Costco’s most popular air fryer, the Gourmia 7-quart digital air fryer (shown at the Inspired Home Show, my FAVORITE trade show), is an unbelievable $39.99 in-store from March 9 – April 3, 2022. Whether you want to air fry, bake, or dehydrate, Gourmia’s air fryer will make the foods that you and your family love healthier and delicious. Note that the online price is $10 more at $49.99 also through April 3, 2022 including shipping and handling.
I grabbed one and tested it almost immediately here at Gadget Central.
Key features of Gourmia’s GAF798 7-quart digital air fryer:
- Pre-set 10 One-Touch Cooking Functions
- Guided Cooking Prompts with optional Preheat and Turn Food reminders
- FryForce 360° Technology
- 90°F to 400°F temperature range, up to 24 hours with auto shut-off and keep warm setting
- Air frying uses up to 80% less fat than deep frying – so enjoy those French fries!
- Includes dishwasher-safe basket, crisper tray, and multi-purpose rack for easy cleanup
- Digital Dual Time/Temperature Control
- Cord Management System
For more information or to buy it online: https://www.costco.com/gourmia-7-quart-digital-air-fryer.product.100785783.html. Watch this informative video from Costco’s Website.
As I hope you have read in my previous air fryer review, if choosing only one type, I prefer this style, the “bucket” type. Why? The buckets are coated with non-stick material. The sides of the bucket go all the way up to just below the heating element so ALL the mess and gunk is contained within the bucket for no-mess cooking and cleanup. With non-stick coatings, virtually all buckets are dishwasher safe as well as the crisper trays. Any of the other designs come with added cleanup, which translates in to added cleanup effort and TIME. Not that there’s anything wrong with those designs, so long as user understands the added time suck.
Who needs one of these? Anyone with less than a full kitchen and with limited space. Everyone in need of another small, convenient oven even for occasional use for gatherings such as parties and at holiday time. Anyone with a full kitchen who wants the convenience they offer. Just because you want one. Remember, these are ideal not only for baking (with an 8″ round baking pan), broiling, roasting, so-called Air Frying, and also for reheating, dehydrating and keeping food warm. They do a great job with fish – I like to air fry fresh salmon portions, black cod and swordfish. but almost any fish will do. Try burgers with NO messy splatter. Use your imagination!
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Gourmia GAF798
- Dishwasher-safe basket, crisper tray, and multi-purpose rack
- Recipe book, use guide and warranty documentation
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Open the box, wash the “bucket,” crisper tray and mullti-purpose rack. READ everything twice. Then read it again. Decide what to try as I did. My go-to on these devices is either the largest whole chicken I can find, a tray of chicken thighs or a tray of bone-in split chicken breasts. For this test, it’s chicken thighs. If there’s room, I also like to make russet potato wedges.
And now, it’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
- Prep the chicken and put it onto a large tray, patting dry with paper towels. Season the skin side, turning it skin side down on the tray, then seasoning the bottom, readying the thighs to go skin side down in the air fryer bucket. I love Santa Maria BBQ Salt as my basic rub and pour-on for just about everything. After the salt, on goes freshly ground pepper from my favorite, unique salt and pepper mills.
- Next, wash and cut russets into wedges, soak with ice and water for 10 minutes or more. Rinse twice and dry in a dish towel. Put the dry wedges back in a bowl and season. I like za’atar, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and fresh ground pepper either without oil or tossed with as little olive or avocado oil as possible. For this batch, I skipped the oil.
- Pre-heat the Gourmia to 385º with a total cooking time of 50 minutes and a signal for when it would be time to turn the thighs.
- When it beeps to signal that pre-heating is done, remove the bucket, insert the chicken thighs skin side down, place the multi-purpose rack over the thighs. This is NOT the recommended procedure, but I tried it just the same. Teetering atop the thighs, I loaded up the rack with seasoned potato wedges, letting a few fall around the chicken below.
- When the time-to-turn signal sounded, I was there to open the bucket, carefully remove the potato wedges and the rack, placing the wedges on a platter. Then, I used non-scratching tongs to check the chicken and move the pieces in order from top to bottom in the bucket, giving each piece a crack at fully air frying. This is necessary because I pack the bucket without space between the thighs. Had I allowed space all around, I would have checked for uniform doneness from front to back and adjusted accordingly.
- The potatoes were nearly finished, so I elected to leave them out and on the tray to give a quick finish back in the bucket after the chicken was finished, checked for doneness with my meat thermometer.
Time to flip the chicken thighs
And they’re done
For the few fries not done, back in the bucket at 400º for five minutes, et voilà. Plate it all up and enjoy. Oh, I did!
Cleanup was easy. This is the after shot, looking just like new before it was ever used.
Can a $40 or $50 seven-quart full-featured bucket-type air fryer perform like a pro, as good as or better than similar capacity models from others costing two to four times as much, or more?
I’m glad you asked. YES, YES and YES.
I recently watched an episode from the respected America’s Test Kitchen featuring in which they revisited this category. Here it is on YouTube. In the video, the hosts validated my recommendation for the bucket-type fryer and the mess with added cleanup created by multi-purpose devices behind glass. Why they did not test Gourmia products I cannot say. Why they tested and recommend higher priced products I also cannot say.
I’ve learned a thing or three here. I hope you have, too.
If you are unable to get yours from Costco before the sale is over or even afterwards at the higher member price, get it from Amazon.
One year manufacturer’s warranty