We’re all looking for ways to eat healthier and keep fit and trim but it’s not always easy. After all, who wants to feast on tofu and bean sprouts all the time? For those who crave a healthy diet but don’t want to overdose on carrot sticks, here’s a solution – the ActiFry from Tefal. An air fryer with a non-stick interior for ease of cleaning, the Tefal ActiFry features a patented hot air circulation system and stirring paddle to ensure even cooking throughout. It’s equipped with features such as an audible timer, transparent lid, and dish-washable components for easy use and cleaning.
If you love chips but worry about the fat, the ActiFry lets you fry up a batch using just a smidgen of oil. And for those times when you want more, the ActiFry can also cook up curries, casseroles, risottos, stir-frys, and even desserts.
The ActiFry Technology
What is the Tefal ActiFry?
In the quest for ever healthier meals that burst with zesty flavour, the French company Tefal developed the ActiFry air fryer. Air fryers are mini ovens that use pulsed hot air to cook traditionally fried foods with as little oil as possible. The hot air circulates around the interior ensuring all over cooking as an automatic paddle continually stirs the food to ensure a tantalising crisp evenness.
Convenient, Clean and User-Friendly
The Tefal ActiFry is a compact unit ideal for placing on a counter-top. Designed for convenience and hands-off use, it uses a timer with an alarm to set cooking times.
Operating the ActiFry is simple. The controls are just a start button, two buttons to adjust the time and a digital display that tells you how much time is left. Just set the timer and you’re done. The unit delivers a constant cooking temperature of 338-degree Fahrenheit so there’s no need to fuss with complex settings. To prepare a batch of chips, simply put the sliced chips into the pan, sprinkle a pinch of oil over them, close the unit, set the timer for 30 minutes and wait while the machine works its magic.
While its main selling point is its ability to cook up a batch of tasty chips using just one teaspoonful of oil, the ActiFry can actually do much more. It is in fact very versatile. It can handle all kinds of food items from seafood to fruit. Also, you can use any kind of oil, including fragrant and healthy olive, rapeseed, or coconut oils, for example. And as the oil is only used once, you don’t get that nasty burned stench that you can get with deep fat fryers.
Easy usage is the hallmark of the Tefal ActiFry. No need to warm up, the unit’s ready to go when you are. It features an audible timer that counts down and alerts you know when your meal is ready. No need to stand around watching it, you can get on with other tasks in the meantime. The timer has a maximum setting of 99 minutes with most dishes taking 30 minutes or less to prepare.
For items such as meat, cooking time will depend on the quantity and cut. Obviously the thicker the cut, the longer you’ll need to cook it. You can check the progress through the transparent lid and set the timer for a few more minutes if you like your meat very tender.
One more feature of the Tefal ActiFry is the automatic lid. If you want to add seasoning or other ingredients during the cooking process, pop the lid and the heating pauses. Close the lid and it starts up again.
The body of the unit is cool to the touch in operation which other than enhancing safety, helps keep your kitchen cool too. The lid, however, tends to get hot in operation so you do need to be careful.
Everyone needs to switch things up from time to time so you’ll be pleased to know each model of ActiFry comes with its own recipe book. For those moments when you yearn for a spicy Chicken Tikka Masala, Madagascan Beef Tenderloin, or crisp dish of Chinese stir fry vegetables, just open your recipe book for full instructions on how to prepare these meals with minimum fuss and mess.
The ActiFry Model Line
The ActiFry line comprises 5 models – the ActiFry Original, the ActiFry Original 1.2kg, the ActiFry Express XL, the ActiFry 2in1and the ActiFry Smart XL differ in terms of size, while the ActiFry 2 in 1 offers enhanced functionality. Here’s a closer look at each one:
ActiFry Original – Available in black or white, this is the basic model able to cook up to 1kg of chips which should be enough for 4 diners. It can also rustle up stews, casseroles, curries and other tasty meals.
ActiFry Original 1.2kg – If you need something larger, this grey model can prepare up to 1.2kg of crisp, golden chips along with a range of casseroles, stews and risottos. Just check the included recipe book for inspiration to feed up to five diners.
ActiFry Express XL – With a clean white finish, the ActiFry Express XL is Tefal’s model for big families who like their foods tasty, healthy, and on the table fast. With its bowl approaching a wok in size, this model can fry up food to feed six hungry mouths.
ActiFry 2in1 – This model expands your cooking options by including two cooking areas in one unit. Use the main pan to cook up sides as usual and pop some steaks, burgers, chicken wings, or whatever mains you desire, onto the cooking tray that fits above. That way, they’ll cook nicely together. The display for this model features icons for steak, chicken, fish, etc. Just choose the appropriate one to set the appropriate cooking time for each type of food.
One issue for consumers involves energy use – specifically, does the Tefal ActiFry use a lot of electricity? The fact is, that they're relatively energy efficient with an electricity consumption of 1400W. To give you an example of what this means, cooking 1kg of chips for 40 minutes will consume around 1 kilowatt. It also benefits from being thermostatically controlled which cuts off power from time to time when the unit is operating at optimum temperature, this avoids overheating which can only be a good thing.
Another issue shoppers ask about is whether the Tefal ActiFry is dishwasher safe. The main body should just be wiped down. But the unit disassembles for easy cleaning and the lid, bowl and paddle can be popped safely into the dishwasher.
The Advantages and Disadavantages of the Tefal ActiFry
Cooks up all kinds of food with just a spoonful of oil.
No need to preheat which results in a cooler kitchen, energy savings, and faster food preparation.
Great for busy people unable to spend too much time in the kitchen.
No need to fuss with settings and control. Just push the button and wait for ding that tells you your meal is ready.
Easy to clean with dishwasher-ready components and a non-stick finish.
The clear lid lets you see exactly what’s going on.
It comes with a handy measuring spoon which is stored within the device.
When the time is up, the timer beeps but doesn’t turn the unit off. That means you have to stay alert to switch the machine off.
As it’s a stir fryer, you’ll have to cut up any meat into strips or cubes. If you want to prepare steaks you can use the ActiFry 2 in 1 which features a separate tray for larger items.
Softer food items can get crushed by the paddle.
Elaborate meals will take careful planning as the ingredients require varied cooking times. This results in a learning curve.
The unit works best with full batches. Smaller volumes of food tend to get churned rather than rotated by the paddle.
If you’re looking for an appliance that can cook fried, yet healthy dishes fast, the ActiFry is a solid choice. It comes in a range of sizes to suit most households and the 2 in 1 model lets you cook an entire quickly and efficiently. It’s also easy to use, cool and quiet in operation and a breeze to clean. If you want to use it cook more complex dishes, though, you may need to invest some time in learning how best to do it with the Tefal ActiFry.
Tefal ActiFry Offers at HotUKDeals
You’ll find the full range of ActiFry models at great prices at all the major UK vendors. In the period leading up to Christmas and especially before and during the Black Friday sales in late November, you can pick up some real bargains. Another good time to buy is early in the year from the January Sales until March, and again in June/July when kitchen appliances are promoted as wedding gifts. To stay in the loop and get fast access to the best and latest offers, keep checking right here at HotUKDeals. We gather all the hottest bargains in one place for your convenience and to ensure you get the utmost value.