One of the very fun things about being a food blogger is trying out cool kitchen products. T-Fal Actifry sent me one of their low-oil “frying” kitchen appliances to try out, which I was happy to do. We love French fries, and this machine was supposed to make delicious ones without much oil and no deep-frying. I was willing to give it a go!
Instead of a vegetable oil, which I don’t use, I melted a tablespoon of coconut oil to “fry” my fries. They emerged from the machine crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The only strange thing? They had a completely different flavor profile than regular fried ones. They were sweeter, and the potato flavor came out more. My family really liked them, despite the difference.
The potatoes were a success. But what about the machine? Here are some pros and cons.
- Easy to use: This machine is very simple to use! Just throw in a little oil (about 1 tablespoon per dish) and the rest of your ingredients and it is ready to roll.
- It uses heated air to cook, kind of like a convection oven. No microwave waves here!
- Fairly multi-use: While the advertisement concentrates on making healthy homemade French fries with an Actifry, you actually can make a pretty wide variety of dishes in it. Stir-fries are one yummy and healthy option, for example.
- Self-stir feature: This machine has a sort of paddle that continually stirs the ingredients for you. I LOVE this.
- It does take up a lot of space. I have a small kitchen, and a fair amount of kitchen gadgets already, so I just couldn’t fit this in my cupboard and had to store it in my basement. Those with small kitchens and no basements, beware.
- It is expensive. If you are on a tight budget, this isn’t a super frugal machine. (It's about $200.)
- Plastic, plastic, plastic! While I appreciate that they use a more natural “nonstick” material on the pan with the use of a ceramic-coated pan (PTFE- and PFOA-free), the outer lid and the inner paddle are made of plastic. Plastic and heat are not something I personally mix, and the plastic does get warm/hot while cooking with it. This was my biggest concern.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.