The T-fal Actifry lineup of machines are extremely attractive, widely available and have an almost cult-like following when it comes to the air fryer community. This review is specifically written about my experience with the FZ7002 model, which is the entry level machine and is by far the most popular.
- 2.2 pound capacity
- Electric – 110V / 1400w
- Two pushbuttons: On/off and timer
- Removable non-stick pan
- Food agitator continuously stirs food during operation
- Dishwasher-safe lid, pan, paddle and filter
- Color recipe book (38 recipes) and measuring spoon included
- Dimensions: 16.7 by 13.6 by 9.4 inches
- Weight: 8.9 lbs.
- 1-year limited warranty
The T-fal Actifry is high-powered with a 1400w heating element. Any hotter and many homes would have trouble powering this machine. Many meals can be cooked in under 20 minutes, and the air fryer staple food — french fries — take about 30 minutes to cook. One of the best features of the Actifry however is it’s use of a food agitator that slowly rotates the food during the entire course of operation. This eliminates the need to periodically remove the tray and “shake” as you may have to do to ensure even cooking with other machines.
This appliance is made from food-grade plastic which makes it relatively light weight, yet extremely durable. An often raised concern is the use of plastic in a device where temperatures approach 200C. The plastic is specially selected to withstand the heat and there is no discolouration, warping, or deterioration noted from extended use. The non-stick surface of the pan is staying in-tact, and the motors that drive the fan and food agitator appear solid and able to handle cooking for extended periods of time and high-frequency.
My only complaint is with respect to the included timer. It has only a single button and takes many presses or a long continuous press to set the timer to the desired duration. Even worse though is that when the timer hits zero it doesn’t actually shut the machine off – there is just an audible beep. So with this machine there isn’t an option to set the timer and let it run it’s course. You still need to be there to shut the machine off when cooking is finished. Because of these shortcomings I actually don’t use the timer built-in to the machine and use my iPhone instead.
Ease of Cleaning
The non-stick pan removes easily and has a really ingenious flip-up handle that folds out of the way when not in use. This is a real space saver. Food doesn’t stick very easily to the pan, but there is a plastic “lip” that keeps food from overflowing during the agitation process. This lip tends to get dirty and must be removed from the pan to clean properly. Then there is the food agitator itself. These components must also be removed to clean. These items just snap-on and snap off, but it is a bit of a hassle having to disassemble the pan. All of these components are dishwasher safe however, so that is a time-saver if you want to go that route. I prefer to wash mine by hand however.
The cover of this machine is clear plastic. While nice in that it lets you watch the food cook without needing to open the lid, oil tends to build up on it, reducing visibility. The lid is removable and can be cleaned quite easily, but only if you remove and clean it each and every use. If you let the oils build up then it becomes quite hard and a chore to remove. Because it’s plastic, you can’t use a tough scouring pad to remove, but instead need to rely on a lot of elbow-grease with a soft sponge and soap.
Ease of Use
Air Frying doesn’t get any easier than with the T-fal Actifry. Most meals are simply throwing the ingredients into the pan, closing the lid, and turning the machine on. Again, the built-in food agitator eliminates the need for periodic shaking or stiring that would be required with competitor’s machines. This is a real time-saver and one of the best features of the Actifry.
The technical specs state that the Actifry is capable of cooking 2.2 lbs of food, but what does that really equate to? It amounts to 2-3 large Russet Potatoes, or about 30 chicken wings to give you an idea. This machine is ideally suited for cooking meals for 2-3 people. Four servings would be a stretch but depends on what is being cooked. T-Fal does make a larger version of this machine to accommodate larger families.