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Read Mumsnet users feedback on the Tefal Actifry

(34 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Feb-19 11:06:32

This is the feedback thread for the 25 testers who tried out the Tefal Actifry Genius XL (RRP: £269.99). Testers used the Actifry in their normal cooking routine and could also try out some of the recipes that came with the product.

Here’s what Tefal have to say about the product: “The latest air fryer, ActiFry Genius XL has 9 automatic programmes that adjust the temperature, cooking time and stirring motion accordingly. The 9 programmes include chips, rolls, breaded snacks, meat & vegetable balls, battered snacks, chicken, desserts, a world cuisine and ‘1-meal-in-1 go’ programme, where you can add all the ingredients at the same time and let ActiFry Genius XL do the work. Using only 1 spoon of oil, enjoy various delicious meals with little to no oil. As UK’s leading low-fat fryer brand. ActiFry uses revolutionary Dual Motion technology to circulate hot air while continuously stirring the food, achieving perfect results without the need to stop or shake. Thanks to its non-stick and dishwasher safe parts, it is a breeze to clean.”

Testers please answer the following questions:
- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

Selected testers will be required to leave their feedback on a thread on Mumsnet and on the Tefal website. All testers who leave the required feedback will be entered into a prize draw where 3 MNers will win a £100 voucher (each) of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!
MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

Mindfulofmuddle Fri 15-Feb-19 11:50:35

Thank you for choosing me to test the Actifry, it was a great product to test!

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
I really like the look of the Actifry. It is a modern design and easy to monitor what you’re cooking without having to open it. It is quite a large and heavy piece of kitchen equipment but if you cook items in one layer, as suggested in the instructions, you would have to do it in batches for a family bigger than 4. I think it is very good quality, and it is easy to clean after use. It is fairly straightforward to use, but I don’t think the instructions are brilliant. I worked things out more by trial and error than poring through the documental guidance.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
The recipes in the recipe book were written really clearly and were easy to follow. The App is a great idea but the recipes on there were very hit and miss in terms of their accuracy and some of them were odd! I made The Real Chips from the recipe book, which turned out great although took longer to cook than was suggested. I also made the Kentucky Style Chicken from the App - I followed the recipe from the App but used chicken fillets and the instructions for chicken nuggets from the recipe book because the instructions on the App weren’t complete. My family really enjoyed the chicken and the chips, they were a tasty but less greasy version of take away favourites.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
The Actifry was easy to use and I didn’t have any problems with the product itself. The App would be a super useful thing to complement the Actifry, but the recipes are often not explained properly and many of them are (in my view) not very family friendly. I don’t know any families, personally, that have veal, oysters or rabbit on the weekly menu!
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
I cooked fried dishes in breadcrumbs such as chicken, potato dishes like hash brows and chips and one-pot dishes like the caramelised pork.
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
Although the Actifry looks good and wouldn’t look incongruous out on a kitchen surface, I keep mine in one of my kitchen cupboards because I prefer clear surfaces.
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
I would and will recommend the Actifry to friends and family. I loved not having to dispose of a huge pot of oil like after deep frying. I like popping all your ingredients into one pot and not having to stir and watch it constantly. It is one of those rare kitchen gadgets that I will actually use and not forget about!

torthecatlady Fri 15-Feb-19 18:51:56

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

My initial thought was “Where the hell am I going to keep this?” because it’s massive! grin
The design is sleek, modern and stylish.
The documentation was sufficient and the recipe guide was a nice addition.
I couldn’t figure out how to get the filter out at first, as it was stiff and I didn’t want to break it.
My son loved helping me prepare food and enjoyed listening to the twinkly alarm at the end of the program.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes we used both the app and the recipe book.
The app was really good however there’s a lot of room for improvement!
For example, I remember looking at one recipe... the ingredient said oil, it the oil wasn’t mentioned in the method.
Also, I left a review on a recipe on the app and noticed that it shows the email address of people who have left reviews! Not ideal for data protection.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

Other than struggling to get the filter out, I think it’s really easy to use.
I think a nice addition would be if you could set an additional timer, so say after 20 minutes of 30, you remember to do something else like set the table or get drinks ready instead of scrambling for everything once it’s ready.
Not something that can be improved, but it was really quite heavy. Perhaps the smaller versions are lighter though.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

I’ve used this pretty much at least once everyday since we received it!
Lots of homemade chips which were incredible, roasted carrots with rosemary and thyme, roasted parsnips with maple syrup, chicken nuggets, garlic and coriander king prawns, prawns with chilli flakes, bbq glazed chicken drumsticks and the most incredible roast potatoes!
We’ve still got lots more recipes left to try out too!

