I bought one of these as I wanted to have chip shop style chips, and having moved out of my parents' house it was finally possible; they didn't think a deep fat fryer was a good idea as it wasn't healthy enough.
I managed to get one from Asda when they were reduced down to £12, which was brilliant really; only £1 more than their Smart Price variant. The good thing with Asda's kitchen appliances is you get a 1 year guarantee; no matter if it's the £5 Smart Price Toaster or the more expensive stuff.
First things first with this fryer, it's only cheap white plastic; not exactly a style icon, but at £12 you really cannot argue here. The next thing you will notice is it takes rather a lot of oil; a minimum of 2 litres is required, but this will last you a fair while if you only use it occasionally. My flatmate also used this thing as well, so it was getting daily use, and we only needed to change the oil every week, although the more health conscious will probably change it a bit more often.
Setting the temperature is ridiculously easy. There's a slider along the bottom with some temperatures and markings on it, and printed down the left side is a list of which settings you need for different foods. However, I found it far simpler to just whack it up to maximum temperature and check your food occasionally to see when it's cooked.
This thing cooks chips beautifully. From frozen, they take around 10-15 minutes, which is half as much as they usually take in an oven. Depending on the oil used, they should come out nice and crispy, but not so much that there's no potato left in the centre. Better still, peeling potatoes and cutting them up to make your own chips is a much better way of doing things; they come out perfectly after less than 10 minutes.
You can do more than just chips with it too; I always had difficulty frying black pudding in a pan, but 5 minutes in this baby was all it needed to be cooked to perfection! Sausages come out nicely too, but that said, I only used to stick the cheap sausages in there; any posh sausage was oven cooked or grilled. That oh so unhealthy but so nice tasting treat called fried bread is impossible to get wrong here; just a few minutes is all it takes, compared to half an hour, a whole loaf of bread and much swearing as I experience with a frying pan.
Trying to make my own KFC style chicken was a bit more tricky; the batter mix runs off the chicken and into the oil a bit too easily; but speaking to my friend, who is an amateur chef, I apparently didn't put enough flour in the mix. So I tried again, and it worked. I was so pleased I decided to treat us all and make that most Scottish of artery clogging treats; the deep fried Mars bar. It went well, but not without coating the basket in batter; which is a nightmare to get off once it's cold. Overnight soaking in hot water/washing up liquid, but with much more washing up liquid than normal.
All in all, this fryer served me well over the course of a year, mostly when hung over and cooking unhealthy, greasy treats. However, literally the day after the guarantee expired, it died; failing to get up to temperature at all. Naturally, I wasn't impressed that it did it the day after the guarantee expired, but for £12 it fared very well, having been used by either me or my flatmate on a daily basis. So I went out and bought another one.
I have since been on the Asda website; this is now in the Smart Price range rather than the core range, and the price has gone up, but only to £14. It's still a bargain though, and comes with that one year guarantee.
Me and my wife brought this after our last one broke and for a few weeks it was wonderful. the chips cooked nicely and tasted great, the same with the other food we cooked in it however after a few weeks we noticed that the "cool wall" wasnt staying cool anymore. we phoned asda and they told us to bring it back to change it, we followed their advice and changed the fryer.
again it worked for a few weeks perfectly until one day i turned it on and waited for it to heat up. luckly i was on the other side of the kitchen because the whole top of the fryer and the lid melted from the heat. i ended up with boiling fat all over the place. luckly no one was hurt.
we phoned asda and brought the fryer back to them, they offered their appologies and offerd us another one, which we declined and as got a full refund and a gift voucher.
i urge everyone not to buy this fryer because you might not be as lucky as we was and someone might get hurt. its a total waste of money and time to go and collect it. like i said it only works for a few weeks before you start getting problems.
Me and my fella are on a tight budget at the moment, trying to save some pennies up for our littlen, I've had some major cravings for fried chips, so this was the final excuse for us to buy one. Yeah fried food isn't good for your waistline or amazing for my littlen inside my belly, but it's the only craving I've had and I satisfy it a few times a week now.
- - - My Experience - - -
I've had the fryer now for a couple of weeks, and we use it probably once every other day to make chips to satisfy my craving. It is a 2litre fryer, within a white plastic casing, with a removeable oil cavity, or "bucket". It's not the biggest fryer but it makes nice small portions, and does enough chips for me and my fella. It's simple to use, and easy to adjust the temperature with the sliding scale on the front bottom of the fryer. There are 2 lights on the front of the fryer for power and temperature, when the temperature light is off it means the food is ready to be cooked. The open button is large, but does get a little warm as it's quite close to the lid of the fryer.
The handle is easy to use and supports the weight of the food basket, however it does get quite warm when the fryer is being used for a considerable amount of time. Not enough to burn you of course but I just noticed that it was quite warm. The only downside to the actual fryer "body" is that the little clip that shuts on top of the handle is quite thin, I could see it breaking if you are too rough with it or through over use. Mine is still fine at the moment.
