Six of the best fryers to keep things crisp and tasty
To help raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association, we are all being urged to eat fish and chips on Friday, May 20. These deep fat fryers and air fryers will help you do just that, says Polly Weeks.
TEFAL GH806115 ActiFry Plus Fryer, £109.99, from www.currys.co.uk
This model proves why Tefal really is the market leader when it comes to air fryers.
Reasonably priced, it's simple to operate, holds 1.2kg of food at a time and fries with just one spoonful of oil. It doesn't stop at chips though - use it as a multi-cooker and prepare everything from risotto to stir-fries and curries too.
The stirring paddle keeps things moving for an even cook, while the lid is steam-free so you can keep an eye on your food as it sizzles away.
On top of that, it's easy to clean - what more could you want?
Healthy does it
Breville Halo Plus VDF105 Fryer, £99, from www.ao.com
Competitively priced, this multi-use kitchen accessory lets you saute, fry, bake and roast, and comes with a healthy 1.25kg of storage.
The main benefit of this model is that, while you can cook food at a horizontal level - for example when grilling fish, you can also tilt the device (by moving the knob on the right of the machine) to fry.
And why would you want to do that?
Well, say you're frying chips, as the circular bowl rotates around, because it's at an angle, the chips will move too - from top to bottom, giving an even fry rather than just cooking those on the top or bottom.
Russell Hobbs Purifry Multicook 21840, £199.99, from www.russellhobbs.comw
Quick to heat up, this is perhaps the fanciest-looking and most high-tech of air fryers.The Russell Hobbs model creates healthy food with that fry-like-crunch you're after. It's simple to use, just choose the function you want, whether that's grilling, baking, roasting or air frying, and use the corresponding rack, tray or basket required.
Set the temperature and timer and leave it to work its magic.
The front of the 21840 has a few food icons with temperatures, but the corresponding instruction manual has a comprehensive guide for all sorts of dishes, from schnitzel to Scotch eggs.
Smart by name
Sage By Heston Blumenthal The Smart Fryer BDF500UK Fryer, £117, from www.ao.com
If you're keeping your fryer on the kitchen counter, you want it to look sleek and stylish, and that's exactly what you get with this stainless steel model.
Appearances aren't everything though and this model is just as brilliant on the inside as it is on the out.
There are seven pre-set functions; twice fried chips, chips, fish, nuggets, calamari, doughnuts and custom (for everything else) and you can choose between fresh and frozen produce, too.
To choose your desired option, just turn the chunky dial on the right and the back-lit LCD screen will spring into life showing the options you're scrolling through. Once the oil's at the right temperature (it comes with an electronic thermostat), put your food in, stick the lid on and set the timer - once your food is cooked it will beep. The food capacity is 1.2kg and there's enough room for four litres of oil.
Cheap and cheerful
Simple Value Deep Fat Fryer, £13.99, from www.argos.co.uk
If you're after a deep fat fryer for only occasional use, and need it to just do the basics well, there's no need to spend a lot. For just £13.99, you can nab this great value fryer which works a treat.
The food capacity is 0.5kg (with 1.5l oil) that's plenty if you're cooking for two. Set it to the correct temperature, then once it's reached the required heat, just put the food in the tray and lower into the oil.
Stick the lid on the top and get frying. There's a reassuring safety cut-out feature and it cooks your food quickly. Considering the price, you'll struggle to beat this.
Vonshef Low Fat Air Fryer, £52.99, from www.domu.co.uk
This air fryer won't take up too much room on your kitchen counter, looks smart and offers great value for money.
You can grill, roast, bake and fry with it, and it's the latter that it really shines.
If cooking chips, you'll want to pop a spoon of oil in with them and shake the basket every now to separate the chips to ensure an even fry, but otherwise, there's very little effort required.
A good option if you're just getting into the air frying game and want a gadget that is easy to use, clean and store.
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You've no doubt seen the Food Standards hygiene ratings on restaurants and cafes by now. Rated 0-5 (with 5 the most hygienic).