I'm super-chuffed to be one of the first to review the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer. Having recently put the single-basket Swan Retro through its paces, I was interested to see how the two air fryers would compare. Offering the ability to cook two food types at different temperatures and durations, the Swan Duo arrives with a digital display – which, although responsive, did take some getting used to. Overall, this air fryer narrowly misses out on a 5-out-of-5 score because its presets weren't the most accurate, and the maximum temperature of 200ºC could prove limiting for some.
Doesn't take up much space
Cook two different foods at different temperatures and times
Easily customise temperature and time settings
Presets offers low-temperature cooking over longer durations
Can only go up to 200ºC
Why you can trust TechRadar
The Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer is the brand's first dual-basket air fryer, and in use, it hasn't disappointed. Launched just before Christmas, it seems that even with little marketing, it flew off the shelves, making the model super-difficult to get hold of.
British brand Swan isn't new to this market; in fact, in my opinion it makes some of the best air fryers I've seen. Not long before the Swan Duo, I was using the Swan Retro 6L Basket Air Fryer, which set the benchmark high.
Starting out in the 1920s making kettles, irons, heater and steamers, Swan's product catalogue has grown to include a wider range of goods, including kitchenware.
Being the first media outlet to review the Swan Duo, I've been using it in my home for four weeks to cook snacks and dinners. Following a bit of trial and error, I can now get on with the digital display – which proved tricky at first – and the 4-litre drawers, which were smaller in size than what I was used to, although not by much.
For me, the most useful feature has been the Keep Warm function, automatically kicking in once the timer "pings", remaining on for a few minutes or until you open the drawer, to give you time to serve up the contents.
The Swan Duo features 10 presets – Fries, Steak, Toast, Chicken Wings, Chicken Leg, Vegetables, Shrimp, Fish, Kebab Sticks and Cake – which were helpful to get started, although I did need to tweak the temperature and duration in use. The dual-basket air fryer also offers Defrost, Reheat and Keep Warm functions.
The Swan Duo is competitively priced at £149.99, undercutting one of the most popular air fryers, the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK, by £100. The Swan website was the first to run out of stock, but it's currently still available at a number of resellers. Read on to discover whether it's worth picking up.
Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer review: Price and availability
- List price: £149.99
- Only available in UK
The Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer is available to buy in the UK for £149.99. It can be bought direct from the Swan website, or resellers such as Amazon and Currys – where, at the time of writing, it was available for £139.
It's £100 cheaper than the popular Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK, which is priced at £249, and £60 more than Swan's current bestseller – the Swan Retro 6L Manual Air Fryer. The price point is on a par with the recently launched Tower Vortx 9 Litre Duo Capacity Basket Air Fryer with Smart Finish 5.2L and 3.3L, although the baskets are of different sizes and the overall capacity is slightly higher.
- Value: 5/5
Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer review: Specs
- Price: £149.99
- Capacity: 8L (4 + 4)
- Power / wattage: 1500 - 1700W
- No. of baskets: 2
- No. of programmes: 10 presets + 3 additional programs
- Cable length: 1-metre
- Dimensions: 32.2 x 44.5 x 36.6cm (h x w x l)
- Weight: 8.96kg
Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer review: Design
- Dual-drawer model
- Touchscreen digital display
- Dishwasher safe basket racks
The overall design of the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer is so-so, and it's bulky. Measuring 32.2 x 44.5 x 36.6cm (h x w x l) and weighing in at 8.96kg, it takes up a fair amount of countertop space, and would prove heavy to move around. As such, it's difficult to store, and is probably best left in one position on the counter.
Air fryers need to be of a certain size and shape for the best performance, and there aren't many – if any – that I'd describe as "attractive". However, a splash of colour makes everything better, so I'm hoping that – like the Swan Retro 6L Air Fryer – the Swan Duo will soon see some lighter and brighter hues accompanying the current Black model that I have in for review.
This is Swan's first attempt at a dual-drawer air fryer, and in my opinion, it hits the brief pretty well. Each of the baskets holds 4 litres, for a total capacity of 8 litres, with a Max line in each to ensure you don't overfill the baskets; this can prevent the air from circulating around the food for a nice, even cook.
