See also: Our air fryer recipe section
Tefal ActiFry AL806040 Air Fryer
The Tefal ActiFry AL806040 Air Fryer is typical of current air fryers . After quite a bit of research, I chose the Tefal ActiFry AL806040, it appeared to have the best positive reviews (4.6 star rating from 1812 reviews - Amazon uk Feb 2016). A lot of the negative reviews I read were because of the Actify paddle (Amazon UK) breaking, but at £6 to £10, I would consider that a consumable item.
We've had this for a week and have used it every single day. Chips, roast potatoes, roasted vegetables are second to none. It is a remarkable product, even if it does look cheap.
The paddle must be locked into the bowl by pressing down on the grey tags. This can be done while the bowl is removed from the cooker. This is not clear from the desperate instruction 'cartoons' so maybe the reason for lots of failures? Liquids will certainly leak into the cooker if the paddle is not locked.
See here for replacement paddles and clues to imminent Air Fryer paddle breakage.
Cleaning the air fryer and paddle
If you've been researching this model, you've probably seen the picture of the paddle with orange-coloured food stuck to the underside. Don't be put off. This item is really easy to clean. Anything lodged to the underside can be easily picked out, the rubber seal can be removed for cleaning. All of the parts used during the cooking process can safely be cleaned in a dishwasher.
The build quality of the ActiFry AL806040 Air Fryer is pretty poor. It has a cheap and nasty feel with dreadful documentation. It's not something that would take pride of place in your kitchen, it's best kept in a cupboard.
Tefal can't even manage to put the non-peelable customer service label on straight, so your first 10 minutes with your new air fryer will be spent removing label debris!
Smells of plastic
I've seen lots of reviews complaining of a plastic smell when the unit is first used. I can see why. It is almost exclusively constructed of the stuff. Before I used mine for cooking food, I put all of the removable items through a dishwasher and left the air fryer on for three 45 minute empty cooking sessions just to burn the smell off. It seems to have helped.
It won't switch off automatically
The Tefal air fryer has just two controls. An on and off switch and a timer control. The timer is just an audio alert to tell you that the cooking time has elapsed. It is not designed to switch the unit off.
Click, click, click and the paddle does not turn
See here for a solution to this problem.
Air fryers are noisy
As an air fryer functions by forcing air over a heating element at high speed they all tend to be very noisy. Almost as loud as a hob extractor fan.
How big is the air fryer?
It has a footprint and similar size to a very large motorcycle crash helmet.
I've found a great chip cutter
I wanted to get a potato chipper so I could make 'proper' fries. I ordered a Kitchen Craft KCBB882 Potato Chipper with Interchangeable Blades. What amazing quality for less than £11.00. Definitely worth investigating if you don't own already own a fries cutter.
Don't cook the spoon
The luminous green spoon is just a device for measuring the cooking oil, which you should then sprinkle over the food before cooking. Never leave the green spoon in the air fryer while it is cooking, it will melt and you will have plastic smelling food. It should only be left in the machine for storage purposes. Or throw it away and use a proper spoon to measure the oil. A better way to distribute the cooking oil would be to use an oil spray.
Metal mesh basket for cooking fragile food
Frequently asked questions
- What are the best potatoes to use in the ActiFry?
- Maris Piper generally give the best results. However, results can vary for all potatoes used depending on the season and how they are stored in supermarkets. If you do not achieve good results, try changing where you purchase them from.
- See here for a far more detailed list of potato types ideal for frying
- How much oil is recommended for use in the Actifry?
- For the standard capacity 1kg ActiFry and 1.2kg ActiFry plus,there is a spoon provided with a volume of 14ml (1 tablespoon). The 1.5kg food capacity Family ActiFry is supplied with a spoon measuring 20 ml. The majority of recipes will use 1 tablespoonful of oil, however this may change according to the recipe. Some foods do not need one full spoonful of oil to be cooked in the ActiFry : frozen chips will already have oil on the exterior and fatty foods such as sausages may not need a full spoonful of oil as there may be a lot of fat already in the foods.
- How much oil do I need to add for frozen chips?
- None as the chips already contain oil.
- Can I cook fish in the ActiFry?
- Due to the rotation of the paddle we would not suggest cooking fish in the Actifry as it can easily break up during cooking.
- Should there be a small gap between the cover and the body of the ActiFry?
- Yes - this is normal. The lid and body should not be air tight.
- What do I do if my product breaks down?
- What temperature does the ActiFry cook at?
- Around 170° C (338 °F) during cooking
- What types of oil can I use in my ActiFry?