256 of 262 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2011
I have had one of these for 3 months and barely a day goes by without my using it. Not only does it cook potatoes (whatever shape, chips, roast, little square ones you buy from marks and spencer food hall etc etc)beautifully, but it 'dry frys' bacon, sausages, meatballs, skin with chicken on to perfection too with no smell and hardly any washing up, you just rinse the non stick pan out...It is a dry fryer after all, so I find it doesnt lend itself to foods you would normally slow cook, like spag bog and chilli.
You wont regret paying the relatively steep price for this product. If mine ever conks out I shall go and buy a new one. Couldnt say that for most of the other kitched gadgets I have bought in the past. Do buy the bigger one though, it will serve you better in the long run once you get used to cooking more than the fabulous low fat chips it makes.
The downside, (more of a note to the manufacturer this), the plastic dome cover is potentially vulnerable to break at the weak spots, long before the machine itself would give up, it would be nice to know replacements parts were available easily and cheaply.
PS a Batch of chips takes approx 20mins, sausages also take 20mins come to think of it (!) but its worth mentioning that beacause the machine has a paddle inside that constantly turns the food, so you literally leave it to it and everything comes out evenly cooked on all sides.
110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
I have been lucky enough to have been using the Tefal Actifry for a week now and have got to say that I am thoroughly impressed with this clever kitchen gadget. I have seen it advertised since it's launch and have wondered whether it is a great a machine as testers and salesmen have claimed.
I am happy to say that I have not been disappointed. This is a versatile kitchen cooker which most people would use again and again. It is great for a wide variety of foods and even though most reviews talk about how well it cooks potatoes, producing chips and roasts using only a tablespoon of oil, it can also be used to make many other meals, including curries, stir fries, risottos,and desserts, the only things that aren't recommended for cooking in it are dishes which use alot of liquid and freshly battered food. You will have to experiment with it when cooking your own recipes, the machine does come with a very limited recipe booklet with 12 recipes and a cooking time chart at the back which covers times for potatoes, meat/poultry (fresh and frozen), frozen ready meals such as paella or stir-fries, fish/shellfish, vegetables and fruit desserts eg bananas, strawberries, apples and pineapples. I am disappointed in the free booklet, and have looked to see what is available to buy, however there is a gap in the market, apart from a couple of books by Paul Brodel, there seems to be no other cookery books. I have spent sometime looking online where a lot of owners post their own recipes. Saying this you could use Tefal's recipe book and pick their curry recipe and use the cook times but alter it to other casserole type meals e.g. sweet and sour chicken. The rotating blade which sits inside the pan ensures that whatever you are making is evenly cooked and browned. You basically pop whatever you are cooking be it chips and sausage (they both fit in the pan together) set the cooking time, for sausage and chips we set it for 45 minutes and hey presto, off the blade goes, you can go and do something else and when it beeps your food is ready.
The Actifry itself is slightly noisy when on but there is not steam or spitting with it, meaning that it seems a very clean way to cook with. The machine itself does take up quite a bit of bench space. I have found keeping it next to my hob is the best place for it, because it reduces the amount of pans you need, in fact you often don't need your hob, so you could sit the fryer on the hob whilst it is cooking (as long as you don't turn your hob on!)
I can see why it would be popular with people who have caravans or mobile homes, it will offer you the chance to cook most foods and will help save on going out to the chip shop! As a family gadget it is great, if the kids want chips and nuggets you can cook them in the same pan and at least the chips are much reduced in fat content. It cleans really easily, the central pan pops out and it is non stick so really easy to wash. Because it has the pad to stir the food, the non stick shouldn't get chipped as you don't need to use utensils in it apart from removing your cooked food.
The only thing I'm not sure about is whether or not it is a energy saving item, it obviously is if you use your oven and hob alot as you won't use them as often. Whether or not is it cheaper than a slow cooker, I'm not sure.
Overall, I can see why so many people rave about the Actifry and why many people would buy another if their's stopped working :)
I have now been using this fantastic piece of kitchen equipment for over 1 month and I can't recommend it enough. The more you use it the more you realise how much you can do with it. You can adapt alot of recipes from any of your cookbooks to work in the Actifry. For example I use the Mexican Food Made Simple book by Thomasina Miers and instead of roasting veg in the oven and then adding it to a mixture in a pan, I just cook it all together in the Actifry. It is such a clever gadget, and you can do a wide variety of dishes in it. Just look at your recipe and think how you could cook it in the Actifry, play about with the cooking times. What I would say is the more you use it the more confident you will get. Can't recommend it enought. Great device.
