be an option shortly.
My first impression of the capacity was that this air fryer makes good use of the space available, with the drawer stretching to the back. Though five litres may not sound like a lot, this would be a very comfortable size for two people.
I think a family of four would also be just fine with this air fryer too, and the box itself claims that 4 chicken breasts can fit comfortably inside, which I can believe.
My first drawback with the initial set-up was that the safety label on the top should be peeled off before use, but I couldn't get it off without leaving a sticky residue on the top of the fryer itself.
Also, while all air fryers have a slight burning plastic smell on their first run out, the smell was particularly strong with this one, so I'd advise cracking a window during its first outing for sure.
Cooking with the Dualit Air Fryer
It wouldn't be an air fryer test without chips, so I started my review of the Dualit Air Fryer with some french fries.
In terms of controls, the front of this air fryer is entirely touch screen, and the first thing you'll need to do is press 'P' to dial through the different available presets. The presets are as follows: Fries, vegetables, meat on the bone, frozen finger food, fillet of meat, bakery and fish.
One thing I realised during this test is if you remove the basket after you've programmed your temperature and timings in before you press the 'play' button, then the air fryer will revert to the highest possible temperature setting which is 200°C.
That's how I ended up accidentally browning these fries a little more than I'd like. They only need to be cooked at 180°C, so definitely double check the temperature element before you set the air fryer off to go.
After 14 minutes, the chips were (a little too) done. I did notice that there isn't a preheat with this air fryer, so any time it does take to heat up is swallowed into the normal cooking time. That means that when you're starting from scratch, you may want to factor in a few minutes heat up time yourself.
During this segment I discovered that I also couldn't see how to access all of the settings that this air fryer should have. On the Dualit website it says that you can fry, bake, roast, dehydrate, grill and reheat with this model, but in terms of controls, all I could see was the various buttons about the food-based presets.
You can dehydrate in this model, as the temperature range is low enough (going down to 50°C) but other than that, it wasn't obvious to me how you'd access those other settings.
Frozen finger food
Next up was nuggets, in order to fulfil testing the 'frozen finger food' preset on this air fryer. After 11 minutes these were perfectly crisp without being dry, probably due to the fact that this air fryer was now adequately warmed up after the first round of testing.
There's also plenty of space in the basket for more nuggets - you could probably do the whole packet at once despite the five-litre capacity.
Adding some much-needed health into the very beige testing meal so far, I tried out med veg in the air fryer next. Again, I used a small single-person portion here, but from the photos, you can see that there would have been ample space for a family-sized portion.
The veg was nicely, and very quickly, cooked to perfection with this air fryer. The power levels are impressive and you can probably expect to shave 30-40% off the cooking time of whatever you want to eat for dinner. Perfect for weeknights in busy households.
Once you've invested in an air fryer, you'll learn that it's the only acceptable appliance to use to cook bacon. Forget your grill, this is the easiest way to get a drool-worthy crisp on your rashers.
Five minutes was all the time this air fryer needed to get to the perfect crisp point, but be sure to flip the rashers halfway through to avoid curling. An even more pro tip is to cover the grill plate inside with foil, to save from having to wash up excess oil twice.
By the end of those tests, this air fryer needed a good clean. The grill plate with this air fryer is good at letting any excess oil seep down to the basket, making whatever you're cooking marginally healthier.
The problem area when cleaning any air fryer with this style of grill plate is the rubber feet that hold it in place. I'd recommend taking these out regularly to make sure there's no gunk or grease there (it's gross but true!) and to keep this air fryer as new-looking as possible.
The tray and crisper plate are dishwasher safe, and if you're hand washing then soapy water after every use will do the trick.
How does it compare to similar models?
I've tested about 30 air fryers over the last two years, and the air fryer this most reminds me of is one of Ideal Home's favourite budget options, the Instant 4 in 1 Air Fryer. It's got the same look and shape as this one, though it is a little cheaper at £99.99.
Overall while the two are similar, the finish is slightly nicer with the Dualit Air Fryer and given the brand's reputation for longevity, there's every chance it may last you for years on end.
The biggest name on the air fryer scene by far is Ninja, and if you think this air fryer looks good but could be improved upon, I'd point you in the direction of our Ninja FlexDrawer Air Fryer review. It's our number one air fryer, and I think it's unbeatable in terms of performance and design.
Should you buy the Dualit Air Fryer?
I have essentially no complaints after testing the Dualit Air Fryer. The design is smart enough to quality for a spot on your kitchen worktop, you can tell the same quality is present here as with their kettles and toasters and all of our cooking tests went swimmingly.
If I was to complain, it would be focused on the sometimes sticky handle of the basket, and the fact that I couldn't quite find the promised added grill function to test out.
If you are looking for a reliable air fryer for family cooking, then you can't go wrong with this one from Dualit.