51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
Very pleased cooks food lovely, easy to use and cooks food very well. Better than the previous model easy to clean.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
I have never seen a product like this one, its simple and easy to use. It is definately worth every penny, it produces healthy food, not just chips. I have even cooked prawns with the product and they were delicious!
364 of 377 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2013
I got the ActiFry recently primarily because I've been doing Slimming World.
'Slimming World' chips are chips sprayed in Frylight and cooked in the oven. To be honest, they're acceptable, but they're not the same - the aren't really crunchy on the outside and they're not very fluffy on the inside. I got a bit bored of chips like that, so I decided to get one of these.
Putting it together was as simple as could be - I managed to get everything open and apart without a second thought, gave it a wipe down and away we went.
On the first night I cooked a batch of chips, some bacon and some sausages. I chipped the potatoes, rinsed them and patted them dry, sprayed them with Frylight (avoiding using even the tablespoon of oil because that would be more fat than just doing them in the oven) and set the machine off.
30 minutes later (there weren't that many of them - the book states 45 minutes for 1Kg), I had a batch of hot chips. They were much more crispy, better on the inside too. I was really impressed with the results because to be honest I wasn't holding out much hope that it would be any different to cooking them in the oven.
Straight after they came out, I tried some sausages and bacon in there. I put both in at the same time (6 low-fat sausages, 6 medallions of bacon) and added no oil. I was a little worried about whether it would cook the sausages through, whether the sausages would be too heavy for the agitator, and whether the bacon would burn being put in at the same time, but 12 minutes later both of them were beautifully cooked through.
Cleanup was relatively simple, though a few little pieces of chip managed to get through to the base of the machine and had to be wiped out.
I heard about a couple of issues with the machines that made me a little indecisive about whether I'd get one - such as poor build quality, too noisy, and the agitator getting stuck, but so far none of that has been an issue for me.
There are still a couple of things that could be improved, though.
- The machine is quite loud. It's not over the top, but it's noticeably louder than a fan oven and you can still, though faintly, hear it in another room.
- As a result of the general volume of the machine, the timer is actually very quiet. Luckily it went off when I was in the kitchen, but we both commented on how quiet it was.
- The controls are at the back, which means you have to lean over the thing to do anything - and there is usually hot air coming out of it.
- Speaking of the controls, the timer is a bit dumb. There doesn't seem to be any way to reduce the timer, only increase it, so if you make a mistake you have to reset it and start again.
- The agitator is quite annoying to clean. The bottom side of the agitator picked up quite a lot of debris and, strangely, it's hollow, meaning grime got inside it into the very small crevices and was quite difficult to get out. This probably won't be a problem for people with a dishwasher, but for those of us without, bear in mind that it's probably best to clean at least this part immediately.
Overall, I think it's definitely worth getting, especially if you get it on offer like I did.
Things generally take longer (especially chips) to cook than they would in, say, the oven, but in the case of things like Sausages, you simply don't need to watch over them, so you can better use your time. You can also put most things in the same dish and walk away, depending on timings.
Finally, for those doing Slimming World or wanting to be healthier in general, it's good to note that this does still work with a spray of Frylight, so you don't need to use the oil.
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
This is our first hot air frier and frankly, we were highly sceptical about what benefits this could have. How wrong could we be!
First impressions on unpacking were however slightly disappointing. For some reason, Tefal didn't give the Actifry any protection other than the outer box and top and bottom polystyrene packers, not even a polythene bag. Very surprising as other Tefal products have come suitably protected. Instruction and guarantee information was loose inside the box and the Actifry's normal pre-use clean was a little more necessary than normal when a simple polythene bag protecting it could have immediately improved matters. The build quality on our particular Actifry was also a little disappointing with some poorly finished plastic with the top surface having plastic flow marks visible,a very small but visible graze (I suspect from the unprotected and unrestrained 13 amp plug) and a surprisingly rough edge to a piece of external plastic trim another. If this was not a review unit, I would have exchanged it and it may well be that we had a 'rogue' unit that escaped normal quality control.
