The Tower Xpress Pro Combo air fryer is not the does-it-all air fryer that you'll see in our best air fryer guides. Instead, it meets quite a specific requirement for those with limited kitchen access, a shortage of cooking space, or a rubbish oven that makes substandard roast dinners.
Bridging the gap between the American-style toaster oven and the conventional air fryer, this 10-in-1 countertop cooker not only circulates hot air to cook food from all angles, but it also comes with attachments that can be used to grill, air fry, rotisserie, and roast a variety of different foods.
I put the Tower Xpress Pro Combo to the test for over a month, making roast vegetables, rotisserie kebabs, bacon, and air-fried chicken burgers to see how well it held up in a busy kitchen.
While I don't think I'll be swapping out my air fryer any time soon, it certainly offers some added cooking functions that you won't find anywhere else. It's not the most tactile, and I struggled a bit with handling the inserts. Regardless, it's a versatile choice that could put your oven out of a job.
Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer specs
- Capacity: 11 litres
- Size (cm): H33.9 x W32.4 x D38.2
- Settings: Air fry, dehydrate, rotisserie, grill, and roast
- Comes with: Rotisserie fork and handle reversible chargrill and pizza plate, 3 x air flow racks, 10 x rotating kebab skewers, non-stick oil tray, multi-function wire rack, heatproof finger mitts
- Power: 2000 watts
- Cost to run this air fryer (per hour): 68p
- RRP: £139.99
Setting up the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer
The Tower Xpress Pro Combo came, predictably, packaged in mostly single-use and non-recyclable packaging. A lot of the component parts came wrapped in what felt like unnecessary plastic, and there was polystyrene at the top and bottom of the air fryer itself.
Once out of the box, I was struck by the size, which is tall but not too wide, and quite hefty. The Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer claims to have an 11-litre capacity, but this wouldn't be a fair comparison to drawer-style air fryers, where you can stack a lot of food inside one basket. On the Tower Xpress Pro Combo, you need to use different levels and stack your food in one layer across the whole cooking shelf, so you won't get the full 11-litre capacity of cooking space.
This air fryer comes with a lot of parts. There is a plate that can be heated and used for grilling and searing, a shelf that can toast multiple slices of bread at once, a rotisserie for chicken or other cuts of meat, and a kebab shelf that rotates and will (in theory) fit 10 kebabs at once.
I got the most use out of the three cooking shelves, which have an open-grid design that allows air to circulate while cooking your food from all angles. You also get a non-stick drip tray that needs to sit at the bottom of the air fryer while it cooks. This is essential, so use it with every dish you cook.
A drawer air fryer will allow you to open and close the cooking basket with a handle, meaning you won't burn your hand when cooking. With an air fryer like the Tower Xpress Pro Combo, you will have to handle the hot shelves like you would in an actual oven, so Tower gives you some mini oven gloves to keep you from hurting your hands. Cute!
It's worth noting that the handle can be a little stiff, and this level of rigidity should be noted if you're using it for the first time. While you shouldn't expect to slam the door closed, the lever mechanism might feel inflexible initially but nothing to ruin the cooking experience.
The first thing I made in the Tower Xpress Pro Combo was roasted vegetables. Unlike a 'traditional' air fryer, where you will typically need to add all of your vegetables to one basket, the Tower Xpress Pro Combo allows you to spread your veggies across multiple levels.
This meant I was able to roast potatoes, carrots, and sprouts all in the same machine, but independently. A big win for families with picky eaters or foods with different cooking times. So if you were one of the naysayers that thought air fryers were exclusively for beige foods — we've totally dispelled that myth; air fryers are a healthy resource to have in the home (providing what you put in it is nutritious).
I was able to fit a lot of food into the Tower Xpress Pro Combo. I actually used it to cook the trimmings for a Sunday roast, so it had a crowd to feed! I chose to roast my vegetables for 25 minutes, checking halfway to see how they were doing. After the 25 minutes, I decided they needed a little longer and put them in for an added five.
It seemed that this pushed the top shelf of potatoes over the edge. They were pretty burnt, while my carrots and sprouts were still lacking the crispiness I was looking for. I suspect that this was because the potatoes were at the top of the oven — which was closer to the heating element — so I would recommend moving the cooking shelves around in the air fryer to get an even result.
Air frying burgers in the Tower Xpress Pro Combo
Air fryers circulate hot air around food as it cooks, giving a crispy finish from all angles. Despite this, you will often still need to flip your food midway through cooking to give an even and crisp finish.
I cooked a vegetarian breaded chicken burger in the Tower Xpress Pro Combo to see how well it could crisp up breaded food and cook from frozen.
I would expect an air fryer like the Cosori air fryer to cook this chicken burger in as little as 10 minutes, but the Tower Xpress Pro Combo took an additional seven minutes to reach a crispy texture. I did have to turn midway through. When I did, I noticed that the underside was a little wet, which is a sign that the air is not circulating fully inside the air fryer.
One of the good things about the Tower Xpress Pro Combo is its interior light, which enables you to look inside the air fryer as it cooks without having to open the door. This came in handy when I was checking on my burger as it cooked.
You'll notice if you buy the Tower Xpress Pro Combo that it is quite noisy, but this is no louder than the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone air fryer. There are quieter models out there — I recommend the Instant Pot line of air fryers if you are worried about noise.
After the full 20 minutes, my chicken burger was fully cooked. While it was crispy, I'd compare its texture to that of an oven-cooked burger, and not an air-fried one.
