Tefal Actifry Low Fat Electric Fryer Reviews
The Tefal Actifry Low Fat Fryer is actually a range of low fat fryers, each with different specifications. They vary in terms of power rating, capacity (from 1KG to 1.5 KG known as the Family Fryer). They also come in white or black. Tefal like to offer variations of their products to make sure that there is something to fit everyone’s requirements. This is an honourable notion but can be confusing for the consumer. So, please be careful that you order the one you actually want. Click here to see the full range.
In the Box
We tested the Tefal Actifry AL806040 model which is a medium capacity low fat fryer at 1Kg. The fryer needed little or no assembly and was more or less ready to use straight out of the box. It has a quality feel about it and looks like it is built to last. It comes with a measuring spoon for the oil. Contrary to some reports, you do need a little oil to ‘fry’ your food but not very much. This is where the measuring spoon comes in. Alternatively, if you are frying frozen chips (fries), there is no need to add any oil at all as these come already pre-coated. Unlike to Breville, the Tefal comes with a basic cookbook although there are tons of recipes that can be downloaded from their website. If you would like to look at the many cookbooks that can be purchased separately you can have a look at these.
Cooking Chips (Fries)
The fryer was ready to use in no time at all. We plugged it in and waited until the indicator said it was ready (I you don’t like waiting just put your food straight as it really doesn’t take very long at all. We decided to test this out initially using frozen chips since they tend to come in a uniform size and shape. They are also coated in their own oil and are partially cooked. After a few moments waiting for it to heat up we placed the chips in the basket and made sure that the paddle was in place. The paddle is a feature of the Tefal range and effectively stirs the contents to make sure they cook evenly. Some other brands of low fat fryers do not have the paddle feature and we think this can result in unevenly cooked chips.
The frying time depends on the power and size of the model. We tipped a 1KG bag of chips straight into the low fat fryer. This is more than sufficient for a family of 4. We waited in anticipation as we closed the lid and waited. Through the viewing window we could see the chips being moved around and we started to smell the chips cooking. It took about 20 minutes for the chips to be cooked and we opened the lid and emptied the contents onto a serving dish for tasting. The chips were as good as any we have tasted from a low fat fryer. Crisp and golden brown on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. A great result.
The Tefal Actifry Low Fat Fryer Range is not just good at cooking chips. We also used it for cooking spring rolls, indian snacks and chicken nuggets. As long as you follow the instructions you will get excellent results. The recipe book that comes with the fryer has some excellent suggestions which are well worth reading in order to get the the best results. For some foods you remove the rotating paddle which is easily done.
The results were very surprising. The chips looked like chips and actually tasted like chips. They were crisp and nicely golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside. We expected them to taste like oven chips but they were actually more like chips cooked in a deep fat fryer than oven chips. This is probably due to the heat intensity from the Halogen lamp and the continuous stirring they get whilst cooking.
We subsequently went on to try hand cut chips of different sizes and all of these produced perfect results. It is important to dry the chips before you place in the fryer in order to prevent them steaming instead of frying. We also experimented with double cooking the chips whereby you remove after 10 minutes and let cool. You then re-cook for the final ten minutes. As with deep fat fryers, double cooking improved the chips making them even crispier on the outside.
Our review of the Tefal Actifry Low Fat Fryer Range demonstrated that this is a capable fryer. It cooks chips better than oven chips and as good as deep fat fryer albeit with a slightly different taste and finish. It heats up quickly, gets on with the cooking whilst you do other things and at the end is easily cleaned.