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772 of 790 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real chips again
Like a couple of the other reviewers I haven't deep-fried a chip for years because of the smell and mess of a traditional deep fat fryer, never mind the dangers of the old style chip pan.

I actually first found out about this product by watching the Gadget Show and was blown away by the idea. First thing I did was check out the Internet for reviews and much to...
Published on 20 Dec. 2007 by Clever Spud

versus
1,160 of 1,172 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be very Careful when it reaches 14 months plus
I bought one of these 21 months ago and was delighted with it. Chips were great even oven ready ones cooked evenly and crispy.
Then one day whilst cokking chips I was alerted to a burning plastic smell. I detected the source, the Actifry was melting, it was glowing red and black smoke poured from it and some flames started to appear. I switched off at the mains. it...
Published on 22 Oct. 2009 by Norrie


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1,160 of 1,172 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be very Careful when it reaches 14 months plus, 22 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I bought one of these 21 months ago and was delighted with it. Chips were great even oven ready ones cooked evenly and crispy.
Then one day whilst cokking chips I was alerted to a burning plastic smell. I detected the source, the Actifry was melting, it was glowing red and black smoke poured from it and some flames started to appear. I switched off at the mains. it terrifies me to think what might have happened if i had not been in the kitchen at the time.

I went on the web to track down Tefal to report the problem and was amazed at the number of reports of the Actifry catching fire, it was even reported on Watchdog as being a problem. Tefals response so far has been we can sell you another one for 30% discount or give you an address where you can get it repaired (at my expense).

Please please if you are going to purchase this be very careful, especially if you have children around.
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772 of 790 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real chips again, 20 Dec. 2007
By 
Clever Spud (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
Like a couple of the other reviewers I haven't deep-fried a chip for years because of the smell and mess of a traditional deep fat fryer, never mind the dangers of the old style chip pan.

I actually first found out about this product by watching the Gadget Show and was blown away by the idea. First thing I did was check out the Internet for reviews and much to my surprise it seemed like the real deal. If it's getting praise on the Delia Smith forums you know you're onto a winner.

I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and it's been a joy. So far I've done wedges, chunky cut unpeeled chips and skinnier peeled chips. The chunky unpeeled chips were my favourite - delicious with garlic and herb dip. The trouble with wedges being that they have too many points and edges which with the constant tumbling leads to "chipping" as they crisp. I've also used it to cook Aunt Bessies frozen chips and it does a far better job than the oven and only takes about 25 minutes. Don't add extra oil when doing frozen chips!

I haven't tried anything exotic meatwise, just some thin sausages. Throw them in at the same time as skinny chips or a little later with chunkier ones. Top it off with some onion at 15 mins to go and mushrooms for the last five minutes. Straight to the plate and slap a fried egg on top. Bliss.

On the bad side it is pretty noisy and takes up about a foot by a foot and half of bench space but it's so easy to keep clean I just stow it in it's box on top of the cupboard when I'm not using it. And because there aren't a couple of pints of boiling oil being used I'm confident enough to just set it tumbling and go and watch TV/read a book/work on my opera while it does its stuff.

This is the first kitchen gadget I've bought for ages that's actually exceeded my expectations.
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chips without fried smells all over, 24 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I bought the Actifry for one reason alone: less oil meant less odors, and I can't stand the smell of fried oil on clothes. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Not only does it not let out any of those horrible oil vapors that settle on everything, but it makes the horrible sight of left over oil a thing of the past.

You do need to adjust your cooking habits in order to use it effectively. For instance, it will take its time, which depending on quality and quantity can be anything from 25 to 45 minutes (I think more oil -- say 2 spoons instead of one may help speed things up a bit, but haven't tested this so don't take my word for it)

This means that instead of preparing a salad, fish or meat and then preparing the chips, with the actifry it saves time to throw the potatoes in and prepare the other dishes while it fries them. It is far more forgiving than a traditional frier with regards to the need to pay attention to it: leaving the chips in for 5 minutes longer will not result in them turning to coal. And Actifry itself will not burn your kitchen down or spill hot oil on you or your family. All this means you can concentrate on other tasks without stress while it does its thing.

A word of warning though: turn it off leaving your chips in with the lid down, even for a couple of minutes, and they will loose their crispness. You should be ready to serve them when they are done... or, just turn it off a couple of minutes early and turn it back on a couple of minutes before serving. I found re-activating the airflow for a bit will generally restore the crispness. It is for this reason that I think the timer not stopping the device when it goes off is actually a good thing. Okay they could have had it pop the lid open too, but honestly it never bothered me so far.

