Delonghi MultiFry FH1394 test: an oil-free fryer that hides its game well

  • 54

While most oil-free fryers are loaded through a drawer, Delonghi follows in Seb’s footsteps and offers a lift-up lid to access the tank. It is thus possible to charge it when it is in place. This tank, with a diameter of 26 cm and 9 cm high, is however removable and associated with a handle that can be folded down so as not to lose space when storing the fryer. However, the MultiFry FH1394 remains imposing since it measures 39.5 x 32.5 x 29 cm.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

Folding down the handle can also avoid hitting it inadvertently, the lid also having the advantage of controlling the progress of the cooking without interrupting it. If the central part is occupied by the main resistance and its fan, the device is transparent on the front and offers a bird’s eye view of the contents of its tank.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

Just like the Actifry Genius XL, the Delonghi deep fryer can very quickly become hypnotizing with its blade which spins slowly at the bottom of the tank to mix the preparations. In particular, it must allow even cooking of the fries, but also mix risottos and dishes with sauce. Thanks to a resistor integrated under the tank, the MultiFry FH1394 lends itself to both stews and frying.

It is also possible to remove the blade to cook cakes or pizzas, but we regret that the drive shaft protrudes from the tank. The bottom is therefore not flat. A problem that might not have been a problem if a cooking grid was offered, but Delonghi recommends using the bowl as it is, and even lining it directly to cook cakes in it.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

The MultiFry FH1394 has a safety system: opening the lid automatically pauses cooking when the blower is used, alone or with the resistance at the bottom since it is possible to use them at the same time. Note, however, that this lid tends to unbalance the device when opened. It is therefore preferable to hold it back, but be careful because it can heat up quickly.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

As with any multicooker in browning or simmering mode, the bottom heating element can work alone with the lid open, but the appliance pauses if the pan is removed. A small gutter is provided around the tank to collect the water from condensation that may form on the lid when it is opened, and guide it to a small tray at the back of the appliance. Much of it still ends up on the counter.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

The resistance selection is made via a knob to be turned on the front of the fryer, which also gives access to the automatic programs Sauteed meat/risotto, Cake, Pizza and Potatoes.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

In all cases, the cooking time is adjustable — between 1 and 60 min for the top resistance, between 1 and 90 min for the bottom — and visible on the right display. Just below, four bars light up or not to indicate the selected power level. This is also adjustable (on four levels, therefore), but we would have preferred to find a real thermostat, as most competing devices offer.

Delonghi MultiFry FH1394

Failing to grant a precise temperature setting, the MultiFry FH1394 has the merit of being very quick to configure since it only includes direct controls. Delonghi also makes the effort to include a small measurer for recipes that call for oil — frying always requires a little, even on a so-called “oil-free” fryer. On the recipe side, a booklet is provided and a mobile application is available.

Unlike most oil-free fryers, the MultiFry FH1394 does not include one, but two heating elements. The main one, of 1400 W, is integrated at the level of the lid and accompanied by a fan to distribute the hot air in the tank. The second, of 1000 W, is inserted under it. These resistors can operate simultaneously or alone. Four power levels are offered each time, but the timer (compulsory) is limited to 60 s when the blower is running, compared to 90 s when only the bottom resistance is on.

Since the Delonghi fryer does not offer precise temperature settings, we obviously cannot process compliance with the requested temperatures. Nevertheless, we managed to find more or less our reference temperatures for air fryers, namely 200 and 180 ° C. For the first time, we had to launch the device with the maximum power level and the top resistance, because we want to compare the MultiFry FH1394 to other oil-free fryers which, for the most part, only offer resistance.

Temperature inside the tank with the upper resistance to the power of 4.

Temperature inside the tank with the upper resistance to the power of 4.

Level 2 provides an average temperature of 180°C in the tank. For information, levels 1 and 3 allow temperatures of around 160 and 190°C in the tank, but in all cases there are variations of around 30 degrees. The MultiFry FH1394 therefore struggles to stabilize the temperature. The latter, on the other hand, is quite homogeneous within the tank and the rise in temperature never exceeds 3 min: preheating is therefore quite dispensable.

Temperature inside the tank with the top resistance to the power of 3, then 2 and 1.

Temperature inside the tank with the top resistance to the power of 3, then 2 and 1.

By combining the two resistances, the heating is a little faster, but the variations can be greater. On the highest power levels, the MultiFry FH1394 even lets the temperature drop by around fifty degrees at times. The distribution of heat remains good and we can also expect better cooking homogeneity by turning on the resistance at the bottom.

Temperature inside the tank with the two resistors on at power 4.

Temperature inside the tank with the two resistors on at power 4.

This is also the cooking mode chosen by Delonghi for most automatic programs, such as fries. However, our test was not completely convincing despite the addition of the mixing blade as a bonus. If the cooking seemed fine to us when the lid was opened, it was enough to shake the bowl two or three times to bring up less grilled fries, even barely cooked. We’re still hopeful of getting better results with less.

Our test batch consisted of 1.5 kg of fresh fries, a fairly large quantity although below the maximum recommended by Delonghi (1.7 kg). We respected the cooking time of 40 min recommended for this quantity and cooked a few chicken thighs in the MultiFry FH1394. Surprisingly, the skin remained very pale, but the cooking was otherwise successful.

Chicken thighs and cooked in the Delonghi MultiFry FH1394.

Chicken thighs and cooked in the Delonghi MultiFry FH1394.

Finally, it is possible to use the lower resistance only to cook dishes in sauce or risottos. The MultiFry blade can then be added to mix the preparation evenly and ensure that no food ends up sticking and burning at the bottom of the bowl, just like the blades of a multifunction food processor.

We first recorded the temperature at the bottom of the tank on the different power levels. We will avoid the first to brown: the peak temperature is only 140°C and it is only reached after 10 min. The other levels are more interesting and allow you to reach 180, 200 and 220°C in 6, 4 and 3 min.

Temperature at the bottom of the tank with the bottom resistance on at power 1.

Temperature at the bottom of the tank with the bottom resistance on at power 1.

Temperature at the bottom of the tank with the bottom resistance on at power 4.

Temperature at the bottom of the tank with the bottom resistance on at power 4.

Note that the temperature never rises as high after the first heating and that the bottom of the tank heats up a little less quickly than the top. However, this is not a real problem thanks to the stirring paddle. When not in use, the attachment point unfortunately remains much colder than the tank.

Homogeneity at the bottom of the tank.

Homogeneity at the bottom of the tank.

Finally, we poured 2 liters of water into the tank to simulate simmering. Again, the first power level is a little weak and the temperature still hadn’t reached 80°C after an hour. Note however that it has never stabilized and has continued to rise, albeit slowly, but surely.

Water temperature in the tank with the resistance on at power 1.

Water temperature in the tank with the resistance on at power 1.

Simmering will be done on the higher power levels, with low heat on level 2 which allows the water to stabilize around 85°C, and on higher heat on level 3 which brings it to approximately 95°C. At level 4, on the other hand, the boiling point is reached.

Water temperature in the tank with the resistance on at power 2.

Water temperature in the tank with the resistance on at power 2.

While most oil-free fryers are loaded through a drawer, Delonghi follows in Seb’s footsteps and offers a lift-up lid to access the tank. It is thus possible to charge it when it is in place. This tank, with a diameter of 26 cm and 9 cm high, is however removable and associated with a handle…

While most oil-free fryers are loaded through a drawer, Delonghi follows in Seb’s footsteps and offers a lift-up lid to access the tank. It is thus possible to charge it when it is in place. This tank, with a diameter of 26 cm and 9 cm high, is however removable and associated with a handle…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.