Fancy cooking up your food in a UFO? The unique design of the T-fal ActiFry means you’ll be able to do just that. With a big capacity, dishwasher-safe parts, and a useful flat design, you’ll be cooking up perfectly-balanced food in your air fryer in no time. And even though it's design looks a bit like it should be flying in the sky - it's still sleek enough for your kitchen counter!
This model has a couple of key features that differentiate it from other models on the market. It’s larger in size than other models because of its shorter, flatter design, which makes it inconvenient for smaller spaces or fitting it into cabinets; however, this design makes it less likely that food will crowd on top of itself during the cooking process, and so is more likely to cook evenly.
It has a 2.9L capacity, which is plenty of room if you’re catering for a smaller family or a couple. Its components are dishwasher-safe, for easy clean-up. If you're looking for something large, a Big Boss Air Fryer might be something to consider.
It has both an open-up top and transparent sides, which are very helpful when it comes to assessing the way your food is cooking. Because this machine does not have pre-programmed settings or variable temperature control, having the ability to quickly judge the cooking process is very helpful in this model. The open-up top is an innovative feature that allows you to assess all of your food at once, so you can move things around to adjust the cooking process; useful if you're cooking something that's quick, like this buffalo cauliflower.
Despite the fact that this model is analog, it has a digital countdown timer that makes it super easy to tell exactly how much time is left in the cooking process. This is much more helpful than analog timers, where it can be hard to determine exactly how much time is left. If you’re trying to organize a big meal, or time everything perfectly, this makes it easy.
Design and build quality
The design of this model we thought was actually pretty cool! It’s a large, flat, plastic-based design, which is primarily black with green accents. As a result, it’s reminiscent of a UFO.
The design elements are also useful. The cooking basket is transparent, so you can see your food while it’s cooking. It also has a 2.9L capacity, large enough to cook most things for a range of people. There is a digital countdown timer so that you can see exactly how long is to go on the timer you’ve set, which is more useful than a timer controlled by a dial, where it can be difficult to gauge exact times.
It’s designed unlike most other air fryers in that the top opens up to expose the food inside, rather than the cooking basket coming out from the front of the machine. This is helpful, as it means you can assess all of your food in one go. The large, flat design also makes it more likely that your food will cook evenly, as things will not be crowded on top of one another during the cooking process.
This model comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Ease of use
This machine is more difficult to use than other models on the market for a variety of reasons. It’s analog, but does not have dials like most other machines to set temperature and time. Instead, the timer on the digital display is controlled by pushing a button located on the top of the machine. You cannot set temperature at all; an annoying oversight by the designers, particularly if you’re planning on cooking a lot of different things in this machine, as obviously different foods need to be cooked at different temperatures. This air fryer baked potato, for instance, needs a lower temperature for longer than something like fries or donuts.
This model also suffers from a lack of pre-programmed settings, which are used in other models to make it easier to cook specific things. Pre-programmed settings allow you to press a button and let the machine control the temperature and cooking time for certain foods like fries or cakes. As this machine does not have them, you must cook your food manually, continually checking on it throughout the cooking process.
None of these makes this model particularly hard to use, but it is harder than other models on the market.
Because this model is dishwasher-safe, its components can be cleaned up very easily. This is massively beneficial if you’re in a rush or just hesitate to use an appliance because of the clean-up process; simply put the components in the dishwasher and go about your evening.
How Does the T Fal Actifry Compare?
The Philips Airfryer is the original air fryer, and one of the best on the market. One of the major advantages it has over the T Fal is the variable temperature control.
They both have similar assurance from the manufacturer as Phillips states they guarantee the unit for a year on their website.
Both models are analog, both have dishwasher-safe parts, and both are found in black. Neither have pre-programmed settings, so they must both be used manually.
The Philips model is easier to use than the ActiFry because of its variable temperature control, but it doesn’t have the see-through container of the ActiFry, so you can’t see the cooking while it’s in process. They have similar capacities and both have timers, although the Airfryer uses a dial as a timer rather than the ActiFry’s digital interface. Both the ActiFry and the Airfryer have great cooking mechanisms, so they’re likely to do a similar job when it comes to cooking evenly.
If you’re someone who’d like the ability to set your air fryer’s temperature so you can cook things like cakes, and if you’d prefer a more attractive design and a longer warranty, go for the Philips Airfryer. If you’d prefer a see-through model with a digital timer, go for the ActiFry instead.
The BLACK+DECKER Air Fryer is a simple, easy-to-use air fryer that’s similar in many ways to the ActiFry. Both of these models are analog, and neither have pre-programmed settings, so they must both be used manually. Both are also dishwasher-safe and come with timers, so you can easily set how long you’d like the machine to run for.
Where the BLACK+DECKER Air Fryer and the T-fal ActiFry differ is in the specifics of these settings. The BLACK+DECKER comes with temperature control, which the ActiFry lacks, so it can be used for a greater range of products. It has a smaller capacity, so it’s better for smaller servings or cooking for smaller groups of people. Its timer is analog, like most air fryers, whereas the ActiFry has a digital display timer for greater specificity. Its warranty is two years, a year longer than the ActiFry.
If you’re looking for a small, tidy model that will fit into the smallest spot, with an attractive design and variable temperature control, the BLACK+DECKER Air Fryer is the better option for you. If you’re cooking for more people, or like the digital display timer, you’re better off with the ActiFry.
The Power AirFryer XL is very different in many ways from the ActiFry, with almost an inverse set of specs. It has variable temperature control, which allows you to set a temperature you want your machine to run at, which the ActiFry does not. This makes it much easier to cook a wide variety of things, like cakes, which need to run at a lower temperature for longer than something like fries.
This model also comes with pre-programmed settings – seven, in fact – that allow you to set your machine up to run at the touch of a button. This is particularly helpful if you’re always cooking the same thing – so if you’re planning on making fries regularly, it could be helpful to invest in a machine that’ll do it perfectly every time without you having to check on it.
It has a more attractive design than the ActiFry, with a classic pod-like black and silver design that will fit into the small spaces in most kitchens.
However, the Power AirFryer XL falters compared to the ActiFry with its only 60-day warranty compared to the ActiFry’s one-year warranty.
Go for the Power AirFryer XL if you like the idea of pre-programmed settings, you have a smaller space, and you want to be able to cook a range of different foods in it; choose the ActiFry if you’d prefer a flatter design, a longer warranty, and dishwasher-safe parts.