What is an Actifry – and should I purchase one?
I recently shared on my Instagram that I had been chosen by Home Tester Club to review the Tefal Actifry Genius XL, which is a large air fryer designed to be able to cook for 6-8 people.
For those of you unfamiliar, Home Tester Club is an online community of people who help to test various products. It is very simple to sign up to become a product reviewer. For each home test which you apply for, you are required to answer a quick survey in order to establish if you are the right candidate to test a product.
If you are a good match, the product is then sent to your home, where you use it for around 2 weeks in your daily life. Simply use, and then write an honest review about the product which you have received.
I already had a Tower air fryer previously, which we used to make chips with very little oil, and have always wanted a Tefal Actifry, but the cost at upwards of £200 was more than enough to convince me that another brand would suffice.
But, boy was I incorrect.
What exactly can an Actifry do?
The Actifry Genius XL currently retails at £269.99 (Cheapest cost from Argos.co.uk as of 31st May 2020), while other versions of the Actifry come at a similar price tag.
The range and depth of what you can cook with the Actifry went far beyond my expectations of having real restaurant-style chips.
The cooker has 9 different programme settings, allowing you to cook meats, veggies and even whole dishes such as curries or stir frys.
Tefal also have an app which is available to download on both Apple and Android systems, and includes amazing recipes which can be replicated easily using the Actifry.
What are my favourite dishes to make?
Of course, it is amazing to be able to cook low calorie chips and potato wedges. The Actifry comes with a handy oil spoon, which allows you to measure out the correct amount according to the instructions. Despite this, I have found that you can also cook with low calorie sprays – such as Frylight, which allow you to have chips and wedges which are “Slimming World friendly”, as I follow the Slimming World Extra Easy Plan.
This being said, my favourite things to cook in the Actifry are:
- Nandos Style Chicken – it is so easy to have a Nandos fakeaway using the Actifry. Simply set to the correct programme (Programme 6 in this case), put your chicken in either in chunks or as whole breasts, drumsticks, etc., add seasoning or sauce – and GO. It takes 20-25 minutes to get the perfect Nandos chicken.
- Roast Potatoes! – If you’re like me, it’s really hard to get all the elements of a roast dinner into the tiny oven space, so we boil the potatoes, fluff them up and bang them into the air fryer for around 15 minutes – spraying with oil or low calorie spray every now and again. It is perfect as you can add things as you go, without creating a mess – for example garlic and rosemary, some butter, or even some other veggies.
Are there any cons?
Aside from what I had mentioned before about the cost of the product, the only real con is the mess that the Actifry makes, if you add dry herbs and spices.
The Actifry Genius XL is not air tight – because instead of having a large vent like some other air fryers at the back, the Actifry allows the ingredients and air space to circulate . For this reason, Tefal have left a small gap between the ceramic pan and the lid of the fryer.
This is not a real issue – however, one thing to be aware of is that if the products inside are not wet or oily, the dry herbs and spices can get through the gaps.
The mess is not severe, but the Actifry does get some bits around it after cooking in this way, so I have to wipe around and below it when I use it.
To summarise, I believe the Actifry Genius XL is a brilliant product, and perfect for anybody looking to up their cooking game, or who just doesn’t have enough oven space to be able to cook everything.
It is quite a hefty investment, but if you are entirely sure you want an air fryer, I recommend this highly above the other brands that I have tried out.