Air fryers and Actifry appliances have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthier way to cook fried foods. Both appliances circulate hot air around food to produce a crispy, fried finish without submerging food in oil. But is there actually a difference between these two trendy kitchen gadgets? Let’s take a closer look.
What is an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are small countertop convection ovens that use rapidly circulating hot air to cook food. The high-speed air flow quickly cooks food from all sides, mimicking deep frying. Air fryers have a basket inside to hold food while cooking. Models vary in size and capacity, but a typical air fryer can hold around 3 quarts of food.
Air fryers work by drawing cool air in through vents at the top of the appliance. The air passes over a heating element, rapidly heating it up to temperatures between 200°F and 400°F before blasting the hot air into the cooking chamber. This high velocity hot air quickly cooks food, producing a crispy browned exterior. Excess moisture is evacuated out of vents in the back of the appliance.
Most air fryers have adjustable temperature and timer controls. The temperature can be set from warm to 400°F for optimal cooking results. Timers can also be used to program cooking times up to 60 minutes. Air fryers shut off automatically when the timer is complete.
What is an Actifry?
The Actifry is a specific brand and style of “air fryer” produced by Tefal. It uses the same rapid hot air technology as air fryers, but in a paddle-style design. Food is placed in an outer pan that contains a paddle that rotates to stir and flip the food during cooking. Thepaddle turns at a constant speed to ensure even cooking.
Actifry appliances have a transparent lid so you can monitor cooking progress. The rotating paddle and pan design means that foods self-stir, eliminating the need to shake or toss foods halfway through cooking. Actifrys are available in 1.2 quart and 2.2 quart sizes, with the smaller model intended for 1-3 portions.
The Actifry heats air up to 338°F and blows it over and around food from an opening in the top of the machine. The constant movement of the rotating paddle exposes all sides of food to the hot circulating air to produce crisping. Like air fryers, excess moisture vents out through the back of the Actifry.
Actifrys also have adjustable timers and temperature controls. The paddle rotation speed can be adjusted on certain models too. Actifry appliances have cool touch exteriors and automatic shut off for safety.
Similarities Between Air Fryers and Actifry
While air fryers and Actifry appliances utilize slightly different designs, they operate on the same core hot air frying technology. Here are some of the key similarities between the two appliances:
- Rapid hot air circulation – Both use rapid air flow around 400°F to crisp foods.
- Healthier than deep frying – Produce fried results with little to no oil, reducing calories.
- Versatile – Can prepare a wide variety of foods from french fries to proteins.
- Countertop appliances – Compact and convenient models for kitchen counters.
- User friendly controls – Adjustable time and temperature settings.
- Automatic shut off – For safety and peace of mind.
- Dishwasher safe parts – Simplify cleanup.
In summary, both air fryers and Actifry rely on the same core technology of super heated, circulating air to create crispy “fried” textures without submerging food in oil. This allows for quick and convenient cooking of popular oily foods like fries, chicken wings, and more with a fraction of the fat and calories.
Differences Between Air Fryers and Actifry
While air fryers and Actifry appliances are functionally similar, there are some design differences that impact their use:
|Basket design requires shaking||Rotating paddle stirs foods automatically|
|Square/oblong shape||Round pan shape|
|2 – 5+ quart capacity||1.2 – 2.2 quart capacity|
|Wide temperature range up to 400°F||Max temp 338°F|
|Manual flipping needed||Constant stirring from paddle|
|Lower wattage around 1500W||Higher wattage around 1500W|
The main differences come down to design and capacity. Air fryers use basket inserts that require periodically shaking or tossing food for even cooking. Their square/oblong shape also accommodates larger volumes of food. Actifrys rely on the paddles to stir food constantly, eliminating the need to manually flip or toss. Their cylindrical shape gives them a smaller footprint but less total capacity.
Air fryers also operate at slightly higher temperatures, up to 400°F compared to 338°F for Actifry. The constant movement of the Actifry paddle means the appliance does not have to get as hot to circulate air around food for crisping.
Finally, Actifry appliances tend to have higher wattages since they need more power to run the rotating paddle and fan simultaneously. So while both appliances ultimately cook via hot air circulation, their means of achieving it differs slightly in design and settings.
