37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Great food but questionable longevity,
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This review is from: Tefal ActiFry Family AH900240 Low Fat Electric Fryer - 1.5 kg Capacity - White (Kitchen & Home)
I had my eye on this for a while and pulled the trigger on this 1.5kg model when Amazon dropped the price dropped. Having read reviews and negative press on the fan failure and burnout problem I was - and still am - a bit reluctant to look at the device too positively. I actually didn't unpack the fryer for a few weeks because I was thinking about returning it.
Anyway, upon unpacking it I was surprised to see a high quality bound and colour instruction/recipe book. It contains genuinely useful and accessible information including the fat breakdown of various cooking oils - omega 3 content of the different oils and so on. The book has a low level French culture/French food theme and the English language translation is not always great. In parts the English translation seems to have been made by a non English speaker. Minor point but a number of the recipes, in terms of seasoning suggestions and ingredients, sound a bit odd to the British ear: mussels in an Actifry? Better regionalisation of recipes would be welcome.
I've used the unit to cook chips, chicken nuggets, chicken and mince meat/chilli and curry.
As a chip fryer it is, frankly, remarkable. My first attempt results were impressive enough - and even a usually picky eater three year old agreed - but with experimentation in terms of cooking time, oil amount, potato cut and potato type the results are even better. Yes, it is just about possible to get something approaching the texture and taste of fish and chip shop chips by using a little more oil than strictly required and by reducing the cooking time. Potato choice is also important - King Edwards and "floury" (non waxy) varieties are best. You do have to wash them and dry them before use. The preparation time is worth it.
Fast food style chicken nuggets can be made easily - the chicken nuggets are much crispier than when cooked in an oven and they do taste as if they have been deep fried.
The unit is noisy when in use and this is due to the fan. It's not too bad - it isn't distracting but you will be aware the fryer is working.
Unlike the smaller capacity version this one also has a timer which switches the device off when it is finished.
I do question how long the device will last for though. It's reliant on a mechanical fan and, according to some of the negative reviews, I don't think there's a fail safe state whereby if the fan fails the device turns off. The fail safe seems to be that the heater burns out.
Reservations aside the device is amazing and one of the best - and most useful - gadgets I have ever bought.
It's especially good if you have picky eater children. Whilst it would be great to think that steamed vegetables and five a day is a realistic option it simply isn't the real world choice for many young children. This device at least means that low fat versions of home cooked fare (chips and roasters) can be cooked with a far superior and more appetising taste than their high fat equivalents.
I would probably buy another one if this one lasts even a couple of years.