Air fryer is a great way to cook crispy and tasty dishes, with little or no grease. It is healthier and more convenient than deep frying in oil.
The technology is pretty simple and the air fryer is easy to operate, which explains why it has been rising in popularity.
The NuWave is one of the first brands to produce commercial air fryers and get them into people’s home kitchens.
There’s lots of choices in the market when it comes to air fryers, so let’s take a closer look at the NuWave Brio Digital air fryers to find out what makes them such a popular choice.
Read on to find out!
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
Ok, it’s time for a quick science lesson to explain exactly how air fryers actually work.
An air fryer is basically a small convection oven, similar to the standard oven you already have in your kitchen, that is designed to produce the same effects as deep frying without using oil.
The difference between an air fryer and your regular convection oven is that an air fryer has a fan that circulates hot air extremely quickly through its cavity. Theoretically, this does produce some of the same effects as deep frying food in oil.
You might have heard of the Maillard reaction that occurs when cooking food in oil. This is basically the brown crust that forms on the outside of food when you fry it in oil. Well, an air fryer is also able to produce this effect, but uses significantly less oil- if any at all!
The result of all this scientific technology is an appliance that uses less oil to make meals healthier and reduces cooking times by up to 20%. There’s definitely a reason these things are becoming so popular!
Which NuWave Air Fryer Model Should You Get?
NuWave doesn’t produce a very wide range of different air fryers, which makes it really easy for decision making!
The Brio Digital Air Fryer is Nuwave’s line of traditional air fryer. It comes in a range of sizes – 3-quart, 4.5-quart, 6-quart, 7.25-quart, 8-quart, 14-quart and 15.5-quart.
So, what you really need to decide is just the capacity based on how many servings you are cooking and the amount of counter-top space you have.
The larger 14 and 15.5 qt air fryers also come with a rotisserie kit. If the rotisserie function is what you are looking for and you have enough space on your kitchen counter-top, then you might want to consider these 2 models over their smaller counterparts.
However, the larger models look more like an oven. Instead of placing the food that you want to air fry in a food basket, you’ll have to place them on racks/trays. You get to cook different food at the same time using the multi-level racks. This is really useful as different food may have different cooking times. However, I sometimes miss the convenience of a food basket, especially when cooking food such as fries.
- MAKE ADJUSTMENTS ON-THE-FLY – Want hotter temperature or need to cook it longer? No problem. Simply adjust on-the-fly. Starting the cooking process over is not necessary. Brio’s intuitive digital controls are easy to operate, and the response is immediate. Brio’s cool white display is easy-to-read in any light or no light.
- HEALTHY FRIED FOOD & EASY CLEANUP - Brio uses super-heated air and an efficient air-flow design to cook crispy delicious fried foods without the guilt. No more messy oil, added fats, or calories. Brio allows you to air fry all your favorites - even from frozen, without defrosting. The ultra-non-stick air circulation riser is great for grilling and air frying. The premium stainless steel reversible rack allows for multi-layer cooking. All are dishwasher safe, and the cleanup is a breeze.
- 100 PRE-PROGRAMMED MENU PRESETS AND CONVENIENCES BUILT-IN – Brio is programmed with 100 pre-programmed menu presets for grilling, air frying, baking, broiling, roasting, dehydrating, reheating, defrosting, toasting and more. It also has additional 50 memory slots where you can save and recall your own favorite recipes. It’s the perfect combination of capacity and versatility. Perfect for busy households on-the-go!
- LINEAR THERMAL (LINEAR T) TECHNOLOGY – Fine tune your own temperature settings from 50°F to 400°F in precise 5°F increments. Patented Linear T Technology executes the set temperature accurately throughout the entire cooking process by continuously monitoring temperature fluctuations and making constant power adjustments every second to maintain the set temperature to ensure perfect results. Unlike the primitive methods of turning the heater on and off, our heater never turns off while cooking.
- CHEF INSPIRED FEATURES, FUNCTIONS & RECIPES – Every feature and function of NUWAVE cooking products are created and rigorously tested by highly trained NUWAVE chefs and RD team. We obsessed over every detail in pursuit of best taste and performance. Get inspired and confidently create your own masterpieces. Brio is engineered to out-perform your expectations. Whether you’re cooking an appetizer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, we have the perfect chef-inspired recipe for you!
