Actifry takes the fat out of frying

The Tefal Actifry uses just one tablespoon of oil to fry foods.

The Tefal Actifry promises tasty fried foods with only one tablespoon of oil. Tefal

I'll never forget the summer my best friend received a FryDaddy home deep fryer as a birthday gift. For several months, accepting an invitation to dinner at her house required a willingness to shave a few days off your life span, courtesy of the platefuls of deep-fried fill-in-the-blank that she offered up to guests.

If only she'd received an Actifry, the latest appliance from European kitchen goods maker Tefal (in the U.S., T-Fal), which the company claims will make fried foods a little bit healthier by removing most of the cooking fat. With one tablespoon of oil per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of food, the Actifry "fries" foods by circulating hot air inside its chamber, while a rotating paddle stirs the food to ensure even cooking. Though fries are clearly the focus of the company's marketing effort, this short advertising video shows shrimp and chicken getting the "healthy fry" treatment as well.

As indicated by the absence of fried Twinkies in the demo video, the Actifry isn't yet available in the United States--but you can order one up from the U.K. via Lakeland, for a cool $300. With that price tag, I'd rather keep making fries in the oven.


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