We don't think the T-Fal Actifry is one of the best air fryers that you can buy. Whilst it features a stirring paddle to try and cook your food more evenly, it didn't impress us too much when it came to the actual cooking process, and there were some other inconveniences that cropped up during use that meant we'd recommend other units instead.
As a contracted writer working for TTR, Angie has covered plenty of products over the years, including all manner of countertop appliances, vacuum cleaners, and even mold testing kits for over eight years. When not testing the latest kit, she's often planning improvements for her quirky 103-year-old home or hiking in the gorgeous Utah mountains. In her past role, she was a newspaper journalist and she has a bachelor's degree in Technical Writing.
T-Fal Actifry: Design
The T-Fal Actifry uses a stirring paddle to prevent hot spots in the air-frying process, and it seemed to work okay, at best. It was also full of quirks—some excusable and some not—including how loud it was. All of the air fryers we tried were louder than we thought they would be, but this one was overwhelming. All of the air fryers also produced more smoke than we expected, including this one. It is also very wide and takes up a lot of counter space. All of that is excusable.
Other quirks include the lack of an automatic shut-off. Most competitors shut down after finishing a cycle, but the Actifry stays hot and gets too hot on the exterior. This one was hottest to the touch, even right after turning it on. That is not ideal, especially if you have kids at home.
What is inexcusable are the controls, which consist of a small digital timer and an on/off button. That's it. There is no way to set your temperature. There are suggested cooking times in the manual to compensate and guide you to the proper preparation of different foods, but having a little more control as a user would be nice. The other air fryers offer a dial or digital controls for temperature.
T-Fal Actifry: Cooking experience
In our tests, we got some evenly cooked chicken wings and fries, though it did take longer than other units to get to that result, and the food was less crispy than many competitors.
We cooked the same quantity of chicken for the same amount of time in each of our air fryers, but when we popped open the lid on the Actifry, the chicken looked too pale on the first try, and things always needed a little more time after cooking. The final results were pretty good, but not enough to justify the Actifry's relatively high price. For a more economical machine, check out the GoWISE Touch Screen.
T-Fal Actifry: Cleaning
The T-Fal Actifry has a nonstick coating on its pan and agitator that makes them very easy to clean. The lid is the only problem. It is integrated with the electrical systems so you cannot submerge it. We wiped it down but it never seemed fully clean.
This machine always took longer than competitors to finish a batch of food and has many other inconveniences. This might be an OK option if you have very low-slung cabinets because it is short and wide. Generally speaking, though, we found better options for less money.