Sage the Smart Oven air fryer review
Air fryers are healthier alternatives to cooking with deep fat fryers. Read our review of the Sage the Smart Oven air fryer to see how it fared in our tests.
Sage the Smart Oven air fryer review
Pros: stylish, large capacity, the most preset options
Cons: quality comes at a price
Star rating: 5/5
This is the classiest-looking appliance in our review, and it has a price tag that goes along with its premium-feel Sage styling. But if you’ve ever run out of space in your main oven, this is something you may consider as a permanent feature in your kitchen, rather than a ‘bung-in-the-cupboard’ novelty.
Yes, there’s the not-inconsiderable outlay to start, but this air fryer is spacious enough to make main meals for the family, and is no doubt cheaper to run and saves energy while being versatile, easier to clean, and programmable, too. The Sage scores over smaller machines with pull-out baskets, as it has space to try recipes that wouldn’t work with the ‘stack-and-shake’ technique that's necessary to use with a smaller machine.
For example, we air-fried four generous Italian subs in one sitting, toasting the bread on the rack, baking the meatballs in the tray, and air-frying the cheesy topping to bubbling perfection in the basket at the top of the oven. These would never have fit into any of the basket models we reviewed, even the larger Philips XXL air fryer.
As with the rest of the Sage range, the casing and styling looks high-end, with a blue-to-orange digital display, nice weight and quality finish to the brushed steel casing. It gets hot on the outside when on the higher settings, so it's important to choose a safe spot to use this model, where it won't be accidentally knocked or touched by small hands.
Sage recommends at least 10cm clearance to the sides and 15cm above, so bear that in mind when choosing a space on your worktop, especially if you intend to use it under kitchen cabinets.
Although you can easily adjust the time with digital dials, there are more presets included than on any other model in our review. You can grill, toast bread and crumpets, bake, roast, cook pizza, reheat foods, warm items, air-fry and slow cook, and all of these settings work the convection oven, fan and air-frying capabilities as needed to get the ideal result.
Using a system called Element IQ, heat is directed to where it’s needed most, meaning you’ll get an even, crisp coating on roast potatoes, for example, without ending up with a few pale, unappetising ones. The high temperature of this machine is great for crisping foods, as it reaches 230C.
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We also like the slow-cooking function, which can be set to a minimum of 49C for as much as 10 hours. So, you can add the slow cooker to the list of appliances this model can replace, as well as the toaster and sandwich grill. Once you’ve had a cheese toastie made with the Smart Oven's air-fryer basket, you’ll never go back.
Juggling the wire basket, pizza tray and grill pan is made easier with reminders of that should go where for every preset function. But, do bear in mind that any oils or juices will drip from the air-frying basket, so keep another tray in place to catch them.
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Sage Smart Oven specifications:
Maximum temperature: 230C
Capacity: 22 litres
Dimensions: 27.8 x 40.3 x 48cm
Guarantee: two years
Recipe book: yes
This review was last updated in August 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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