Kmart’s coffee machine, pie maker get the thumbs up in new consumer report, air fryer doesn’t make the cut

Kmart’s coffee machine, pie maker get the thumbs up in new consumer report, air fryer doesn’t make the cut

The $79 Kmart air fryer has a following of 320,000 in one Facebook group alone, but the cult product failed to impress in a new review of budget buys.

Australian consumer group Choice said the fryer wasn’t worth buying because it did poorly in lab testing, “large and heavy”, and not easy to use.

Choice reviewed dozens of products in their latest review of Kmart’s most popular items, including their pie maker, coffee machine, and heater.

The pie maker and coffee machine passed with flying colours. The heater did not.

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The $79 air fryer failed to impress a panel of consumer experts, but the $29 pie maker and $99 coffee maker did.

KMART/Supplied

The $79 air fryer failed to impress a panel of consumer experts, but the $29 pie maker and $99 coffee maker did.

Although the $29 pie maker has been on the market for some time now, the Choice experts said enthusiasm for it showed “no sign of waning”.

“This is a fun little appliance,” said Choice home economist Fiona Mair.

“It’s easy to use and gives good results, cooking four pies fairly evenly to lightly golden in eight minutes. It takes five minutes to preheat, which is quicker than an oven, and, once the pies are cooked, you can simply pop them out with a spatula.”

The pie maker got the thumbs up as a versatile and speedy cooking option for time-poor parents, or (self-sufficient) teenagers.

Choice said the pie maker wasn’t the only small kitchen appliance to do well and also recommended the Anko brand slow cookers.

In good news for coffee lovers: Choice said the $99 coffee machine outperformed an AU$949 model on flavour and consistently pumped out hot coffees, as well as looking nice.

“It’s a bit fiddly to use and doesn’t have all the features of a high-end espresso machine – but if you’re on a budget and you have your heart set on a manual machine, it’s an option worth considering,” they said.

The Choice experts called the latest range of Kmart heaters a “new low”.

KMART/Supplied

The Choice experts called the latest range of Kmart heaters a “new low”.

If you’re looking for a way to warm up the home on a budget, reach for an electric blanket before a heater in the same price range.

The $55 fleecy electric blanket scored a high 80 per cent from testers and outperformed name brand electric blankets that cost more than twice as much.

However, the experts were “lost for words” about Kmart’s range of heaters. The new $55 oil heater scored a rating of just 45 per cent, making it the worst one they’ve tested since 2014.

And they called the $69 convection heater a “new low”.

“Kmart could have improved their products or at least added a fan to help distribute the heat. Instead, they’ve delivered one that’s more expensive and inferior,” said Matthew Steen, director of reviews and testing.

Other items that failed to earn a Choice tick included the budget range of stick vacuum cleaners and the Anko baby bassinet, which the experts warned lacked continuous breathable zones and could pose a suffocation risk.


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