I adore kitchen gadgets and I have a cupboard full of them, but one of the few that I don’t have is a Deep Fat Fryer. There are a few reasons for this; I don’t like the smell of chip fat in the house, they can be hard to clean, and the smell of used oil lingers in the machine. Despite all this, my desire for freshly home cooked chips became too strong and off I went to the shops with a short list of what I wanted: it must have a well fitting lid, a decent size basket, and be easy to clean.
I chose the Tefal Family Pro Fryer as it appeared to have everything on my list. Compared to others on the market, this one had a well fitting lid, and I liked the handle that meant you could lift or lower food with the lid on to avoid splattering. The bowl is removable and is dishwasher safe so looks easy to clean; it has an adjustable thermostat, and a decent size basket. And it was only $69 in the sale.
When I went to use the fryer I discovered a drawback that for some reason I hadn’t considered – how much oil it uses. In this case it’s 4 litres, which is a lot, and which could become expensive. Of course for first use, it has to be chips, so I cut my potatoes, heated up the oil and in they went. As it’s been a while since I last used a deep fryer I kept checking on them, which means they probably didn’t crisp up as well as I would have liked, and they came out darker than I was expecting, but they still tasted delicious. Another problem I found was with the lid; as it’s not attached to the unit, when you lift the lid to remove the contents you have the problem of where to put it. Putting a hot, oil coated lid down on the worktop is not an option, so you need to be organised and have a mat to put it on. Also, the bottom of the unit is not insulated; there is nothing between the unit and the pan that holds the oil. This meant that the worktop underneath the fryer got very hot.
The unit cooled down quickly after use, but the next day there was still that lingering smell of chip oil, so it’s now kept in a small cupboard all on its own.
Overall the fryer cooks well, but the little problems (lid, insulation, amount of oil), means my rating is 3 stars out of 5.