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Old Dec 9, 11, 8:29 am   #46
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Hi,

Errr .... it isn't a deep fat fryer! Whole idea of it. So obviously you cannot take raw fish immerse it in batter and "deep fry".

But it is good at frozen / fresh pre-battered items. For example I used it for a bought sweet and sour chicken and it was great. And as said previously in the thread it is perfect for chips.
You can also go dry panko breaded items as long as they are sticking really well, I've done some others now with a light breading by putting it on wax paper and in the deep freezer for 15 minutes before battering to make it cold, then quickly put on and back in freezer (in a ziploc bag with wax paper lining) for 1 hour after battering.

Then the batter stays on, hit it in the air fryer and it doesn't have time to melt away before keeping enough to stay. It works quite well. Obviously you can't do a tempura batter or anything, but for a light and crispy bread/cracker batter it works out well.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 10:46 am   #47
 
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Well I can finally say I'm the happy owner of a T-fal Actifry.

Inspired by this thread I've been looking at the Actifry for some time but it's expensive! Finally found it at The Bay (a Canadian department store) for $199 instead of the usual $299.

I am surprised at how well the unit works. Sure it takes longer than a traditional deep fryer, but with a bit of planning that's easily overcome. It's remarkably easy to use and the results are above expectation. It really is (almost) all the taste with (almost) no oil.

So thanks to all of you, my fellow FT'ers! Another thread has yielded treasure.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 6:16 am   #48
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Air Fryer

Not sure I could get on with the actifry in the way I do with the Philips airfryer.
Have never regretted our decision to purchase it and we use it nearly daily.

So long as you select small eggplants, after a 5 minute warm up time (the time spent rinsing and piercing the aubergines) the eggplants just take 20 minutes to cook and char. One just slides the flesh into a food processor with the other ingredients and that's baba ganoush within 30 minutes.
This is something we eat regularly now which we didn't before.

The other food this device has added to our diet is polenta, or rather, amazingly crispy and succulent polenta chips. Perhaps the most sinful seeming healthfood I've ever eaten.
No fat, low GI, and possibly the best and most satisfying alternative to chips I've ever come across.
You just make your polenta the usual way, pour it into a receptacle to cool, then turn it out, slice and stick it in the airfryer at the highest setting for 12-15 minutes. Not necessary to brush it with oil as it will crisp up anyway.
You can add cheese to the polenta in the pan to make it taste more decadent, I like to add a chopped clove of garlic to a single spoon of olive oil and let it go golden before adding the boiling water, salt and polenta for a rich taste.
To make these into an even more nutritious snack for my toddler (who adores these polenta chips) I add a couple of tablespoons of okara to the corn polenta. Okara is what you get left with when making tofu and soy milk. It's very good for you.
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Old Aug 4, 12, 6:37 am   #49
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Funilly enough .... as the thread starter all that time ago ... I cannot emphasise how underated this Philips Airfryer is both by users and the manufacturer.

Having really perfected deep fat fried chips (french fries .....) ... after bags of research and experiements, I use to use an industrial Lincat professional double fryer to really get perfect chips and now the Airfryer makes far superior fries than possible with the deep fat route. Altthough with my method they aren't particularly healthy. In fact they are either chips or roast potaots or sort of rosti depending on the shape I use.

My approach is to use small maris piper potatos cut them length ways then width ways to make small quarters. This shape aids shaking. I boil them for a few minutes then let them evaoprate and cool. I drench them in virgin olive oil (taday I'm using chilli oil) and then they airfry at around 180 for around half an hour. I shake them bake into a bowl tand add more oil if dryp and cook until they are crisp outside and dry and fluffy inside but better than the if you were using the Heston torture method ..... and they taste of olive oil rather than sunflower.

The Philips means that once cooked you hold them on low heat until your rib-eye steak has reached 110 degrees for it's little rest. This means that both fries and steak are always perfect.

