Defy South Africa released a brand new digital airfryer towards the end of 2023. The new model is the Defy Digital XXL Airfryer DAF 3376. Full disclaimer, I was gifted the airfryer during the festive period.
I was not asked to write a review, but most of you know how obsessed I am with airfyers, so it had to be done. You can read all my previous reviews on airfryers here: recharged.co.za/tag/airfryer/
The reason I wanted to review the Defy Airfyer was because of its price point of R1 800, which is excellent; and to see how well it performs, and whether it is worth your money.
Defy Airfryer Quick Look
- Defy Digital Airfryer DAF 3376
- 1750W of power; 7.6L capacity
- Cooks up to 200°C up to 60 mins
- Visual cooking basket (non-stick) design
- Colour display panel with touch controls
- Automatic shut-off
- Price: R1 800
Who is the Defy Airfryer aimed at?
The Defy Digital Aifryer is for anyone new to cooking, newly married and just starting out, living their best single life or have been tempted to buy one but haven’t yet been convinced. And most importantly, if you want to reduce your consumption and use less power, thus pay less for electricity.
The barrier to entry is low. It is well priced at R1 800. You will not get any other airfyer with an “XXL” size of 7.6L under R2 000, from what I’ve seen, unless it’s on sale.
And one of the most common pieces of feedback I receive from those who’ve purchased airfryers is that they wish they had bought a bigger size because that is the natural upgrade.
Even if you’re in a household of two, a bigger basket lets you cook both meat and veggies or chips in one, so that’s actually handy. It’s also useful to do other things, like mini bakes, and if you want to make pies and other savouries. It’s more efficient to cook everything at once, vs using it twice.
Using the Defy Airfryer for the first time
The airfyer is on the large side, with dimensions of 32 x 38 x 28cm, and about 4.8kgs. You would need sufficient counter space for it, so bear this in mind if you have limited kitchen space.
The airfryer comes with a removable basket and a tray with holes. It is easy to use and to be honest, you don’t really need to read the manual. If you play around, you can figure out the settings and adjust the time and temperature.
There are lots of automatic cooking modes to get you started. I am familiar with airfyers, so I’ve only ever used it in manual mode, where I choose my own temperature and time. If I find that it need a few minutes more, I just cook it for those additional minutes. Doing this comes with experience and if you’re new to it, you will be doing the same after some familiarity.
What I love about this model is the transparent basket design and a button to switch a light on so you have a quick glance of what’s going on without opening the basket unnecessarily.
Something NB to note, as is the case with most airfryers – there is no pre-heating, and why it’s so efficient.
Getting familiar with the buttons
You need to familiarise with the buttons first, then navigating becomes really simple. I know I mentioned you don’t need the manual so consider this a cheat sheet.
Each preprogrammed cooking mode is lit up in different colours below. It has an icon indicating what it is, like a whole chicken, fries, a pie, reheating, defrosting, braai/grill, etc.
Beneath the icons are touch controls from left to right, like the light for the basket, time/temp control, menu, cook/pause, and power. The very first mode on top is M for manual. If you select this option, you can tap on time/temp button to toggle between them, and next to the numerals on the display on either side and + and – controls to adjust accordingly. Once you are ready, you can just hit the “play” button to start cooking. This is really all you need to know about the controls.
Cooking with the Defy Airfryer
I’ve had the Defy airfryer for almost 6 weeks now at the time of writing this post, and I’ve been away on holiday and another work trip, but between that time, I’ve used it primarily to cook. I used it more than my gas stove for cooking.
Almost everything goes in there. Steaks, fish, sausages, patties, eggs, chops, etc. I just personally prefer airfrying my meat, without using much oil, otherwise I will use my olive oil spray if I really need to, like for fish. It’s just healthier this way.
On average, I found that my food cooks on 180°C for around 15-20 minutes. The patties and sausages up to 15 minutes, but for my chops, I cook it for longer, because towards the end, I increase the temperature to between 190-200°C for about 3-5 minutes to brown a bit. I find it better to cook it this way instead of starting higher at 185°C otherwise it browns quicker before the insides cook.
Once you cook more often in it, you will understand how it works and you can easily estimate how long something needs to cook for. Otherwise, you can just add it for a few more minutes as needed.
Cleaning the airfryer
You can clean the airfryer after it cools down a bit. I found that the bottom removable tray, when hot, can pop, while still inside. What happens is that it expands with the heat, but it is being held with silicone edges. So you may hear a sound. It’s not anything to worry about. But it requires some effort to remove the tray. Just make sure you angle it correctly and it will come out easier – the same goes when placing it back.
You can either wash it by hand or place the tray or basket in your dishwasher. Mine has been washed by hand mostly.
Defy Digital Airfryer: Final Thoughts
The Defy Digital Airfryer is the perfect starter airfryer if you’ve never owned one before. At R1 800, it is extremely well-priced and easier to jump on than a more expensive brand. It’s not difficult to get familiar with, but the more you use it, the better you will understand how it cooks and what temperature to use.
Regarding size, at 7.6L it is rather big, you can possibly cook a full/baby chicken in there. I’ve not done it myself because it doesn’t make sense in my household of two.
The airfryer uses 1750W of power. If you have a portable power station that handles at least 2000W, you can get away with using it during load shedding. I’ve not needed to test this as I do have a gas stove as a back up.
It’s very difficult to fault the Defy Digital Airfryer. I highly recommend it if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing an airfryer.
At the time of publishing, the Defy Digital Airfryer can be purchased on Makro, Game, Hirsch and Takealot, with Makro coming in at R1 499 on sale, whereas Takealot has it for R2 499.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. firstname.lastname@example.org