With the fryer comes a simple User Manual, which most people probably won't bother reading but it actually has some useful cooking tips in it, and tips on making the most of your fryer. It also has the basic safety instructions, but also has simple but detailed instructions on how to clean the fryer.
- - - Cooking - - -
The fryer does seem to take it's time to warm up, it takes about 10 minutes to reach up to around 180. Some people will dislike this but I'm never in a rush when it comes to cooking. For chips it takes around 10-15 minutes from frozen, and they're really crispy and tasty. Always check the cooking instructions on products you're cooking against the times recommended for the fryer. The only thing i wouldn't recommend cooking in the fryer is onions, as the oil is then left with the taste of onion so everything you cook afterwards tastes like onion. I haven't cooked onions in this fryer, that was a tip picked up fro my mum ha-ha.
I really can't complain with the way the fryer cooks things, some other fryers on the market might cook things quicker but I'd rather know that my food is cooked properly instead of risking it being undercooked if it's cooked too quickly.
- - - Value for Money? - - -
I paid £19.96 for the fryer and for me it really is value for money. Ok so it's not a shiney silver colour with flashy lights and lots of fancy bits on it, but it does the job.
- - - Overall - - -
I wouldn't recommend it for a big family, or for people with big appetites as you can't cook all that much in it. But for a single person or for a couple of people who like smaller portions then it's definitely for you. It's a simple fryer which is easy to keep clean, and easy to empty the oil with its removable "bucket". As stated earlier, there are a couple of flaws with it, i.e the size of the basket, the handle heating up, and it being quite slow to warm up, but for such a small price I certainly don't regret buying it. It does its job and it didn't break the bank.
I've already looked at buying some new filters to keep the smell down, and they can be found here: http://www.filtamagic.com/acatalog/Asda_Deep_Fat_Fryer_Filter_0002.html
You'd just need to trim the filter to fit the size of the filter holder.
The deep fat fryer is basically just plain white, it has a lift up lid at the top and has the chip drainer handle in a small gap. On the front of the fryer you have your heat settings, also pictures of certain foods which should be cooked at what temperature. Myself I have not cooked most of the food that it shows.
At the top of the lid, you have grill like holes, this is to allow the steam out, also under the grill like holes, there is a filter, this stops anything from going through the holes.
On the front of the fryer you have two lights, an orange one indicates the power is on, and the red one lights up when the fryer is at the right termperature.
how to use
The fryer is really easy to use, to switch it on is only possible by the plug, then wait for the fat to warm up. Insert what you want to cook into the grill pan, and lower into the pan, Make sure than you do keep an eye on the chip pan at all times, and give the chips a good shake every few minutes.
Once cooked lift the grill pan up and slot it into the gap where the handle lays when stored away, then leave it there to drain for a few minutes. You may also want to give them a good shake as I have noticed that it does not drain all the fat away.
Its as simple as that, however always remember to take the plug back out, I know it may sound daft saying that, but how many house fires start from people forgetting such a simple thing.
The fryer has settings that go from low up to 190o. I find it easy to just keep it at 190 and it seems to cook everything perfectly.
This is really easy to clean, for the outside a damp cloth will do. As for the inside, empty the fat out. The metal part where the fat is kept comes out of the fryer. just soak that with hot soapy water and leave to soak for a while. The inside can also be done with just a damp cloth as this does not get that dirty.
After soaking the metal pan empty out and clean with a cloth then put back together it's as simple as that. If you do empty your fat down the sink though make sure you run hot water at the same time this will stop the sink blocking up.
Do filters need replacing
I have had this for 2 years and never replaced the filters yet, I would not even know where to buy them. All I do is run the filter in hot water give it a quick wipe down, then put on a radiator to dry, i have never had any problems in doing this and probably saved a packet in filters.
I paid £19.95 for this and I think its a bargain for how well its lasted and for how easy it is to use.
How much fat
I usually put 2 litres of oil in each time I fill it up, as I find this is just enough fat for what I need, although some larger families may require more. I only usually change the fat every 2-3 months also.
How well does it cook
I have only ever cooked 3 different foods in this fryer so I will describe what i think to each one.
Sausages: I do find the sausages a strange one, as they do taste nice and cook pretty well, but sometimes the sausages split in the middle, and then it can make the inside not taste as nice. Apart from that it does cook them well.
Chips: I always use frozen chips and they cook really nice into a lovely golden brown colour.
Roast potatoes: Now there is a trick to this to make them nice, as I found that when just putting potatoes in the chip pan, they would turn a nice golden brown but would be hard in the middle. So what I do now is half cook them first like boiled potatoes, do not over cook them or they will just fall apart in the fryer, they still need to be slightly hard. Then place them in the fryer and cook till golden brown and they come out perfect.
Any problems so far
So far I have never had any problems with this fryer and I think that's really good for the price I paid for it.
I would recommend this to anyone, its cheap easy to use, anyone would be able to find this easy to use, I mean even a man who reckons they can't cook could use this, so the men would have no excuses loll.
