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Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review: A compact, budget-friendly countertop cooker

Our Rating :
£30.00 from
Price when reviewed : £45
inc. VAT

Marrying top-notch value with solid performance and easy-to-use controls, Tower’s 2.2l air fryer is a great budget compact option


  • Cheap
  • Compact
  • Straightforward and easy to use


  • Small capacity
  • No extra features or functions
  • Limited cooking temperature and cook times

Air fryers tend to be fairly bulky, taking up a significant amount of countertop space, as well as expensive, even if the best air fryers balance their hefty price tags with extra features and extra functions. The Tower T17023, however, is a petite, budget-friendly and simple to use alternative to some of our more premium favourites. Offering users enough capacity and power to cook up portions of sides or proteins, this pint-sized air fryer will add a nice amount of utility to your kitchen – without hurting your wallet too much.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review: What do you get for the money?

The Tower T17023 has a single drawer with a modest 2.2L capacity, allowing it to fit a large portion of a side dish, such as chips or hash browns or one to two servings of a protein, such as a steak or a pair of small chicken breasts. In the box, the air fryer comes with a removable non-stick grill plate and an instruction manual. It has a black plastic body, which measures 24 x 18.5 x 26.5cm (WDH) and weighs 3kg, making it the lightest and most compact model I’ve tested.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review - time dial close up

The outside of the air fryer has two control dials, one for temperature and one for time. These can be used to manually set the temperature to between 80ºC and 200ºC, and the time for up to 30 minutes. However, unlike some of its pricier counterparts, this model doesn’t have any presets. Straightforward, small and simple, the Tower 2.2L has a price to match, retailing for between £35-55 depending on where you buy.

While it is hard to find air fryers that beat the Tower T17023 purely in terms of value, there are a few other more fully-featured models worth considering. The single-drawer Ninja AF100UK (£150) is our favourite mid-range option. It offers users excellent performance, a more roomy 3.8L capacity and a range of settings, including options for roasting, dehydrating and reheating.

Alternatively, for a well-priced, oven-style option that is reasonably sized, the Tower Xpress Combo 5-in-1 (£110) has a solid set of rotisserie accessories and can cook a whole chicken in just 45 minutes. If you’re looking to maximise the versatility of your new appliance, a dual air fryer like the Instant Vortex Plus (£150) will seriously expand your cooking horizons. While a little pricier and more bulky, the Vortex Plus boasts two 3.8L cooking baskets, clear viewing windows with interior lighting and a commendable range of functions.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review: What’s good about it?

Having a good idea of its size based on its stated capacity, I was still surprised by how compact the Tower T17023 was upon first taking it out of the box. Placing it on the table next to a dual air fryer I recently tested, the T17023 took up about roughly one third of the space of the larger model. If, like me, you operate out of a fairly small kitchen or one where most of the countertop space is already taken, I would wager you’ll still easily manage to find somewhere to slot it in.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review - basket removed

Setting it up and looking over the instructions I found this 2.2L air fryer to be largely sturdy, though less robust feeling than a premium option would be. I was also happy to find a short selection of recipe ideas at the back of the instruction manual. If you find yourself stuck for air-frying inspiration, Tower suggests a few simple ideas like lemon garlic salmon, bacon and egg breakfast muffins and molten chocolate lava cake.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review - hear dial close up

While many people enjoy experimenting with a range of settings and tapping away at digital touchscreens, others prefer to keep things simple. This Tower air fryer is definitely suited to the latter, with two physical dials for setting cooking temperature and cooking time being the only controls available. In use, I found the T17023 produced respectable results. Cooking oven classics like hash browns, spring rolls and chicken nuggets, the T17023 had them ready in a shorter amount of time than the suggested oven cooking time. It also achieved a great level of crispness due to its compact basket. When cooking items like bacon and chicken breast, the T17023 performed fairly well, but did take a little longer than other models I’ve tested to get the level of colour on the exterior that I was looking for.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review: What could be better?

While this model’s compact size and shape is ideal if you’re a solo household or have a small cooking area, the other side of that coin is that its capacity is quite limited at 2.2L. While sizable enough for sides or two small portions of protein, this air fryer is not the model to plump for if you’re looking to cook whole meals or make food for multiple people. To again give balance to a positive, this air fryer’s simplicity and straightforwardness can also be attributed to its lack of extra features or functions. Where other air fryers I’ve tested have included extra cooking modes or at the very least, presets for common items like chips, fish or oven food, the T17023 remains barebones.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review - top image

Finally, limited to a maximum cooking time of 30 minutes, the T17023 can’t quite match the performance or ease of use of more expensive models. Homemade chips, for example, need to be parboiled before being cooked and it cannot compete with the efficiency and results achieved by models such as the Instant Vortex Plus (£150) or Ninja AF160UK Max (£170), both of which can operate at 200ºC+ for up to an hour.

READ NEXT: The best air fryers to buy

While these above complaints are all valid things to note, any criticisms I have of the T17023 do need to be tempered by the fact that it is a decidedly budget-priced model. Finding a quality air fryer for less than £100, let alone £50, can be a difficult task and so Tower’s 2.2L air fryer does need to be considered in the context of its price.

Tower T17023 2.2L Air Fryer review: Should you buy it?

If you’re looking for a more feature-packed model or something with more wiggle room in terms of capacity, then the versatile Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer (£150) and roomy, single-basket Ninja AF100UK (£150) are upgrades worth taking a look at.

However, if you’re just looking to quickly whip up some handy sides or portions of protein for one or, at a stretch, two people, then the Tower T17023 is a great option. Its 2.2L capacity means it can’t fit a huge amount of food but it does allow it to remain incredibly compact, being one of the smallest and lightest air fryers I’ve ever tested. As well as being suited to smaller kitchens, the T17023 is straightforward to use and a solid performer when it gets going, efficiently cooking oven classics and various meats to a respectable level of crispness.

This air fryer is also one of the cheapest I’ve tested. The majority of the other options we recommend will ask you to fork out over £100, while the Tower T17023 will let you get in the air frying game for around £50.

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