The Big Boss 16-Quart Oil-Less Air Fryer is worlds apart from other popular air fryers in terms of aesthetics and capacity. Many air fryers are dark, opaque, square or oval and have either a drawer or an oven door. The Big Boss has a round, transparent glass bowl and lid with a control panel sitting on top. You can see your food clearly as it cooks away.
How much food can the Big Boss Oil-Less Air Fryer really fit? How does it work and what kind of parts does it come with? What’s the issue with the halogen bulb? Is this a reliable air fryer?
Time to figure it out.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Interesting About The Big Boss 16qt Oil-Less Air Fryer?
The 16-Quart capacity of The Big Boss Air Fryer is immediately interesting, especially as so many popular air fryers are around 3.5 to 8-Quarts give or take. This thing can fit a lot of food, especially when you use the extender ring. You place the ring onto the rim of the bowl to give you more “height” into which you can fit more food. Piles of fries, mountains of drumsticks, or a whole bird are an easy feat for this machine.
The overall design and construction of this air fryer is interesting as it has a transparent glass bowl, and a lid which is lifted off from the top. There are various racks and baskets which are designed to create layers inside the bowl, for multiple foods to cook at once. You’d have to really like the look of this machine to have it on your counter, as some may prefer the darker, smaller, more opaque models out there.
The heat is generated by a halogen bulb and circulated around the unit by a fan. When this works, it works well…until it doesn’t. But more on that to come.
Another interesting little feature is the temperature dial. It has a “thaw/wash” section which operates at a low temperature. It is designed to be used for thawing meat and frozen dishes, as well as putting the bowl through a gentle wash cycle. This is a rare and handy feature for an air fryer.
Instead of an “on/off” button to start and pause the cooking process, this air fryer has a safety handle. The handle stays in the upright position to keep the unit “off”, and is pressed down to turn the unit on. Whenever the handle is raised, the unit shuts off.
But what do customers think of these features? That’s up next.
What do other customers and reviews say?
The reviews are varied and revealing. A good chunk of customers have loved this machine enough to award 5 stars, just over 50% on average. However, there are also some pretty hefty numbers in the 1 star sections. On Amazon,19% have given this machine a measly 1-star rating.
Easy to use: lots of customers who have positively reviewed this air fryer have mentioned how easy it is to use. They have had no troubles with figuring out the controls or handling the bowl and accessories.
Large capacity/fits a lot of food: the large capacity has been a real asset for many happy customers. There are many, many comments marvelling at the amount of food being cooked inside this unit on a daily basis. People have mentioned that this machine gets used at least once a day, for a wide range of dishes.
Well-cooked, healthy food: the people who have yet to experience any issues or faults have found that their food is cooked perfectly every time. Multiple comments specify that their food is crispy on the outside and moist/tender on the inside. The freshness and healthiness of the food being cooked is also mentioned a lot in the positive review sections.
Fan doesn’t work: quite a few customers have found that the fan stops working eventually or doesn’t work at all from the start. This is unfortunate as it means the heat isn’t distributed around the basket, rendering the machine useless.
Lightbulb quits working: this is the most common and most emphatically-written comment by far. There seems to be a real issue with the bulb, as it has blown/burnt out for a great many customers. The warranty doesn’t sound like it’s much help either, with customers being left in the lurch.
What are the technical specifications?
|Power (watts)||1300 Watts|
|Cooking capacity||16 Quarts|
|Timer (yes/no)||Yes – from 0 to 60 minutes|
|Temperature control (yes/no)||Yes – from 250 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit
The temperature dial also has “thaw/wash” for non-cooking jobs.