- HEALTHY FRIED FOOD - Brio uses super-heated air and an efficient air-flow design to cook crispy, delicious fried foods without guilt. No more messy oils, added fats, or calories. Air fry all your favorites - even from frozen, without defrosting.
- MAKE ADJUSTMENTS ON-THE-FLY – Want hotter temperature or need to cook it longer? Simply adjust on-the-fly any time. Control time and temperature any time in the cooking process. Brio’s intuitive digital controls are easy to operate.
- DIGITAL CONTROLS - Set cook temperatures from 50°F to 425°F adjustable in precise 5°F increments. Unlike the primitive methods that regulate temperature by turning the heater on and off, our heater never turns off while cooking.
- INTERNAL LIGHT & SAFETY BUILT-IN – Brio has an internal light. You can monitor the cooking progress without the need to open the door. When the door is opened, cooking is paused for safety. Cooking resumes when the door is closed.
- POWERFUL CONVECTION FAN – Brio is an air fryer oven with a powerful 5-inch convection fan. It’s top mounted and promotes unrivaled cyclonic convection circulation.
Cool Features of the NuWave Brio Air Fryer
Size: Ranging from 3 to 15.5 Qt
NuWave produces only two air fryers, both in vastly different sizes.
Naturally, the 6qt Brio is smaller in size, so won’t take up as much space on your kitchen counter. However, even the 15.5qt isn’t too massive, so you should be able to fit either one onto your kitchen counter with enough rearranging.
As you might expect, the larger Brio fryer can hold a greater weight and size of food than the smaller one. This is the main difference between the two, so it will depend on how much food you think you’ll need to air fry at once to determine which one is more appropriate for your kitchen.
More Cooking Functions Than Just Air Frying
Brio is more than just an air fryer. It is a 6-in-1 kitchen appliance that allows you to air fry, roast, broil, grill, bake and dehydrate.
The 14 and 15.5 qt air fryer comes with a rotisserie kit so you can even rotisserie a 7 Ibs chicken.
100 Preset Programs
Not sure of what temperature and time settings to use? Check out the 100 preset recipe programs…
It’s a little cluttered, but they have printed the first 20 common program at the top of the control panel. The other 80 can be easily found in the Quick Starter Guide.
Simply press on the button “Program”, enter the preset program number and press the “start” button.
If you find it a hassle to scrolling through 1-100 using the up/down buttons, you can also find the details of the temperature and timing settings of each preset program in the quick guide and set them accordingly.
Manual Control of Time and Temperature
However, you also have total control over the exact time and temperature settings. You can manually adjust the temperature and timing using the up and down buttons. The temperature can be varied over vast range from 50 to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
It is really simple to use as the digital panel clearly displays the time and temperature.
Precision Cooking with Temperature Probe
The temperature probe is such a lovely feature. It takes all the guesswork out of cooking and allows you to cook your meat or poultry to perfection every time.
After you’ve set the desired temperature and insert the temperature probe into your protein, the NuWave air fryer will automatically stop when the temperature is reached.
When you press on the probe button, the measured temperature will be displayed on the digital panel.
You can set up to 5 stages with different temperature and time settings.
Save Your Own Customized Programs
Other than the 100 preset programs, you can also save your own customized recipes under number 101-200 program. This is especially useful if your recipes require cooking in multiple stages, each with a different temperature and time requirements.
Delays, Preheat, Warm/Reheat, Sear Functions
The delay function can be used to delay the start time of the cooking cycle.
Use the Preheat feature to bring the air fryer to the desired temperature before the actual cooking program starts. This helps with the extra crispiness.
The Warm function can be used independently or incorporated to automatically keep the food warm immediately after cooking is completed. After setting the regular cooking program, press on the “Warm” button and you can adjust the temperature and time settings (default is 140F). Press on the “Start/Pause” button to start the cooking program. Once the cooking is completed, it will automatically go into the warm mode. To leave the “Warm” function, simply press on the Warm button again.