Just a final note this is so easy to clean, the clear lid detaches and washes with a little soap and water, the pan cleans really easily and there is a plastic lip which helps contain splashes which encircles the pan, this comes off the pan easily and cleans nicely. I really can't stress how great a kitchen gadget this is.
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
I've had an Acti-Fry before but it was an older model and I only had it for a little while.
I bought the family model as it has two major benefits over the other models, apart from the size that is.
The first benefit is that it has an automatic cut off once the timer has reached zero which the other models do not, so if you forget your chips your ok, it will turn itself off, the chips keep warm in the residual heat of the machine for a good while.
The second benefit is a little more obscure, the family version has a plastic ring that fits around the top of the pan, this overhangs the pan itself and for things like a stir-fry it keeps all the contents inside the bowl, I found on the other models it tended to want to escape :-)
I use my Actifry mainly for chips, roast potatoes, chicken wings and stir-fry food. It is excellent at all of them.
You can do other things like chicken nuggets but some more moist foods will shed their breadcrumbs due to being moved all the time before the coatings have hardened in the heat, that is the price you pay for low fat cooking I am afraid.
I have also owned a Philips Air Fryer and while it was ok, it wasn't great at making chips like the Actifry and also oil built up on the internal parts and made it smoke a lot, there is no smoke with the Actifry.
I would advise against dishwashing the parts of this machine, hand wash them, it only takes a minute. Dishwashing will encourage the plastics to crack, its just something that happens, same thing happens to the Morphy Richards three zone steamers I buy, all are great machines, I have had more than one of each, but all of them suffer this cracking over time, all you can do is hand wash to slow the rate of deterioration, although if any parts do fail, at least getting spares is now easy via Amazon. Treated well the machine will last, treated badly and like most things, it won't.
Home made chips in this are just out of this world, I use Maris Piper and sunflower oil, try mixing in some paprika to your oil if you want something different.
Chicken wings are stunning, crispy if you wish (I do!) and pop in some Montreal Steak Spice for an amazing flavour or lightly toss in barbeque sauce (in the pan) and run for 2-3 mins to thicken the sauce and make sticky wings. You'll love them!
Yes, chips take longer in here than frying, but then your getting the benefit of healthy eating and they are delicious too in my opinion.
No the machine isn't perfect it doesn't instantly cook chips silently but it does make cracking chips that have very little oil (probably less than mashed with a dab of butter!) and does it very well.
137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2011
I've had this for a fortnight and to date simply using it for making roast potatoes but mainly chips. You really have to follow the little guidebook as it's totally different to cooking with deep fat fryers. To start off everything is already assembled and only needs a quick wash with a tiny drop of washing up liquid on a new cloth leave to dry thoroughly.
I cook for mostly 3 people (0.6Kgs using 9 medium-sized potatoes) and with my preference for sunflower oil, it's recommended you use 1/2 of the supplied spoonful for chips, only use 1 spoonful for 1.5KGs. Even though the first time I used this it came out tasty and crispy, I did slightly overdo it to try to get it evenly coloured a nice golden colour. Only took 28mins with no pre-heating needed at all as the paddle keeps the chips turning. After getting used to this fryer I've now settled on the right timing. That is the only setting you need to worry about, there are no temperature controls which takes the hassle out of cooking. If your cooking frozen chips you don't even use any oil!
Cooking chips is as simple as:
1) place dried chips in pan
2) put 1/2 tablespoon of oil over top of chips
3) close lid
4) turn on
5) select timer according the amount of chips to cook
6) wait for timer to beep (this stops the cooking process unless you add additional time)
7) turn off the fryer (and at the wall) and serve straight onto plates
I haven't cooked vegetables or meat yet simply because when your doing chips and steaks there isn't room or time. You should check the recipe book as you can cook most things your oven can (bar cakes etc lol), quite amazing!
Ok the fryer sounds noisy but I love there isn't any horrible steam rising up at all, and you can see nearly every chip through the sturdy plastic lid (be careful not to touch top as it's very hot. Cleaning it is minimal and everything comes apart. Love the metal washable filter that never needs replacing. And the smell is amazing as the taste of the chips - very refreshing. I've used a famous crispy oil on my old chip pan and they never came out as delicious as these or anywhere as crispy. If you've ever cooked oven chips because of the taste and health benefit, this is certainly a step up from that and unlike oven chips - they are never dry.