I genuinely have not tasted fries as good as those from my Philips anywhere I have ever eaten. Dry, caramelside ouside, fluffy inside with olive oil flavour, and you cannot deep fry with olive oil.

And then theres shock-warming croissants ... bagels .... and cooking sausages from scratch etc. I use it every day ... and have two side by side as they are both used so much. I use it for so many things it was never intended for.

One of my favourite kitchen tools. Sorryabout the typos bu the steaks are on the lava .....

Last edited by uk1; Aug 4, 12 at 6:45 am..
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Old Aug 5, 12, 8:57 pm   #50
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
you cannot deep fry with olive oil.
Why not uk1?

We only use Olive Oil to deep fry the likes of chips and doughnuts...no problems. It is expensive but the wife won't allow any other oil to be used.

Glad this thread got a bump. The Air Fryer has arrived in my part of the world and I've been looking for some information on them. Might just have to buy one.
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Old Aug 5, 12, 9:58 pm   #51
 
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Why not uk1?

We only use Olive Oil to deep fry the likes of chips and doughnuts...no problems. It is expensive but the wife won't allow any other oil to be used.

Glad this thread got a bump. The Air Fryer has arrived in my part of the world and I've been looking for some information on them. Might just have to buy one.
NO PROBLEM THAT YOU CAN VISUALLY DETECT

Olive oil (EVOO), while healthy for you when tossed in a salad or drizzle on cooked food is a very poor choice of oil for deep-frying or stir-frying due to the low flash point or smoke point of around 375F.

Deep frying is at a temperature very close to 375F and proper stir-frying is quite a bit higher.
When the oil smokes, byproducts are produced into the food it is cooked in and will cause more harm than the good of trying to cook with olive oil.

Make sure your air temperature setting is within the safe range.

Last edited by tentseller; Aug 5, 12 at 10:07 pm..
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Old Aug 5, 12, 11:36 pm   #52
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Make sure your air temperature setting is within the safe range.
If 'close to 375F' is something you wish to avoid this is pretty easy with the air fryer. 375F is 190C. Highest temperature setting on the Airfryer is 200C and it cools significantly every time you open the door (something you do constantly to shake chips/fries when making them).

Here's a link to a photo I took of a portion of fat free crispy, crunchy (but light & fluffy on the inside) polenta batons with some of that baba ghanoush.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/84333542@N07/7723125020/

Made some more batons yesterday and added a chopped jalapeņo to the polenta. For an accompanying salsa I grated a few large tomatoes, added a little salt and left the pulp to drain in a sieve whilst I roasted some garlic and some of those long thin slightly hot Turkish peppers (took ten minutes) in the Airfryer I had warmed up for the corn 'chips'. Peeled the peppers and garlic, chopped them and added to the drained tomato along with a little olive oil (optional).

This week I'm going to make an enormous batch of polenta, pour it into baking trays to cool and set then slice the lot into batons/chips and pop them into bags for the freezer. If you have an Airfryer and haven't given polenta a shot, I'd really urge you to give it a try.

Last edited by LapLap; Aug 5, 12 at 11:43 pm..
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Old Aug 6, 12, 1:49 am   #53
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Why not uk1?

We only use Olive Oil to deep fry the likes of chips and doughnuts...no problems. It is expensive but the wife won't allow any other oil to be used.

Glad this thread got a bump. The Air Fryer has arrived in my part of the world and I've been looking for some information on them. Might just have to buy one.
Unless you are using pomace .... a highly questionable biproduct of the olive oil industry then it would be impossible to reach the high enough temperature to adequately crisp the chips without reaching the smoke point of olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point of190 degrees C whereas sunflower oil smokes at 230 degrees c plus. The better the olive oil, the lower the flash point.

So you are either using a very questionable oil or are having nice flavoured but soggy chips.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 2:17 am   #54
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This may be of interest to some rather boring people like me who research these things ..... and may explain why the Airfryer unexpectedly does such a good job.

