See through window for checking progress without stopping
Versatile, multi-dish cooking
Takes up a lot of space
Won’t drain oil like ‘health’ fryers
4.5 out of 5
Tefal ActiFry Genius XL Air Fryer
The distinctive styling of the round ActiFry has been around since 2006 and Tefal have perfected the art of air frying with this two-in-one family appliance. As the name suggests, there are two levels to this oven, with food on the bottom area continually moved – albeit slowly – by a paddle as it cooks. This means there’s no need to shake a basket or rearrange items, but it does mean that oil or juices won’t drain away, as with other ‘health’ fryers. If you don’t care about the calories, however, any sizzling oil on the bottom helps make deliciously crispy fries, even if longer ones can break up a bit with the constant moving.
The upper level is optional, so for example if you’d like to cook chicken portions alongside your fries, the dual timer will tell you when you should place the upper tray in the compartment to get everything ready at the same time.
On the downside, as with most larger-capacity fryers, this model takes up quite a bit of space on the worktop and the bulbous, round shape meant it feel larger than it was as it couldn’t fit neatly in a corner when not in use. We also found that flour-coated chicken wings, although tender and tasty, lost a lot of their crunchy coating from being moved around. The inside of the viewing window was blasted with flour too, making it hard to check on progress.
This fryer is a winner for versatile cooking though –mushroom fried rice was a success, for example, and it was great being able to concentrate on other things while it cooked rather than standing over a pan or having to go back and shift things around to cook evenly.
The Teflon-coated inner pans are easy to clean, with the inner paddle a cinch to remove from the centre stalk. All of this is dishwasher friendly and we found hot water and an e-cloth worked well on the viewing window and inside areas, even after those flour-coated chicken wings had made a mess of everything, including the worktop, owing to the small gap in the casing where the lid closes.
Being able to set the timer to double up on dishes was great – for example, spicy potato wedges went in the main compartment for 25 minutes, the beep after ten telling us it was time to add the upper tray of fish goujons.
Recipe book: yes