T-fal FR4049 Family Pro Review

fried chicken

This incredible 3 liter deep fryer allows you to prepare family sized batches of all of your favorite fried foods. From fried chicken to beer battered fish, you won’t be disappointed when you put this bad boy to the test.

Many fryers have come before this one, but the key features of this model might just make you want to invest and fall in love with home frying again. Once a skill developed through trial, error and experience, now pretty much anyone can achieve the perfect fry with a machine as high quality as this one.

Quick Overview

First and foremost you know you can generally trust products that come from T-fal. This is one of them. 

But, let's see some more details of the FR4049. Some of the key features include:

  • The capability to fry up to 2.65 pounds of fresh food at once
  • 1600 watt adjustable thermostat for optimum cooking temperature
  • Temperature ready indicator light which is essentially a failsafe
  • 1 to 60 minute countdown timer so you can get on with other tasks
  • Viewing window in lid allows you keep an eye on your fry
  • Stainless steel waffle basket for the perfect waffles, day or night

That's a lot of great features, but keep reading to learn more about how they all work together. 

Major Benefit

The major benefit of this fryer is the sheer versatility of its capabilities. They are seemingly endless and if you can cook it, you can fry it in this.

If you’re looking for sweet treats, the fryer will help you prepare the most decadent of doughnuts or churros, whereas if savory is more your thing, crispy French fries and corn dogs turn out fantastically.

It’s worth experimenting as well, sometimes the best fried dishes come about by accident. It’s even thought by some people that the invention of good old fashioned southern fried chicken was somewhat of an accident. Whether you believe that or not, you could end up inventing the next flavor sensation with a little trial and error. You’ll get to try a bunch of gloriously fried food on that journey of discovery too!

What's Great

The failsafe timing tools that help you know when and how to cook your food items are excellent features that work in harmony with each other. A reliable and clearly marked timer with limits of between a minute and an hour, the neat indicator light and the peeking in window mean that whether you’re someone who watches all the way through, or someone who gets on with other tasks, you can be sure that you’ll be able to keep track of how your fry is coming along.

Even if you’re the forgetful type, the timer will do its job and the light will do its best to remind you. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with all of these little tools in your armory, rooting for you and ushering you along.

What Needs Work

Whilst  the key features suggest that disassembly is easy, when put to the test this isn’t necessarily the case. There are always going to be hard to reach places with any fryer, but there just seem to be a few too many with this one.

As key parts are dishwasher safe, the temptation is to always try and completely disassemble it after each use, which is far from convenient. You don’t have to completely disassemble every single time, but then there would always be the question of whether the food would be nicer if it had been cooked in a crystal clear fryer.

Of course you could look at it the other way round, as lots of people like to use the same oil again and again, claiming that it can add flavor.

T-fal FR4049 vs. T-fal FR3900

Choosing between the FR4049 Family Pro and FR3900 isn't very easy. There aren’t really too many unique selling points between the two and it’s a bit of a balancing act when it comes to key areas. The areas concerned are how well it fries your food, and how easy it is to disassemble and clean.

Often with fryers and other kitchen appliances, the initial enjoyment of using a new item wears off as soon as the monotony of cleaning the thing becomes too arduous. With the 4049, despite the claims of easy cleaning and disassembly, there seems to be a bit of a knack that you have to find, whereas with the 3900, it’s a pretty straight forward process. Sure, there are still those hard to reach areas, but they’re just a little harder to reach with the 4049.

In terms of how the machines do their main job, it’s close, but the 4049 is marginally superior. The crispness it provides is something that users have commented on and the combination of all the readiness alert features make it a winner in the frying department, as you simply can’t go wrong.

All in all, that works out as one point a piece, and so it really is a toss-up between frying prowess and easiness of cleaning.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, this is an awesome fryer. Whether buying it for yourself or giving it as a wedding or moving in present, there are few better deep fryers available within a similar price range. Provided you can commit the time and energy to regular cleaning, you’ll want to use this again and again.

Fried food is supposed to be going out of fashion they say, as in an increasingly health conscious world it’s seen as an unnecessary luxury. Whatever your stance on that though, the tempting waft of a freshly fried batch of doughnuts or the luxurious bite in a piece of southern fried heaven, would convince anyone that a bit of kit like this still has a place in the kitchen. It’s all about moderation and if you’re going to eat fried food, it might as well taste as good as the fried food you’ll be able to cook up in this fantastic fryer.


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