01.Tefal ActiFry FZ7000
Cooking capacity 1 kg
Dimensions (mm, H x W x D) 215 x 420 x 310
The TEFAL ActiFry cooks food with hot air and minimal oil, claiming to make crunchy fried chips with fewer calories. The recipe booklet lists recipes for crunchy stir-fried veggies, nuggets, meats, fish and even fruit desserts.
We tested it in 2008 and the same model is still available. Our test followed two listed recipes: chips and apple wedges. We cooked a kilogram of potato chips with one spoonful of vegetable oil (using the 14 ml spoon that comes with the ActiFry), and apple wedges with two spoonfuls of oil.
The chips were very good. They weren’t greasy, were golden brown, crisp with fluffy centres and had an oven-baked taste — not like a fried chip. The apple wedges were good with golden, non greasy and soft on the outside with crisp centres.
The chips took 45 minutes to cook — about the same as when baking them in an oven. Most recipes listed can be done on the stove or in an oven with similar results.
The ActiFry’s soft-touch controls are easy to use and are clearly labelled. Its digital timer is easily set, however it doesn’t switch off the appliance when the time’s up, it just beeps. The cooking parts are dishwasher safe, and are easy to remove and replace. Food can occasionally get stuck on the lid ledge during cooking, but you can open the lid to manipulate food. And it can be noisy because of the fan.
The ActiFry is a healthier alternative to a deep fryer, however it’s expensive, it takes up a fair bit of bench space, and you can get the same result in an oven using just as little oil.