Air fryers offer a healthier alternative to deep fat fryers. Find out if you should snap up the Tefal Actifry Genius 2 in 1 XL or Easy Fry Compact on Black Friday or as a Christmas gift.
The new Actifry Genius 2 in 1 XL will let you cook two things at once, such as steak and chips or salmon and vegetables. This means you can make a whole meal in it, and not have to faff around with as much washing up.
Meanwhile the Easy Fry Compact is the smallest air fryer we’ve reviewed, and will squeeze into even tiny kitchens with ease, but can still make enough chips for two people.
Visit our air fryer reviews to read our first impressions of these and find out which air fryers make the Best Buy grade in full Which? tests.
Tefal Actifry Genius 2 in 1 XL, £230
The original Actifry Genius 2 in 1 was the first air fryer in the UK with two cooking compartments. This allows you to cook steak or chicken at the same time as chips, letting you make a quick and easy dinner in one appliance.
The new Genius 2 in 1 XL can still do this, but has a few added extras, including:
- A larger capacity – 1.7kg compared to 1.5kg. This is the difference between cooking for about five people and six people.
- Nine cooking programs, tailored to use just the right amount of heat and stirring to suit different ingredients.
Like the original Genius 2 in 1, the XL version has a stirring paddle that pushes food around the bowl as it cooks, and should help everything cook evenly. The paddle also means you can make wet mixtures such as curries or bolognese in the bottom basket.
We tried it out first hand, frying up vegetables in the lower basket and grilling salmon up top. Read our full Tefal Actifry Genius 2 in 1 XL review to find out what we thought.
Not sure what features you need? Have a read of our air fryer buying guide.
Tefal Easy Fry Compact, £89
The Tefal Easy Fry Compact is among the smallest air fryers we’ve seen. At 35cm high and 25cm wide and deep, it’s 29% smaller than the Tefal Easy Fry Precision and 22% smaller than the popular Philips Viva Collection Air Fryer.
This could make it perfect for those short on space or who only need to make one or two portions at a time.
It’s a basket-style air fryer, meaning its cooking basket slots in and out. It doesn’t have a paddle to turn over chips or other fried food, so you may need to give food a shake and stir halfway through to ensure even cooking.
It has six preset programs, but you can also manually control the temperature and duration of cooking. The cooking basket is dishwasher safe, and there’s a grid to collect excess fat while the food cooks.
We’ve already fully tested Tefal’s larger Easy Fry models – the Precision and the Deluxe. Read our First Look review of the Tefal Easy Fry Compact to see how it measures up.
Air fryer features to look out for
1. Stirring paddle
All Tefal Actifry air fryers have this. It should save you having to stir food, so you can take a more hands-off approach to cooking – provided it works effectively.
While a stirring paddle increases the chances of evenly cooked food, we’ve found some don’t do a very good job.
2. Tilted baskets
Breville Halo fryers can be set to work at an angle. This tilt, combined with the rotating bowl, is designed to have a similar effect to a stirring paddle, ensuring chips get tumbled around for even cooking.
3. Digital vs manual timers
All air fryers have timers, allowing you to set how long you want your food to cook for and show you how much time is left.
Some, such as the Philips Viva Airfryer and Russell Hobbs Purifry, have manual dials; others, including the Tefal Actifry, have digital timers.
Our testing has generally shown digital timers are easier to read at a glance. Beyond this the difference is mainly aesthetic, so choose whichever style you prefer.
4. Grill mode
Some air fryers give you the option of grilling your food instead of air frying it. This could come in handy when cooking meat or fish, or when you want to grill vegetables. Air fryers which have this feature include the Breville Halo+ VDF105, Breville Halo+ VDF122 and DeLonghi Multifry Young FH1130.