Instructions are contained in a small leaflet and a brief colour recipe book is also included. Reference is made to an iPad app which was easily downloaded. Only slight snag was that the video commentaries were in French and my school level comprehension failed me. The videos are however very short and the Actifry is so simple to use that you can quickly get the basics by watching alone but surely the English speaking markets justify an English version? Over to Tefal....,
So we tried making chips with expectations rather low. Contrary to the instructions, we did not have perfectly dry or equally sized chipped Maris Pipers and the small amount of oil added seemed too little. 40 Minutes later, however, and we had a huge pile ( 1.1 kg uncooked weight) of absolutely fantastic chips. Crisp on the outside, fluffy in the centre, nicely browned and not greasy. Far better than oven chips and lower in fat, these were an absolute eye opener. And those on Slimming World diets will love these chips which are much easier to make than the SW homemade version. Suddenly the Actifry was not so bad after all.
On to the next dish, cinnamon apples. Twenty minutes later, another delicious plateful. Suddenly, the Actifry was looking like a must have. Vegetable stir fry and even chops all have been done, all producing excellent results.
Most recent test was chicken drumsticks and thighs. Again, excellent results after 35 minutes with a pleasingly large amount of fat left in the pan. One caveat would have to be that the slowly rotating paddle would remove dry coatings from meat but oil based coatings would reapply.
No smells and the cleaning is very easy with lid and baking non-stick pan being dishwasher proof although hand washing is also exceptionally easy. The plastic lid and internal filter also easily remove for cleaning.
This unit is easily large enough for us (three) and I would suggest modest portions for a larger family. A larger version is available but please check dimensions as storage may be an issue as these are not small devices.
So in overall terms, the cooking performance in ultra low fat dry frying is simply exceptional and a real game changer as far as we are concerned. Build quality could be better on our unit and we cannot comment on long term durability which I suspect would depend on frequency of use.
Despite the issues with this particular unit's finish, I can recommend this Actifry, especially if the benefits of low fat frying are attractive to you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2013
I brought this because I was told to avoid foods high in phosphates, this includes oven chips! The chips it produces are very much like oven chips, perhaps a little better but the real revelation came when I tried some spicy chicken drum sticks, it was just brilliant at cooking meat and sausages. The whole device is very easy to clean though the paddle is prone to stains from spice mixes which are quite stubborn to remove.
I'm not totally convinced by the whole healthier way to fry argument, deep fat fryers, particularly those with a lard / sunflower oil mix, produce fried food that is full of flavor requiring little or no seasoning, hot air fryers on the other hand produce food that is on the bland end of the scale, particularly noticeable with chips, (it is the fat that provides a lot of the flavor after all), the result is that you compensate for this with lots of seasoning, particularly salt, thereby negating any possible benefits(also true of oven chips). This is not the case with foods that come with their own built in fat content, most meats, sausages, etc. this is where the Actifry really excels and there may be some real health benefits.
In conclusion; this is a great little device, I use it almost daily as it is by far the easiest and most convenient way to fry and I love experimenting with it, I have however purchased a deep fat fryer to cook my chips, I don't believe they will be any less healthy in the final analysis.
58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2013
Have great tasting chips with hardly any fat, and so easy to do! I love it. I would recommend to anyone, particularly if watching your weight.
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2013
Best thing I have ever purchased and easiest thing to use. I use it all the time. Would recommend this.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2013
Just made my first chips and they were utterly delicious. Just like chip shop but without the fat. Being very careful as all other reviews say this machine is very delecate but so far am totally delighted with it.
130 of 151 people found the following review helpful
It's clear from the wording and pictures on the box, and from the first-mention in the instruction book, that CHIPS are one of the target food staples for this product. Well, there is no doubt in my mind that you should only cook (frozen) chips in the Actifry if you have no other choice, because the result is not as good as the same type of chip cooked in a normal fitted oven. Some of the crispness is lost and they taste rather rubbery. The initial appeal of cooking frozen chips in a dry environment turned to disappointment and in summary I would say that chips and the Actifry don't make the best partners.
It's a slightly better story with potatoes though. A little oil is needed, and there's no point in applying more than the recommended amount. The general feedback from around the dining table was "Hmm - they're okay" and comments like that. Just 'acceptable', that's all, but definitely better than McCain frozen chips.
