Stella bought a new “deep fat fryer” recently: Tefal's ActiFry. Scare quotes since it only uses very little fat, and uses a specially-shaped turning part to turn over the contents (such as chips) in an attempt to have each side come into contact with the fat at the bottom; it also uses hot air as an aid to cooking the contents.
It's marketed as a way to enjoy healthier food, cooked with less fat, and Stella had had her eyes on it for quite a while—especially since she really enjoys chips. She’d never had a deep fat fryer before, and didn’t really want to get one since she didn’t know what she would do with all the fat once she’s cooked a batch of chips, so she’d mostly made them in the oven. But this seemed like a good thing to her.
We had chips for supper this evening to try it out. Stella rather liked them, but I wasn’t too happy. Several were fairly dark, implying that they had been cooked a bit longer than optimum, but most were still rather mushy—as if they had been re-heated in a microwave oven. Crispy they were not, except the odd bit here and there. I think even oven chips are better.
Stella said, well, you’ve got to adjust your expectations with this kind of thing. Which didn’t seem reasonable to me at all: I mean, the thing is not an end in itself, is it? It’s a tool to produce food that you like, and if you don’t like the result, the more reasonable course of action, to me, would seem to be to return the tool and either do without or get a tool that produces better results, rather than to adjust your expectations to match what the tool is capable of.
But she says she likes the way they turn out, so she’s going to keep it. Oh well.
Perhaps chips turn out better if you use more oil—say, two spoonfuls instead of the recommended one. (Based on the included measuring spoon, not a standard tablespoon.) On verra.