After hearing many great things about air fryers from friends, colleagues (and even some infomercials) we decided we had to get in on the fun. With some enthusiasm, and mild skepticism, we took the plunge. For reasons we outline below, we chose an affordable manual air fryer from Farberware. We’ve spent about two years with this handy kitchen appliance. While it does have its flaws, we’ve been very pleased. We’ll outline what we loved, what we didn’t like and whether we’d do it all again in our 3.2 quart manual Farberware air fryer review.
The following review outlines our experiences with this product over nearly 24 months of near daily use. This review is our honest opinion and assessment but please note this review contains affiliate links. We may receive some sort of compensation if you complete a purchase or other action after visiting them. Read more here. With that out of the way, let’s get on with our Farberware Air Fryer review!
Farberware Air Fryer Review – Long Term 3.2 Quart Manual Air Fryer Review
About the Product:
We decided we wanted to test an air fryer from the typical consumer’s point of view. Since many families and shoppers don’t have unlimited funds for a kitchen gadget, we decided we’d stay under $100. We were shooting primarily for something in the $50 to $90 price range. To make things even more challenging, we wanted to find something we could pick up locally from a big box store available in all nearly all parts of the U.S. Finally, we wanted something reliable with a trusted brand name we felt comfortable with. This was back in 2016 and options meeting our strict criteria were slim. There were plenty of ridiculously priced fryers and a few very low cost air fryers from brands we never heard of. Ultimately, we discovered and settled on the Farberware 3.2 Quart Manual Air Fryer.
We chose this fryer because it met all our search criteria. Faberware is certainly a well known brand we’ve used and trusted before. We purchased this air fryer in stock from our local Walmart for around $79.00.
Farberware Manual Air Fryer Specifications:
Model #: HF-919B
Manufacturer Part Number: FBW FT 42138 BK
Approximate Weight: 13 pounds 8 ounces
Approximate Dimensions: 14.20”L x 14.2”W x 16”H
Color: Black and Stainless Steel
Controls: Basic manual analog temperature and timer controls
Max. Cooking Temperature: 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
Max Timer Setting: 30 Minutes
Approximate Capacity: 3.2 Quart or around 2 pounds of food
Digital LCD Display?: No
We almost passed on this product because we weren’t thrilled with the appearance. We’re not big fans of the bulky egg shape. To be fair it is hard to make an air fryer sexy. They’re usually either a box or a robust egg shape. It wasn’t love at first site, but the looks grew on us.
It’s a bit big and bulky sitting out on the counter. If you have storage space the looks don’t matter all that much anyway. You can simply stow it away out of sight when not in use. However, we’ve found we use this thing so much in our home test kitchen it never really gets put away.
The black plastic and stainless design are attractive enough, but the gloss and stainless-steel style surfaces do seem to attract grime. Plan on wiping it down frequently because scratches, grease and fingerprints show very easily.
This is minimalistic design at its best here. The top of the fryer features two LED lights and two medium size knobs. One light glows to tell you the oven is on. The lower light will glow either amber or blue for heating or when the heating element is off to allow the temperature to cool. The top knob is used for temperature control while the bottom is used to set the timer.
The front of the fryer features a graphic that displays cooking temperatures and times for common foods such as frozen French fries, poultry, fish and more. We didn’t love the cartoony little white graphic icons on the front but that wasn’t an issue for long. (They wiped and wore off rapidly which is one of the few complaints we had.)
How it Works:
On the most basic level this air fryer cooks by blowing hot air around your food. It is essentially a hot air oven with a timer. The basket in a drawer design allows fat and grease to drain off and away from your food. You can add a small spray of cooking oil on your food to help achieve golden brown fried crispness, but we found it isn’t even necessary in most situations.
Thanks to the manual controls, this product really couldn’t be any easier to use. Teenagers, middle aged parents and elderly “chefs” easily use this item on almost a daily basis. You simply slide the air fryer basket and drawer out. You can slide it out partially or remove it completely. The red button area on the handle allows you to separate the basket and drawer. The basket pops out of the drawer completely to make loading, unloading and cleaning easy. One you’ve loaded your food into the basket you slide it back in place and turn the temperature control knob clockwise to your desired temperature. Next, set your timer by turning clockwise and lining up the indicator with the desired cooking time.