I became obsessed some years ago about producing the perfect, but healthy chip. To be honest there are I believe a lot of myths that generalise that all fried food is unhealthy but this isn't true. Food fried properly can be nearly as healthy as other foods - certainly not as bad as the press they always get. At the same time I also became obsessed with batter for the fish .... but that was a two year journey of discovery and dissapointments and eurekas ..... and the topic for a completely different thread ...... I simply wanted to produce perfect fish and chips at home that were better than we could buy at the best places ... but also reasonably healthy.

But back to the chips! What I really wanted was a really gorgeous crisp chip with the flavour of olive oil, but with no saturated fat inside. So far as this chip journey was concerned I experimented with every method I could find and there seemed to me to be a bit of an issue with reconciling the taste of the chip with how healthy it was. Because the taste relied on it seemed two factors ie the caramelisation of the sugars on the surface causing the crispness and the amount of fat saturated into the core of the chip adding flavour to the middle. As it happens, if you can find a way of making a chip crisp on the outside but not saturated with fat on the inside you have a relatively healthy but lovely chip albeit without maxing out on the internal fat taste. Hence my journey of discovery .....

To cut a very long story short I worked quite hard at this even installing an industrial twin fryer in the kitchen but not really making the progress I'd hoped. I eventually came across a chap completing a PHD in New Zealand who was interested in the fat saturation of chips ie how healthy or unhealthy they were compared to how they had been prepared. In simple terms he bought a portion of chips from as many places as he could in Wellington and analysed the fat content. He then correlated this against how they had been prepared.

The conclusion he reached was unexpected. He (and I.....) had thought that what made the chip saturated was by frying them in a lower temperature oil so that they absorbed the fat. Instinctively I'd presumed the higher the frying temperature the lower the fat drawn into the chip causing saturation because the high temperature seals the chip before it absorbs. These ideas are I believe the commonly held ideas by most people interested in the topic but it seems we are all wrong.

Evidently what causes the chip to be saturated is the amount of water on the surface when you cook it. It is the surface water that draws the fat in it seems. So for example if you blanche the chip, let it cool and completely dry, then flash fry you will end up with a chip with crispness with a fluffy but relatively low flavour but low fat saturated core. But you cannot use olive oil for flavour because of the low smoke point. So even with this method the flavour will come from relatively neutral tasting oils like sunflower or other vegetable oils. The Blumenthal method adds flavour and saturation by adding a low temperature cooking time to the initial blanching followed by the chips now with surface oil being re-fried at a higher tempreature. The final fry will pull in fats into the core because you have oil on the surface of the chip to draw more oil in.

The air fryer used optimally means that you boil or steam the potatos first, then let them cool and dry but then use olive oil to coat the chips. This seems to cause crispness and caramelised olive oil flavour to the surface but leaves the core fluffy and fat free. The lower smoke point of olive oil seems to work in your favour here because they crisp more easily and therefore the flavour and crunch seem even better. As you cannot successfully deep fry chips with olive oil because of the low smoke point, the AirFryer seems (unexpectedly) to me to be the best method I have found to cook a perfectly flavoured and healthy olive oil flavoured chip.

Last edited by uk1; Aug 6, 12 at 2:34 am..
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Old Aug 6, 12, 6:36 am   #55
 
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
This may be of interest to some rather boring people like me who research these things ..... and may explain why the Airfryer unexpectedly does such a good job.

I became obsessed some years ago about producing the perfect, but healthy chip. To be honest there are I believe a lot of myths that generalise that all fried food is unhealthy but this isn't true. Food fried properly can be nearly as healthy as other foods - certainly not as bad as the press they always get. At the same time I also became obsessed with batter for the fish .... but that was a two year journey of discovery and dissapointments and eurekas ..... and the topic for a completely different thread ...... I simply wanted to produce perfect fish and chips at home that were better than we could buy at the best places ... but also reasonably healthy.

