Who doesn’t love a good french fry? I know I do, but I don’t indulge in fast food or restaurant fries all that often. Unfortunately, french fries aren’t included on my fat loss plan…that is, unless you can get away without frying them!
I’ve had some decent success with baked fries over the years. But its hard to compare homemade baked fries, and traditional french fries. They just don’t get that same crispy texture. Even though frozen fries mimic restaurant style ones, I don’t like buying them, as there are a lot of ingredients in there aside from potatoes. Plus, I like doing things other than just potato fries, like yam fries, butternut squash fries, carrot fries and parsnip fries!
So with being a fan of many varieties of fries, I was excited to try the T-fal ActiFry that I was sent to review. FYI, you can also see more great products in the Canadian Tire Destination Home Guide available right now…
I’ve actually seen this product before, and had considered buying it, but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t so sure that it would work that much better than my oven-method of baking fries.
According to the package, you only need to use a spoonful of oil for an entire batch. I would typically be using this amount when baking fries too. You have to use a bit of oil, or a heck of a lot of cooking spray (which would probably equate to the same) to achieve a bit of a crisp on the outside.
So with the ActiFry in my hot little hands, I wanted to cover the basics before experimenting with some of my other, more creative fries. Traditional potato french fries. There is a neat little recipe book that came with it. Here’s the recipe I followed…
Well, I should say “kinda” followed. I don’t have any idea how much 1 1/2 pounds of fries are, and I couldn’t be bothered to weigh it.
But thankfully I just dumped in my potatoes, and the “max” line in the unit let me know not to fill it too full!
You can’t fill it too much as that grey paddle turns the potatoes during the entire cooking process. If its over-filled, I imagine they would get stuck. For the record, there is no way I could cut potatoes that evenly. I have a handy mandolin that I use for all my fry-making. As for potatoes, I used Yukon Gold.
So once you get the potatoes in, you just pour on a spoonful of oil, and turn it on. It was really easy! There is also a timer you can set, so I set it for 30 minutes. The recipe suggested 30-40 minutes.
After 30 minutes, they were just starting to brown, so I left them in longer. I let them cook for a total of 40 minutes.
Here’s how they looked when they were done:
Its difficult to tell from the photo, but they were stiff and crispy…everything you would want in a french fry! They were golden brown on all sides, none of them got burnt. I’ve never achieved this perfect of a fry when making my own in the oven, and to get them so evenly brown is very tough, as you’d have to be returning to the oven to turn them constantly. Lets be honest, I can’t be bothered. That’s why I loved how it did all the work. I truly did just set it, walk away and not come back for 30 minutes.
They tasted amazing, hubby and I both agreed that they were pretty dang close to restaurant style fresh cut fries. Like any fries, they are best eaten while hot.
Next up, I will be trying some other things like butternut squash fries and yam fries. My 4-year old LOVES fries, so I’m hoping this will make her go for some veggie fries. <insert evil laugh> 😉
What I Loved:
– The set it and forget it aspect. I think with this around I’d make more fries and stuff, because it makes it so much easier to not have to keep such a close eye on it.
– Even though I see the primary use of it being for fries, I could also see myself making meatballs with it, as well as other veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. It would also be great for any kind of frozen style appetizer.
– The unit doesn’t give off much heat at all, so it would be great to use in the summertime.
– It was super easy to clean. All it needed was a quick rinse and wipe.
– After making fries out of this, I don’t think I’ll want to do them in the oven again, as the taste was that much better.
– Since it acts in place of an oven, it can free up space if you’re entertaining and are using your oven for something else.
If I had any negatives, it would be just having another appliance to store, but I think I’ll get a lot more use out of this than many of the other larger appliances I own (like, umm…my stand mixer & huge blender). So alas, I would keep it in an accessible place. I also hope to venture out and use it for other things aside from fries.
Where To Get It?
It’s actually on sale right now at Canadian Tire for $199 (reg. $250). You can check it out here. I’m not sure where you can get it in the USA, so if any of my American readers can leave a comment as to where you’ve seen them.
I’d love to hear what kind of “fries” you’ve made before…in the oven or not. Drop a comment below.
Disclaimer: This post was generously sponsored by Canadian Tire, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit the Canadian Tire Destination Home Guide.