Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven review 2022

This retro air fryer is larger than average. It boasts a transparent front and has a large capacity, which is great for families. But it’s tricky to clean and not the easiest to use.

  • Good for pizzas
  • Tough to clean
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Details

Price£60
Capacity (litres)12.6
Functions5
Functions includeAir fry, Grill, Bake, Toast, Keep warm
Cooking zones1
Cooking tiers3
TimerManual
Dishwasher-safe parts
Transparency
Rotating basket
Convenience★★★★★
Capacity and size★★★★★
Stated functions★★★★★
Overall Finder score★★★★★

What can you cook in a Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven?

This is one of the only air fryers we’ve reviewed that can cook a couple of medium-sized pizzas. This is because of its massive 12.6-litre capacity – the biggest we’ve seen. Only the Innoteck 12 litre Kitchen Pro DS-5894 and the Tower 11 litre Xpress Pro Combo come close. But even they can’t manage a 12-inch (30cm) pizza, due to their narrower design.

This Russell Hobbs oven has a toast function, which at first glance seems impressive as not many other air fryers claim to make toast. However, in practice, you can toast in most air fryers at a lower heat of 180C for around 5 minutes. And frankly, you might just want to use your toaster: some Russell Hobbs customer reviews have mentioned how their toast didn’t cook as evenly as they would have liked.

The air fryer oven can accommodate a lot of food over its 2 racks, and this makes it great for bigger families; 16 fish fingers or 24 chicken nuggets will fit on a rack and you can stick some chips at the bottom. The only issue is cramming this air fryer may cause uneven cooking or charring.

This machine isn’t designed for cooking curries or sauce-based dishes – others such as the Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker 7.5l OP450UK are a better option if you want to make those.

How big is the Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven?

This air fry oven nestles under your cabinets without too much bother but at 45.1cm wide, it’s the broadest of all the air fryers we reviewed, and is the reason it can take a decent-sized pizza. This is a whopping 20cm bigger than the petite Ninja AF100UK, which is a similar price.

The Russell Hobbs machine is fairly light, at 6.5kg – lighter than average among the machines we’ve reviewed.

Is the Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven convenient to use?

This machine is a pain to clean, which is a common theme among customer reviews. Grease can build up and this could stain the crisping basket and drip tray underneath. But the parts can’t go in the dishwasher, so it’s going to be warm soapy water and a scourer.

Another issue, if you’re looking to cook a lot of greasy food, is the drip tray is quite small. This means you’ll either be crowding less food in the centre so the oil drips into the tray, or spreading more food out but having to scrub the machine later. And as the vertical door doesn’t come off, it’s harder to reach into the nooks and crannies.

The power cord is one of the shortest we’ve seen at 60cm, which isn’t a problem if the socket is close to your worktop, but 80-100cm would have been ideal.

The oven’s design is quite different from the others we’ve reviewed, many of which have features such as digital timers and presets. The lack of presets isn’t an issue, but you’ll need to figure out cooking times.

You can only cook for 1 hour at a time. This is fine for air fried foods, since they’re typically done in under 30 minutes, but it’s unfortunate that such a large capacity can’t roast a pork loin or dehydrate fruit, like the Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10 in 1 does, for over an hour.

The lack of a rotating element is also a downside – you’ll have to flip chips or turn burgers individually for an even cook. This means checking food at regular intervals. You can’t shake this air fryer, and breading or coatings could get stuck in the air fry mesh rack.

Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven customer reviews

This air fryer got mixed reviews on Amazon, but better reviews on Argos. Many of the complaints related to cleaning the machine. One user pointed out how the heating elements could gather grease, and this was tricky to clean since they’re behind a metal guard.
Dried stains were tough to get off too. Some users lamented the short power cable or found the door tough to open fully.

Positive reviews praised the fryer’s ease of use, how quickly it cooked different foods (especially pizza). Others found it compact.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Good capacity for pizzas
  • Keep-warm function
  • Transparent door

Cons

  • Tricky to clean
  • Fairly short power cord
  • Drip tray doesn't stretch to full capacity
  • No easy way to turn food

Our verdict: Is Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven any good?

We think this appliance is a mini oven in an air fryer’s clothing. While it boasts huge capacity, it’s probably best at cooking pizzas and a whole chicken. Chips and wings would be suited to a smaller air fryer for ease of rotation and less stress about where the grease will drip. You’ll be using a lot of your own elbow grease to clean this one.

Small kitchens without an oven might benefit from one of these next to the kettle or toaster. But if you have an oven, the main benefit is likely to be faster cooking times.

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★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
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Review by


Reemul is a writer at Finder, specialising in product reviews and news. He's a qualified journalist having worked at local papers in the UK covering breaking news, food and restaurant reviews. He has an MA in Film from UCL and a BA in History and French from Durham University.

Expert review

The Russell Hobbs Air Fry Mini Oven is distinctly different from the rest of the air fryer pack in terms of its shape and design, as it resembles a microwave oven. The old-school silver exterior, manual knobs and industrial style orange light may suit you if you like a retro look.

It can also bake, grill and keep your food warm with its visible functions.

The transparent door means you can monitor nuggets, wings or wedges as they sizzle inside.

But it’s tough to clean, especially as none of its parts are dishwasher-safe. Plus the electric cord is a bit short. And with that, this air-fryer-oven loses a few points.

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