I also cooked some chicken nuggets and southern-fried chicken steaks - with conflicting results. Both of these types of food are battered and a lot of the batter (or breadcrumbs) gets scraped off by the rotating arm so in terms of presentation it's a thumbs down. Even children will look a bit sceptical when the plate is put in front of them because the nuggets look as if they've gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson - 'battered' takes on a new meaning here. On the positive side however, the taste was fine and much, much better than the frozen-type chips. I have tried Quorn sausages (for vegetarians) and I couldn't really fault it - a very good result.
Because the food in the Actifry is liable to cosmetic damage by the rotating arm, making potato chips (i.e. from a peeled and sliced potato) might be okay taste-wise but if you put too many inside they are likely to get smunched up and look rather unattractive. I base this on regular experience with a vaguely similar product we own, the Breville VDF065 Halo Health Fryer. The Halo is a fair bit cheaper but I'd say that, given the right food to cook, the Actifry is better. We have the Halo and Actifry side-by-side in the kitchen and if we we are cooking potato chips, from now on the Actifry will always be the preferred choice.
The Actifry is a good product but you need to use it with food that can stand the 'battering' it will suffer in the cooking process. Fragile foods (like chicken nuggets) will suffer. On the other hand, meats such as chicken breasts, pork/lamb chops and sausages should stand up to the mauling and come out in reasonable condition. Bacon came out looking a little compacted but it can be re-stretched for sandwiches etc, and it tasted fine.
It's worth mentioning that the Actifry gets pretty hot and should be kept well clear of children; it's also very easy for a child to open the lid and within a second or two touch the inner tray, which would definitely cause injury.
This is a useful device that we will probably use frequently as a back-up oven for simultaneous cooking. It's also more cost-effective than a standard type oven as far as power consumption is concerned - I know this because I have a power usage display from British Gas (free, and very useful) and the £/min was about half that of the convection oven. It won't save time in particular, as cooking times are much the same as normal, on the plus side however there is no need to have it switched on for 5-10 minutes to warm up.
It's easy to clean and takes up little space. I'm not 100% confident in its long-term durability; it does seem as if it has been manufactured 'to a price'. One slightly annoying feature is that the timer device continues to bleep occasionally after the cooking has finished, the food removed and the power button switched OFF, so it's necessary to turn it off at the mains. No big deal but a niggle just the same. It would also have been useful if there was an internal light, but there isn't one.
In summary a handy and convenient portable oven best used for food types that won't be damaged by the battering they will face inside.
146 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2013
I have had 3 Tefal Actifry air fryers and I have to say they make excellent chips. They are versatile but equally they are not as good as they are sometimes made out to be.
The major problem with them seems to be that they were clearly designed (I guess by a man) for aesthetics and not practicallity. They are incredibly difficult to keep clean and although most parts can be taken of to clean it is often almost impossible to get to some of the places which need to be cleaned - especially in the paddle. However designed that wants to be sentenced to a lifetime of cleaning it.
The paddle is also quite brittle really. It could have done with being made out of metal instead of that cheap stupid plastic affair which, especially when it ages, is very easy to break (I know I have already bought three as spare parts)
Similar can be said of the plastic transparent lid. That too breaks far too easily in a kitchen environment and they are not cheap to replace - although a full range of spare is available on-line. The other regular replacement needed is the handle - which is all too easily unintentionally separated from pan.
The design of the filter is rather silly and that too breaks easily with a heavily used machine. The plastic just gets too brittle.
I suppose when you read this you will think I am opposed to the actifry, but nothing is further from the truth. They are a good idea - but they are not made of sturdy materials and if you buy one you must be prepared to get spares by mail order on a fairly regular basis.
I am currently on my third one - which has also now become defective. The 'vanes' on the rotor have disappeared and the paddle will no longer turn.
Unfortunately there are no spare parts for that and so it looks as if I will be buying another one quite soon - unless I can find something better.
I am just so sorry that I can't find any real alternative to making the low fat chips it makes. They taste so much better than those fatty things and are obviously more healthy.
My advice is buy with caution - and especially if it intended for regular use, be prepared to find a good parts supplier!