on 2 April 2014
Love this fryer, just right for the two of us and makes lovely chips, heats up in no time and it's easy to clean, won't be eating another rank oven chip again after getting this, love it.
on 7 February 2015
Right. In January, my GP called me a fatslob, so now I'm on carb-control mode - half rations all round. However; no sane Briton can live without chips, so what to do...?
I spotted this dinky device at my local Tesco's, priced at £18.50 and decided to look it up on the Amazon website. Most reviewers seemed very bullish. The price was just £15.99. Well; I stuck with Tesco's. For one thing; I could open the box and check it was all complete and at least visually undamaged before purchase. Secondly; I didn't have to wait-in for some impatient courier to drop-kick it over the gate. And finally; if it conked-out under warranty, I could march it back to the shop and let them sort it out. There'd be a human face to argue with and not some anonymous internet shyster giving me the e-mail runaround. For just two-and-a-half spons extra, my high street seemed the better bet.
The unit has a neat, simplistic functionality to it. A straightforward white plastic tub just 7 inches in diameter and 8 inches tall. If it did eventually give up the ghost, then it could double as a novelty biscuit barrel or cookie jar (except that bickies & cookies are now verboten). Perhaps a planter...? The frying basket is just 4-and-a-half inches in diameter by 3 inches deep. That may not sound much, but it's actually more than enough when measured against the portion you should have as opposed to the portion you want. Obviously big chips don't suit it; you need to dovetail them to pan size. And Tesco have an answer to that too. But the first big surprise was the instruction booklet. Instead of wading through every language in the galaxy to find the pidgin-English section; these instructions are in English, the whole English, and nothing but the English, so help me spud. Not only that, they were obviously written by someone for whom English was the first language. The EU didn't even get a look-in - hurrah!
The pan has `min' & `max' levels clearly embossed inside. Russell Hobbs recommend corn or sunflower oil. You cannot use lard or similar stuff as the element heats up too quick for it to melt and will trip the thermal cut-out. I charge mine to the midpoint, which is sufficient to cover the basket when boiling without risk of overflow. Heating up is commendably quick - just 5-10 minutes. And cooking's even less. I just can't be arsed to peel & cut taters, and happily that's no longer needed. Tesco do a bag of prepared chips in their "Value" range - just 82p for one-and-a-half kilos. They perfectly suit this gizmo because they're small, at one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches long, yet fat enough to be succulent inside when outwardly crisped (unlike Big Mac's wooden nails). And they're already partly browned, so cooking time is just 4-5 minutes at 160 degrees indicated. Hey-presto: chiptastic! If anyone had told me I could have chips as quickly as I could do a jacket spud in the microwave; I'd have told them to take a running diet. However; I've eaten the evidence. A basketful of Value chips will certainly serve two. If you don't think so, then maybe you need to consult my GP. Another trick is to flour-coat a cod steak from Iceland's 5-for-3 range and pop that on top of half a basket of chips. Sorted. Serve with salad or plenty of greens.
Of course; if you're fond of putting your feet in the trough, you don't actually need the basket for larger single items. Spatula or tongs will suffice. Just make sure your grub doesn't slip back into the pan and splash hot oil about.
Also in the booklet are instructions on how to make `basic batter', `basic fritter batter' & `posh fritter batter'. Ahh - only us Brits could think up posh batter. There's a service address (in Britain), a service telephone number, and an email address. And the appliance comes with a two-year warranty.
Grumble time. The lid's held on by rather flimsy hinges and the lifting tab's too small to avoid hot fingers when opening. I cook with the lid open anyway so I can test jab me nosh, and only close it when I've finished and the oil has cooled. I used to employ a plastic clothes-peg, but that's recently vanished and may have become the latest victim in a recent spate of feline larceny. CSI detected a couple of short hairs on the worktop.
Thoroughly recommended. I was gonna dock a star for the naff lid bits, but I relented for the posh batter recipe. Finally; if it does suddenly stop working, the cut-out's probably tripped (item 72, page 9) and it doesn't reset automatically (now that's daft). So don't junk the thing as it may still be under warranty. Get it fixed. As to my doctor; later this year I'm gonna show her a six-pack that'll make her stethoscope jiggle.
on 23 June 2016
I love love love, this little fryer! I use coconut oil to avoid all the nasties in other veg oils and it delivers perfect chips every time. I use it on the 170 setting for the whole cook as I found the part 170 and part 190 setting browned the outside before the inside was done. I also found that your chips won't cook well if they are too chunky. Now I have learnt the right size it's a doddle. If you need to cook for two hungry people you will need to do them in batches, I keep the first lot hot in the oven then mix the batches together before serving. The chips definitely taste different and much much better than oven chips which give us indigestion.