The great thing about the small amount of oil is that you can afford to use organic oil for frying. I used olive oil at first, but never got the right results. Edges and small sized sticks would burn by the time the rest of the chips where done. So I followed the advice in the book and used sunflower oil with very noticeable results. It doesn't taste the same, but it delivers a crispier, even, frying without burned edges. I plan to try other oils as well and perhaps mixtures (even a third of olive oil would make the edges burn -- okay, it is the healthiest of them all, but it is much more so in its raw form, best use it for salad dressings!)

I was glad to read another reviewer's comment about not peeling the potatoes. I do this too and I'll second the suggestion, you really can't tell the difference and it is much more nutritious -- do wash the potatoes *really* well though and cut out any soiled bits or abnormalities. And be very careful about the potatoes you use. Make sure they are certified to be pesticide free. Potatoes grow in the ground and absorb all the chemicals sprayed on the field, most of which stay *in* the skin. So unless you are sure they are free of such substances it's far healthier to actually peel them!

It is a bit noisy but it is only a problem if you are right next to it while trying to talk on the phone or listen to the radio. It's the only time I notice the sound it makes.

This is one of the best appliances I've ever bought, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. But we don't all like our chips the same so try to have a taste before buying.
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236 of 245 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb but did not last long enough, 6 April 2008
By 
Bob (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
Wonderful chips, If there are any critisism it is that the timer buzzer is faint and not very audible over the actifry when running, also it would be helpful if the timer turned it off. However sill a superb piece of cook ware.

UPDATE
I have now used for a few weeks and am still impressed however a few minor comments, For things like mince you can not leave it unatended but have to stir occasionaly (to be fair it does say this in the book) also the paddle stains easily (again in the book) however the thing to be most careful of is locking the paddle in place, you soon know if you have not as it makes about 4 times the noise and any sauce leaks through to under the pan (only did this once)

UPDATE 15th OCTOBER 2009
Still working well I have added this update as people have complained about it being fragile. The only thing that has broken is a clip that holds the metal mesh filter in place on looking at this closely I can not understand how they expected it to last, however the mesh still stays in place. No problem with other aspects of it although I agree it looks very fragile.
UPDATE 25th November 2010
Just went pop and packed up on inspection the element had blown. So the life is not very impressive and I am dropping the *rating to 3
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405 of 421 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty fried chips with minimal effort, 25 Oct. 2007
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I have owned one of these for a couple of months and have not regretted it for a moment. I do not like deep fat fryers so have previously relied on oven chips or baked my own chips in the oven, until this great item came along.

The chips really do taste like they have been deep fried and take about 40 minutes to cook. The quantity you can produce is reasonable for two people, probably three, and you do only need a spoonful of oil to do so.

It is really easy to use and wash up (the tray lifts out and the lid is removable). It comes with a recipe book that indicates you can cook lots of other things in it, such as chicken, but even if you only make chips I'd say it is a good buy.

Other than the size, which seems a little on the bulky side, the only other drawback is that the noise of the timer is drowned out by the noise of the machine when it is working. The machine is not noisy overall; you do have the sound of the air circulating around the food but I would say it is no more noisy than the sound made by my fan oven in operation. The 'problem' is that the timer is just too quiet to be heard unless you are standing right by the machine and the actifry stays running and cooking the food until you switch it off. I have overcome this by using my oven timer to alert me when the food is ready but I think it is a small design fault (I sent one actifry back as I thought the timer was so quiet it was faulty, but the replacement is exactly the same).

Best bits: the food produced and it is easy to use and clean.

Not so good: timer seems redundant and it is a bit bulky.

See my comment below about the longevity of the design.
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112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tastes fried, but lower in fat - Fantastic!, 7 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I read up a lot about this product and got very mixed opinions. However I went ahead and bought one and love it!

You can cook so many things in it and they have all turned out lovely so far. There are no smells from it and it is so easy to clean.

Practically all of my family have tested the food from it and everyone has been very impressed - so much so that several of them have purchased one for themselves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous, 8 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I have owned one of these since April 2009. It does cook very good chips but I am not expecting it to last. Sometimes one of the elements gets very, very red and I think a fire must happen soon. I watch it like a hawk.

