T-Fal Actifry

7.0
7.0 score
[Editors rating (7.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (7.0)/10


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Editor rating: 7.0 / 10
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T-Fal Actifry Review Facts

If you are looking to make the fried goods without the expense, this may or may not be your best option. This fryer is something pretty to look at, but a lot of customers had issues with its price as well as with how well it worked on some of the softer items. It does have its good sides, but as always, we are cautious to recommend something that may not be the best in its line of competition.

We checked out the good and the bad, so we could bring you the honest truth when it came to this product. After all, we like our readers to be satisfied, not just grab the closest item they can find that aspires to the activity they desire. So, let us find out together what this fryer can do and what it can’t.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No preheat time
  • Good stir fry
  • Great fries
  • Easy to clean
  • Most cook in 30 minutes
  • Cool exterior
  • Non-stick
  • Recipe book
  • Cooks nuggets
Cons
  • Not good with soft foods
  • No sweet foods
  • No battered food
Features

Features

This foods fryer appliancesports a lot of supposed features, but many consumers have found them not to be as good as what is claimed. The non-stick aspect only works for salty or fatty foods, but you can’t cook anything with sugar as it won’t come clean. While it does cook fast, it does have a 99-minute timer. Unfortunately, the timer is not the way to go and you should still stay close to make sure nothing gets stuck or burned.

The automatic paddle does have its uses. It is relatively good with assuring stir-fries, fries and nuggets don’t burn. The downside is that it won’t cook without it on and thus softer foods get crushed or pulverized by the motion. You also cannot cook battered foods because the paddle actually causes the breading to slough off while cooking.

The timer also sounds better than it really is in another way- it doesn’t turn the machine off when it is over. Instead, it only lets you know that the time you set is done and from there it is up to you to make sure you turn it off. This means the machine has to have supervision through most of the process, because a lot of recipes are actually off, and it could burn or destroy your food. Thank goodness that the lid is clear for watching it though!
Accessories

Accessories

There are a few stereotypical accessories available for this particular model machine. As one might expect, there are two different grid style accessories for preparing fried foods like fries, poppers and chicken nuggets. Both of these grid-style inserts are metal, and the bowl-shaped one would make it much easier to take the food out when it is finished.

Another accessory is a plastic bowl, which according to the description makes ‘healthier fried food’, but we are as skeptical as any. There is also an additional style lid, though we are unsure why you would want or need a different lid than the one it came with, especially given that it seems to have issues with overcooking and the additional lid does not appear to be clear.

Finally, if you really need one, it does have a serving size measuring spoon you can add on to your purchase. Most of us have measuring utensils already though, so this particular extra item may be useful, but only to those who don’t already have cookware. Of course, the recipe’s in the book that comes with the fryer may be based on their own stuff, so if you want to be safe with measuring according to them, the spoon could be a good buy.
Style

Style

The machine itself is actually really nice to look at, and as long as you are only going for certain foods, it is a decent purchase. Unfortunately for as much space as it takes up, and as heavy as it is, the actual serving size is built for about 2 adults. This is kind of a let down when it comes to cooking fried meals for families which have kids.

The good news is that they did design this to have a clear lid, instead of having a black lid to match the rest of it. While it may have looked prettier otherwise, the clear lid serves a definite purpose in assuring you can keep a watchful eye on your food. It is a very pretty looking machine, but in a lot of ways, we may have preferred usefulness over appearance in this case.
Settings

Settings

When it comes to simplicity, this product really does have the area covered. The way this convenient food cooking appliance works is by setting a timer, that is literally all you do. There is no temperature setting, no pre-set time buttons, just a press and hold to set the amount of time to cook something. While this sounds great and works for microwaves, it seems a little offsetting to those of us who understand that not everything cooks at the same temp thoroughly enough to be eaten.

The reason we are a little wary is that it is supposedly great for stir-fries. With most stir-fries, you have vegetables and meat, so unless you are grabbing a premade frozen variety, this seems to be taking a lot more work. If you cook from scratch, we would recommend thawing the meat and cooking it first. It will take longer to reach the right temp to be safely edible than your vegetables will. This may be a hassle, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Durability

Durability

With most instances, this particular cooker is definitely durable. It can handle fried foods of most any kind even if the food can’t handle it. It is nonstick and easy to clean. It has a safety design to the plug and a tough outer shell. It is indeed built to last.

