THe Tefail Actifry claims to be a whole new method for healthily frying anything and everything from chips to chicken. Make sure you shop around to get the best prices though
So what exactly is the Tefal Actifry - well its the latest healthy kitchen gadget to take the UK by storm. It is basically the equivilant of a deep fat fryer without the oil.
It works by using a very small amount of oil - one spoonful for a 1 kg of chips and sends hot air pulses to fry the food. The result is supposedly an extremely healthy traditional tasting chip with only 3% fat due to the limited amount of oil.
So what's the Tefal Actifry like - first impressions are worrying - if like me you've been through a procession of kitchen gadgets - one of the main benefits is being small and discrete - so that after you've used it initially you can store away and forget about it !! I'm afraid the Tefal Actifry won't be forgotten that easily - it's quite a size about a foot wide and a little longer. It does benefit in that all the parts can go into the dishwasher and obviously is much easier to store than a chip pan full of oil !!
I was hoping so much that it actually works ! My main impetus was making healthyish chips without deep frying. On that account the Tefal Actifry passes with flying colours - a single spoon of oil and you can create a kg of chips - lovely and crisp with a fluffy centre. It does take about forty minutes which is quite a while but it has a timer and you feel perfectly safe leaving it to cook on its own.
Apparently the quality of chips varies depending on the potato - I've used Maris Piper with great results but generally get pretty good chips from everything. Apparently you can also put in oven chips into the Tefal Actifry - but that sort of defeats the object for me.
Tefal Actifry Drawbacks
There are a few problems like you can't hear the timer properly over the noise of the unit (how the Tefal Actifry designers failed to notice this is amazing !) and the unit doesn't switch off when the timer is finished (also a bit stupid!).
There have been reports of a some of the parts being a bit flimsy - but it seems fairly well built to me.
Those faults aside it is a wonderful gadget - cooks sausages, chicken legs and all the meats I've tried in it perfectly - much nicer flavour than grilled or baked I found. I guess it won't be suitable for some things but it certainly gets some use in our kitchen. A better cook could probably find lots more uses for the Tefal Actifry I suspect.
A great benefit over a deep fat fryer is the lack of smell - you really can't tell you've been making chips. It is very simple to clean all the bits go into the dishwasher - very good design on this part. The Tefal Actifry is definately worth considering if you miss real chips or like fried food but want to be healthy.
It does seem rather expensive but I suppose that's due to the technology - probably expect cheaper versions to appear over time.
Check out the reviews on Amazon - they also seem to be very competitive in price - haven't seen it anywhere cheaper.
There are some recipes for the Tefal Actifry here at the Recipes for Tefal Actifry