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Ideal World got in touch and offered me a choice of products for review in tine for Easter. Kitchen gadgets, all designed to make life a little easier in the kitchen and this is what I chose.
It is of course a Tefal Actifry and the family express XL version. I have been considering an Actifry for a while and so was thrilled to be finally getting one to test out. I love home made chips (who doesn't?) but I hate deep fat criers and even more so chip pans. I consider both to be dangerous, especially so when young children are around. Add to that, it's an unhealthy way to cook and they stink and also get very dirty over time. Actifry is so much different to deep fat friers.
The Tefal Actifry comes ready to use straight out of the box, literally no assembly and the instructions are very straightforward. The green latch in the picture above opens up the unit lid, which then reveals a large removeable cooking bowl.
This bowl contains a paddle which is also removeable and this helps to cook to food evenly.
Well I really couldn't wait to try this out. The Actifry only needs one or even half a spoonful of oil to make chips. A measuring spoon is included. Othe foods such as chicken need no oil at all when cooked in the Actifry.
So first thing to do was to cut up some potatoes into chips. Now although I love home made chips, I am slightly out of practice at doing them, so I am hoping that with time and practice my chip cutting skills will improve. For now tho these will do ha.
A little misshaped but all ending up in the same place anyway I suppose.
I found the Actifry very easy to use. It's a simple case of adding the chips, or other foods. Then a minuscule amount of oil using the spoon. A guide leaflet comes with it explaining how much oil needs to be used. Then just plug in and set the timer for the desired cooking time. For potato chips it's approximately 25-30 minutes depending on quantity of chips.
It does make a noise whilst cooking but nothing too loud. The lid is also see through so I can even watch the food cooking if I wish. The paddle rotates the chips around the bowl so that the cooking is even on each one. I made this little vide of the chip cooking in process,
Whist food is cooking I can get on with the rest of the meal or other things because once the timer has ended the Actifry will stop. The size of the Family Express XL allows for a whole lot of food to be cooked at once. I thought I had made way too many chips for the four of us, but when placed in the unit it looked quite empty and it even turned out that there was too many chips for us anyway. It has a large 1.5Kg capacity.
I was very impressed with using the Tefal Actifry for the first time. Is ease of use allowed me to cook some great tasting home made chips rather than the usual shop bought oven ones. The chips came out a lovely golden colour and despite the slight odd misshaped they tasted lovely with a bit of salt and vinegar. My kids all loved them and they made an amazing chip butty for me too.
25 minutes seemed to be spot on for cooking these. They were all cooked evenly and cooked just right, no burnt bits and no awful undercooked potato.
The Actifry Express is so much more than just a chip cooker too. It can cook many other things. Most things that need frying or grilling can be cooked more healthier in this. Foods such as chicken, fish, sausages, meats and even fruit can be done. It can even make sauces and curries as oil does not always need to be added. I have only had mine just over a week so am still getting the hang of cooking with it. It's certainly 100 times better and safer than a chip pan or a deep fat fryer in the home.
It needs no preheating either unlike an oven or some fryers meaning cooker is also quicker. The unit is fitted with an odourless filter and as new oil is added each time it's used, it means there is no nasty odour of oil, fat or old burnt foods.
Once used, and cooled down, the bowl is easily removed for washing. It is dishwasher safe and can also be washed with soap and water, dried and ready for next time.
It's slight downside is that it's quite heavy (without food) and is slightly bulky in size for keeping on a work top. It will fit in my cupboards tho and I do have a little hideaway space under my high cupboards where it fits snuggly.
This is well worth an investment for a family who wants to eat more healthily and may come in very useful for losing the pounds after all the Easter chocolate. RRP £179.99. Buy directly from Ideal World TV where you will also see all the other products on offer. They even offer a flexi-pay option giving the option to pay in low monthly installments.