Ok, I'm on a roll here! Can you handle one more kitchen gadget review? This one is for ActiFry, an air fryer that uses very little oil to prepare traditionally deep-fried foods. We very, very rarely eat French fries and really no other fried foods but I bought this appliance based on great reviews and as a total indulgence for those times we might choose fast food.
The ActiFry, by T-Fal is not an inexpensive unit. There are several models to choose from and most are regularly priced way over $200. I ended up buying mine on impulse when I saw it on sale at the hardware store. It's the basic, original model and I believe one of the smallest in capacity. It has a 2.2 pound capacity which will serve 4 in most cases. What sold me on this brand, besides the price, was that it is highly recommended by my Weight Watcher group (I love a personal endorsement!) and it is made in France. It uses a tablespoon of oil AT MOST (many recipes require much less or none at all) to cook up delicious and healthier foods. It has a transparent lid so you can see the food cooking, requires no pre-heating, and is super easy to clean.
My daughter really wanted an air fryer and she was pretty excited when I brought it home. I wanted to make sure it was functioning properly before I crushed the box so we cleaned all the removable parts and tried out a small batch of French fries. I hand-cut 3 potatoes into sticks and threw them into the non-stick pan. I added only 1-1/2 teaspoon of oil and started the machine. It's important to adhere to the quantities recommended (I actually weighed the pre-peeled spuds) and the size of the food so it turns properly with the automatic paddle attached. I let them cook for about 30 minutes and they were golden, crispy, smelled amazing and we so tasty!
I would give this two thumbs up for taste and texture. The fries really did taste like restaurant chips, minus the heavy, greasy feeling. I thought they were a big improvement over oven fries and when I made a second batch for hubs and son, they agreed 100%. While there is no recipe booklet included with this model, there is access to an app with hundreds of recipe ideas. I am going to be trying 'fried' chicken next and the chicken wings look amazing. I want to make sure I expand beyond fries and use this appliance weekly. I'm always willing to spend money and experiment when it comes to preparing great tasting and healthy food for the family. Anything that inspires me to do that is worthwhile in my book. I will keep you posted as I try new recipes.