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I always used to own a deep fat fryer but had not had one for about ten years which I think was due to the fact that I hated cleaning them out so would get rid of them after a while. My husband persuaded me to buy this one as he loves home made chips and he had some vouchers left for Homebase so put them towards this one. It was £32.99 which is a good price as they can sell for up to £49.00 although I have just seen one on Amazon for £32.50.
It has a 2 litre oil and 1 kg food capacity and I would say that it is suitable for two or three portions of chips, or for four people with very small appetites. It is made of plastic and is silvery grey in colour and it has a removable filter and a viewing window at the top of the fryer for you see how your food is cooking however I find that this does steam up a bit so you have to peer quite closely to see inside which can feel a bit warm. It does however have a cool touch body and handle so it is comfortable to touch when you go to open it and you don't have to worry about burning your hands or using an oven glove.
It has a safety locking feature to the lid and also non slip feet so you don't have to worry about it moving or slipping on your worktop if you have split any oil or other liquids. There is a cord storage so if you do keep it on your worktop it looks neat and tidy however I keep mine on a low shelf in the pantry as even if you really look after it and wash it after every use I find that it is never completely clean so I would rather it be out of sight. Also I don't like too many things cluttering up the worktop and I will only use the fryer once every few weeks.
It is quite simple to use and I actually worked it out without reading the instructions so it must be easy. It is clearly marked to where you need to pour the oil up to and there is a variable temperature control which you set to your required setting which is located at the front along with some useful pictures of food and their suggested heat settings. There is a power indicator light and a large black button which you press to release the lid. You then press a slide button on the handle which lifts the basket up. I will usually lift the lid after the chips have been cooking for about ten minutes and give them a quick shake to make sure that they are not sticking together and also to look at them out of the oil to see how much longer they need. I like my chips quite crispy so I will usually cook them for a total of about fifteen minutes or sometimes a bit more if I have cut them very thick.
Before immersing the chips into the oil I will sometimes place them on kitchen roll especially if I have just peeled the potatoes in water as they cook better when they are dry. I would say that I replace the oil every four or five times and find that this is enough. If any small pieces of potato break off I will remove them with a metal scoop when the oil has cooled down, however I would say that if you are frying fish or other food in batter which tend to break off easily you would need to change it more regularly. I will always wipe the outside over with a kitchen wipe or dishcloth but will wash the inside a lot less frequently as I think that the intense heat it reaches will kill any germs!
In addition to chips I have also fried battered onion rings and quite recently I used it to fry some home made pappadoms which were lovely and crispy. I am also going to make some doughnuts at the weekend as my nephews are coming round and will use it to fry them - naughty but very nice! I think that a little bit of what you fancy does you good and although I wouldn't use it very regularly I think that a deep fat fryer is a great kitchen gadget as it does cook delicious chips. Everything I cook in it I will drain well in the basket and then also transfer the food to kitchen roll which absorbs any excess oil. I don't think you can beat chunky home made chips and I am very pleased that my husband persuaded me to buy this fryer. It is easy to use and is a reasonable price compared to some others and I would say is suitable to cook three average portions of chips in one go, but if you have a large family you would probably need a bigger model.
The Breville VDF054 Deep Fryer is a smart addition to your kitchen and will look great on your counter top / It has a 2-litre oil capacity and a 1kg food capacity / It also features filter system that helps keep the kitchen free from cooking odours / This fryer features non-slip feet and a viewing window to keep an eye on your cooking / A variable thermostat lets you adjust cooking temperatures and the coolwall body keeps the deep fryer safe / Variable temperature to 190CPower-on & temperature indicatorsViewing windowCool Touch HandleCord StorageNon-slip feet / Short name: Breville VDF054