Tower 9-litre Dual Basket Air Fryer Review

Offering huge capcaity from the two drawers, we've been testing this Tower Air Fryer

from Tower
RRP  £139.99
The Tower 9-litre Dual Basket Air Fryer

by amodernkitchen |
Updated on

I thought the air fryer craze might have been passing me by as I happily plodded on using the microwave, electric oven and gas stove. But then along came the Tower T17088 Dual Basket air fryer to intrigue me and tempt me over to this new-fangled way of cooking. I think my initial confusion was caused by the use of the term fryer, as I had always associated the word with steaming bubbling fat in a pot – I couldn’t imagine how that could convert into air. Once it was explained to me that the air fryer is simply like a smaller, really hot fan oven, I began to get my head around it. The secret is that they circulate hot air rather than fat and rely on a chemical process called the Maillard reaction to make food hot, crispy and tasty.

The great advantage is that you can cook smaller portions easily in less time, therefore saving money. The main disadvantages are that the limited cooking capacity makes them not so good for larger families despite the fact that they are quite large appliances and can take up a fair bit of kitchen counter space.

So, with that out of the way, how did the Tower Air Fryer fare?

Ok, once you get to grips with it, the Tower is reasonably easy and intuitive to use, but on the initial reading, the instructions were quite confusing. I ended up watching a YouTube video to find out how to work it. The problems occur if you try to cook something without using one of the pre-sets, but more of that later.


  • Dual drawers
  • Smart finish function
  • Large capacity


  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • Quite heavy

Key Features

The Tower T17088 has a 9-litre capacity, which is great for bigger households, but it does take up a fair bit of counter space, and it’s not the lightest either, weighing in at almost 8kg. It’s really the type of appliance which requires its own dedicated space in the kitchen rather than being stored away and taken out when needed.

It has duo basket technology, a clever, smart finish function and a digital touch panel.

The dual baskets each have a 4.5-litre capacity and can work together or independently. This is where two of the Tower’s features come in particularly handy:

Match Cook: this simply sets both baskets to cook for the same time at the same temperature.

Smart Finish: this is a nice feature which I’m sure will prevent many ruined dishes. If you are cooking two different foods with different cooking times and temperatures, press the Smart Finish button, and both baskets will be ready at the same time. Magic!

Pre-Set buttons: There are 12 one-touch pre-sets for some of the most common dishes, allowing you to cook things like fish, veg, fries and pizza without having to guess or consult temperature guides or cooking times. Easy-peasy. There’s also a pre-heat button which heats up the grill plates to help give a chargrill effect on veggies, meat, chicken and fish.

Testing the Tower T17088 Dual Air Fryer

The Tower air fryer was tested over a period of almost two months as an add-on in our kitchen, which we used in association with our other cooking appliances. Rather than go out of our way to test specific air fryer-recommended dishes, we thought we would just go with our normal menus and see how the air fryer fared. Bear in mind this air fryer has a 9-litre capacity, and we tested it as a couple, so it wasn’t being driven too hard as our portions weren’t anywhere near the Tower’s limits or those of a larger household.


So how did we get on with the Tower T17088? As I mentioned earlier, the instructions can be a bit vague. In our initial venture, we tried to set temperature and times manually, but, as we discovered after watching a YouTube video, there is no way of doing this without first going through one of the pre-set buttons. Once we had that sussed, it was pretty much plain sailing.

All the functions are controlled from the large digital touch screen, which is easy to read (except if the early evening sun is coming through the kitchen window and shining directly onto it!) and not too complicated.

Both drawers can be fully removed for easier placement of food and cleaning. There are no viewing windows on the drawers, so if you wish to check how your meal is progressing, you need to pull the drawer out, which will pause the cooking programme until the drawer is returned. There are two grill plates, one for each drawer, which assist with airflow and (as mentioned above) can be used in conjunction with the pre-heat pre-set to give a chargrill effect.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve enjoyed lots of goodies, from fish fingers and tempura prawns to crispy beef. This was particularly good as the cooking time was cut from 25 minutes to just 9, and the results were excellent.

After the initial novelty phase, it becomes another kitchen tool which you start to adapt to and develop your own methods, as you do with any fan oven or microwave, and it becomes another cooking option when it comes to mealtimes.

So far, we haven’t been adventurous enough to try using it for baking bread or cakes, but I’m quite sure that will happen in time.


It’s a bit of a big and heavy appliance, and as a result, it does feel quite sturdy, and its weight keeps it in position as you open and close the drawers. It’s really too big and heavy to be moved around a lot, and the power cord isn’t the longest, so you'll have to position it near a power outlet.

Final verdict

It uses less energy, cooks more quickly, and gives pretty decent results. There are no viewing windows in the baskets, and it is quite bulky and heavy, so is more appropriate for a dedicated place in your workspace rather than being stored for occasional use. The food was cooked as anticipated, with perhaps a few small adjustments here and there. The baskets and grill plates do need to be washed by hand, but we didn’t find that too much of an issue. All in all a good addition to the kitchen weaponry!

Rating 4/5

Similar products to consider

At the moment, Ninja does seem to be the go-to name for air fryers. This is one of their bigger models, with a 9.5-litre capacity and two drawers, each with its own independent cooking zone, which is a particularly handy feature. You can save energy while selecting Air Fry, Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate functions to cook delicious mains, sides and snacks.


  • Dual drawers
  • Large capacity
  • Drawers are dishwasher-safe


  • Short mains cable

This air fryer from Tefal also has two drawers, but they have different capacities (5.2L/3.1L), giving you a little more flexibility over portion cooking and a total cooking capacity of more than 8 litres. The big drawer is large enough to hold an entire chicken. You can use the small drawer by itself or use both together, and control is via the touch screen.


  • The big drawer has a huge 5.2 litre capacity
  • Synchronised cooking times


  • Instructions could be clearer

Air Fryer FAQ's

How do air fryers work?
Air fryers use hot air circulation to cook food. They have a heating element and a fan that circulates hot air around the food, creating a crispy layer similar to frying but using significantly less oil.

What can I cook in an air fryer?
Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, including fries, chicken wings, nuggets, vegetables, and even desserts like doughnuts or pastries.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?
Some air fryers recommend preheating, while others don't. Preheating can help achieve more consistent results, but it's not always necessary.

How much oil do I need to use in an air fryer?
One of the advantages of air fryers is that they require significantly less oil than traditional frying methods. Most recipes only need a small amount of oil, often just a spritz or a tablespoon.

How long does it take to cook food in an air fryer?
Cooking times vary based on the type and quantity of food. Generally, air fryers cook food faster than traditional methods. It's advisable to check the food periodically to avoid overcooking.

Can I cook frozen food directly in the air fryer?
Yes, many frozen foods can be cooked directly in the air fryer without thawing. Cooking times may need to be adjusted slightly.

What size air fryer do I need for my family?
The size of the air fryer depends on your family size and cooking needs. Smaller models are suitable for individuals or couples, while larger ones are better for families. Consider the capacity in litres when choosing.

Alex Boyd is a Commercial Content Writer for Modern Gardens, writing this review for A Modern Kitchen. He specialises in power tools and pressure washers. He’s what can probably be described as an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to gardening, pottering around and making it up as he goes along and always pleasantly surprised when things work out! In his spare time, he enjoys DIY, travel, and music.

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