Both air fryers and Actifry can prepare a wide variety of “fried” foods with little to no oil. Here are some of the cooking capabilities of each appliance:
Air Fryer Cooking Capabilities
- French fries
- Chicken wings and nuggets
- Meat chops
- Fish fillets
- Veggie fries
- Egg rolls
- Frozen snacks like pizza rolls
- Fresh vegetables
- Certain baked goods like cookies
The wide basket design of air fryers makes them ideal for cooking larger batches of foods. Their high heat nicely crisps and browns exterior surfaces.
Actifry Cooking Capabilities
- French fries
- Chicken pieces
- Meat and seafood
- Stir fry dishes
- Certain baked goods
The paddle design of the Actifry makes it perfect for preparing stir fry style dishes. It can also cook foods comparable to an air fryer. However, the smaller capacity may limit batch sizes.
In summary, both appliances are suitable for cooking a wide range of fried foods, snacks, proteins, and veggies. Air fryers accommodate larger batch sizes while Actifrys excel at self-stirring dishes.
Ease of Use
Here is how air fryers and Actifry compare in terms of convenience and ease of use:
Air Fryer Ease of Use
- User friendly digital controls
- Dishwasher safe parts for easy cleanup
- Shaking or tossing required halfway through cooking
- Oil spraying may be needed for sticking or dry foods
Air fryers offer adjustable settings but do require frequently tossing or flipping food during cooking to ensure even browning and crisping. Their removable parts are dishwasher safe for simple cleanup.
Actifry Ease of Use
- Set it and forget it cooking
- No need to toss or flip food
- Transparent lid to monitor cooking
- Main pan is dishwasher safe
- Paddle less convenient to clean
The self-stirring paddle of the Actifry requires little intervention once cooking begins. The food cooks evenly without the need for tossing or shaking. However, the paddle itself can be more difficult to clean than air fryer baskets.
Overall, air fryers provide user friendly controls and easy cleanup, but require more monitoring during cooking. Actifrys require less tending once cooking starts but the paddle is trickier to clean.
Air fryers offer more affordable options compared to Actifry appliances:
|Air Fryer Price Range||Actifry Price Range|
|$80 – $200+||$200 – $300+|
Smaller capacity basic air fryers start around $80, with larger models ranging up to $200 or more. High end “smart” fryers with WiFi connectivity can cost over $300.
Actifry appliances retail for $200 to $300+ depending on capacity and features. The rotating paddle technology makes them a pricier option.
Those on a tighter budget can find good air fryer options under $100. Actifrys are only available at the higher end of the price spectrum.
Some additional points of comparison between air fryers and Actifry include:
- Come in a wider range of capacities from 2 – 5+ quarts
- Selection of basic to high end “smart” models
- Range of brands including Cosori, Instant, Ninja, Philips, etc.
- Square/oblong footprint
- Only available from Tefal brand
- Only two capacity options (1.2 and 2.2 quarts)
- Unique round pan shape
- Patented paddle stirring technology
More brands produce air fryers, giving consumers many size and model options. Actifry is restricted to models by Tefal. Air fryers have a traditional “toaster oven” style shape while Actifrys have a unique round pan design.
Pros and Cons Comparison
Here is a quick pros and cons overview of air fryers versus Actifry:
Air Fryer Pros
- Affordable even for basic models
- Large capacities available
- Many brand options
- Gets hotter for crisper crusts
- Parts easy to clean
Air Fryer Cons
- Requires tossing or flipping
- Oil sprays may be needed
- Cooking basket harder to clean
- Potentially more prep/cleanup
- Self stirring paddle
- See through lid
- Unique round pan design
- Patented technology
- Smaller capacities
- Higher purchase price
- Only Tefal brand available
- Trickier paddle cleanup
Air fryers provide affordability and capacity but need more hands on cooking. Actifrys offer unique auto-stirring technology but have a learning curve in cleaning and higher costs.
While air fryers and Actifry both use hot air circulation to create crispy, oil-free “fried” foods, they have some distinct differences.
Air fryers are cheaper to buy, come in more capacities, and allow larger batch cooking. But their basket design requires tossing food midway through cooking for even crisping.
Actifry is pricier but offers patented auto stir paddle technology for set it and forget it cooking. However, the unique paddle can be trickier to clean.
For those wanting maximum capacity and affordability, basic air fryers are the way to go. People short on space or who want the self-stirring benefits may prefer an Actifry.
Ultimately, both appliances produce deliciously crisp home fried foods with a fraction of the oil and calories. The choice comes down to individual cooking needs and budget.