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

Honestly? When we’ve cleaned it we put it back in the box, it’s on the floor in the corner of the kitchen!
However it’s permanent home is likely to be on top of the fridge (although it is a little heavy) or more likely in the space at the bottom of my larder/pantry.
It’s so big that we can’t keep it out all the time. Despite having a fairly big kitchen, we lack storage space!

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

Absolutely yes, 10 times over and I already have! Every house needs a Tefal Actifry!
The actify has totally transformed how we cook and eat as a family. I cannot praise it enough.
It’s so easy to use (and slightly mesmerising watching the food turn over inside).
I actually think the actifry would be good for the elderly! My elderly neighbour lives alone and recently had her oven removed as she simply didn’t use it! She only uses an electric hob and a microwave. The actifry would really help her prepare interesting and healthy meals.
This was probably the best product test I have received in a long time and I wouldn't be without it now!

Ohlittlepea Sat 16-Feb-19 06:27:27

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)? I liked the modern and clean look of it, my husband called it 'the UFO', it takes up room but necessarily because it cooks quite a large amount of food. It feels well built and the display and buttons were eay to use. The leaflet was clear but in the recipie book some of the amounts were a little techinical...potatos listed in grams rather than '4 large potatos'. Its noisy but we didnt mind that.
- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I used the recipie book and the app and the website, I loved the chips! and the lamb meatballs were delicious too, paella worked well, I think thst was my favourite, as a mum of young children being able to cook a rice dish that you dont need to stand next to and stir is amazing! The roast potatos were superb too!
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved? One time the lid popped up during cooking, probably o hadnt closed it well, maybe an alarm for this would be good? or an icon on the screen so ot womt start cooking until the lid is properly closed?
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
Meat dishes - fahitas, chicken drumsticks, lamb meatballs.
Potatos- chips, sweet potato chips, roast potatos.
rIce dishes- paella, egg fried rice.
vegetables- mixed meditteranean veg, roast parsnips and carrots, caramelised onion.
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it? On my kitchen work top because i used and will use it so often.
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends? 100% My mum is already buying one after trying the roast potatos! It doesnt really need recommending because the results speak for themselves. Once you get uses to the x timings and settings you can set it and leave it with less supervision than a pan on the hob...lifesaver for mums!

sewonandsewon Sat 16-Feb-19 09:31:26

What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

It is massive, and I did wonder where it would live! It has a nice sleek, modern design though, and the window on top satisfied my urge to watch everything slowly going round!! It seems like a sturdy bit of kit and good quality and doesn't look ugly on the worktop. I didn't find the info booklets very useful though and found most of the info I needed through googling.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I used both the recipe and the app - I cooked the chips and meatballs from the book which were both delicious. I cooked paprika chicken and ribs from the app, which were also lovely, although I tweaked them slightly. The app was quite glitchy and wouldn't let me register, so I couldn't see all the recipes or leave reviews. It's useful as a starting point but I found I tender just to Google Actifry recipes,
and modify them for what I wanted to cook.
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
I didn't find the lid or rotating arm easy to clean - the arm has gaps underneath where food got stuck and neither the dishwasher or soaking got them out. I ended up picking bits out with my fingers which wasn't ideal! The lid seemed to collect water so when I took it out of the dishwasher I could hear liquid swilling about inside, although this did go once I used the actifry again.
I took me a while to realise the small gap between the lid and the machine was supposed to be there too.
I tried cooking fish fingers and Quorn nuggets in it and they were sadly obliterated!!
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
Honestly I have used it every day - it has become a running joke as to how many meals I can cook in it - I love it!!
We've had curries, stews, one pot meals, a full Chinese banquet (,fried rice, ribs, crispy chilli beef, stir fried veg!) Crispy kale and roasted sprouts are beautiful, chips galore, I even tried doughnuts (although these were a failure!) My oven hasn't been turned on in 2 weeks!!

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
It is too big for our cupboards so it lives in the worktop, but it is used every day so it's not a problem.
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes and I have done too!

Thank you for allowing us to test this out - I genuinely love it and have cooked some lovely meals in it. My next meal will have actifried honey glazed carrots and parsnips in it, and I plan to try the roast potatoes too!

purplepandas Sun 17-Feb-19 09:42:11

Testers please answer the following questions:
- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

I was pretty unimpressed with the size, it's massive! I could not figure out where it was going to live when it arrived. The design is sleek and I liked that. Documentary guidance was pretty good but you know how it is, there is only so much time for reading and more time needed for just having a go once you have the basics. That seemed to work for me.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes, we used it to make the real chips and other recipes (e.g scrambled eggs from the app and also the carrots with maple syrup glaze). All were good. The real chips were easy and way better than frozen in taste. Obviously health wise a distinct improvement on fried! The app had lots of choice for dishes, the recipe book was very minimal to say the least.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
Sometimes the timings needed to be extended compared with what the book/app said. This is not an issue as such but just takes some getting used to really.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
Chips, fancy scrambled egg, veggies (carrots with maple syrup glaze). I way preferred the app for inspiration than the book. I have not tried anything sweet as yet but I plan to.

