Healthier frying from the Tefal ActiFry Plus

Healthier chips! That’s the promise from Tefal, which has recently launched the latest version of its number one selling kitchen appliance, the Actifry.


Now, I’m always a bit wary of kitchen gadgets – in most houses (even in ours where I’m always experimenting in the kitchen) they get used a couple of times and then are relegated to the back of a dusty cupboard, until they are donated to the charity shop. However, the Actifry seems to have hit a nerve with the cooking public.

Perhaps the lure of healthy chips is the key to its success. Chips can be cooked from frozen without oil – and using fresh potatoes, you need use only a spoonful of oil. The latest version of the device – the Actifry Plus – offers chips that are 20% healthier than those produced by the original model if that’s important to you..

The Actifry Plus can cater for around four to five people (while the original and the Family models cater for fewer and more hungry mouths). The device comes in black or white and has its own recipe book (if you buy the black model, this comes on a USB stick).

So, for a grand price of £204.99, what does the Actifry Plus offer that your average frying pan doesn’t? Well, its main selling point is, I guess that it can cook without oil (or with very little), and that you can create all kinds of dishes, whether you’re doing sausages for the kids or making something a bit more complicated, such as a curry or stir fry – and that it doesn’t need any mixing, stirring or shaking – as the patented rotating mixing paddle does this for you.

So how does it cut down on the oil usage? Hot air is the answer. It blows hot air on your food, sounding, apparently, a bit like a hairdryer.

At one time I might have scoffed that anyone didn’t have time to stir a stir fry, but sometimes, when I’m trying to fix small son’s racing track, cook dinner, keep an eye on an email I’m expecting, avoid stepping on a kitten and listen to how my other half’s day at work went, also having to stir the dinner can be a step too far – my many burnt saucepans are testament to that!

Plus the device’s bowl comes out and can be washed in the dishwasher, AND it cuts down on grease buildup in the kitchen, so that’s another cleaning job sorted.

However, whether I would pay out more than two hundred quid for the convenience is another matter. Anyone who reads my reviews will know I am a bit of a skinflint, and hate paying out for anything unnecessary, but if I did have a spare two hundred pounds, I might just give the ActiFry a chance.