I just spent two days at the Chicago International Home and Housewares Show, and it was an incredible experience. There are so many cool new kitchen gadgets, and gourmet products, and small appliances, and tabletop items... well, just about everything you could ever want for your home. I don't want to spoil the surprises I have planned for our upcoming Great Finds columns and Test Drive equipment reviews, but there was one machine at the Show that I can't help but spill the beans about - T-Fal's ActiFry. This countertop appliance took 10 years to develop, and its claim to fame is that you can make a 2-pound batch of French fries using only 1 Tbs. of oil! I was skeptical, but after trying the fries I have to admit that they were very crisp and nicely browned.
The machine uses circulating hot air and a paddle that constantly stirs the food, allowing it to cook evenly with less fat. Of course, the ActiFry can make other things as well, like risotto, chili, tomato sauce, granola (in 9 minutes!)... Our contributing editor, Ellie Krieger, will be creating recipes for the ActiFry, too. It's coming to stores this summer, and will retail for $299. We are looking forward to trying it out in our test kitchen to see what else it can do. I mean, doesn't it sound almost too good to be true?!