Product Review: Air Fyer, Tefal Easy Fry Grill & Steam XXL FW2018 the super sexy way to fry, grill and steam

Why an Airfyer?

It’s likely that (like us) you have an oven, frypan, steaming baskets and a grill pan. So why on earth do you need yet another appliance eating into your most prized commodity- your kitchen countertop? 

Until a year ago I was an air-fryer-denier. Then got one to review. Now I am like a ‘Swifty’ as I spread joy to non believers! The big reason is speed, cost and quite frankly in many cases a better result.  An oven takes half an hour to 45mins to preheat – with a fryer it’s almost instant. Simply press a button and your cooking time starts straight away. If your oven cooks lack lustre chips, you never get charry roasty bits on roast potatoes then meet your new pal. An airfryer will do a better job. My opinion is that steaming and roasting are on par but sometimes grilling on a pan has the edge of control. Cleaning up is infinitely easier.

Rely on a general rule of the 20:20 method. Reduce your time to cook by 20% and also temperature and you should be bang on!

Unboxing and delivery

A cheery Appliances Online delivery driver drops the box off. We could have opted for same day delivery had we ordered by 12pm in Sydney, Brissy or Melbourne, however I was not in that much of a rush. I really like their approach to sustainabily as he offered to remove and recycle my old appliances. Which takes the hassle out decluttering.

I like that it has a thoughtful handle at the top which makes it really easy to pick up and move around the house and even easier to unbox. There isn’t much to assemble and I pop the rack into the tray. Plug in and we are away.

The Design

I really like the super sleek all black design with a removable water tank on top which creates the steam. The really important thing with airfryers is width and depth. Not enough width and you have to cook in batches or put up with soggy food, but for my cooking, what is essential is the depth. This has a 6.5L capacity. A fryer may say ‘bake/roast’ but it is too shallow there is no room for food to rise let alone fit in a whole chook. Tefal wins on all these points. It’s slimline but big enough to cook for a family. Touch controls mean there are no ugly buttons. 

Let’s cook! The Controls

Having automatic programs is a winner. Most fryers have this and it takes the guesswork out. I use them a LOT. Some fryers undersell certain functions for example if your fryer can cook at low levels around 50-80 degrees it can dehydrate too, but you are not paying a premium for the marketing fluff of a dryer which has that as a preset. This one kicks off from 80 degrees.

Tefal has the key ones. There are seven presets with a steamer function which is a must, if you can afford it. Each preset has LED icons – Fries, Nuggets, Chicken, Vegetables, Dessert plus two combined “air fryer +steam” programs for Fish, and Roasted Meat.

At all times you can control the time and temperature yourself and ignore the presets. Time on the right, temperature is on the left.

Let’s cook! The Results

STEAM: I add six filleted sardine fillets fresh from the fish markets that morning onto the tray with no preheat.  I don’t use oil, but I do like to use seasoning and today it’s lemon salt. Within 4 minutes they are done. It is the perfect even cook. I mean how awesome is this? A press of a button and return in a few minutes. Compared to the normal way, boil a kettle, fill a saucepan, add the rack, then cook, then get 2nd degree burns checking if it’s ok. This is the beauty of an airfryer. Ease and convenience along with consistent heat. 

GRILL – The difference to the cook quality is that I have an additional die cast aluminium grid with raised sections which creates those iconic char lines. If you are serious about getting these lines, then a 15 min pre heat is needed. I use a thick piece of aubergine and cauliflower along with a tiny spray of oil. Midway through I turn it over and the lines show a lovely char. On tasting it doesn’t have as strong a flavour as a grill pan, but also I didn’t need to use as much oil or nurse it on the journey. It’s infinitely easier to clean afterwards 

AIR FRY MODE: I know a lot of people use oil. I don’t tend to.  I tried this one with frozen tempura whiting, home made sweet potato wedges and lastly gyoza (I love the Aldi prawn ones). In all cases the cooking was fairly even, but the centre section appears to get less heat. The gyozas can often benefit from ‘steam & fry mode’ see below.

AIR FRY + STEAM – I like this for baking sourdough. My normal oven isn’t particularly hot, and whilst the results are better in an oven if I just want to bake one loaf it’s cooked and ready within 30 minutes in this fryer, as opposed to 1 hour 45 in a my oven. The deep basket allows space to rise.  A classic of airfryers is ‘the chook’ cook . I use a deboned marinated chicken and there is plenty of room for it to spread out. I also try it with a favourite of mine, the ‘Bare Bird’ premium free range whole chicken. Both results are egg-cellent! Way better than the oven and much more juicy.

The Clean Up

It’s a breeze. The tray pulls out, and the rack is easy to remove. A quick wash down and its ready to go again. Yes you could put it in the dishwasher, but honestly why bother? Within 30 seconds its clean and ready to use again. 

The DA Verdict

What we are addicted to – It’s beautiful design, easy to use presets and slimline curves which don’t take up much counter space. The basket is big and deep to take larger servings and cake baking. It is quiet running too.

What we would need to be more addicted to – The cook in small batches was great but with a bit more volume the middle section didn’t get as crispy as we would have liked. A few more presets would also improve the use of ‘tap and go’

Buy at appliances online  – Tefal Easy Fry Grill & Steam XXL Air Fryer
Cost – RRP $550. Don’t forget that they offer a Value Promise as Appliances Online will price match an identical product from an Approved Retailer.

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).