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
This was an issue. My husband left it on the kitchen worktop but there was no room for it to stay. It’s in the utility room at the moment as no room in the kitchen for it to live (on surface on in cupboards). If I put it on top of the cupboards I won’t use it!

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes, I really like it. It’s quick and intuitive to use. The size and cost (if buying) would be the main issue in my opinion.

ItsJustASimpleLine Sun 17-Feb-19 14:01:42

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

My first thoughts were that it looked a bit like a spaceship! Its quite big if you haven't a lot of kitchen surface space however I do think it looks smart on the worktop. It looked great quality and it was easy to set up. The recipe book was very useful.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

I started with the chips recipe, however we prefer sweet potato fries so swapped the potatoes for sweet potatoes. They were cooked to perfection in the Actifry. When cooked in the oven they always seem to be overcooked or mushy.

I made the chicken nuggets, they were lovely but I prefer a bit of spice so amended the recipe and added in herbs and spices the next time.

I've pick a couple of the recipes off the app to try next however I have found those recipes not very family friendly.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

I really like the actifry and feel its a great addition to our kitchen which we will be using regularly. The only change I would make is including a tray or basket to allow two things to be cooked at once, for instance chips and nuggets or vegetables with meat etc. Only one cooking 'space' means a meal has to be cooked seperately. A 'one pot' meal would be great, rather then just using it for part of a meal.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

I cooked breaded chicken and fries.

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

I am lucky enough to have space to leave the actifly on the work surface so I have left it out and as we will be using it regularly it will stay out.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

I would definitely recommend the actifry to family and friends. Its a great cooking tool which produces healthy and tasty food for all the family. I love that once prepped and turned on it can be left to its own devices to product lovely well cooked food. It is easy and simple to use and is versatile to allow a range of foods to be cooked. I love that it makes healthy food for my family, I'm so pleased to have it and will use it several times a week.

HumberElla Mon 18-Feb-19 12:12:58

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

My first thoughts were that the product looked very contemporary in design, sleek and looked great sitting in the kitchen. The size was as expected really, large, but as I knew this was intended to cook several meals at once go it was no bigger than it needed to be. The quality was very good, with easy to dismantle pieces that could be washed or put in the dishwasher. Everything on the product felt solid and durable, with no flimsy or fiddly bits. The control pad is very easy to use and intuitive in design. I actually spent very little time looking at the instructions on how to use this, as the controls were really straightforward. It does make a noise because of the air flow to cook, but it is no louder than my hob's extractor fan, which I would be using anyway if I was cooking that way.
The product has been termed 'the cement mixer' by my children, which although rather unglamorous, is a testament to the fact that they have been helping to use it and no other kitchen device has a nickname in our house!

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

I used both. I started with the book and did The Real Chips to begin with, to gain a bit of confidence in the cooking style. These were a real revelation. I actually found it difficult to imagine how the chips would crisp whilst being stirred around in a pot, but they did and tasted really delicious; super-crisp but soft and fluffy in the middle and perfectly well formed. I also tried the fried rice with prawns from the book, which was really good, well flavoured and not as oily as a pan fried version. I did this first with just prawns but then added left over chicken next time, and added egg at the end like special fried rice. You can take many of the recipes and adapt them this way.

I found the app was a huge benefit to have alongside the product, with an 'inspiration' section to suggest new things and also to look up recipes for foods you already had in the fridge. The guidance through each step and the timer on the app was also very useful, as even with the timer on the actual Actifry, I could wander off and do other things with my phone and the app would let me know when the next step was due.

Favourites included the Spiced Thai Chicken Curry which was absolutely delicious. I think I cut the chicken in slightly too large pieces, which meant that I cooked it for slightly longer than the timer allowed, but even then the vegetables were crisp, the chicken browned and succulent and flavours vibrant. I had wondered if it would come out stewed, but the way the device browns first and then stirs later, seems to make sure everything is cooked perfectly and doesn't mush together.
Another favourite on the app was the Oriental Chicken, which again was well flavoured and cooked perfectly. I did this one a couple of times and slightly varied the ingredients as I got more confident with the cooking style.
I want to try to paella next. Also risotto.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

I didn't find any issues with the product itself that I thought would need improvement. I did notice some condensation on the kitchen counter surface underneath it on a couple of occasions, which you would need to mindful of if it was resting on a porous wooden surface.
The only observation I would make is the some of the recipes on the app require what I believe might be quite 'niche' ingredients. Not sure where I'd get a spoon full of 'Thyme Blossom' from! (Beef with Beans recipe). Of course you could just not use it, or swap it for just thyme, but it might be off putting for someone not confident in free-styling with ingredients.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