The price is typical of these types of fryers but the fact the chips are crispy every time and your always using new oil is well worth the initial outlay. I should have bought one of these ages ago.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2013
I first got one of these a few years ago and was quite pleased with the way it cooked chips. Though it made a lot of noise and took ages.
It cooked other food less well, such as a chilli we made. In fact the food was cold when finally completed and had no less fat than the way we would normally have cooked it.
After a few months, small parts started to break. The paddle no longer clipped into place, the handle broke, then the clear lid, then the mechanism that caused the paddle to rotate. SO we got a new one (thanks to Amazon's excellent customer service).
The new one has lasted longer. But a year later it has died in the same way.
The problem is the quality of the plastics being used. The material that connects the paddle to the center spindle is made of a type of plastic that actually seems to melt after a period of use! Now the cursed thing doesn't rotate properly so the food doesn't get cooked properly!
Tefal really need to look at these issues and address them. Now I have a large, expensive, noisy and useless cooker sat on my worktop.
A complete waste of money!
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2011
Worth every single penny. This is our second one, and we opted for the family one so we could all have a good portion of healthy chips! NO SMELL, NO mess! Everyone should have one.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2011
Used it twice now. Very happy with item. Easy to clean. Taste not quite the same as with lots of oil, but this slight downside is outweighed by the health benefits. So far very happy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2011
I have owned the 1 kg size Actifry for nearly 2 years but even though it was large enough for the two of us it didn't hold enough when cooking for the family. The 1.5 kg size makes such a difference! Also the timer now works as a timer, switching the machine off at the end of the selected time. The bowl is made of a much better material than its predeccessor but I find the lip at the top a little annoying when getting the food out. I hesitated about buying this as I already had the smaller model and it wasn't cheap but have no regrets now. Well worth it!
I have to have a low fat diet and the chips from this machine are every bit as good as those cooked in deep oil. Cleaning is no problem as all, except the part that holds the motor, can be put in the dish washer.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I've had this machine for several weeks now and it is slowly growing on me.
Like most people I started off with the chip butty test and it works great, using only a drizzle of oil the chips come out perfect. I hated using the old chip pan but this has taken most of that aggravation away, don't throw the chip pan away though as this machine isn't much use for fritters or any battered foodstuffs like onion rings as the rotating arm takes most of the batter off.
I've been cooking sausages and chips together and the fat from the sausages helps cook the chips, it's a matter of trial and error as to when to put each item in.
The leaflets included do contain a few recipes but it's not an impressive collection by any means, it's a shame there so few recipes included. I tried the risotto recipe but it was a disaster other attempts have been more successful, stir fries come out great.
It's very easy to take apart and clean.
The cost may appear prohibitive but as it uses so little oil it's a far healthier option than deep fat fryers.
It will never replace my trusty old Ken Hom wok which has faithfully served for well over a decade but it is a great addition to the kitchen.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2012
Had the Actifry for just under 10 months now and I'll be contacting Amazon shortly as it's falling to bits. It has been used probably 5 days a week but mostly only to cook a small (toddler sized) portion. Couple of times a week it gets used for the 4 of us to do either chips or roast usually frozen as fresh is too much hassle and never came out that great even when even sized, well rinsed and dried.
the good points firstly. After a bit experimentation with various brands we settled on McCain french fries and it produces these bang on perfect every time, 10 minutes for anything up to a couple of portions, 15 to 20 if for everyone, give them a shake in the middle. Sausages as well it does a treat.
Now the bad points, as mentioned above it's falling apart. At least one of the restraining clips in the handle has snapped as the handle now flexes and wobbles alarmingly with even a modest sized portion. It's never had anywhere near the 1.5kg it is supposed to handle probably less than 1 kg max. The little clear cover that sits on the lid around the handle started falling off after a couple of weeks and now the lid has a crack running from one of the front catches up and across the top working its way to a corresponding crack on the other side. When the 2 meet then it won't be useable. Nearly £200 and it doesn't even last a year!
Would I buy another? Not the tefal design too many issues, will try another make if Amazon refuse to replace it I think.