Here is our review of the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 which has a 1.5 kg capacity and cooks 30% faster than the 1kg ActiFry. This is the latest 1.5 kg model and has a brand new design with curved lid which is immediately distinctive from its predecessors. It would be difficult to improve on Tefal’s range of low fat healthy fryers but we think they have come pretty close; especially if you need size.
We do like the new design and having used it throughout our tests we feel this later model has a much sturdier feel about it. It also has a much larger window so that you have a better view of the food during frying. The Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 also uses the latest ‘Express Technology’ which Tefal claims will cook much quicker. It now also has an LCD display.
In the box
1 x Tefal ActiFry Express XL Black 1.5kg Health Fryer
1 x ActiFry Spoon
1 x Recipe Book
1 x Instruction Booklet
How does the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 Perform?
We went through our series of tests that we carry out on all low fat fryers including the now famous Chip Test. This model is just as simple, if not even more simple to use that the previous models. We browsed the instruction manual but to be honest if you have used any of the previous Tefal models you will be right at home. If not, fear not as this is a simple as it gets. The instruction manual is very well set out and the accompanying Recipe book will keep you busy for weeks.
Believe it or not, as well as cooking Indian Snacks, Chips, Chicken Nuggets etc., we also cooked some chocolate muffins. This might surprise some people but you can use any of the low fat fryers as mini ovens. Just make sure you set the timer correctly and you won’t have a problem. The non-stick removable pan is easy to clean (including in the dishwasher) and any odours are quickly eliminated. When cooking larger foods or delicate foods such as prawns and fish, you can remove the rotating paddles. These are used to stir the food during cooking and are particularly useful when frying chips as they ensure a consistent degree of cooking and colour . However, the paddles can be removed easily.
We always like to include a section in our low fat fryer review about chips. Most people when selecting a health fryer are thinking of chips. This is a way of eating chips without the calories, fat and guilt that is associated with deep fried chips. So, how did the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 perform?
We carried out three tests, each using 1.5kg of chips. The first used hand cut chips; dried and fried. The second used frozen chunky chips and the final test used French Fry style. A point to note about frozen chips is that they already come precoated with oil so there is no need to add any more. Here are our results.
Hand Cut Chips
The Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 cooked our 1.5kg of hand cut chips to a nice golden colour in 24 minutes. The chips were evenly cooked, crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Chunky Frozen Chips
The Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 managed to cook our 1.5kg of chunky chips in 27 minutes. This is a bit longer than the hand cut chips but not by much and maybe more to do with the thickness than anything else. Once again, the chips were crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Far superior to normal oven chips and just as good as deep fat fried chips.
We have always found that the best kind of chips to use in a low fat fryer such as the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 are french fries. They cook quick and in our view are every bit as good as the ones you get from fast food outlets. We even think they are better although this may have something to do with the freshness . The 1.5kg of frozen french fries took just 20 minutes to cook and the results were perfect in every way.
We tried various brands of frozen chips including the gold standard McCains plus Tesco and even Netto. All performed consistently well.
Cleaning the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 is simple and straight forward. The rotating paddles lift out then the pan can be removed. There is a filter inside that can be slided out for cleaning and the rest just needs a wipe down.
We think that the Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer AH950840 is a big step forward from Tefal’s predecessors. The results are better than previous models for large loads but remain similar for lesser loads e.g. 1kg. Cooking times are faster than Tefal recommend which is surprising but also welcomed. There are a few improvements such as the larger viewing window, LCD display and overall shape.