Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 review: brilliant and massive air fryer that's also an instant cooker

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 air fryer doubles as an Instant Pot rival, letting you cook just about anything to easy perfection

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1
(Image credit: Tefal)
T3 Verdict

Tefal's Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is an incredibly impressive machine that can produce fabulous meals. Everything from a simple plate of chips through to complex curries and beyond in fact. It's a bit bulky and quite noisy too, but the big XL 2in1 is, indeed, genius for busy families.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Really versatile

  • +

    Innovative design

  • +

    Endless potential

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bulky design

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• Buy Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 for £299 at Amazon (UK)

The Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 – Tefal YV970840 to its mates – might be a great air fryer, but its real genius is that it also almost doubles up as an instant cooker. We love air fryers and Instant Pot style pressure cookers here at T3.com as you can tell from our current best of selections, but to have an appliance that combines the best of both worlds then that’s, like, wowzer! 

However, despite its amazing array of cooking options and overall versatility the downside is that it’s a bulkier appliance than many, so you’ll want some decent worktop space to give it a home, plus room for the hot air to dissipate too. Even compared to Philips XXL air fryer, it is a chunky beast. We wouldn't try it in a caravanette, that's for sure.

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: what is it?

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1

As well as air frying the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 can do 'wet' meals too, like curries

(Image credit: Tefal)

If you’re lucky enough to be able to find a home for the bulbous Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 then you will be rewarded by one of the most flexible and adaptable kitchen gadgets currently in existence. Air fryers are really like mini ovens, that sit on your kitchen worktop and work via a mains plug. 

Tefal’s Actifry Genius XL 2in1 does that job, no sweat, but its much more versatile. That sets it apart from the competition. It boasts 1700 watts of power and a 1.2kg cooking capacity, which is enough for most average families. There are nine automatic programs that remove the need for any culinary skill although you can also take the manual route if preferred. 

Temperatures can be set anywhere between 70 and 210ºC, plus there’s a 60-minute timer with a delay function if you want food a little later on.

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: is it any good?

While there’s no doubt the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is a sophisticated bit of kit the initial fear is that it’s going to be more challenging to use. Especially compared to some other air fryers that require minimal thought and even less manual input. In fact, the appliance impresses with its beefy functionality and the controls are surprisingly easy to get your head around. The automatic stirring paddle avoids the need for dipping in and helping ingredients along yourself, which is an added bonus.

Unlike some more miserly air fryers on the market the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 comes with a mighty handy accessory. There’s a spoon for measuring out precise amounts of oil, which is actually more useful than you might think given the tiny quantities you need. The timer that goes all the way up to an hour proves useful and the digital display is as crisp as the fried it turns out when the frying is done. Talking of frying; the Tefal cooks killer chips, but it’s also great at other air fryer staples such as chicken legs, wings and thighs.

That clear hood makes a big difference too. Most, if not all air fryers that we can think of tend to hide your contents. Until you’ve got the knack of using one this can tend to make you nervous about scorching your food and as a result you tend to keep sliding the drawer open to check on progress. Not so with the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1, as it’s all there in plain sight within the confines of its sizeable bowl design.

And, of course, being able to cook ‘dry’ meals such as chips and wings along with ‘wet’ ones such as currys and stews broadens the scope of this gargantuan gadget. It isn't actually huge, but if you’ve got a galley kitchen you might find it a squeeze. A fact not helped by the slightly awkward shape.

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: verdict

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1

Tefal's Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is big and bulbous so you'll need some space for it

(Image credit: Tefal)

You’ll know you own a Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 due to its fairly imposing design, weight of 6.84kg and noise levels during operation. However, those are relatively minor grumbles that you can swiftly learn to live with once you’ve discovered its potential. 

The Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is potent and able to cook almost anything. We found it to be worth making the effort to explore manual controls, which delivers another level of freedom from the two-level unit. 

Equally though, if you’re looking for a quick and easy supper solution then select an automatic function. Milk plenty more from its potential by giving the Tefal MyActiFry app a whirl too; we did.

• Buy Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 at Amazon (UK)


Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital, he has run the Innovation channel for a few years at Microsoft, as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of Stuff, TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working, he's usually out and about on one of the numerous e-bikes in his collection.