Home Tech The GoWise Steam Air Fryer is an Intriguing Combo Cooker

The GoWise Steam Air Fryer is an Intriguing Combo Cooker

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Small black device with digital screen and buttons on top and compartment below

More complicated was the ginger-soy fish, steamed, half-submerged in a mixture of lime, soy sauce and sesame oil. The recipe directs you to place a shallow container small enough to cook the fish inside the cooking basket. It should also be large enough to hold the fish, and your fingers will thank you for figuring out how to remove the hot plate before you press the Start button. That said, it was a surprisingly quick and delicious meal.

Mess of both worlds

Then came combination cooking, where I hoped to get a bit of the best of both worlds: steaming for tender interiors and then a hot blast to brown the outside. I quickly learned that using the combo mode meant it would just steam and then cook. Programming was like trying to crack a Konami code. The touchscreen controls look slick, but they’re a complicated jumble best overcome with brute memorization. Adding time to the end of cooking (steam or combo) means you have to reset the temperature, which defaults to 370 degrees at the end of each cycle. Then extra time is added.

Either you’re beholden to GoWise recipes or you’re laboriously experimenting with times and temperatures drawn from them if you want to cook something else. I came to wish that the book was titled 100 basic recipes, with schedules, temperatures and graphs. I’d gladly take a basic instruction manual in exchange for GoWise’s mediocre or bizarre versions of broccoli (damn, but counterproductively covered in yogurt) or Italian stuffed peppers with “low-carb marinara sauce,” whatever that is.

I made stuffed mushrooms, an old-fashioned hors d’oeuvre, filled with three cheeses folded in cream cheese with Worcestershire sauce and garlic, which I just wanted to spread on my Triscuits. After eight minutes of steam and another eight with a blast of 400 degree hot air, they came out fine. There’s not much not to like if you’re a fan of cheese and mushrooms, but the mushroom caps were a little soggy. I wish I had ruined them before adding the filling, but that seems to go against the simplified spirit of air fryer cooking.

Perhaps the biggest success of the combo mode came with the Honey Soy Chicken Thighs. After fussing with the misspelled recipe and stealing some cooking techniques and temperatures from other recipes, they turned out extremely well. They were tender and moist, with a crispy, flavorful exterior, perhaps the best thing I made at GoWise.

As with all smart kitchen appliances with apps, I was skeptical GoWise. Not to brag or anything, but my opinion didn’t change here. I cringed when I noticed more one-star than five-star reviews on the App Store, and little in between. The featured review mentioned that the cookie recipe was “wrong.” I opened the app and thought the company must have already fixed whatever it was, but no. The ingredients do not require butter, but the first line of the procedure does. Due diligence done, I deleted the app.

Modern conveniences

Despite this, I enjoyed my time with GoWise. It cooked quite well and is pleasantly quiet. I love that the basket and tray are dishwasher safe. There’s no need to spoil that simplified spirit by standing at the sink for five minutes cleaning up the crunchy bits! Although there were many flaws, I appreciated that it comes with 100 recipes, especially those that help users take advantage of the steaming and combination functions. I would have been much more interested in the whole thing if I had been able to control the heat during the steam cycle. You can do a lot of interesting things in a “regular” steam oven, but setting the temperature at 212 really cripples the fun you could have with it.

Photography: Amazonas

The biggest problem with this air fryer is shared with all dedicated air fryers: they only do one thing (or, in this case, two), they take up a lot of counter space, and they have surprisingly little cooking space. If you like to air fry, use whatever convection setting you may have on the built-in oven you already own, or make sure the next built-in oven you buy has it.

If you In fact If you want a countertop fryer, opt for the toaster oven style, so you can air fry, bake, roast, or toast, with a larger space. (Yes, the toaster oven style takes up even more space, can be harder to clean, and takes a little longer to heat up, but still.) If you’re convinced you want a freestanding air fryer, the GoWise is OK. The company should first close the app as an act of mercy. Just take a copy of Air Fryer Perfection instead of the company recipe book and have fun.

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