I have always secretly wanted a fryer so when I was asked to try out Tefal’s new Actifry with snacking accessory I was more than happy to oblige. I had naively thought I would be whipping up fresh doughnuts but this is a healthy fryer which ‘air fries’ food with a lot less fat. No doughnuts then…The Tefal Actifry with snacking accessory has the addition of a basket which holds food statically in the machine rather than being stirred by the paddle.
Once I got over the disappointment of the doughnuts, not that I should be eating them anyway, I tried out making home made goujons, pasties and samosas… all for a fraction of the normal fat that they would contain. In fact most of the recipes did not require any extra fat to be added.
The Tefal actifry was very easy to set up, it has a 1 litre capacity main bowl and paddle which turns food as it is cooking. The snacking accessory is a wire mesh basket which allows more delicate foods to sit in the basket and be cooked without the paddle turning it. This is ideal for delicate pastry items and items covered in, for instance, breadcrumbs.
So suffice to say I have been making pasties, panko coated chicken goujons, goats cheese stuffed samosas, feta cheese filo pastries and gluten free chicken drumsticks that my son said reminded him of, dare I say it, KFC! Considering he hasn’t been able to eat it for the last seven years I consider that a huge achievement!
Using the paddle I also made some great homemade chips that were ‘supposedly’ healthy tasting better than any oven chips I have had before. Just a tablespoon of oil was needed.
The chicken goujons took just 15 minutes to cook in the Actifry but I found the chicken drumsticks took 30-35 minutes rather than the suggested 15 minutes in the snacking recipe leaflet.
We have really enjoyed the pastry and breaded items that have been cooked using the Tefal Actfry with Snacking accessory. I have enjoyed the ease of making breaded chicken items such as the drumsticks, I did spray them with oil to give them some extra moisture as I feel that some of the items have been a little dry.
The machine makes a little noise while it is doing it’s thing but nothing intrusive. There is a timer which goes off at the end of cooking time, this is a little quiet and you must be aware that the actifry does not stop cooking until it is switched off. This could be a problem if you get sidetracked so back up with another timer. I also feel that the basket (the fryer has a 1kg capacity) is a little small for our family. It was large enough for four chicken drumsticks so took several whirls to make enough for a family of six.
As well as making fabulous chips I have been really impressed with the features of the Actifry in general and was amazed to make Granola in 8 minutes! No more watching over oats…
The Actifry is going to take up precious worktop space, and it is not cheap, currently £199.00 from Ideal World but it does appear to have endless options from stir fries and risottos to frozen chips, fresh chips, vegetables and of course with the snacking accessory even more. If you are going to be making lots of pastry based ‘picky bits’ and breaded chicken gluten free, or not, then this is a great little gadget, not just for chips, that is worthy of the space it takes up!
Disclosure: I was sent the Tefal Actifry with snacking accessory, however all opinions are my own.