|Special features||Safety handle: the handle doubles as an on/off control. When the handle is upright, the unit stays off. When the handle is pressed down, the unit turns on and starts the heating/cooking process
Manual temperature dial: controls the temperature from 250 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit
Manual timer dial: controls the time with a simple turn-dial, from 0 to 60 minutes
Thaw/wash: this is the lowest setting on the temperature dial and is designed for thawing frozen foods and putting the machine through a gentle wash. You can also use this function for dehydrating fruits and veggies
Glass bowl and lid: the glass bowl is transparent so you can see your food cooking. It’s also dishwasher safe
Extender ring: extends the height of the cooking cavity to increase the capacity
Racks and basket: with the unit, you get a mesh basket for air frying, a low rack and a high rack. You can use them all together for multi-level cooking. They are all dishwasher safe
Tongs and spray bottle: the tongs are for removing hot food, racks and baskets from the bowl. The spray bottle is to be filled with oil for clean, easy and light application of oil to the bowl or food before cooking
|Color||Comes in 6 colours: blue, red, silver, white, copper, black. Each with a transparent bowl and lid.|
Dimensions & Weight
|Weight||12.5 x 13.5 x 16 inches|
How do you use it?
When you first take it out of the box: rinse the bowl, racks, basket, tongs and spray bottle thoroughly by rinsing in hot water. You can also put the bowl and racks through a cycle in the dishwasher if you like, but a rinse should be fine. Find a place on your countertop with plenty of space, a power outlet handy, and a heat-proof surface.
Place the racks and/or extender ring into the bowl depending on which ones you want to use for your dish. Place your food into the basket, onto the racks, or both. Place the lid securely onto the bowl or extender ring. Make sure the safety handle is upright.
Set the temperature by turning the dial, and do the same with the timer dial.
When you have set the temperature and time, press the safety handle down so that it clicks into place. This will let the unit know that it’s time to cook, and the fan and bulb will begin to work. The handle is like a “on/off” button, when it’s pressed down, the machine works, when it’s pulled upright, the machine turns off.
Use oven mitts to protect your hands when removing the lid once the cooking time is up. Use the provided tongs to remove your food and check if it’s cooked to your liking.
That’s pretty much the extent of it.
How do you clean it? Is dishwasher safe?
For the most part, yes, it’s a pretty easy machine to clean.
Luckily for those who have dishwashers, the glass bowl and the racks are safe to go into the dishwasher. Otherwise, you can hand-wash them with warm, soapy water and a gentle brush or sponge.
There is a “wash” feature on the temperature dial which you can use to clean the glass bowl for stuck food. This is easy, you just place about 2 inches of water and some detergent into the bowl, set the temperature to “wash” and set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the water cool down and tip it out of the bowl.
Are there other replacement parts or accessories? Where do I buy them?
There are a few places online to buy used parts for this machine such as eBay. But for new parts to replace a broken or faulty machine I’d go straight to Big Boss first and enquire with them. They don’t have the best reputation among some customers in terms of service and help with faulty parts, but give them a try. The big retailers don’t stock replacement parts or extra accessories as of now.
For the halogen bulbs, some people have suggested eBay.
What’s the warranty?
What’s The Best Price For The Big Boss 16qt Air Fryer and where can I buy it?
As of now, your best bet is with Walmart. It’s priced between $78.00 and $90.00 depending on the colour.
These are the other options currently:
- Kohl’s – $99.99
- Bed Bath & Beyond – they have the copper model for just under $100.00
As usual, make sure you keep an eye on Amazon’s listing as prices change very often.
Verdict: Is This air fryer For You?
It’s a real shame that the bulb and fan are so iffy, as the capacity and cooking ability are both so great. However, the risk of receiving a dud bulb is just too high to recommend it to you wholeheartedly.
The thing is, there are many other air fryers to recommend to you with better track-records for customer satisfaction…but they don’t have the 16-quart capacity. They’re also going to be a lot different in terms of construction and aesthetic. But the most important thing is cooking ability, reliability and durability.
Putting aesthetics and construction aside, here are some models which you could look at as alternatives to the Big Boss:
- The Cozyna Air Fryer: reliable and simple
- Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven: an oven-style appliance with great customer reviews, a sturdy construction and very versatile abilities. It’s an entirely different machine, but it’s worth looking at.