I tested the Breville Halo VDF126 air fryer and it is a powerhouse (I even baked my Christmas cake in it last year)

The Breville Halo VDF126 air fryer is a modern, energy-efficient machine that can cook more than just chips…

Breville Halo VDF126 5.5L Air Fryer
(Image credit: Future)
Reasons to buy
  • +

    Quick, easy to set up, and speedy to heat up too

  • +

    Modern, sleek, and smooth exterior with a digital touchscreen

  • +

    Versatile food options - choosing from a range of different functions e.g. chicken, chips, vegetable settings and modes

  • +

    Not too loud or too noisy

  • +

    Large 5.5L basket with divider options

  • +

    Easy to use and set adjustable temperature and time settings

  • +

    Auto turn off

  • +

    360-degree air flow for even cooking and browning

  • +

    Dishwasher-safe basket and divider

  • +

    Still going strong after a year of vigorous usage

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Big and rather heavy - so you would need a good amount of kitchen surface area or storage to keep it

  • -

    Air fryer basket divider wasn't very stable and could only be kept in one place when food was holding it up on either side

  • -

    No window to view and check on food when cooking

Why you can trust GoodtoKnow. Our experienced Consumer Editor & parent reviewers spend hours testing products to help you make the best choice. Find out how we test and review products.

If you're looking to jump on the air fryer bandwagon that has been sweeping the UK by storm, then I'd like to introduce you to the Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer; a large, easy-to-use air fryer that is efficient in cooking as well as saving energy.

As Food Editor at GoodtoKnow, I've tried and tested my fair share of kitchen appliances over the years. Air fryers - particularly when selecting the best air fryers for families - are my latest obsession. An excellent investment if you plan to use it every day, an air fryer can bring efficiency and speed to the madness that is midweek cooking for a big family. 

The Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer is a large air fryer that features an air fryer basket drawer, basket divider, preset functions such as steak, fish, and vegetable options as well as digital time settings, temperature, and manual mode if you want to override with your own personal preferences.

In a nutshell

Make air frying a part of your everyday cooking with this easy-to-use machine alongside top tips, recipe suggestions, and an air fryer oven cooking chart which is super handy for beginners. The Breville Halo VDF126 5.5L Air Fryer is a versatile machine that is great for cooking anything from 700g of fries to a 2.2kg whole chicken. Perfect for large families.

Breville prides itself on producing a range of high-quality kitchen appliances from kettles to blenders to sandwich makers to air fryers, claiming to be "the kitchen appliance brand that delivers innovation based on consumer insights, empowering people’s potential to do things more impressively or easily than they’d thought possible in their own kitchen."

With that being said, I decided to put the Breville Halo to the test to see if it does live up to Breville's expectations, and after a year now, it's still going strong. Here’s everything you need to know about how the Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer fared.

Reviewed by
Profile picture of Goodto.com Senior Content Editor Jessica Dady
Reviewed by
Jessica Dady

For this review, GoodtoKnow turned to our Food Editor to put this popular kitchen appliance to the test in a busy family household. The result? This air fryer was super easy to navigate and cooked more than expected in record time.

Price & availability

At the time of writing the Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer is priced at £58.25 on Amazon (usually £125.99) making it a worthy investment for a 5.5L capacity machine. Compared to other brands of the same capacity, Russell Hobbs, Ninja Kitchen, and Woltu priced at £50-£150, this air fryer is good value for money, particularly when on sale.

With this air fryer, you have a range of different modes and functions at your fingertips, it can cater to larger families cooking bigger meals - including a 2.2kg whole chicken. It's a great choice for those who feel they'd use it every day or as an alternative to an oven. Keep in mind that it does need kitchen surface area as it is a big machine or it needs a significant amount of cupboard space for storing away. This was one of the first air fryers I ever tested and with the simple navigation, and handy guide, it made cooking a breeze.

Breville Halo 5.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future / Breville)

Design & features

Capacity: 5.5L | Dimensions: 11.4cm D x 15.2cm W x 13.7cm H | Wattage: 1700 W | Colour: Black  | Functions: Air Fry | Style: Basket | Max temp: 200 degrees Celcius | Dishwasher safe parts:  Yes

Despite its large size, the Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer has a smart, polished look with a digital panel at the front of the machine to give it an even more modern feel. The air fryer draw spans across the base of the machine with an easy-to-use handle and click button to keep the draw locked in place during cooking. 

The machine itself was much bigger than anticipated, however, when you've got it sitting on the kitchen side, especially if it's in place of a microwave, for example, it looks the part. The whole air fryer can be wiped clean with a damp cloth so any unwanted dust or fingerprints are super easy to remove in seconds (perfect for my kids who straight away start prodding and poking the 'shiny new object').

The digital panel at the front of the machine is easy to navigate with light-up icons such as chips, fish, chicken, etc. all of which are presets you can choose from when cooking. The time can be easily adjusted on the right-hand side of the digital panel by pressing the up and down button and the temperature can also be adjusted in the same way but on the left-hand side.

The digital panel alongside the nifty air fryer oven cooking chart (in the guide booklet) made choosing the correct setting, super easy - and just perfect for air fryer beginners or novices to follow. The time and temperature digits alternate on the display panel during the cooking process so you can check the temperature is as it should be and you can take a note of the time remaining too.

