Sage the Smart Oven™ Air Fryer
4.5 out of 5
It’s the classiest looking appliance we chose for our selection, with the price tag that goes alongside its premium-feel Sage styling. But if you’ve ever run out of rack 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 with but its capacious enough to make main meals for the family and is no doubt cheaper to run, saves energy, is versatile, easier to clean, and programmable too.
The Sage scored over smaller machines with pull-out baskets by allowing the space to try recipes that wouldn’t work with the ‘stack and shake’ technique necessary in 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 then air frying their cheesy provolone tops to bubbling perfection in the basket at the top of the oven. These would never have crammed in any of the basket models we looked at, even the larger Philips XXL model.
As with the rest of the Sage range, the casing and styling looks high end, with a blue-to-orange digital display and a nice weight and quality finish to the brushed steel casing. We did find it hot on the outside too when on the higher settings, so please always remember to choose a safe spot for this, away from accidental knocks or small hands. Sage recommends at least 10cm clearance to the sides and 15cm above, so bear that in mind the clearance for kitchen cabinets above.
Although you can easily adjust the time with digital dials, there are more pre-sets here than with any other models we looked at. Grill, toast, crumpet, bake, roast, pizza, reheat, warm air fry and slow cook – all of them work the convection oven, fan and air frying capabilities to get the ideal result. Using a system called Element IQ, heat is directed to where it’s needed most meaning that you’ll get an even, crisp coating on roast potatoes, for example, without some ending the cooking time looking pale and unappealing. The high temperature of this machine was great for a final crisp – this one will go up to 230 degrees.
We also liked the slow cooking function, which can be set a minimum of 49 degrees for as much as ten hours. So you can add the slow cooker to the list of appliances this can take the place of, as well as the toaster and sandwich grill – once you’ve had a grilled cheese toastie made on its 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 pre-set function. Just bear in mind that any oils or juices will drip from the air frying basket, so keep another tray in place to catch them.
Maximum temperature: 230 degrees
Guarantee: Two years
Recipe book: yes