Big Boss manufactures several kitchen appliances. Their air fryers are distinctive because, like Big Boss convection ovens, they consist of a transparent round bowl below the heating unit, in which cooks can watch food brown. All the different models and colors use only 1300 watts, retail for $75-175, and average 3.5 to 4.5 out of 5 stars at Amazon. (A blue-topped model currently rates five out of five...on only one review.)
One reason for the mixed reviews may be that this brand has been on the market longer than some, and thus got more reviews from people who didn't know what to expect from air fryers. However, some reviewers disliked specific features of Big Boss air fryers, especially the bright lights. These air fryers use a combination of convection, halogen, and infrared light to heat food; some people expressed concern about possible harmful effects of using infrared light, and some foods don't cook well in this type of fryer.
Top three reasons why people choose Big Boss air fryers:
- To cook healthy at home. One review mentioned that lean meats that "turn into nasty little hockey pucks" in a conventional broiler or oven air-fry to perfection in about 20 minutes in the Big Boss.
- Tidiness. Big Boss users report that even though the bowl part of the air fryer is heavy and needs frequent cleaning, it's still a huge improvement over cleaning a deep-fat fryer.
- Roomy cooking area. The Big Boss comes with stacking racks that allow fat to drain out of foods like chicken (even small turkeys) while they cook, and that big, heavy bowl can also be used as a mixing bowl. (On the other hand, some customers thought the Big Boss was too big--sixteen inches across the base and, since the bowl heats up in use, this fryer definitely needs space where it's out of everyone's way.)
Top five questions and answers about Big Boss air fryers:
1. Where's the recipe book?
Answer: Apparently several customers failed to receive a 45-page instruction book that includes sample recipes. More recipes have been shared at a web site dedicated to this fryer.
2. How hard is this device to clean?
Answer: The lid, which forms the bottom of the heating unit, has to be washed by hand. The bowl has to be lifted carefully in and out of the machine after frying meat. On the other hand, if what you air-fry are mostly cut vegetables, you could just wipe the bowl (after it cools down) and run the racks through the dishwasher.
3. How big is the Big Boss air fryer?
Answer: Noticeably bigger and heavier than some other air fryers: 16" wide, 12" high, 15-18 pounds.
4. Are there any known medical reasons not to use infrared light in cooking?
Answer: Infrared light is what's used in microwave ovens, so it's generally regarded as safe.
5. Is it possible to bake in the Big Boss?
Answer: The Big Boss is not recommended for baking cake or bread in pans. The use of infrared light suggests that traditional baked goods might not come out well. (That's what the company makes ovens for.)
This air fryer has been on the market for years. Depending on how they've used it, some people report that it may not last as long as they expected, and/or parts may be hard to repair or replace. All light bulbs eventually burn out, but the company might be well advised to make it easier to find the kind their air fryer uses, since those who use Big Boss fryers seem to want to use them for years. (This is not yet a valid brand comparison; some other air fryers haven't been around long enough for customers to evaluate how long they last.)
The Big Boss might be the best choice for someone who air-fries whole chickens or young turkeys (up to 14 pounds), since it's designed to hold this volume of food and to be cleaned easily afterward. The big glass bowl is definitely not ideal for anyone with weak or shaky hands. The combination of features from convection and microwave ovens seems to present novel challenges and opportunities for creative cooks.