Another problem is the paddle. Mine broke just after the end of the guarrantee period. It cost £22 for a new one and a complete month to arrive (which is a joke.) The new paddle tried to break itself after about a week but I managed to turn the machine off in time to stop it happening. I am, however, expecting it to happen again at some stage. The problem is a basic design flaw - the gap between the end of the paddle and the bowl is about the same as the reccommended chip thickness. What happens is that raw, still hard, chips get wedged between the end of the paddle and the bowl and the machine is too stupid to stop. It just keeps trying to push the paddle round until it breaks.

The other unacceptable aspect of the Actifry is the timer. It is very quiet and it doesn't actually turn the machine off. Incomprehensible!

When my Actifry finally destroys itself I will probably replace it with a Philips Airfryer.

Update November 2011.

Well it did finally destroy itself. Suddenly, the elements became red hot and then the whole thing started sparking. Luckily, I was close by and instantly pulled the plug out. I hate to think what could have developed. Also a couple of months earlier the lid catch just broke off for no reason. I sincerely believe that these machines should be banned as they are inherently dangerous.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review since Christmas!, 4 Jan. 2008
By 
S. Blake "Blakey_IOM" (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I have now tried skinny chips, chunky chips, potato wedges (with & without skins) and parsnips wedges. Boy have I been busy, NOT! Chop, wash, dry, place in actifry and walk away :) Everything has been crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The cooking times have had to be worked out by myself depending on the volume cooked but 1kg would normally take me 45 mins (40 mins stated in the recipe book).

I have been 110% happy with the cooking results of the Actifry and today had my first meal using alternative carbs since receiving this as a Christmas present!

It's hard to estimate what 1kg of chips looks like but depending on what you're having with them whether it's enough for 2, or possibly 3 adults. Possibly enough for a small appetite family of 2 adults & 2 young kids.

The timer is VERY quiet and as other reviews have suggested I use the oven timer instead. This is the only part that actually needs improvement on the unit and as it's not electrical (it's battery operated) it therefore doesn't turn the actifry off when the timer is up. If you're in the kitchen when the timer goes off then you'll hear it but if in a different room watching the TV you'd miss it.

Even though the price is high for the actifry I would still reccommend ANYONE to buy this whether they are conscientious of their fat intake or not.
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228 of 238 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FAB CONCEPT....POOR QUALITY, 21 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
While the concept of this item is fantastic and the cooking results are as stated by Tefal & other uses,the build quality is abysmal.

My 13 month old actifry is very carefully used, but has a crack in the hinge/coupler of the lid, non-stick is coming off the pan & now the paddle has broken in 2 places(1 of the clips and the end of the paddle has now snapped off) rendering the cooker unusable until I can find replacements. I also would not recommend putting it in the dishwasher as stated by the company.

Due to the capacity and length of time chips take to cook, this product is not suitable for a family meal but is ideal for a couple. Having said that, it will cook a chilli or mince based recipe for a family of 4.

I would not rate this item due to the quality price with the budjet materials & build quality.
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204 of 213 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great while it lasted., 10 Nov. 2009
By 
Mr. S. Bedford "Angela Bedford" (Kingsley, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
The Actifry is a can't live without kitchen appliance, however expect it to break. Many of the great reviews are from recent purchasers, I agree that this is a fantastic machine that does exactly what it claims. I am a careful person and have owned my Actifry for 15 months, the lid broke (hinge cracked and fell off) after 6 months luckily this was within the Tefals warrantee period, as they usually cost £40 + P&P for a new lid. Now the paddle has just broken, the Actifry won't work without it, they cost from £17.95 + P&P to replace, I'll have to pay for this, as Amazon won't cover this. I have read many reviews and have spoken to other owners, many have reported faults with cracked/misted/scratched lids, stained/fractured/snapped paddles, and sparks/fires from the machine. So make sure you buy from a retailer who offers an extended warrantee, if they charge it's worth paying for, just read the negative reviews on the internet, they're all about the poor level of manufacture rather than the machines ability to produce great food. I shall be buying a new machine (more money than sense I guess), I've decided to pay a little more and get it from John Lewis or Argos, I'll just wait for a good offer. If you're concerned that this appliance is expensive, then I wouldn't recommend you buy it, as you'll need to buy spares to keep the machine operatng, these are expensive, they amount to nearly the same price of the appliance.
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Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040  Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD
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