One of the household appliances we have but we don't use much now (probably why I almost forgot to review it) is our Delonghi F18304 Deep Fat Fryer. The reason we don't use it much any more is mainly because we are trying to eat healthier as a family and I have high blodd choloesterol and have been advised to cut down on fried foods. I have to lose at least four stones for health reasons and if I eat fried foods it affects my gall bladder. I have lost a stone and a bit so far but using the Delonghi F18304 Deep Fat Fryer again at this stage would not be a step in the wrong direction.
We got it second hand though it had not been used. We saw an advert in the local newspaper. A young married couple were selling it for just £40 and it was an unwanted wedding present. They had put a deep fat fryer on their wedding list and had received two and decided to keep the 'better' make and sell the cheaper Delonhi model.
We got there the same time as another couple and after a bit of an argument on the doorstep about who arrived first, me and my other half managed to get them to sell it to us. We used it quite a lot at first but soon the novelty wore off and then we were forced to store it away and it hasn't been out the cupboard for ages.
When we did use it it was mainly used for frying home made chips. We are not fans of oven chips anyway and we both loved the big home made thick cut chips my other half is so good at making and we used to use the fryer every night after we got back from work. The chips were perfectly cooked, nice and golden and crisp and not soggy. The Delonghi F18304 Deep Fat Fryer heated the oil to the perfect temperature before we added the potatoes and when we removed them out of the little basket they were always done just the way we both liked them.
I remember it had a little viewing window in the top of it but it didn't really work that well because the heat of the oil used to make a lot of condensation and you couldn't see the food properly inside the wire basket. The only way you could check the chips properly was if you actually took the wire basket out and this didn't always work properly either because the hinge used to get jammed a lot on the lid and I often got splatterd with spots of hot fat.
It was fairly easy to clean though because it had a pull out hose and when the oil had cooled right down we just use to drain the hot oil out of the tube and then cleaning it was a doddle. The outside was white and also easy to just wipe over and keep clean. It had a carbon filter lid and the filter was really easy to change and it also came with a recipe book with some great ideas for making your own doughnuts. We tried it once but they weren't that successful so we just stuck to the chips. The reason we liked this was because a friend of ours also had one and they said it was a good one because it only used half of the oil as other deep fat fryers and had a rotating basket. He was right, it didn't use too much oil and it had just over 1.2 kg capacity.
It was a decent fryer, no leaks and quite durable but as I say we haven't used it for a long time now and despite the jamming hinge and the condensation on the viewing window I'd recommend it still.
I have long been a great fan of DeLonghi items but by far my favourite of all time has to be the "Roto Fry" deep fryer. I was devastated last week when mine failed. Fortunately this occurred whilst I was in the middle of cleaning it so I was well aware of what had happened and knew that it would have to be replaced. Having been installed in my kitchen for about five years I can truthfully say that it has seen a lot of use - and had itself been a replacement for a previous DeLonghi model. In short, I knew I could trust it and when replacement was needed I knew just what to look for.
Of course, in five years things change - and possibly improve. There are quite a few models to choose from nowadays - not just the one "state of the art" model that I had last time. The one I did choose is slightly smaller and much lighter. It also has a non-stick interior which is a nice modern touch. It is also a "cool wall" model which avoids what can cause a nasty burn with some appliances.
Let me tell you about this appliance in case you haven't come across it before. It is certainly not the same as other deep fat fryers. For one thing there is no deep fat! The maximum amount of oil needed is 1.2 litres. This is because the bowl is angled meaning that the basket (which rotates) dips the food in and out of the oil which results in it being perfectly cooked and yet is never immersed for long enough to become saturated. This is, of course, a much healthier way to fry especially if you also use good quality oil. They suggest groundnut or corn oil but I always use rapeseed oil which gives excellent results. Even with this amount of oil it is still possible to fry a full kilo of chips.
Naturally the fryer comes with heat settings ranging from 150° to 190° to make sure that you are able to get the correct temperature for whatever you wish to cook - be it fresh or frozen etc. There is an indicator light to let you know when it has reached the right heat. This model also has a viewing window so that you can check on your food while it cooks. My previous one didn't have this although the one before that did! I have to say that this was something that I missed, having had one previously, so I was happy to find that the new cooker had one. There is a handle on the front to raise the basket out of the oil while the lid is still closed so with the viewing window you are able to see if dinner is ready to be served! The lid is fastened while cooking so there is also a release button to open it. There is also an anti-odour filter in the lid. This is, of course, removable and easily replaced when necessary. (As a matter of interest, replacement filters can be bought from www.buyspares.co.uk)
Cleaning the Roto Fry is very easy now that it has a non-stick interior. This particular model has to be emptied from the top although some of the others have a draining method. My old one had this but, as the new one is much lighter, I can see no advantage and am perfectly happy the way it is.
Many people consider that fried food is very unhealthy however, when cooked properly - at the correct temperature - it is perfectly fine. Healthy chips? Cooked this way - definitely!
I hope that this will be of interest and I thank you for reading it.
Short name: DeLonghi F18304