The baskets are accessed via the handle on the front of the drawer which are easy to clean with warm, soapy water and, if you prefer, the racks that sit inside the baskets are dishwasher-safe.
Also a first for Swan with the Duo model is the inclusion of a digital touchscreen. It will also feature on Swan's Digital 5.5L Digital Air Fryer, which is waiting in the wings to launch sometime later this year, that'll have a much smaller capacity of 5.5-litre and a single basket instead of the double. Positioned on the front of the appliance above the twin drawers, it comprises 10 presets – including Fries, Steak, Toast, Chicken Wings, Chicken Leg, Vegetables, Shrimp, Fish, Kebab Sticks and Cake – as well as Defrost, Reheat and Keep Warm options. You can also power the Duo on / off, set the timer and temperature, and select whether you'll be cooking in one or both baskets from here.
The timer goes up to 60 minutes and the max temperature is 200ºC. The temperature can be adjusted in 5ºC increments, whereas the timer can be adjusted a minute at a time. To change these settings, there are "up" and "down" arrows to either hold down (the quickest way) or repeatedly press – and, to switch from adjusting the temperature to the timer, or vice versa, press the button at the top-right of the display. I found the display took some getting used to; but after having used the air fryer a few times , it became second nature.
Thankfully, the Swan Duo air fryer comes with an automatic shut-off safety feature, which kicks-in on opening a drawer. Not all air fryers offer such a feature, and with a young daughter around, I welcomed its inclusion here.
- Design: 4.5/5
Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer review: Performance
- Cooks food to perfection
- Love the Keep Warm function
- Basket design is slightly limiting in terms of the foods you can cook
In my time with the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer, I've used it to cook various foods. In fact, it's been used (pretty much) every day to cook fish fingers in one basket, and chips in the other, for my fussy daughter.
To start cooking, I switch on the air fryer at the mains. I've resorted to turning it off after each use because the power button blinks continually, which can be a little annoying, but also to conserve energy. Next, I select the power button on the digital touchscreen and press the most suitable preset. You can, of course, free-style, choosing the time and duration of cooking by toggling through the temperature / timer button; but I've found that it is quicker to simply adjust the presets.
The first food I cooked in the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer was, you've guessed it, fish fingers. I selected the Fish preset and adjusted the temperature from 170ºC to 200ºC, and the time from 30 minutes to 12 minutes. If I was to oven cook fish fingers, they'd be cooked at 220ºC for 15 minutes. I placed two fish fingers into basket B.
Once they'd started cooking, I added some frozen chips to basket A, selecting the Fries preset. The setting here was 180ºC for 30 minutes, which I adjusted to 200ºC for 15 minutes. In an oven, I'd usually cook fries at 220ºC for 25 minutes.
Once cooking of the fish fingers in basket B was complete, the Swan made a beeping noise. Wanting to try out the Keep Warm function, I left the fish fingers in their basket until the fries were cooked. The setting automatically kicked in once cooking time was complete, running for approximately 3 minutes. You can extend this time by simply selecting the Keep Warm button on the digital display, which will keep the heat circulating for a bit longer.
The fish fingers had cooked perfectly, with a crispy, crunchy breadcrumb coating and moist tender fish in the middle. They hadn't dried out at all by using the Keep Warm function. In fact, the results were better than I'd achieved in a conventional oven, going down a treat at dinner time.
The fries were equally impressive, with a lovely crisp outer and soft and fluffy potato on the inside.
Other foods I've attempted to make in this air fryer are air fryer pancakes for Pancake Day (rather unsuccessfully) and a tuna melt toastie. Although I should add that my results with the former had nothing to do with the performance of the air fryer and more to do with the foods I was trying to cook and the chef's abilities.
Setting the temperature and cooking duration myself, rather than using the presets offered by the Swan Duo, I didn't feel I was rewarded for the amount of effort that went it to making air fryer pancakes. The pancakes took what felt like a day to cook, made a mess on flipping, and were flat once cooking time was complete.