Temperatures and cooking times are printed around the control knobs. Unfortunately, they wore off on our model within a couple months. The good news is it honestly doesn’t matter all that much. Cooking with this air fryer is nearly foolproof.
Once the timer runs out you’ll hear a “ding” similar to a manual twist kitchen timer and the air fryer shuts off. It really is a set it and forget it approach once you know the temperature and time you need. When we load the basket to max capacity, periodically shaking the contents helps things cook more evenly.
We must admit, we usually keep the temperature knob cranked to 400 degrees and use a “cook and look” approach. We certainly recommend cooking per product package or FDA recommendations but even if you take the wide open cook and look approach it is pretty hard to screw things up. The worst we’ve done is dry out some chicken or French fries. Even that takes quite a long time to do.
Foods generally cook faster in the air fryer than our electric oven and come out great. If you like the crispy coating of dried foods without the oil and guilt, an air fryer like this one is a great solution. One of the most common candidates are frozen foods but the sky is pretty much the limit.
We’ve cooked countless things in our air fryer. Below is a list of things that work well for us:
- Frozen French fries, tater tots etc.
- Fresh cut French fries: They’re amazing but take a bit longer to cook than frozen
- Fresh sliced apple chips
- Frozen onion rings
- Fresh or frozen chicken: Cooks very well without any sort of oil sprayed on the chicken. We routinely get crisp outer layers without the inside being dried out or over done. We even toss in frozen or fresh, unseasoned, unbreaded chicken breasts and cook on high. The result is a slightly dried out crispy outer layer with deliciously done moist meat inside. Almost just as good as greasy fried chicken without the extra calories.
- Hot Dogs
- Frozen snacks like pizza rolls, Hot Pockets etc.
- Bacon: If you don’t want grease spattering all over kitchen or microwave, try cooking bacon in the air fryer. If you like crisp bacon it comes out amazing in the air fryer. As an added bonus, a ton of fat nd grease drips down under the basket and away from the bacon. You’ll get amazing crisp bacon that you can fine tune to suit your tastes. The only downside is cleaning out a ton of bacon grease from the air fryer drawer/pot. If you don’t like the smell of bacon cooking in your home you might want to pass on this as well. It seems even more aromatic in the air fryer
- Egg Rolls: Do you like frozen egg rolls? Not a fan of the disappointing soft mushy outside like you often get from cooking them in the microwave? Try them in the air fryer! You’ll get a delicious crispy egg roll that takes like it came from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
- Frozen Texas Toast or Garlic Bread
- Left Over Pizza: Revive or reheat left over pizza in the air fryer and you may never use the microwave again. Makes it super quick and easy to heat up a slice or two.
- Much more! We frequently wonder aloud: “What would this be like in the air fryer?” in our test kitchen. You’ll be coming up with new uses each and every week.
What Else Can You Cook in Your Air Fryer?
It seems the sky is the limit. There are some great air fryer cookbooks and recipe books available. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites on amazon below:
Build Quality and Durability:
The overall build quality is good but most of our complaints arose from this area. As previously stated, don’t get too dependent on the cooking time chart or the temperature or time control knob labels. The chart wore off of our test fryer very quickly. We don’t use any sort of harsh chemicals or cleaners on the air fryer. The outside gets wiped down with a damp cloth or at most some dish detergent water. The chart disappears very quickly, while the time and temperature labels for the knob wore off a bit more slowly over time. Within a few months cooking was a guessing game for anyone not experienced with the air fryer. This is a common problem we’ve seen with other reviews online as well.
Another common problem is issues with the coating on the fryer basket coming off. We’ve seen several reviews online complaining about the coating peeling or flaking off the basket completely. Fortunately we’ve only got normal wear and a chip or two on ours.
Also, we had an issue with the red safety button on the basket. The basket and drawer separate completely. This is accomplished by sliding a plastic cover forward and pushing a red button on the handle to separate the two. This is a safety feature that should prevent someone from accidentally detaching the basket from the drawer/bin. The clear cover broke off of ours in a few uses. As a result the safety feature is pretty much non-existent. We now have to be careful we don’t accidentally detach the basket.
