I tend to ignore it when a new kitchen accessory comes out which claims to revolutionise the way people will cook, but one such device refuses to fade into obscurity- the Tefal Actifry. They have been around for a number of years now, but have gained popularity over the last couple of years thanks to TV programmes like Channel 5’s The Gadget Show showcasing its talents. We got our hands on one to see if the Actifry lives up to its billing.
The main selling point is that it claims to be able to cook up to 1kg of Chips with only 1 spoonful of oil, so essentially it is a healthier version of a deep fat fryer. Chips with only 3% fat, surely there is a catch? No! In fact, the headline doesn’t do the Actifry enough justice. What we found most impressive is that frozen chips can be cooked without any oil and will still get the same crispness you’d expect from a deep fat fryer.
Not only is the Actifry an expert chip fryer, it can also stir fry veg, meat, fish and even caramelise fruit. I seasoned a couple of chicken breasts and threw them straight in, and half an hour later, as if by magic I had succulent fried chicken. The Actifry has a clear cover so all you have to do is look in from time to time, and the inbuilt mixing arm stirs the food which made my job almost redundant. I say almost because unfortunately it doesn’t have the ability to clean itself (darn it!) but they have made the task as painless as possible with a removable ceramic coated pan that takes little effort to wipe down. As you can probably tell, I hate cleaning, so I can’t say I enjoyed the experience but compared to other gadgets in my kitchen that haven’t seen daylight in years (read George Foreman Grill), it is a doddle.
This may sound like an infomercial but it is hard for me to find anything negative to say about this device. Some may gawk at a starting price of nearly £200, but when you think of the convenience and the amount you could save in oil and takeaways, it’s an easy sell. The local chippy should be very afraid if the Tefal Actifry becomes an essential household gadget. Perfect chips in 25 minutes? Yes please, and no pickled eggs in sight.
We tested the Tefal Actifry Family, available from www.tefalactifry.co.uk priced £249.99