I cooked whole recipes (as above) from the book and from the app, but then I also moved on to cooking accompaniments too, such as mini roast rosemary potatoes, wedges and roast root veg as well as using the basic curry and stir fry recipes and changing up the ingredients. It really is incredibly versatile and does much more than I anticipated it would.
One thing I really did like was the 'one pot' way it cooks a whole meal, with no need for separate browning of meat and veg etc. This really did save time on washing up and made preparing and cooking a family meal easy without having to use 3 pans and faffing with several utensils. We have been cooking more adventurous food with it than we would normally do too, so it's been fun ringing the changes with some different meals.

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

It stayed out in the kitchen for most of the time. I did put it away twice on a shelf in the pantry.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

Yes and I have family who are already looking to get one! One member of my family wants one to take in their caravan with them, as they think it would be great for cooking without the need for messy frying on the hob. Another family member is also looking to get one for an elderly relative so they can make (and then freeze) meals easily all in one go. It has been brilliant fun experimenting with this and now I have actually see what it can do I will certainly recommend it to friends too. Thank you for letting me test this out.

Shuggas Mon 18-Feb-19 16:03:31

What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

Well yes it's rather large isn't it, but, I love the design, though and we are a family of 5 so the amount it can do is great. It's easy to cook with, and easy to clean, a total win win!

I think the quality is excellent and if buying it you really get what you pay for! It makes great food!

The guidance was good and easy to follow.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes, some from both, we made the chicken nuggets, paella,meatballs, sweet and sour pork, and we are trying the poppy seed salmon croquettes this week. All absolutely delicious! Easy to use the app, and I felt there was a good mix of recipients of things you would have every day and some things that are a bit more special.

I haven't had time for deserts but it's half term now so I think we will have a play this week with the kids.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

The only problem we had was pressing the wrong setting by mistake, then a bit of faff trying to reset it which took a few attempts of turning it off and back on. A cancel button would be good but other than that I think it is brilliant!

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

I think it would be more appropriate to ask what we didn't cook in it wink it's used every day! We made a lovely chicken paella, bbq chicken drumsticks, chicken nuggets, chips, roast potatoes, roasted vegetables to go with couscous, sweet potato wedges, chilli, meatballs. It has an awful lot of versatility which I absolutely love.

The children have all enjoyed the meals and they love the chips! And the roast potatoes are sooo good!

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
On the kitchen side, it has replaced the deep fat frier grin it's used everyday so although it's large there is no sense in hiding it away, plus it gets oooohs and ahhhs from guests lol.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

100% YES! And I have! I don't know what I'd do without it now, and still so much to explore. I am so thrilled to have been picked as I love cooking and it's such a healthy and easy way to cook. Thank you!

Shuggas Mon 18-Feb-19 16:10:43

Oh I forgot to mention the keep warm option! Some days we are all in at different times- if I have to work late, and my daughter gets a later train home from school after doing a club, the fact it keeps food warm and doesn't dry it out is absolutely fab too, one pot meals have been ideal on days like so this my husband makes the meal and it's ready for when we get home, that is ace!

Bumblebeans Mon 18-Feb-19 20:42:03

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
My initial thoughts were that it was massive! I didn't appreciate how many people it could cook for though.
I thought the design was modern and quite appealing. I love the window to watch the food cook.
- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
We cooked chips first, we also did the meatballs and chicken nuggets. I liked the app more than the book as it had more variety and was very easy to use.
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
I struggled to get the timings right for cooking especially the chips as I cooked less than the recipe said so it didn't take as long to cook. I was therefore had to be quite vigilant when following recipes and keep checking I didn't over cook anything.
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
We cooked, chips, wedges, meatballs, chicken nuggets, lots of stir frys and fajitas.
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
We kept it in the pantry. It does take up alot of space though
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
I would definitely recommend it to family and friends. I hadn't appreciated how much you can cook in the Actifry. I find the name a bit misleading. I had thought it was purely to replace a deep fat fryer for cooking healthier versions of chips/ nuggets type foods. I am amazed at the variety of meals which can be cooked in it. I love that it makes simple healthy meals like stir fry and fajitas even easier by doing all the stiring. It really made life easier for cooking meals in the evening after work/school, using fresh healthy ingredients.

Thank you so much for choosing me to test the Actifry. I love it and it's really helped us to eat healthily after busy days.
Thank you!

