Product Type: Tefal fryers
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Fry you chips but ditch the fat!
Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer
Member Name: siberian-queen
Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer
Advantages: frying made healthier
Disadvantages: none for me
Oven chips are healthier as they are not cooked in fat just baked in the oven with the fat needed to cook them already being in the chips when you buy them. These I find are fine but they do miss that home cooked feel and can be a little bland unless you add different seasonings.
Chips done in the deep fat fryers are much more crunchy and golden however as fried in fat much less healthy even if you soak out the excess fat onto kitchen roll.
Bearing this in mind and the fact that I adore potatoes from our local farm shop, I can buy a large sack bag for £7 or half bag for £3 which is fantastic as they are dug up straight from the fields and the bag is recyclable! Making it so much cheaper and tastier than the supermarkets, we decided to buy an acti-fry.
We searched around and found the best price at the time was our comet store (prior to them closing business) where we purchased our version for £149.00
The acti-fry comes in a choice of black or white (mine is black) and a variety of sizes 1kg, 1.2kg 1.5kg, 2kg (I think this is only available in the US).
Prices range from £140 - £220 but look out for bargains in stores and on the internet as mine was supposed to be £180.
The bottom of the fryer is solid in colour with a silver rim around the middle and then the clear plastic lid on the top. At the front is a handle, which fits neatly in line with the base once the lid is closed and pops out with the touch of a button placed to the side of it. On the other side of the handle is the button to raise the lid.
Most of the fryer is a circular shape but at the back is a piece that curves out and I assume encloses some of the inner workings of the machine. On the top is the LCD screen, which is your timer, set by a small button to the right and to the left is the on/off button.
I like the symmetrical appearance of the buttons and how the top two are neat and compact. Whilst the two at the front are large in comparison as they sit flush with the machines base they give a clean finish.
Another neat feature is the small symbols on the top and middle indicating that you only need one spoon of oil, just in case you forget. Wondering how much "one spoon" is? Fret not they give you a tiny spoon! There are also little pictures of other foods that can be cooked such as onion rings.
The actual measurements of my fryer are 8 inches height, 13 inches width, and 16 inches length. It may not be tiny but it is small enough to sit on my worktop all the time. I use mine for a variety of foods and most days so it is pointless putting it away. Should you wish to though it is fairly light if using two hands and is easy to grab hold of.
I am no master chef I admit but I do like to try and prefer to make meals myself rather than ready made if possible.
My main use for the fryer is potatoes, which I make into chips and some times makes small roast potatoes too.
Sausages cook well in it too and develop a nice golden crunchy skin but not however vegetarian ones! They just turn to mush.
Fish because of its size only small pieces are able to be cooked and fish finger sadly assume the same fate as veggie sausages.
Onion rings and vegetables like peppers are easy and with a timer and the clear lid it is difficult to over cook things.
If you do find yourself stuck for ideas the fryer goes with a tiny usb stick in the shape of a spoon! This gives you a few things to try and I am definitely checking out the website for more incentive. There are also some cookbooks specifically for these types of machines now available on www.Amazon.co.uk
The fact the lid does not steam up is a big bonus to me, not only does this mean you can clearly see what is cooking and how done it is, but it helps to reduce the risk of you burning yourself. That said you can open you fryer lid in the middle of cooking - very handy for forgotten things or adding spices and ingredients, but I would be careful if in the reach of small children who could accidently open it as it is still a hot object. An option to be able to lock it maybe good.
The handle is quite sturdy personally I would like to feel it was a bit stronger. I only say this as when full with food it just feels a bit heavy for the handle to take that said it has never given way.
The pan for cooking your food is virtually the size of the base unit, give or take an inch, and so provides plenty of cooking space for your food. It comes with a slightly lower edge opposite the handle so you can tip out food effectively. The unique idea with these types of fryers is that they have a mixer part in the middle which rotates the food around on the inside ensuring that all are cooked pretty much equally rather than sitting in fat the entire time.
My machine cooks enough for one meal say sausage and chips or two portions of chips.
****LETS GET DOWN TO CLEANING****
The ease of cleaning for this product is great. The pan is a non-stick pan making it simple and easy to clean after each use.
At first I was wondering how to clean the mixer part but fear not they have thought of that, it comes apart. With a simple push and pull the mixer detaches from the pan and can be washed. The lid can be detached from the base unit with a simple lift of a switch for accessible cleaning. I wash mine by hand but it is dishwasher proof too.
I do tend to give the fine wire grill at the back of the pan on the inside a quick wipe with a damp cloth as it builds up with small particles of fried chips otherwise. This can be done on the inside of the machine base also.
On the outside a damp cloth is plenty.
I find my fryer overall well worth the money. I use it most days for part of my cooking and find it to be versatile in what you can cook.
www.tfalactifry.com will also give you plenty more information about the product and it's uses. Plus there are hundreds of recipes you would not believe the things you can cook in it! How about fried bananas!
Machines are available from a variety of places such as www.Amazon.co.uk www.EBay.co.uk Tesco, Curry's and Argos.
Summary: A frying machine without all the extra fat
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