Tefal Actifry

I was sent a Tefal Actifry to review and I have to say that when Garden Dad saw it, he was almost hopping on one foot with excitement. The truth is that he is a man easily pleased by a bowl of tasty, crispy chips.

According to the recipe book that came with the Actifry, it can ‘make 1kg of golden, crispy chips with only a single spoonful of oil.’ We have 3 children so chips do make it onto the menu relatively frequently and having a healthy means of making our own chips is a real bonus. And no-one was disappointed. They weren’t quite on a par with ‘chip shop chips’ and I’m a Lancashire Lass so have tasted the best, but they were much better than your average oven chip and given how much healthier they are than ‘chip shop chips’ I know which I would rather be feeding my family on a regular basis.

However, whilst Garden Dad is contented with a bowl of tasty chips, the Tefal Actifry is quite a large appliance and to justify its place on my kitchen worksurface it has to be able to do much more than just chips. I selected a number of the recipes that came included and which I felt my family would enjoy (I was tempted by the Kangaroo Medallians but wasn’t sure where I would find a kangaroo) and served them up for scrutiny last week. Every recipe was a success.

I served up;

Chicken drumsticks with garlic, lemon and coriander

Light ham and pea risotto

Fried meatballs

and of course the chips

There were a few areas where the Actifry really proved itself useful. I cannot usually make a succesful risotto. It is just not possible for me to stand at the hob and keep stirring. I will inevitabley have to leave to break up a squabble, change a nappy, kiss a hurt finger or take a toddler to the toilet. But the Actifry does the stirring for you and consequently the risotto, usually a complete disaster, was possibly one of the easiest meals I have ever cooked. Meatballs fried in a pan, also require a lot of attention but in the Actfiry could be left to themselves.

The Actifry is also very easy to clean. The pan and all the removable parts are dishwasher safe, with the main unit requiring only a quick wipe with soapy water. I would much rather pop the Actifry in the dishwasher than clean out my oven after cooking chicken drumsticks or similar meals. And of course, everything we cooked used the minimum amount of oil so we were eating healthy every night.

I have been really impressed with the quality and taste of the food and the ease of cooking with the Actifry. The only critiscism’s I have are that the timer does not beep loudly enough. The Actifry itself makes a noise and with the addition of a washing machine going and three children playing I actually failed to hear the beeper on a couple of occassions. I have since started setting my oven timer as well. It is also quite large so storage could be a problem if you have a small kitchen. However, it cooks a versatile range of meals and as such will definitely be used frequently in our house so does justify its space on the worksurface.

The only question is ‘What shall I cook next?’ and if the recipe booklet included doesn’t provide enough inspiration then there are more to be found on the tefal website here.