It might not have the capacity for a weekly fish and chip night or big batches of deep-fried food, but the VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer will suit those who don’t have the space, budget or regular needs for a larger model. It’s not without flaws: in some cases, it took a little longer to cook food through, and I wasn’t able to crisp fresh chips up, despite a double-fry. However, the 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer is visually appealing where many aren’t, and is pretty good value.
- Basket dishwasher-safe
- No timer
- Hard to drain and clean
- Limited capacity
- Review Price: £22.99
- 1.5-litre capacity
- H25 x W22 x D21cm
You work out, eat right, but every so often you fancy homemade chips, fritters or tempura-battered veg. This is where the VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer is a great fit. It’s a boxy, compact fryer that tucks snugly in a corner or under wall units when not in use, is affordable enough to add to your kitchen supplies without blowing the budget and is straightforward to use. More importantly, just like all electric fryers, it’s safer than deep frying in a chip pan on the hob, thanks to a regulated temperature, vented lid and flame-free heating. And because its capacity isn’t that huge, you don’t need to have gallons of oil on hand to fill it.
VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer – What you need to know
- Homemade chips test: These emerged golden and evenly cooked, but they were soft inside and the exterior lacked crunch.
- Fish test: The basket and fryer weren’t large enough to fit a fillet easily and it took 10 minutes for the batter to cook and crisp.
- Doughnuts test: These were evenly cooked through after a few minutes and browned quickly without over-crisping.
VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer design – Simple looking but it could do with a few tweaks
A lack of guidance beyond suggested cooking times for four different foods on the appliance itself means that this fryer is great in terms of budget, but not if you’re a beginner. Not only are there no recipes or suggestions for preparing food, the instructions are just a bit too basic if you’re new to deep-frying.
However, it’s not all negative. The fryer itself has a robust design, with a stainless-steel exterior, 1.5-litre pan and stainless-steel basket with a removable cool-touch handle, so that it can be stored inside when not in use. Inside, min and max fill lines for oil are marked, but they can be difficult to see on the black background. The controls are just as straightforward – there’s a thermostat dial with 150-190C marked on it, and an indicator light that goes out once it’s reached temperature. I found it took about 10 minutes to hit 190C.
It also features a viewing window in the lid, so you can check on progress without opening it – although once this has filled with condensation, it’s hard to see anything at all. This was a problem I encountered most when frying chips. The large amount of steam they released while cooking not only filled the fryer, but the kitchen, too. While there’s a vent at the back of the fryer, it’s not enough to handle a lot of steam, so this also came billowing out around the basket handle and sides of the lid. I had to wear gloves to open the lid as well as running the kitchen’s extractor. Another issue was that when I opened the lid, some of the condensed steam dripped into the oil pan and caused it to spit.
VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer performance – Cooks well enough but is better at smaller batches
The chips themselves cooked thoroughly enough in about 15mins, using a combination of 160C initially, then 190C to crisp the outside. However, once drained, they were still quite soft and not as crispy as their browned exterior suggested.
Frying cod also required more time than anticipated, the batter taking 10mins to turn a deep golden brown, which overcooked the fish itself. The deep fryer also lacked the capacity to fit a whole fillet in – I found I had to fold it – and the batter seeped through, sticking the fish to the basket. Cooking a battered fillet loose in the fryer helped to prevent the sticking problem and provided a bit more room for it to be flatter but removing the fish was harder.
Where I had more success was with small amounts. Loose frying worked well for doughnuts – they were easy to drop in, turn over and retrieve as they floated. They also cooked evenly, creating a fluffy interior and well-browned exterior in about 4mins.
VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer cleaning – The fixed pan might be non-stick but cleaning is still a greasy job
There’s a reason why more expensive deep fat fryers, such as the Tefal FR804 OleoClean Pro, have removable oil tanks and pans – cleaning out a fixed one, even when it’s compact, is no fun. The VonShef model features a small notch around the rim of the pan, presumably to help oil pour out more smoothly when draining, but I found that it still dribbled and splashed over the worktop. As the lid is fixed, trying to empty the fryer involves holding it awkwardly to keep it open while pouring. Wiping out the majority of residual oil and food debris from the small pan then filling it with warm, soapy water to soak, was both time-consuming and messy.
Admittedly, you’ll be able to get up to 20 uses out of the oil before having to empty and clean it out, so it’s not a job you’ll have to do every time you use the fryer. However, you may need to filter out leftover bits of food from the oil more regularly, so some way of pouring it out without drips would be a huge improvement. On the plus side, the basket is dishwasher-safe but the handle still required hand-washing.
Should I buy VonShef 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer?
The VonShef Deep Fat Fryer’s limited size, combined with the difficulty of cleaning it out, means it’s not one for families. Where it will come in handy is for couples, solo households or those of us who deep fry infrequently and don’t have the storage space for a bigger model. Its other advantage is that it’s one of the more attractive, yet still affordable, models. This makes it a good choice if you don’t have cupboard space and plan to have it out on the worktop, although it is slightly more expensive. Considering that many affordable fryers are finished in white plastic, it’s one more reason to turn to the VonShef when only deep frying will do.
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