Crochetcrochetcrochet Mon 18-Feb-19 22:54:00

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
It is quite possibly the biggest piece of equipment in my kitchen, save for the fridge. And I've got a breadmaker! I am genuinely not sure where to store it as it takes up about a quarter of my free worktop space. And yes, I do have the world's tiniest kitchen, but still. That said it is very sleek (looks slightly like a UFO) and easy to clean. I love the fact that the parts are all dishwashable and have used it so many more times already because of this. The guidance in the pamphlets may as well be written in gibberish. Now, full disclosure, I'm 15 weeks post-partum and duly sleep deprived but I didn't expect to have to ask my husband to decipher how to cook chips. So much so I since abandoned the directions. Possibly a mistake, but the internet is full of mostly helpful suggestions.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I used the recipe book for chips and have my eye on the chicken nugget recipe. The app seems slightly odd given that I was under the impression that this was targeted at families, I mean who really cooks rabbit or veal midweek? The recipes on the app aren't always correct, on one the ingredients ask for oil but there is no mention of when to use it in the method. Others just read a bit clunkily (yes, it is a word).

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
I found it incredibly easy to use and I say that in an utterly sleep deprived state. DH feels like it could be faster, as it is no quicker than oven chips, however given the amount of times both he and I get distracted and burn said oven chips, I'll take the Actifry on account of the automatic timer. Ooh, why doesn't the keep warm function work for chips? Also it should come with a warning that you will become somewhat obsessed with chips.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
So far, just chips and the rice dish from the booklet. I want to make the chicken nuggets, but we’ve live on pizza for a couple of weeks as my newborn hasn’t stopped feeding. There’s also some really interesting recipes online for risottos that I’d like to try.

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
It is currently taking up vast quantities of my worktop, however its testament to how much I like it, that it is still there. I’m thinking of Marie Kondo-ing the rest of my kitchen cupboards just to make space. After all, I’m not sure my cleaning cupboard sparks joy in any way shape or form unlike something that makes me chips.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Absolutely, especially those with bigger kitchens than me!

PickledWilly Tue 19-Feb-19 21:03:42

Testers please answer the following questions:
- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

It is huge! Much bigger than I had imagined. I wasn't quite sure when I first opened it - it looked space age! It is very sleek and modern looking, like a space ship! I would've preferred it in black however the white does look good. The recipe book was brief but that's ok. The quality looked good. Both my children were extremely excited at 'The Product' (the name they gave it!) arriving

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

I have only used the recipe book and have also googled recipes. Of course, our favourite had been real chips and sweet potato wedges. Took me a couple of goes to perfect getting the potatoes dry before actifrying them. The chips are absolutely divine.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

It is very easy to use. The filter is a bit stiff to get out but there is a knack to it. It is extremely easy to clean, love cleaning the non stick pan and the rotating arm goes in the dishwasher. I did find the rim on the pan to have sharp edges when I was cleaning it - I managed to cut my finger on it!
It is quite noisy and smells a bit of plastic when it's on. It could be improved by having two tiers, we found it a pain when wanting to do chicken nuggets and chips as could only do one at a time!

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

Potatoes - real chips, sweet potato wedges, frozen chips, hash browns

Meals - chicken fajitas, chicken fried rice, homemade chicken nuggets

Veg - roasted veg to have with cous cous, honeyed carrots

We are going to try chilli and a prawn stir fry with sesame oil next

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

We are lucky to have a lot of worktop, and we have a space for it at the very end. It is actually too big to go inside any of our cupboards! We have been using it lots so don't mind keeping it out.
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

Absolutely yes. Some of my friends have seen it in action and have been impressed.

babycakes1010 Wed 20-Feb-19 08:51:39

Thank you for allowing me to take part in this trial.

Upon receiving this product I was shocked at how big it was but after rearranging my kitchen have found a perfect place for it to stand. I loved the design and found the guidance very good.
I did use the recipe book and omg the chips are amazing if I do say so myself! I have looked at the app but prefer to look elsewhere online.
I found on some things I cooked that timings had to be adjusted but other then that I had no other issues.
I cooked chips/wedges and made a curry which went down well with the family.
I've stored it on one of my kitchen work tops which was good as it gave me a kick up the backside to reorganise my kitchen which was much needed!
I would definitely recommend to family and friends.

octopusrus Wed 20-Feb-19 15:57:26

Thank you very much for letting me trial this, really enjoyed it!

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
I liked the fact it was black, looked more modern than a white appliance would have done. Yes it was big!! I also liked the design of the buttons etc, it was pretty much self explanatory in terms of the timer/temp etc so this was all very clear from the start. I did read the book first just in case and that was all well laid out too.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
Yes I downloaded the app and had a look in the book. Our favourites were the roast potatoes, chips and the plain chicken wings with salt and pepper. Couldn't believe they'd been cooked with no oil! Everyone loved them. We also liked the mint lamb meatballs but I left out the onion and used onion powder so changed the recipe slightly.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
No big issues but one slightly annoying thing was that it sprayed little bits of stuff out the sides and back, for instance roast potatoes seemed to create a spray of tiny bits which covered the worktop and the inside of the machine, and when I coated some sweet potato with a little oil and paprika I ended up with an orange coating on everything which was behind the machine! I would also quite like a separate tray/basket for putting two different things in but I don't know if that would be possible with the paddle moving around?

