The idea of a deep fryer that produces healthier fried food is a tempting one. And who better to develop such a product than George Foreman, who revolutionized healthy cooking with a line of fat-reducing grills?
An Innovative Design
Unlike a traditional deep fryer, the machine has a round fry basket that lifts out of the oil and spins rapidly, using centrifugal force to pull excess oil off food. The company put the product through its paces at an independent laboratory test to determine that the fryer did indeed remove more fat than traditional deep fryers. According to the test, onion rings had up to 38 percent less fat and breaded chicken, 55 percent less.
With a number of parts, the machine looks a bit intimidating and complicated, but a detailed instruction booklet makes it easy to assemble and use, and the booklet also contains helpful tips, a chart of cooking times for different types of food, and a few recipes.
A handle lifts and lowers the fry basket and locks it into position, all without having to open the lid. Dials set the temperature and cooking timer. The spin cycle has low and high speeds, and another dial sets the timer for the spin cycle, turning it off when time runs out.
The food I fried in this fryer (one recipe I tried: Fried Chicken Tenders with Creamy Salsa Cilantro Sauce) turned out crisp and perfectly cooked, and it did seem less greasy. What's more, the cover, with its built in vent, helped to cut down on the usual "fried" odor, and kept grease from spattering the area. On the spin cycle, the machine wobbled precariously, but nonskid feet kept it firmly in place on my counter. The George Foreman Lean Mean Spin Frying Machine sells for around $150, and is a good option for those who like to fry (slightly healthier) food with minimal mess.
The design of the machine presents a few drawbacks. For one, the cooking area is small, and the spindle in the middle (which holds the fry basket in place) cuts down on the capacity even more, and you can forget about frying anything very large, like a fish fillet.
The design of the machine makes it necessary to close the cover when you're frying, which takes some getting used to if you are accustomed to the open fryers. The cover makes it a little difficult to monitor the cooking process, and the viewing window quickly gets covered with condensation, which makes it impossible to see through.
I also wasn't fond of the dials that set the timers, because it seemed hard to know if you were setting them accurately. The button that opens the lid is also difficult to push, requiring a lot of effort, or requiring you to grip the sides of the machine in order to push it hard enough.
- 2.6 liter oil capacity
- Immersion-style heating element
- Removable, nonstick oil pot
- Basket spins at two speeds, with timer for 1 to 2 minutes
- Replaceable, washable filter in lid cuts down on odors
- Magnetic breakaway cord
- Overheat protection system
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Detailed instruction booklet contains recipes for: Chicken Tenders with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce; Corn Fritters with Roasted Pepper Sauce; Fresh Vegetable Wontons; Yuca Sticks with Aioli Sauce; Cinnamon Orange Donut Drops; and Fried Cheesecake Squares