With the price easy of use and ease of cleaning this gets a big 5 stars from me, I would buy another one of these should this one ever break.
Well I knew the time would eventually come, and after trying to clean it, it finally disintegrated in my hands!
The product I will now review is - "Asda's 2 litre cool wall deep fat fryer"
My first fryer (the one that has just given up the ghost) ha been faithful an long lasting, working since it was brought for me for the last 9 years, it was a wedding gift, so I knew the time would be coming soon that a replacement would have to be sort out.
After going to Asda with the intention of buying one I was more than pleased to find that the one and only type of fryer available at my local branch was reduced down in price.
After buying it and getting it home I was gob smacked at how much fryers have come on since the last model I had.
The main problem I had with the previous unit was the grease build up. The earlier unit had a single oil chamber with a completely removable frying cage, a filter in the lid that was housed beneath a screwed in compartment, so to clean I literally had to unscrew the lid to remove all parts and clean thoroughly, but as you will appreciate that after a while this really didn't cut it as the grease build up was so thick it was a struggle to even get to the screws to disassemble.
This unit feels very luxurious to me for the following reasons.
The unit has a small filter chamber on the lid, but this is accessible from the top of the lid rather than the inside, this I done by pressing a small catch to release, this is easy to perform though I am in now doubts that the filter will be the first thing to get clogged up with grease and the first to be changed or replaced.
The next is the fact that unlike the earlier mentioned unit, this one has a separate and removable oil chamber. The chamber lifts out of the unit entirely to make cleaning much easier, the old one had to be tipped precariously onto it' side ensuring the lead didn't get wet in the sink!
The new unit's chamber is also Teflon coated so the grease has less to cling to and coat. There is a lip on each side of the chamber for ease of removal, but don't try and lift this part out until the unit and oil is completely cooled.
The frying cage again is much more advanced than the previous unit. In this fryer the cage is actually part of the inner chamber, when heating the oil up the cage should be left, this is one by putting the cage in with the handle extended as though you are holding it, then press the button on the handle and bend down, this effectively lowers the cage into the oil gently with the bonus of less splash back of oil and locking the cage into the inner chamber.
Finally there is a window on the top of the lid to see the food cooking without having to keep opening and checking and a sliding temperature control on the front to ensure optimum cooking temperature for all the foods you may cook in it, my old one had two heat settings.....off and burn!
To begin use you must take all the removable parts out and wash in hot soapy water, ensuring they are dried properly, if there is any water left in the chamber you get tiny little pops of oil as it the oil heats up.
Before switching on fill the chamber with your preferred cooking oil ensuring that the volume put in is above the min line but below the max line, this is marked on the inner chamber, though due to the unit being black it is not that easy to first spot the markings, once done you put the cage in, close the lid and plug into the mains.
Another point to make is that when plugged in the unit will be on, there is no "on/off" button.
To use you choose what temperature you need to set the unit at, this is determined by the food stuff to be cooked and there is a picture diagram on the front for you to choose from.
I won't list every item list on the unit and in the instructions, needless to say that the denser the food item, ie frozen chips etc the higher the temperature needs to be, with things like meat and fish being set on a lower temperature but cooked for longer, I cannot comment on these food items though is I usually only cook chips and such like in the unit.
One the temperature has been chosen you simply leave switched on until the red button on the front of the unit goes out leaving the orange button lit, this means that the temperature of the oil is now at optimum temperature for the cooking.
You can then add the food, first release the handle of the cage bringing the cage up out of the oil, fill with the food, being careful not to overfill or else the oil could bubble up out of the sides of the lid, has happened once before and it was scary and burned my hands quite badly!
You then lower the age into the oil, lock the handle. Close the lid then sit back and wait!
I usually only cook chips, so these didn't take to long at all, only around 4 minutes.
When removed the chips were crisp, delicious and really not too greasy, this shows they have been cooked properly as the higher the temperature the less grease the food soaks up.
When finished with I tend to leave the oil in for a couple of uses, though if you cook fish or things of that nature the oil will inevitably take on some of the flavours and any food cooked after that wil be tainted slightly with the previous meal....not nice!
Cleaning again is easy! The filter an be removed from the lid and washed in hot soapy water, though make sure it is left to dry before putting back, and as the chamber lifts out it is best to was h as you would with your other pots and pans, though it does not state whether it can be washed in a dishwasher.
Finally it is best I have found to wipe over the exterior of the unit with a soapy cloth, no matter how careful you are there will always be small patches of greasy residue so cleaning off before it sets saves time and helps the unit to keep looking like new.
Finally the claims that this is a cool wall unit, meaning, obviously that the exterior of the unit is cool to the touch are not entirely accurate!
Though the unit will not burn you, this is by no means cool to the touch so be warned!
Pricewise this unit cost me £15.97, being reduced down by around £5.00, which is a lot less than I was expecting to pay.
For more information visit - www.asda.co.uk
Thanks for reading x
Short name: Asda BDZ-2-B