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My experiences of this device...... mostly positive.......


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Initial post: 26 Jan 2011, 18:46:06 GMT
Preacher Man says:
Hi all,

I thought it would be fair to recount my experience of this device in full, since there seem to be many naysayers, but the Actifry has been good for me personally.

When I came to purchase it, I read many reports regarding safety issues. I can't remember where I read it in particular but I came to the conclusion that these were, albeit real reports of real dangerous stuff, just teething problems of early units. I went ahead and purchased. I think I paid £100 from Amazon.

After a couple of goes, I got used to the unit and started turning out roasted potatoes by the ton. Having not eaten chips for years (they were too unhealthy), I used it a LOT at first. Also, the roast potatoes that come out of the Actifry "pass" the greatest critic (my girlfriend).

So the combination of healthy chips and the easiest way to make roasties ever ensured that the Actifry was used probably on average two or three nights a week.

At first I was on guard regarding the set-on-fire problem. I experienced nothing to cause me any distress. It never overheated, never smoked, never worried me whatsoever. Having said that I always made sure there was nothing trapped on the filter at the back inside before use.

Then, some 10 months in, disaster! The stirrer stopped rotating. It seemed that something was still rotating but the stirrer was not getting sufficient purchase to drive any food round.

I contacted Tefal and, while phrasing their emails carefully such that I had to confirm that there would be no cost to me to repair the unit (I seemed to be being cajoled into paying for carriage, something my statutory rights deem unnecessary), my unit was picked up and repaired within a week or two.

The repaired unit had a significantly stronger motor-stirrer connection, and it was definitely my unit repaired rather than a reconditioned one or a replacement.

The Actifry has done more sterling service for another 11 months and just today the stirrer broke. Ironic that they make the motor more powerful and then the stirrer breaks!

Since it's out of warranty I suspect I will buy a new stirrer for £20.

Altogether this was an excellent purchase. It makes chips/roasties to go with meat and veg *extremely* easy. Admittedly less than two years' service from it makes it quite expensive but with anther part it should be ok again.

A couple of tips :-

1) If you chop smallish potatoes in 1-inch slices, the stirrer will almost always jam at some point. It's just the shape of the stirrer causes this size of potato piece to be stuck against the outer wall of the device. Solution, cut the potatoes smaller or larger, or be stood by to give it a kick when it's struggling to stir.

2) The glass top has cracked slightly around the rear. It affects nothing operationally but looks a little unsightly.

3) There is a wide variation (or a more-than-expected one) with the types of potato used. Marie Piper definitely produce better chips, although if you like chip "scraps", a fluffy king edward will shed lots of crispy bits during cooking.

Seeing the newer units for sale at around £160 makes me wonder whether Tefal are trying to make the most of their patent before it expires. It seems weird that a mass-market unit can be sold and improved over a few years and the price of it continually rise! Economies of scale / production should have driven the price down by now.

If this was £100 it'd be a no-brainer for me to buy again if mine broke. At £160 it sounds a bit like Tefal are taking the mickey.

Conclusion:-

If you like chips and you like health, buy an Actifry.

If you're lazy like me, and you like roast potatoes, buy an Actifry.
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Initial post:  26 Jan 2011
Latest post:  26 Jan 2011

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