Air fryer vs. deep fat fryer, you're of course using a lot less fat, but don't expect that crunchy texture and golden exterior that would result from the latter.
Something that sets the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer apart is its kebab rotisserie, so I decided to give this I go. I marinated my chicken and vegetables and began assembling them on the included metal skewers. I then went to insert them onto the circular end pieces.
This was definitely fiddly, especially because I was handling marinated chicken, which can be a little slippery. Once everything was in place, I used the included rotisserie fork to insert the skewers. To do this you need to make sure that the square end base of the rotisserie stick is in place at the left hinge inside the air fryer. This is the part that turns to create that true rotisserie effect.
Our advice? Have a running tap to hand to swill your hands of marinade and raw chicken. You'll also want a couple of thin blue cleaning cloths at close proximity so that a saucy crust doesn't dry on your machine.
When spinning in the air fryer, the kebabs were quite wobbly, and I was worried that they would become dislodged. You can see in the image below how lopsided they looked, and that they dragged slightly along the bottom. I would expect this process to go a lot better if I were making koftas from shaped minced meat or just making a whole rotisserie chicken.
Although the process was fiddly, I was impressed by how evenly the food cooked. My chicken became charred, with no pink centre and the vegetables cooked very evenly throughout.
The included gloves were particularly useful for this recipe because it was quite hands-on. I was happy with the results, but I do think I would've had less trouble cooking in an oven and flipping halfway or grilling the chicken.
When finished, all my attachments went straight into the dishwasher. They were also small enough to store in my cutlery drawer when I was done.
Cooking bacon in the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer
Recently in our test kitchen, my team and I tried to sizzle a few rashers of streaky bacon. The first observation we made was that there was no drip tray for the fat to land on. Instead, we had four choices: use the metal shelf or the bottom tray 'naked' or foil 'em up. So, for the sake of an easy life, we covered the shelf with a sheet of aluminum. Six minutes at 180°C seemed ample time to bring home the bacon.
So in our porky strips went, with the internal light on to keep watch. Annoyingly, the air motion curled the slices and impacted the evenness of the cooking. After the initial time was up, I felt like they needed a minute or two longer for optimum eating.
Trialling Quorn nuggets in the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer
The majority of Real Homes reviewers are flexitarians, which means that while we eat meat, we're conscious to reduce our intake where possible. Quorn (or mycoprotein) nuggets come pretty close to their battered poultry pieces, so we didn't bat an eyelid when it came to cooking these meatless chunks.
All in all, a unison of nods showed that these veggie-friendly finds were cooked to a satisfactory standard. This proved that the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer is great from a WFH perspective when you want a quick lunch without turning on the oven.
Cleaning the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer
On the whole, the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer is pretty easy to clean. As a recap, if you use foil — and put all the accessories in the dishwasher — you can cut your post-cooking clean-up time in half.
The door, however, is the biggest pain, because once it gets something on it, it becomes more and more burnt-on; you can't see inside to clean the mechanism more thoroughly.
How other users get on with the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer
As a small appliances expert, I've got no shortage of cooking appliances to make use of in my kitchen. I'm by no means the ideal customer for the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer, which is an excellent stand-in for those without a product.
'It's not a small appliance by any means, but it fits nicely in my studio space. As a temporary stand-in for an oven or an additional way to cook meals, it's pretty perfect.'
Our tech editor Caroline Preece also has the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer, so I was keen to find out about her experience of the machine.
She said: 'I bought the Tower Xpress Pro while living in a rental property that had a less than desirable oven situation, and it has allowed me to cook a huge range of things that would have otherwise been off-limits.
Basically a mini-oven with easy-to-use temperature controls, three racks for cooking multiple things at once, and a rotisserie attachment, it's been used to cook perfect chips, small joints of meat, and even a few single-serve pasta bakes.'
Preece has also used the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer for over a year, which is an indication that it's a long-lasting and well-built appliance that can stand up to heavy and regular use.
'My absolute bugbear when cooking a roast dinner is trying to get everything ready on time. I hate trying to keep check on the chicken in the oven while cooking everything else, as I find the oven temperature drops every time I open the door.'
'With the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer, I can use the rotisserie function in conjunction with my oven so that there's no shelf swapping or unnecessary prodding of the bird to check whether the juices have run clear.'
'My oven can then be reserved for cooking a variety of vegetables — I personally love spuds cooked in beef dripping or goose fat! I don't think it will replace my oven, but they do work well together.'
Should you buy the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer?
If you're someone who lacks oven space or who needs a mini-oven to serve smaller portions of food, the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer could be just the appliance for you. It's incredibly versatile with an almost-intimidating number of attachments to choose from. However, with this attachment selection comes pretty hefty storage requirements.
I would be reluctant to call the Tower Xpress Pro Combo Air Fryer an air fryer. It's more of a mini-oven, with the ability to rotisserie or grill different foods. It behaves very much like an oven too, with removable shelves that can be layered to cook different foods at once.
If you're living in a smaller home or you can't justify turning on the oven to cook meals for one — this is a very smart choice.
About this review and the reviewer
Millie Fender is an ecommerce editor at Real Homes, specialising in small appliances and all-things cooking. She loves putting new products to the test, whether they're air fryers, blenders, or even pizza ovens, and her family and friends love eating the results.
Millie has a constant stream of new products waiting to be reviewed in her kitchen. It's a little snug, so if she thinks anything deserves to stay there, you know it's something special.