Tefal Actifry Review

September 30, 2013 No Comments
Tefal Actifry Review Chips Fries

Some tasty, golden chips made in the Tefal Actifry

Read our Tefal Actifry review to find out whether it can really make crispy chips with a fraction of the oil!
We saw the Tefal Actifry demonstrated on QVC and we really liked the concept of low fat cooking as well as some of the other benefits the product claims to offer:

  • Preserves the quality of the natural ingredients that are essential to your diet
  • Limits the use of fat
  • Allows you to rediscover the natural tastes and flavours of food
  • Reduces the time spent on meals

The Actifry actually came about because French researchers went on a quest to develop a way to make virtually fat free potato chips. It took approximately 10 years of research and in 2007 the Tefal Actifry was finally launched on the market.

Many of the recipes only use 1 spoonful (14ml) of oil which can result in meals with only 3% fat content – of course this percentage of fat is totally dependent on the fat content of the rest of the ingredients used.

We purchased the 1kg capacity Actifry which Tefal claim feeds a family of four. As you will see from the links to the posts below, this is not always the case because often we found the yield to be insufficient for four people, and we are not even big eaters by today’s standards!


The machine basically consists of a do-nut shaped, removable pan. In the centre of this fits a paddle or “blade” which slowly rotates, gently turning and flipping the food as it cooks evenly.

What’s in the box:

  • The main unit, consisting of the base, lid, pwer cord & plug
  • Non-stick removable cooking pan with fold down handle
  • Removable mixing paddle
  • Measuring spoon
  • Instruction Manual
  • Recipe Booklet

Actifry Chips

The instruction manual features a detailed section about making chips/fries which includes information about the best type of potato and which oil to use, as well as details on how to prepare and cook the chips.

As you’d expect, they advise a variety of potatoes  recommended for chipping. Tefal particularly recommend King Edward and Maris Piper but other suitable varieties available in the UK include Desiree (red skin) & Lady Balfour. For luxury chips, you could try the variety Yukon Gold which are purported to make delicious chips.

In regards to oil, it seems anything goes. I was quite surprised at this since there has always been a general consensus that some oils are not suitable for frying, because high heats can cause them to become carcinogenic, in particular, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, however, it seems it’s ok to use these types of oil in the Actifry. Many people have even testified to using FryLight successfully in their Actifry to make chips.

Tefal Actifry Review – Chips Ahoy!

Of course, like most people who buy the Actifry, our main reason was to be able to eat delicious, crispy, low fat chips so it was the very first thing we made and is the main point of focus for our Tefal Actifry review.

We used1kg (unpeeled weight) Maris Piper potatoes and Rapeseed Oil.
There is quite a lot of preparation involved in getting your potatoes “Actifry Ready”:

  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Cut into chips using a sharp knife or chip cutter (like here to Amazon product) making sure they are all an even thickness.
  • Rinse in plenty of cold water to remove starch.
  • Pat dry with paper kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. It’s important that the surface of the chips are as dry as possible.

How thick or thin you cut your potatoes will affect the cooking time and the final outcome of your chips. I.e. thinner chips will be more crunchy, thicker chips will take longer to cook and will be softer in the middle.
For American style fries 8x8mm
For thin chips 10x10mm
For standard chips 13x13mm
Maximum recommended thickness in 13mm and maximum length is 9cm.


So, once we’d cut the potatoes to the desired size – we went for thin chips, so approx 1cm thick, rinsed and dried them off, we just tipped them into the Actifry pan (of course, we had washed the pan and paddle in warm soapy water before first use).
Then we poured over one spoon of oil and lastly a pinch of salt. As I poured the oil over I was worried that it’s not really possible to pour such a small amount of oil evenly over so many potatoes.
I closed the lid I set the timer for 40 minutes and turned on the Actifry. There was not need to worry, once it gets going you soon see that  the Actifry makes sure everything is coated evenly in oil as the paddle rotates round.
40 minutes seems like a long time when you’re waiting for chips! The window in the top of the lid allows you to see how things are cooking… I could see that the chips seemed to bunch and pile up in one place… will they cook evenly? I wondered.
40 minutes later and the timer goes off. Two words of warning here…firstly, the “beep” on the timer is not very loud. If you are in another room or you have a noisy kitchen with other appliances running, you may not hear it which is unfortunate as the Actifry does not automatically turn off when the timer finishes so you could end up with some very crispy and brown chips! Luckily this didn’t happen to me, not this time anyway! This first time I opened the lid and there were some very tasty looking, evenly cooked fries just waiting to be eaten! We were all quite excited about trying the chips. The first thing I noticed as I tipped them into bowls was that there were a lot of little bits of potato that had broken off and made crispy crumbs – these are quite nice in themselves. The second thing I noticed was how few chips there were and how much the potatoes had shrunk after cooking! There wasn’t enough for four portions…barely three small bowls. The chips themselves were crunchy and tasty…however, I wouldn’t say they were “delcious”. They were good….but not as good as fish and chip shop chips but certainly better than oven chips, by a long stretch.

tefal_actifry_chips_reviewbunny (11)

We’ll finish with a summary of our Tefal Actifry Review

Actifry Pros:

Low fat, tasty chips
Easy to use and clean
No nasty chip fat smell

Actifry Cons:

A large device that takes up a lot of worktop space and/or cupboard space.
The beeper on the timer is very quiet
1kg model  does not produce enough yield for a family of four
Other than chips, it’s not particularly great at cooking other foods (link here to other posts)


The 1kg model is not really suited for our family of 4,  we would have been better off with the 1.5kg model. It would be fine for a couple of people  though.
Unless you eat a lot of chips or fried food, it’s probably not going to get used much – we tried making other things in the Actifry but nothing turned out any better/more convenient than cooking it in the conventional way.
The Actifry does seem to have a lot of loyal users, and I can see why it appeal to so many…but for us, the amount of space it uses up and the fact that we’ve not had anything notable other than chips out of it means that we won’t be keeping it.


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