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754 of 772 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
1,143 of 1,154 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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1,143 of 1,154 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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754 of 772 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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliability in doubt - Update 20.12.2009, 2 Feb 2009
By 
A. Stevens (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
Bought one in November, 2008, and what a difference it made to our daily evening meals. Recommend doing roast potatoes...the best you'll ever have. Just follow the instructions in the supplied recipe book. Cooking time can be a little on the long side, but the wait is well worth it. Easy to clean and no residual smells. Looks good as well. However, on 2nd February, 2009, whilst the machine was in action, there was an almighty bang. The Actifry stopped working and died. Less than three months old!. Took it back to Comet and they replaced it there and then. What a pleasant surprise, as I was expecting World War Three to break out. So I'm now wondering how long this replacement model will last. We use our Actifry about four times a week, no more than our old reliable Molineux deep fat fryer, which is over five years old and still working. Time will tell, but don't be put off by my experience alone. The results are that good that I'm willing to give it a second chance!.
UPDATE - 28.12.2009. The machine has died again!. When it works, it is excellent. As we use or did use ours almost everyday, this Tefal obviously lacks the stamina for daily use. So we're going back to the good old fashioned Moulineux and won't be considering another Tefal product for sustained use.
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225 of 233 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 100 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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400 of 415 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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62 of 64 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely enough..., 10 Sep 2008
By 
P. V. Davis (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Acti-Fry by Tefal AL800040 Low Fat Electric Fryer, 1 kg Capacity, White, OLD (Kitchen & Home)
I haven't done what it's supposed to be best - Chips.

I've now had the Machine about three months and successfully cooked Bacon; Sausages; Mushrooms; Lamb chops and also roasted potatoes. I roast the Potatoes on their own but have done jointly, Chops and Sausages and Bacon and Sausages. Four Lamb chops and six Sausages will cook in around 25/30 mins.

It's a real boon and a lazy way of cooking but I would also advise that when initially cooking anything, to keep an eye on things because until initially "Oiled up" either in their fat in the case of Sausages and Chops or Oil with Potatoes or Chips, they can get stuck whilst being turned by the Paddle which risks breaking it, if not cleared.

Only other negative point is that the Timer doesn't halt the cooking and it's beeping is pretty feeble. Poor oversight by Tefal for such an expensive item. I use my own portable timer.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So dangerous., 20 Jan 2010
By 
Mrs. N. Murray (Antrim) - 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)
This machine,it is dangerous.I had one (which I used just a few times in 18 months)and when I switched it on the last time ,I heard a loud crack and smoke bellowed out of and then flames.It was a very frightening experiance,Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer
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110 of 114 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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168 of 175 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product for Lapsed Chip-Lovers, 7 Nov 2007
By 
P. WILLIAMS (Wales) - 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)
Haven't been able to cook real chips for decades. Deep fat fryers are a pain, and the smell may be attractive before, but it lingers. This thing will cook chips using any kind of oil - we like olive oil, but sunflower and sesame are also good. And you only need a tablespoon (or 2) of it.

The chips take longer than regular deep fat frying, or oven chips, but the results are clean and as crispy as you like. I reckon it uses less electricity than a fan or conventional over would to make the same number of oven chips. Basically it's a 1400 watt fan oven with a device for tumbling the chips to spread the oil and the heat evenly. The cooking cavity is closed so there is no smell, and the whole thing comes apart for cleaning (which you can do in a dishwasher if you like).

It says you should rinse and dry the raw chips before cooking, and that's tedious but worth it. I also give the chips a minute or two in the fryer before adding the oil, which appears to dry them finally.

You can spice up your chips with paprika, herbs, or curry powder added to the oil before you sprinkle it on.

The only downside is the cost (high because there is no competition, I guess) and the redundant timer which as another reviewer said is too quiet plus it doesn't actually stop the cooking anyway. Other than that, if you can afford the space and the money, I'd recommend it.
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