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
Chips (both from scratch and frozen), homemade chicken nuggets, chicken thighs, homemade fish fingers, halloumi fries, sweet potato wedges, lamb meatballs,

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
I cleared a cupboard out in the utility room so it goes in there.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes definitely. Quite a few people have been to look at it while we were doing the trial and they were all impressed! I originally thought it would mainly be for people who deep fried things anyway (which we don't) but it's actually really good for most things.

I'm really pleased we tried it - it's very versatile! Looking forward to trying more things in it. I've joined a couple of facebook groups which are full of new recipes so will be working my way through those.
Thanks again!

sagethyme Wed 20-Feb-19 20:24:06

First huge thank you for choosing us to take part in this product test. My son (7) couldn't wait to get started with cooking.
thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)? Design is funky and practical; I really liked the clear display and the window at the top so you can check the food. The saucepan lifts out really easily. It's a good size for a family of four, but I think if you have a large family you'd need to cook in batches. It's also very easy to clean.
Quality; it's okay, but if I was purchasing this, I think there could be improvements. I don't think the plastic is very strong, and I've been careful to hand wash everything as I think, although all component parts are dishwasher safe, dish washing will shorten it's life span. I think it's a shame that silicon components aren't used (although maybe silicon wouldn't be able to take the heat?)
Documentary guidance was very good, with clear instructions. My first thoughts on unpacking the Actifry was I'd need a degree to be able to use it! But in fact it was very straight forward.
- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I used the recipe book. My son and I had a go at all the recipes. His favourite recipe from the book was the apple, banana and coconut pudding. We also had fun experimenting with a range of foods from my cook books and picnic eggs worked really well. Haven't used the app yet, but it's on my to do list.
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
No major issues, but I found I did need to sometimes stir the food as the paddle bunched it up, I wonder if a two paddle design would help stir the food more evenly? As mentioned above, I'd prefer silicon for the paddle and the removable turn-over ring as I don't think the plastic will last long (I find plastics tend to go brittle when washed in a dish washer).
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
everything from side dishes, to main meals (stir fry worked really well) and puddings.
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
we have a teeny kitchen, but the Actifry traded places with the microwave which was nothing more than a dysfunctional bread bin!
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
It depends, if I knew anyone with a holiday cottage I would 100% recommend this, because it's a nifty kitchen device and would be fab for simple holiday meals, or where there is only a very basic equipped kitchen. I'd also recommend it in place of a microwave or deep fat fryer, and for infrequent cooking. However I'd prefer to have something a bit more robust if recommending for daily cooking, as I'm not convinced the paddle and the turn-over ring will last many years, although it's good to see you can purchase spare parts.
I should add my son absolutely would recommend the Actifry and indeed he has recommended this to family and friends when last weekend we had an Actifry party to put it through its pacesgrin

redbook Thu 21-Feb-19 20:47:06

Thanks for choosing me for this test. I have enjoyed putting the Actifry through its paces.

What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

My very first thought was ‘wow it’s big’. I think if I had been browsing instore, I would be put off by the size.

I liked the glass top so you can watch the food cooking. I also like that most of it goes in the dishwasher so its easy to clean and keep looking clean.

The product was easy to use but I didn’t find the instructions helpful. It would be helpful if the instructions explained the temperature of each setting and at what point the mixer starts.

Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes, I used both. Both would benefit from including more recipes. I found the cooking times in the recipes too short, but it does give an idea of what the Actifry is capable of.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a novice Actifrier but I found the recipes which involved more than frying (i.e. risotto and stroganoff) were not good. The recipes involving frying were great. In particular the fried rice with prawns (recipe book) and salmon (from app). In the future I will probably stick to conventional ‘fried’ recipes in the Actifry.

Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

I found the product easy to use. A large part of the interface is for the different settings, but I don’t understand as yet the differences between these settings. It would be helpful if it was explained.

Not ‘issues’ as such but a couple of unexpected observations. Its probably only as noisy as a loud fan oven, but I did expect it to be quieter than it was. I also expected that it would not leave a smell after cooking, but there is still a subtle lingering smell of fried food after use.

What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

I have made chips, sweet potato chips, apple crisps, granola, onion bhajis and falafel. I’ve also made prawn fried rice, risotto, beef stroganoff and tandoori salmon from the app. I want to try roasted carrots, sweetcorn fritters, chicken nuggets (from the recipe book) and the red lentil stew (from app), but haven't had time yet.