However, there are a few things this particular design did not account for on the durability scale. First, you do not want to accidentally burn certain foods in it. The residue wipes out most of the time, but it can end up getting stuck despite the nonstick insides. Another is that you should never cook sugary foods in it since this does stick no matter what and becomes impossible to clean.

The final issue we found is that some people have warned against not measuring the oil properly or letting the cooker go too long. The reason for this is because many of them have actually leaked the oil when these two issues are not followed. In the end, the container itself is durable, but certain aspects require exact and proper use in order to avoid damage.
Capacity

Capacity

This is a larger fryer according to the description, it takes up a lot of room on the counter or table, and it is heavy. One would think that means that it should have a larger capacity when it comes to how many servings it has to offer up when making a meal. Like other specialty machines, for instance, slow-cookers, the physical overall size is pretty deceptive to the buyer. Unfortunately, this fryer only holds about two adult servings worth of food.

You may be thinking that you can just add more, but in truth, even if it fits, the cooker is only powerful enough to cook that much altogether. Proper usage means sticking to the capacity, and in this case, if you have more than two people, it means only cooking for two at a time. So, if you want to make sure your food is hot, a good option is to make your serving part of that last batch, and don’t try to use a longer time thinking to cook more.
Use

Use

While it seems a bit self-explanatory, the truth is not all fryers are made to cook the same things, or at least they don’t all work properly for said items. This product is good for cooking frozen things, stir-fries and harder foods. That means that you want to be careful with what you put in it. Since you can only cook with the paddle going, trying softer foods is not going to be a great choice.

We have mentioned this before, but another big ‘no-no’ for this particular model is to cook anything with sugar or sticky substances. This is due to not actually having the ability to adjust the temperature. Because it is a constant temperature cooking sweet foods will result in making the device impossible to clean. The sugar, or sticky substance, will get stuck to the sides and bottom of the cooking basin and end up burning onto it.

Another thing that has been warned against is battered foods. This is due to the paddle as well because it is constantly rotating and pushing the food along the bottom, the breading will end up essentially being scraped off.
Cleaning

Cleaning

This is an area that this particular product excels in. As long as you are following the instructions, using the item appropriately, and not cooking things up that negate the nonstick side of the bowl, this item cleans super easy and super-fast. It is not dishwasher safe, however, so if that is a must, then this one is not for you.

The fryer actually comes apart completely, allowing you to separately clean the paddle, center bowl and bowl with a soft cloth and some dish soap. As long as you haven’t burned anything in the bowl (sugary or otherwise) everything wipes off and slides away with ease, allowing you to clean it in minutes. With the electronic outer shell, it is suggested that you use a very lightly dampened cloth, since getting water into the electronics can damage it.

Even though it has to be cleaned by hand, that doesn’t mean it needs a lot of effort. However, if you have burned something in your bowl it is not guaranteed you’ll be able to get it completely clean again. With this product also being nonstick, even if you do get it completely cleaned, then chances are it may not remain nonstick.
Performance

Performance

If you have read through everything, you know that if you stick to the stir-fries, French fries, and other not so soft or sticky foods, you know this machine does its job and does it well. It is easy to maintain and simple to use if not a little on the old school ‘keep an eye on things’ style of cooking.

In many ways’ buyers felt that it should have been able to do more for its cost, after all, there are many other similar products which can do more and are not as hard on the pockets. If you want longevity, simple cleaning and uncomplicated cooking methods though, this may actually be the route you’ll want to take when you decide on a fryer.
Key Features

Key Features

-Easy to use
-Looks good
-Automatic stirring paddle
-Cleans easily
-Less oil
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you are in the line up for a decent fryer, and the cost of one isn’t an issue, this could be what you want. If you don’t have a lot of people to plan for, then the capacity will fit you and the fact that it is easy to clean could make you jump for joy. However, if it is in your passion to make sweet foods, this particular model may not be an appropriate choice at all. This is for those who don’t mind hovering over their dishes while they cook, and for whom sticky foods like orange chicken and sweet snacks are not going to join the agenda.

If you also are looking for cheap as well as easy to work with, this will have to be a time where you keep on looking. This is suitable for a single person or couple who can afford the price for style and luxury, not for those who need more than just a little to tide everyone over.