But back to the chips! What I really wanted was a really gorgeous crisp chip with the flavour of olive oil, but with no saturated fat inside. So far as this chip journey was concerned I experimented with every method I could find and there seemed to me to be a bit of an issue with reconciling the taste of the chip with how healthy it was. Because the taste relied on it seemed two factors ie the caramelisation of the sugars on the surface causing the crispness and the amount of fat saturated into the core of the chip adding flavour to the middle. As it happens, if you can find a way of making a chip crisp on the outside but not saturated with fat on the inside you have a relatively healthy but lovely chip albeit without maxing out on the internal fat taste. Hence my journey of discovery .....

To cut a very long story short I worked quite hard at this even installing an industrial twin fryer in the kitchen but not really making the progress I'd hoped. I eventually came across a chap completing a PHD in New Zealand who was interested in the fat saturation of chips ie how healthy or unhealthy they were compared to how they had been prepared. In simple terms he bought a portion of chips from as many places as he could in Wellington and analysed the fat content. He then correlated this against how they had been prepared.

The conclusion he reached was unexpected. He (and I.....) had thought that what made the chip saturated was by frying them in a lower temperature oil so that they absorbed the fat. Instinctively I'd presumed the higher the frying temperature the lower the fat drawn into the chip causing saturation because the high temperature seals the chip before it absorbs. These ideas are I believe the commonly held ideas by most people interested in the topic but it seems we are all wrong.

Evidently what causes the chip to be saturated is the amount of water on the surface when you cook it. It is the surface water that draws the fat in it seems. So for example if you blanche the chip, let it cool and completely dry, then flash fry you will end up with a chip with crispness with a fluffy but relatively low flavour but low fat saturated core. But you cannot use olive oil for flavour because of the low smoke point. So even with this method the flavour will come from relatively neutral tasting oils like sunflower or other vegetable oils. The Blumenthal method adds flavour and saturation by adding a low temperature cooking time to the initial blanching followed by the chips now with surface oil being re-fried at a higher tempreature. The final fry will pull in fats into the core because you have oil on the surface of the chip to draw more oil in.

The air fryer used optimally means that you boil or steam the potatos first, then let them cool and dry but then use olive oil to coat the chips. This seems to cause crispness and caramelised olive oil flavour to the surface but leaves the core fluffy and fat free. The lower smoke point of olive oil seems to work in your favour here because they crisp more easily and therefore the flavour and crunch seem even better. As you cannot successfully deep fry chips with olive oil because of the low smoke point, the AirFryer seems (unexpectedly) to me to be the best method I have found to cook a perfectly flavoured and healthy olive oil flavoured chip.
Are you Mr. Heston Blumenthal posting under an alias?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 7:18 am   #56
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Are you Mr. Heston Blumenthal posting under an alias?
No ... just plain Dr Chips.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:06 am   #57
 
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Is the Air Fryer available for purchase in the US?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:43 am   #58
 
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Is the Air Fryer available for purchase in the US?
I am in Canada and we have a T-Fal (110V) version of the UK Philips (220V) air Fryer.

I have seen it in stores in NYC and SF Bay and LA county areas.
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Old Aug 7, 12, 7:22 am   #59
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Unless you are using pomace .... a highly questionable biproduct of the olive oil industry then it would be impossible to reach the high enough temperature to adequately crisp the chips without reaching the smoke point of olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point of190 degrees C whereas sunflower oil smokes at 230 degrees c plus. The better the olive oil, the lower the flash point.

So you are either using a very questionable oil or are having nice flavoured but soggy chips.
Meant to say I do chip shop fish in batter fried in Olive Oil and it always turns out crispy without the oil reaching smoking point.
Never had a problem with the chips going crispy either although that might be down to the excellent quality of potatoes that are available here.
The Olive Oil used is first cold pressed Extra Virgin from Mendoza.
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Old Aug 7, 12, 9:20 am   #60
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I am in Canada and we have a T-Fal (110V) version of the UK Philips (220V) air Fryer.

I have seen it in stores in NYC and SF Bay and LA county areas.
They are completely different.
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