Breville Halo VDF126 5.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future / Breville)

The Breville Halo 5.5L air fryer features a range of versatile cooking options. The main preset modes include the following options; fries, chicken, vegetable, meat, fish, and manual mode. However, when you refer back to the air fryer oven cooking chart (pictured above), you can see there is a whole range of foods you can cook in an air fryer alongside these.

Other than looking smart, and being super easy to use so you can get cooking straight away, I loved that this air fryer turns itself off once it's reached max cooking time. It also beeps a couple of times before the auto power off mode kicks in which gives you peace of mind - especially if you were elsewhere in the house whilst cooking is commencing. Perfect for avoiding overcooking or burnt food.

Along with the preset functions, the 5.5L air fryer basket allows you to cook a large amount of food in one go - perfect for bigger families or bulk cooking. A few examples of how much this machine can handle include up to 1kg of chicken wings per use, up to 6 slices of garlic bread per use, and up to 1kg of jacket potatoes per use. I also cooked a generous amount of frozen chips and nuggets in this machine too - perfect for when the kids had unexpected playdates and I needed a dinner option quick.

One of my favourite things about the Breville Halo VDF126 air fryer was and still is the depth of the air fryer basket, particularly as I'm an avid baker, and loved that I could bake a whole cake in it - it was deep enough to hold an 18cm/7" cake tin with plenty of space for the cake to rise.

How we tested

  • Skin on potatoes, tossed in a tablespoon of oil, and cooked on the pre-set function. 
  • Cooked frozen chips, fish fingers, and mini pizzas using the air fryer guide book, which accompanies this machine
  • Homemade chicken goujons and breaded fish cooked using the manual function where you can set the temperature and cooking time yourself
  • Small batch of cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies baked on the pre-set function; great if you want to bake only a few cupcakes or cookies at a time, not so good for bulk baking
  • Roasting vegetables such as peppers, garlic, onion, carrot, broccoli and more
  • Reheating leftovers like nuggets, pizza, and bubble and squeak from roast dinner scraps - using the manual setting to adjust the temperature and time accordingly

Things you won't find on the box

The first thing I like to make in a brand-spanking new air fryer is potato wedges. Maybe it's the Irish in me, but nothing beats a bowl of good old crispy potato wedges - and rumor had it, when I first got into the air fryer game, that air fryers were the connoisseurs of making them. 

So with a drizzle of oil, the usual seasoning, and skin on (of course), I put the Breville Halo to the test. At first, I was a little disappointed, I cooked them on the preset but found they burnt on the outside. So, we went again, I gave the preset function another chance, this time I opted to shake them halfway through - and the results were so much better. After three or four rounds of potato wedges, I decided that the machine was a little powerhouse. It heated so much hotter than the temperature stated, so I manually overridden the machine and set the temperature myself. Much. much better.

Alongside cooking various side dishes over the year of testing the Breville Halo, I also baked my Christmas cake in this air fryer. The basket held an 18cm/7" round cake tin which was a good size for a Christmas cake (and most cakes to be fair). The machine did all the hard work for me, once I’d done the mixing of course, baking the cake in under 2 hours, which is pretty good for a Christmas cake which should take an average of 3-4 hours in a conventional oven.

The only limitation you have with this model is that you've only got one basket to work with. That means if you want to cook multiple things at once, it can be a challenge, especially if you want to use the whole capacity of the basket. The divider which is included, however, does give you this option, but on a small capacity - so four chicken goujons on one side, and a generous handful of chips on the other. Both will need to be cooked at the same time for the same temperature to keep this in mind when choosing this method.

Cleaning the Breville Halo was a doddle. Just unclip the basket and pop it on the top rack of the dishwasher. I did this a couple of times, however a day's worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the hundreds of snacks the kids have over a weekend meant there was no space for the basket in the dishwasher on various occasions but handwashing was just as easy.

Who's it best for?

An air fryer is a great choice for those looking to eat a little healthier with less oil in their diet as well as cutting costs as an air fryer is said to be much more energy efficient than your average oven. Not only that but this large family-sized air fryer would certainly take the fuss out of everyday cooking and is perfect for those looking to bulk cook or feed a large family. 

The Breville Halo has been my go-to machine for cooking parts of my usual dinners, reheating leftovers for lunch, or baking a solo batch of cookies or cupcakes when those cravings kick in (no judgment, please). It's a great model that doesn't cost the earth and isn't an eyesore on your kitchen counter. It is however larger than I previously thought it would be, so make sure you've got enough space to house it.

Need an alternative?

The Breville Halo isn't the only air fryer that Breville has on offer. The Breville Halo Rotisserie air fryer is a large capacity air fryer at 10L making it perfect for big families with hungry teens always on the hunt for food.

I'd also highly recommend the Instant Vortex Plus ClearCook Air Fryer, 5.7L which we've reviewed here at GoodtoKnow. It's a tad bigger than the Breville Halo and has a ClearCook window so you can keep a close eye on food cooking.

Looking for more? Discover the best air fryer cookbooks as well as the best air fryer recipes.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies