We tested Drew & Cole's first air fryer to see if it made life easier in a busy family household

 Drew & cole 4l air fryer review.
Credit: Drew & Cole

British brand Drew & Cole prides itself on creating kitchen appliances that save busy families time and money. So I was keen to see if the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer would live up to its other star products, and claim a space on our best air fryers round-up.

It claims it can reduce energy bills by up to 40% compared to using a conventional oven, so I had in mind that it could be a great gadget to give my son, who is away studying at university. But I wanted to know if it would suit preparing family meals at home, too.

I tested the air fryer in our kitchen at home. It has 8 cooking functions that you can choose between easily on the digital display, but there’s also an option that lets you adjust the cooking time and temperature manually to suit your recipe or ingredients – the temperature range is 80-200°C. The programmes guide you through every step of the cooking process, from pre-heating the air fryer to adding the food and when to turn or shake it during cooking. It also switches off automatically at the end of cooking.

With its 4-litre capacity, the air fryer can cater for 2 to 4 people, and its £79.99 price tag makes it a more affordable option than some other air fryers on the market. In this review, we dive into what makes Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L) a four-star buy, from cooking to the clean-up afterwards.

Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L)

Drew & Cole air fryer
Drew & Cole air fryer

Product Specs

  • Material: Plastic

  • Colour: Black

  • Capacity: 4 litres

  • Modes: Air Fry, Reheat, Bake, Chicken, Fish, Fries, Meat, Veg

  • Weight: 4.2kg

  • Power: 1500W

  • Size: 39 x 35.7 x 32cm (h x w x d)

Who tested it?


The Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L) was delivered in a sturdy cardboard box, which opened to reveal the product surrounded by secure cardboard packaging (no polystyrene but the air fryer did come wrapped in a plastic bag). Removing it from the packaging was easy and its compact size meant I easily found a spot for it on the kitchen worksurface, next to our toaster. The instructions say to leave 10cm around the air fryer.

The design is minimal and sleek, with a digital panel on the front that displays the cooking options when the device is switched on but otherwise looks plain black. There’s a silver-coloured handle on the air fryer basket, and a clear plastic slider on the top of the handle that you push forward or back to secure or release the fryer basket from the main basket/drawer.

Drew & Cole air fryer app
Drew & Cole air fryer app

There’s a short instruction manual provided, but the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L) is intuitive and easy to use, so I felt happy to plug it in and start cooking with it immediately.

There’s also an app that you can download, which has the same instructions plus a selection of 21 sweet and savoury recipes. I gave up on using the app, however, as it didn’t remember my password, which meant I had to reset it every time I wanted to log into it to find meal ideas. The recipes are available online, however, on the Drew & Cole website.

Using the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L)

This really is a simple air fryer to operate. Once it’s plugged in, you simply press the time/temperature button on the digital display, then adjust the settings with the plus or minus arrows. Alternatively, press the menu button which scrolls through the preset modes – Air Fry, Reheat, Bake, Chicken, Fish, Fries, Meat Veg. Once you’ve chosen one of these, you can then adjust the time or temperature if necessary – if your recipe calls for different cooking settings, for example. I used fish for fish fingers and fries for homemade chips.

Once you’ve chosen your setting, the air fryer goes into pre-heat mode, then beeps when it’s time to add the food to the basket – you simply pull out the basket with the handle to access it. Once you’ve added the food and returned the basket to the air fryer, cooking commences. The Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L) will beep again, around halfway through the cooking time, to tell you to turn (or shake) the food. This is meant to ensure even cooking and I appreciated the reminder, as I’m sure I would have forgotten to do this otherwise.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

At the end of the cooking time, there’s another beep and you can remove the food from the basket. I either used tongs to do this, or in the case of chips and halloumi fries, tipped up the basket to shake them out. To do this, you move the clear plastic slider to release the basket from the air fryer drawer. The basket is perforated, allowing any oil or cooking juices to drip away from the food. Or you can remove it entirely and cook directly in the drawer if you’re baking cookies or cakes.

You can hear the air fryer during cooking, as the Cyclonic Air Technology channels the hot air around the food to heat it up and cook it quickly, but as the cooking times are short this didn’t bother me. I also wasn’t disturbed by the beeping alerts during cooking, as I felt it kept me focussed on quickly and efficiently preparing meals.

Cooking bacon

I could fit three large bacon rashers in the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L), which may not some people who would prefer to prepare more food for a cooked breakfast in one go. But it was ample for a sandwich for one.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

I cooked the bacon rashers for 6 minutes at 190 degrees and was pleased with the results – not overdone, crispy and tender. I turned them over halfway through cooking but I think they would have cooked just as well if I had left them because of how well the air circulates through the fryer.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

Cooking halloumi fries

This was a recipe from the Drew & Cole app, with halloumi cut into strips and coasted in flour, oregano, chilli powder and garlic powder, sprayed with oil, then cooked at 180°C for 8-10 minutes (after preheating for 2-3 minutes). I put the halloumi in a single layer in the bottom of the air fryer basket, and used tongs to turn over the strips when the beep alerted me to turn the food, halfway through cooking.

The results were perfect – chewy and soft on the inside, with a delicately spiced crispy outside. As with any halloumi recipe, you need to eat it immediately, before the cheese goes cold and chewy. That wasn’t a problem as they were so tasty.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

Making chips

We made chips twice in the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L); the first time making skinny fries and the next time, standard-sized chips. We cut these ourselves from potatoes, rather than cooking frozen chips, and didn’t presoak (as some recipes recommend, to remove starch from the potatoes for a fluffier result) before tossing in a little oil and cooking.

I used the Fries mode on the digital menu, which automatically sets the cooking temperature at 200°C for 20 minutes, with a prompt to turn and shake the fries halfway through to ensure even cooking.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

With the skinny fries, I soon realised that 20 minutes was far too long to cook them. In the end, I cooked them for around 12 minutes for crisp and even results.

Because of this, the next time we cooked chips, I made them slightly thicker and cooked more of them – the basket was around half full. Even so, they were ready in around 16 minutes. I later realised that the setting is for frozen chips, which makes more sense of the preset cooking time.

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

Heating frozen food

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

I cooked fish fingers from frozen, heating them in the air fryer on the ‘fish’ setting for around 8 minutes and turning them over halfway through cooking. I really liked the way these came out - piping hot, crisp on the outside and flaky fish on the inside.

My one issue is that half-cooked fish fingers aren’t easy to flip over without breaking – I found it more difficult to do this in an air fryer basket than it would have been on a grill. The cooking time was only a few minutes shorter than it would taken to grill them, too, so I’d cook them the conventional way next time.

Roasting butterbeans

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

I really like to have roasted butter beans, chickpeas or cannellini beans on hand for a healthy snack or to add as a topping for salads. Usually, I drain them from the tin and rinse, toss them in a little olive oil, then sprinkle them with smoky paprika before roasting in the oven for around 20 minutes.

I decided to test if I would get similar or better results in the air fryer, choosing a tin of butter beans for my experiment. After preparing them as usual, I preheated the air fryer for 3 minutes at 190 degrees, then added the butter beans to the basket. I decided to cook them for 15 minutes, checking them halfway through cooking time and giving them a shake in the basket to ensure they would cook evenly.

The results definitely matched expectations – crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, with a lovely smoky flavour. And they cooked more efficiently than they would have done in a conventional oven.


Unlike some air fryer models, the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L) should not be cleaned in the dishwasher. I didn’t find this a problem, however, as the nonstick fry basket and outer basket were so easy and quick to clean with warm soapy water and a nonabrasive sponte in the sink.

Drew & Cole recommends soaking them for 10 minutes if there is any stuck-on food. It’s also safe to use baking parchment, tin foil or baking tins in the basket, if you want to protect it from mess.

To clean the outside of the air fryer, I simply sprayed with a little multifunctional cleaner and wiped with a soft damp cloth.

Should you buy the Drew & Cole 8-in-1 digital air fryer (4L)

drew & cole 4l air fryer review
drew & cole 4l air fryer review

This is Drew & Cole’s only air fryer and it’s a reliable model alongside its competitors. I found it easy and intuitive to use, the food cooked was crisp, light and tasty, and generally cooked far faster than it might in a conventional oven.

Although the capacity of the basket is 4 litres, I found cooking larger amounts of food tricky – for best results, you want to cook food in a single layer, so that’s around five fish fingers or four rashers of bacon at a time – not ideal if you have a family waiting for bacon butties for lunch. But that’s true of a lot of air fryers, not just this one.

I tested it with my student son in mind, and I think it’s ideal for one or two people who want fast, tasty food cooked with a minimum of oil and without using too much energy.