I had better luck with a tuna melt toastie. I made the sandwich with tuna, mayo and cheese, and lathered margarine on the outside of the bread. Despite taking 12 minutes to cook in total at a temp of 200ºC – I did need to turn it over after 6 minutes – it was so worth it. I achieved a gorgeous crisp crunch, delicious melting middle and a satisfying fill in my tummy.
The Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer does get a little warm during cooking, so my advice would be to position it as far back on the countertop as possible, away from the reach of small hands. Whilst it's on and cooking, you'll hear a continuous hum that measures in at 63dB, which is the equivalent noise level of a conversation, so it won't be too much of a distraction.
Also note that although you can cook two different foods at the same time in the Swan Duo, you're slightly limited by what you can cook in the 4-litre baskets; they aren't exactly big. For example, over the Christmas break I cooked an air fryer Christmas cake in a single-basket air fryer; but I'd struggle to fit the 8-inch tin in this dual-drawer air fryer.
In addition, the maximum temperature of 200ºC falls short of the 220ºC of some other air fryers I've tested. Again, this could prove limiting for those following a recipe that requires a higher heat.
- Performance: 4.5/5
Should you buy the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer?
|It's not the cheapest, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Available direct from Swan or from resellers
|The unit is solid and the touchscreen is easy to navigate and responsive. However, it's bulky so may not suit kitchens with limited space
|Cooks food perfectly and the presets are useful, but these are set at low temperatures for a longer cooking time, so will require tweaking.
Buy it if...
You want a dual-basket air fryer
The Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer is a fantastic example of a dual-basket air fryer, allowing you to cook two food types at different temperatures and times.
You want a digital touchscreen
The digital touchscreen offers a quick and responsive method of control.
You're a growing family
The generous 8-litre capacity of the Swan Duo means that it will happily cater for family meal times.
Don't buy it if...
You want a smart air fryer
It may be smart to look at, but there's no app to accompany this Swan air fryer. For those looking for a few more bells and whistles, we recommend the Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK.
Space is limited
This countertop appliance is fairly big and bulky. A single-basket air fryer may be more suitable if countertop space is at a premium.
You don't want to push buttons
A touch control digital display isn't for everyone, with some folk preferring basic controls such as dials and physical buttons. If you fall into that bracket, the Swan Retro air fryer might be more suitable.
Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer review: Also consider
|Swan 4.7L Air Fryer
|Swan Digital 5.5L Air Fryer
|Swan Retro 6L Air Fryer
|Power / wattage
|Info not available
|Info not available
|No. of programmes
|up to 1 hour
|up to 1 hour
|up to 1 hour
|32 x 27 x 32cm (h x w x d)
|Info not available
|34.6 x 40 x 29.4cm (h x w x l)
For those not wanting a Swan air fryer but still desire dual drawers, here are some great alternatives...
Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK
Proving mega popular during the Black Friday sales, the Ninja Foodi AF400UK offers two separate cooking zones for preparing different foods at the same time. In addition, this air fryer can bake, roast, reheat and dehydrate, too. It's expensive, but you might find it's worth it.
Read our full Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK review
Tower Vortx 9 Litre Duo Capacity Basket Air Fryer
Coming in at a similar price point to the Swan Duo, the Vortx is a good option if you require different-sized baskets. We found it particularly good for meat dishes.
How I tested the Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer
- I used it as our main air fryer for four weeks
- I used the Fries and Fish presets, plus the Keep Warm function
- I cooked chips, fish, toasties and pancakes
The Swan Duo Digital Air Fryer replaced the Swan Retro 6L Basket Air Fryer on my kitchen countertop. I used it pretty much every day for four weeks to cook snacks and dinners. The presets were the quickest way for me to fire up the air fryer – although, most of the time, I needed to adjust the temperature and duration of cooking for best results.
I cooked chips and fish regularly in the air fryer using the dedicated presets. I also successfully made a toastie – and, not-so-successfully, some pancakes, for which I toggled through the temperature / timer button until I reached the desired settings.
I've been testing appliances (mainly vacuum cleaners and coffee machines) and smart home products for a number of years, with the air fryer one of the most frequent household goodies I've been trying out at home. I set up the air fryer as any customer would and try out the settings that suit me so I can share my findings with you, our TechRadar readers.
Read more about how we test
First reviewed February 2023
Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.
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