The Sear Function can be set to be done once before the regular cooking, once before and once after the regular cooking, or once directly after the regular cooking. As usual, the temperature and time of each sear can be customized.
Intuitive to Use
NuWave’s control panel and buttons are pretty intuitive and responsive.
The digital screen also clearly displays the exact temperature and time settings you want your food to cook at, as well as the temperature measured by the probe.
You’ll be notified once the Brio completes cooking so you don’t have to watch over it. The digital display will show “End” and the air fryer will beep three times.
However, you’ll probably need to refer to the manual at the beginning to figure out how to program your own recipe, especially if you are looking to do stage cooking and to incorporate the preheat/sear/warm functions to the regular cooking.
It really isn’t difficult to get the hang of it though.
However, do keep the quick guide and recipe book handy so you can easily refer to them for inspiration and references.
Once you are done with the settings, you can literally just press a single button and the Brio will do all the work for you.
Cook Different Foods at the Same Time
The smaller capacity Brio Air Fryers come with a fry pan divider as a free accessory. So you can divide the food basket into 2 chambers for multi-cooking.
The larger 14 and 15.5 qt Nuwave Air Fryer allows you to stack multi-levels of mesh wire trays so that you can cook different foods at the same time. The mesh tray enables the hot air to flow all around the different levels of food while still allowing the excess oil to drip down into the drip tray at the bottom.
Easy to Clean
Ease of cleaning is always one of the most important considerations when it comes to buying a kitchen gadget.
All the removable parts of the NuWave Brio are top-rack dishwasher safe, while the insides of the air fryer just needs a wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge.
Even if your dishwasher is not big enough to accommodate the parts, they are not difficult to handwash too.
For the smaller capacity air fryers, the fry pan basket net itself is removable. The fry pan basket can also be easily detached from the base tray to be cleaned separately.
As for the 14 and 15.5 qt air fryer, you can even detach the front door so that you can access the insides easily to give it a good wipedown.
Comes With All the Accessories You Need
I really love it that the NuWave Air Fryers come with the integrated temperature probe and all the necessary accessories you need to get started right away.
Of course, there additional accessories that you can purchase as add-ons but you’ve got everything you need to get started.
Honestly, I’m not sure how many air fryers actually have an adjustable wattage feature.
The NuWave website and product descriptions won’t tell you the full story of every aspect of these air fryers. The best place to look for a true reflection of quality is the customer reviews.
One of the main criticisms people have of the Brio air fryer is over its durability. Customers have noted that the coating on the inside of their fryer started peeling after frequent use.
As well as the coating peeling, some customers had issues with the mechanisms stopping altogether after a short time of using it. For some people, the device would fail to turn back on after a single use and for others, the device would simply not get as hot after a few uses as it did when they originally bought it.
It’s difficult to take every customer review as gospel, because people often leave bad reviews online even if they’ve just used the product incorrectly. However, when it comes to customer service.
NuWave seems to be pretty poor at dealing with customer complaints and return requests. One customer had a faulty air fryer, so was sent a replacement without a door and told to attach the door from the faulty model!
In general, the various components within the air fryer seem slightly flimsy and cheaply made. In fairness, the air fryers themselves are not overly expensive to buy online, so you can expect that the quality wouldn’t be great. It seems, overall, that NuWave’s air fryer technology still has some way to go in its development.
Overall, the NuWave Brio air fryer is a pretty cool piece of kitchen equipment that offers home cooks more versatility and convenience.
It is not a high end product, so the quality may not be as durable or long-lasting as I would have wished.
However, for its price point, the NuWave Brio air fryer offers 100 preset programs, an integrated temperature probe and a lot of versatility. Not only do you have complete control over all the temperature and time adjustments, you can even customize your own multi-stage settings and save them as one of the stored recipe program. This makes NuWave Brio a value buy.
However, NuWave Brio does not have pressure cooking or steaming feature. So if you are looking an appliance that is jam-packed with more functions to make the best out of your limited counter top space, then you might have to look elsewhere for a air fryer-pressure cooker combos (such as the ninja foodi). But I have to warn you first, those will come at a higher price tag too.