The ‘fried’ recipes came out great, particularly the chips, bhajis and falafel. I was really pleased with my salmon too – cubes of marinated salmon in the Actifry without the mixer for 10 mins and I had delicious charred salmon. The fried rice was good too. The granola was quick and simple - I've made it four times on my DS request.

The recipes for meals not traditionally made in a fryer – the risotto and stroganoff - were not as good in the Actifry as they were in a pan/oven. The risotto was in the Actifry for 25 mins but I finished off in a pan as it didn’t seem to be cooking at all in that time. The stroganoff was tough and not flavoursome. It could have been my meat; the recipe called for braising steak which is perhaps the wrong cut for this type of recipe.

Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

This is a key question! I currently have space in my cupboard as I lent out my slow cooker. When that returns, I am not sure where I will keep it. It can’t live permanently on the kitchen surface as its too big. If the Actifry was an all round device which you could cook everything in, I’m sure I could find a permanent work surface space for it; however just for frying, its hard to justify a permanent home.

Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

For people who fry a lot, I absolutely would. It’s great at what it does. It’s hard to justify buying (both from a cost and space perspective) if you are only frying once per week or so. I will definitely continue to use it for recipes such as falafel, bhajis and chips.

I think it could also be used it as a substitute for an oven for a lot of the time for meals for singles or small families. Therefore it could also be considered as cost saving in the long run as you save time and money from the time the oven takes to heat. However quite an expensive upfront investment.

MrsArchchancellorRidcully Fri 22-Feb-19 09:35:29

I was amazed when I was chosen, and very pleased. Thanks.

What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

I was disappointed to get a white one as I love the black ones - they look better in my kitchen, but never mind!

The actifry is very big but we have a large kitchen and it is stored in our cupboard when not in use. I'm not sure I'd be so thrilled with it with a smaller kitchen.

It's good quality and easy to take apart. The guidance booklet wasn't great to be honest, but we managed.

Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes, we used the recipe book for chips and frozen chips, plus used the app to cook a coconut curry. I wasn't expecting it to cook more than fried things, so we're going to do a stir fry next week. The app recipes are a bit bizarre and there seems to be a lot of 'chicken and banana' type things! The curry is lovely though.
The frozen chips weren't great but ours did have the batter coating which the recipe book specifically warned against, so can't complains.
My favourite were proper chips from scratch with barely any oil. That's what I was after (I'm not a fan of frozen chips and DH always overcooks them!) - they weren't quite as good as chippy chips but were very close and everyone loved them I also want to try home made chicken nuggets and meatballs but haven't had the chance yet.

Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

Being able to only cook one thing at a time was a bit limiting. So cooking chips and chicken nuggets won't be possible. The app is a bit clunky and some of the recipes seem more complex than the hob.

What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

See above - mainly chips and curry but I am excited to do more, especially getting ideas from this thread. One pot stuff, stir fries and rice dishes are on my list. I've also heard roast potatoes are good. We're having the coconut chicken curry this weekend again and I'll happily cook chips regularly.

Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?

We have a massive kitchen extension so very easy to store. It fits in a cupboard and we have plenty of work surfaces.

Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?

I would, unless they weren't a fan of one pot type dishes. But I'm certainly impressed and will use it more and more for quick, easy interesting dishes plus chips!!!!!

phenomenalcat Fri 22-Feb-19 12:58:12

We were very excited when we were chosen to review this product as we'd been considering buying one.

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?

It is a nice user friendly design but being the XL version is massive. It felt a good sturdy product though and should last a long time.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?

Yes we used both, and a couple of websites I found. They were both easy to use but we struggled with finding a wide variety of foods as we don't eat fish, rabbit, lobster, veal. Recipes like Almond-crumbed turnip treats were a hard sell to little kids ;)
However those that we did cook we enjoyed and our favourites were the chips, KFC style chicken and halloumi chips.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?

No it was fairly easy to use although you did need to keep an eye on the timings as they sometimes needed adjusting and often the food didn't cook evenly. I'm hoping this will improve with practice.

- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?

Homemade chips - lovely just like a gastropub and the reason I wanted an Actifry so we could get rid of the dangerous full pan of oil.
Halloumi Chips - simple but very tasty.
Chicken Nuggets - tasty and healthier than deep frying or processed ones.
KFC style chicken - delicious but we had to cook it in two batches for four people as the instructions said it needed to be in a single layer. You also couldn't cook the chips at the same time so they went in the oven along with the first batch of chicken to keep it warm.
Meatballs - these were fine but it was no easier than using a pan if you were going to be in the kitchen anyway. However if you wanted to cook meat and then do something else the advantage is you don't have to stir it.
Mozzarella and Tomato parcels - I added in some pesto to these and they were quite tasty but were more of a snack than a meal. Unfortunately they became stuck together when the paddle started turning.
Doughnuts - these cooked for a little too long and I didn't like the chocolate flavour topping but with a bit of refinement they could be delicious. The ones we made were quite moorish but as with everything I'm not sure if the Actifry made things healthy or just healthier.

- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
We left it on the kitchen top for the couple of weeks we were testing it as we used it a lot but it's too big to stay there long term and will have to live in the cellar.

- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes, particularly those stretched for time. I preferred it to my husband as he's a better cook than me, but I prefer the ease of an Actifry.

anxiouswaiting Fri 22-Feb-19 15:27:49

What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
I was surprised as I opened it because the box was so big. When I unpacked it I was impressed with the size of the Actifry itself, I have seen them in other peoples homes but only the smaller versions which don't look like they would be big enough for the whole family. It looks really well made and quite flashy (I have to admit I feel a bit smug having it sitting on my counter top!). The guidance was all really easy to follow as we were able to set it up and use it that same day with no fuss, even with the kids running around causing mayhem - that is important because I don't have time to be reading complicated instructions.

Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I lived the recipe book! The app is ok but for me is is not the best option because I don't like to keep going back to my phone to check recipes when I am cooking and getting food smudges on my phone etc Also the kids often run off with my phone to play games so having it in print was much more helpful to me.

Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
I had no issues at all, it worked perfectly and I am a complete convert to Actifry, I love it! The only improvement I can think of is purely cosmetic, I would love for it to be available in a range of colours as all the appliances in my kitchen are red so I would love a red Actifry!

What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
I tried everything in the recipe booklet. The thing we liked best was the chicken nuggets, I often worry about the fact that my boys love nuggets but they are not very healthy and I feel guilty when I give them often. Using the Actifry meant I was actually giving them a really healthy meal without them even knowing it! I also cooked chips, which were perfect and far better than any of the shop bought chips we have had in the past. I also did a few stir fry and now my Wok is redundant as it i so much easier and healthier to use the Actifry.

Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
It is on the counter top. That is for 2 reasons, firstly my cupboard are really full, we don't have as much space as I would like and I keep other appliances in the cupboards. But also because it looks really stylish and it feels quite nice having it on display. It is also easier to access because we have been using it a lot.

Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes! I already have been telling anyone who will listen all about it. I found most people thought the Actifry was just for making chips and people were pretty impressed to hear all the things i have been making with it.

Shuggas Fri 22-Feb-19 16:49:23

Went to use mine this evening for meatballs and it's broken sad I'm devastated. The paddle won't go round.

Helspopje Fri 22-Feb-19 18:00:23

Testers please answer the following questions:

- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
It is enormous! Really to work out where to store.

- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I tried some but the app was more useful as was a Facebook actifry UK users group. My husband liked the spicy wings. The meatballs tasted nice but got bashed up in the machine so looked weird. Fried rice wasn’t as nice as on the hob with an egg added at the end.

- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
It wasn’t easy to vary the time to cook on the preset cooking settings - had to switch it on at however long it was set to, pause it, adjust, restart. Meant my husband deemed it ‘too complicated’.
- What type of meals did you cook in your
Actifry?
Chips, wings, meatballs, breaded chicken and fish goujon (total fail), fried rice
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
Under the kitchen table - too massive for on the surface and doesn’t fit in our cupboard!
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes and no. We probably aren’t the target market as we don’t fry a lot of food but it certainly works well and uses a minimum of oil so one feels more virtuous about the fried food it makes than that fried conventionally

Allhallowseve Sat 23-Feb-19 06:56:53

Testers please answer the following questions:
- What were your initial thoughts on the product (design, size, quality, documental guidance)?
It's big but it looks nice.I liked the little recipe book and did find it easy to clean.
- Did you use the recipe book or app and if so which recipes were your favourite?
I have used the recipe book. Home made chips now a favourite in our house.
The chicken fried rice and chicken nuggets were also good.
- Did you face any issues using the product or do you think anything could be improved?
We used it once then went to use again and it wouldn't turn on we checked the fuse etc but no luck. Tefal replaced with no issues.
- What type of meals did you cook in your Actifry?
Mostly chips! But also like the chicken fried rice.
- Where did you store the product when you weren’t using it?
It's actually out on the worktop which to be honest is not ideal. However we don't have the cupboard space for it.
- Would you recommend the product to your family and/or friends?
Yes I would recommend it's easy to make things in it. However i would say you need the space for it.

gurdev13 Sat 23-Feb-19 13:54:46

I would like to test the tefal actifry.

Bumblebeans Sun 24-Feb-19 16:46:46

Just want to add an update. I've just cooked roast potatoes in the Actifry used about half a tablespoon of veg oil.
Now eating wonderful crispy roasties! Amazing result!!!

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