Let’s wrap up our Farberware air fryer review by sharing a summary of our opinions and thoughts after nearly three years of use.
- Has survived 3 years of heavy use with only a few issues
- Easy to Use
- Great for cooking frozen and fresh food
- Manual controls are reliable
- Easy to clean. The basket can even be put in the dishwasher
- Many uses
- Makes food taste like deep fried food without the calories and guilt
- Great for meals or snacks.
- Cooking is easy, fun and fast.
- Ideal for singles, couples or small families
- Cook frozen chicken breasts quickly and easily. No need to thaw first etc.
- The cooking chart printed on the front of the fryer wipes off extremely easily, even without cleaners.
- The labels for temperature and cooking times wear off around the control knobs very easily
- The safety feature broke on our basket handle.
- The 3.2 Quart capacity is decent but if you’re cooking for a large family you’ll be designating the air fryer for a single part of the meal or cooking in shifts.
- No easy way to layer food in the basket. Therefore you’ll sometimes need to shake the contents around for even cooking.
We’ve put this air fryer through nearly daily use for the better part of three years. Overall, we are very pleased with the Farberware manual air fryer. It has done a great job for us. We’ve found it is a good combination of affordable, durable and effective. As a result, we would definitely recommend it based on our testing. It cooks food quickly, thoroughly and without all the oil that can be unhealthy. We’ve managed to get consistent results and we’ve had no major mechanical issues with it. That’s not to say things have been perfect.
Over the years we’ve encountered just a few issues during our Farberware air fryer review. You already know this one but we’ll reiterate. We really wish the time and temperature labels around the control knobs and the cooking chart wouldn’t rub off. They’re completely gone now. That is inconvenient and disappointing but it hasn’t dramatically affected our use of this product.
We also started to melt our power cord. One user placed some food in the fryer, started cooking and pushed the gadget back towards the wall to free up some counter space. The power cord ended up very close to the rear exhaust on the fryer where hot air exits. This is completely our fault but worth mentioning. The precautions in the owner’s manual are there for a reason!
As mentioned, we also had a problem with the red release button on the air basket handle. When new, a sliding clear plastic cover goes over this release button. Ours broke pretty quickly. We have to be careful to not accidentally release the basket at inopportune times now but otherwise it hasn’t caused many issues.
Aside from that, the only other durability issue is the non stick coating in the frying basket is starting to show its age.
At this time our only other complaint is size. We wish we had a bit more cooking space or a baking pan and a way to layer foods. We knew the fryer didn’t come with these so we can’t hold it against it. Fortunately with a little creativity you can overcome these issues.
A variety of aftermarket racks and pans are available. You don’t need to spend a fortune either. Something like a small mini cake pan works wonders. They’ll allow you to cook things that would fall through the holes in the fryer basket. Just be sure to measure for fit before buying!
Do we Recommend This Air Fryer?
At this point in our manual Farberware air fryer review we’d still recommend this air fryer for those who want simplicity. Are there more expensive air fryers with digital doo dads and more features? Absolutely. There are also cheaper options from unknown brands with questionable reliability. If you’re looking for a decent entry to mid level air fryer we’d highly recommend giving this one a try just as we, and many others, have.
We were surprised to see this item is still available both online and locally at Walmart, even two or three years later! That should say something about the durability and popularity of this product. Twenty four months is a lifetime in the world of sub $100 kitchen gadgets. It isn’t unusual to buy something and discover it has been discontinued and replaced with a completely different model six to eight months later.
Did you enjoy our Farberware air fryer review? Was it helpful? Do you have any questions for us? Please let us know in the comment section below. If you’d like to purchase this product yourself we would greatly appreciate it if you could purchase via the links or resources we’ve assembled below. It really does help us out.
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Farberware Air Fryer Review: HF-919B
Ease of Use9.5/10
- Fun and easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Cooks well
- Ideal for small families
- Great for quickly making frozen foods
- Simple manual controls
- Good balance between price, performance and reliability
- The cooking chart rubbed off
- Labels for cooking time and temperature controls wore off
- The red safety button/basket release broke on our basket
- No easy way to layer food without needing to frequently shake or flip food
- Capacity may be small for large meals or families