I am a sucker for technology. I have a kitchen full of gadgets; cupboards brimming with ‘thingamies’ for this and ‘whatdoyacallits’ for that – but let’s be honest, very few of these things live up to the hype.
My boys despise oven chips and I really hate frying. The idea of a few litres of bubbling oil within my home scares the bejesus out of me – and the smell permeates through the house, despite having the windows open and the extractor fan on. I love the idea of the Tefal Actifry. Who wouldn’t?! Healthy, fried chips. It’s the stuff that dreams are a made of in my world! But I have learnt to be sceptical of such wonders; the ‘over promise and under deliver’ of advertising has stung me badly previously.
But I asked around and my oldest friend immediately came back to me. She and her husband love theirs. In fact, they loved theirs so much that they took it to their home in France and upgraded to the family size Actifry for more regular use.
So now that I’m trying to make healthier choices *waves brand new gym membership* we decided to get one. A few clicks saw me reserve one at our local Argos and we collected it the following day.
I have to be honest, the £150 price tag did trouble me – but knowing that we would all be safer without the large quantities of hot oil quelled my worries.
The new family size Actifry is attractive, the grey and black colour way coordinates well in our kitchen.
It claims to have a 1.5kg capacity – which I was incredibly suspicious of. As a family with three teenage boys as well as a little one, we do need to cook large quantities of food and when we fried our chips (which was about once a month) we had to do it in two batches. But given that I was meant to be giving this a thorough test (and as it takes 45 minutes to cook chips) I decided to put in an entire 1.5kg bag of frozen chips from Aldi (just £1, an absolute bargain)
At this point, I was convinced that we’d made a mistake. The nonstick ceramic pan was full as I poured the oil over. I imagined that as the rotating paddle moved round, the chips on the top wouldn’t cook properly (you know how with oven chips some are dry and over cooked yet some are pale and uncooked?)
I switched the Actifry on, pressed the ‘+’ button until the display showed 45 minutes then closed the lid and waited…
I returned after 23 minutes to check progress. And boy, was I surprised! The chips looked delicious, they were glistening on the edges and starting to colour. I was also pleased to see that the pan capacity WAS indeed large enough to feed a family of 6 and the paddle was rotating without a struggle.
I was also happy with how quiet the Actifry was (I did record it at this point but unfortunately our washing machine was on a spin), it’s certainly not intrusive. It’s akin to a fan heater, maybe not even that loud.
Another 20 minutes past and as my husband was plating up our veggie burgers and salad, I returned to check progress.
The colour of the chips was very impressive and they tasted lovely, maybe not 100% a ‘chippy chip’ taste, but certainly rivalling home fried chips – and crucially for my boys, a world away from oven chips.
And there was still no odour of frying!
I have to admit, I am sold! Tefal Actifry is a genius product and now I’m keen to try the other recipes from the book that was included on the app.