Tefal Actifry Deep Fat Fryer

Tefal Actifry FZ7000 Deep Fat Fryer






The Tefal ActiFry is not technically a deep fat fryer as you don't immerse the food in hot oil. In fact it only requires a single spoonful of oil to cook a 1kg bag of chips.

It performs this cooking miracle by a combination of hot air circulation and a little automatic stirring from a small rotating paddle located in the middle of the pan. Think food mixer meets hair dryer and you'll have an idea on how it works.

The Actifry's approach has some obvious advantages. Firstly, since the volume of cooking oil involved is so small it is very economical. All the oil is absorbed into the food during each fry, so you are cooking with fresh oil each time. You don't have to worry about cooking with previously used oil.

This also eliminates the problem of disposing of the used oil. In fact, when compared to a conventional deep fat fryer, the Actifry should be able to pay for itself outright in reduced cooking oil costs over time.

With no large chamber of oil to heat up you can start cooking immediately. There is no pre-heat stage required. (This advantage is somewhat lessened by the longer cooking times, as we will see later)

Of course no fryer is perfect and the Actifry is no exception. Deep fry purists will argue that since the food is not immersed in hot oil the Actify is not a deep fat fryer. The end results can be very good, but they do not have exactly the same taste and texture as true deep fried foods. If you're a deep fry connoisseur the Actifry might fall short of your expectations.

The food and oil are combined by means of a slowly rotating paddle. A sort of horizontal version of a tumble dryer. For this to work smoothly the food needs to be cut up into reasonably small pieces and must be able to withstand the constant churning. This is fine for things like potatoes but fragile items, such as flaky fish, quickly disintegrate. Also, anything dipped in batter is not really a option either.

If you want the economy and health benefits of reduced oil use, but also need to fry large or fragile items a good compromise might be the DeLonghi F18316S Roto Fryer.

Cooking times are much longer than a conventional deep fat fryer. For example, basic chips can take 30-40 minutes. If you're used to frying things quickly, the Actify will require some adjusting. The good news is you can set it running with the timer and continue with other things. We don't recommend leaving it unattended, but you don't have to stand and watch over it continuously. Be aware that the timer does not shut off the fryer automatically. You have to switch it off manually.

Pros:
  • No pre-heating before use.
  • Little oil used so healthier and more economical.
  • The taste of chips and wedges is comparable to that of a conventional deep fat fryer.
  • Easy to clean. Dishwasher safe.
  • Reduced cooking odors.
  • Low fire hazard.

Cons:
  • Compared to a deep fat fryer cooking is slow. Almost everything takes about 40 minutes.
  • An electric fan is used to circulate hot air. Can be noisy.
  • The timer signal is barely audible against the drone of the fan.
  • The timer does not automatically turn off the fryer. Cooking continues until you turn it off manually.
  • You can't cook delicate items or foods covered in batter.
  • The small plastic clips which hold the lid down frequently break.
  • Has some reliability issues.
  • Expensive.

Overall the Tefal ActiFry has a clever design and frugal use of cooking oil will appeal to many home cooks, especially those that like to eat fried foods often. The absence of a large volume of hot oil provides a good safety margin and also keeps cooking odours to a minimum. Clean up is straightforward as the Actifry comes apart easily and can be placed in the dishwasher.


Useful Links:
Tefal ActiFry (FZ7000) Web Site
FZ7000 Filter Kit
FZ7000 Spare Parts

Tags: deep fat fryer, tefal, tefal actify,