Deep fryers are indoor kitchen appliances that run on electricity or outdoor fryers that typically run on propane gas. Both cook foods by submerging them in a deep container of oils or fats heated to high temperatures.
Deep fryers cook crispy chicken fingers, turkeys, French fries and other foods, sealing in the moisture and flavor often lost in other cooking methods. Use this guide to find the best deep fryers for your home.
Best Deep Fryer Features for Your Needs
Consider these features when you're shopping for the best deep fryer for your needs.
- Capacity: Most indoor deep fryers hold from less than one quart up to eight quarts of oil. The size you need will depend on how much food you want to cook. A large family might need a large capacity deep fryer but could also use a smaller model and cook in small batches. Outdoor deep fryers can hold 30 or more quarts, or enough to submerge a turkey.
- Available space: If kitchen space is tight, consider a compact or countertop deep fryer. If you’re cooking outside, you need a level spot in an area that isn’t enclosed or covered for a large capacity deep fryer. Outdoor deep fryers should also be at least 10 feet away from anything combustible, such as a wooden fence, deck or tree.
- Automatic shut-off mechanisms, built-in timers, temperature controls and displays and adjustable thermostats: These features help prevent overheating and overcooking. Some models have preset cooking options for onion rings, poultry and other foods.
- Built-in filtration or drainage systems: This allows the reuse of oils to get more than one fry session from your oil.
- Thermometers: Measure the oil temperature to ensure the right cooking temperature.
- Retractable or breakaway cords: These help prevent indoor deep fryers from tipping over if you accidentally snag the cord.
- Air filters: Helps to control odors.
- Lids with view windows: Not all deep fryers have lids, but those with view windows let you see the food without opening the pot and risking hot oil spatters.
- High BTUs: Higher BTUs heat the oil faster, so foods cook faster.
- Easy-to clean, detachable and/or dishwasher safe parts.
Compact Countertop Deep Fryers for Your Home
Compact countertop deep fryers may be the best deep fryers for your needs if your kitchen is small. They hold less oil than other fryers, which makes them economical, and their small fry baskets are ideal for making snacks like mozzarella sticks or small meals. Countertop deep fryers with nonstick surfaces make cleanups quick and easy, and some have dishwasher safe parts.
Cool Touch Countertop Deep Fryers
Countertop deep fryers with cool-touch or heat-resistant handles and exteriors can help prevent burns.
Deep Fryers with Multiple Fry Baskets
Indoor and outdoor large capacity deep fryers, sometimes called dual capacity deep fryers, are available with one or more baskets to lower and raise foods from the oil. With a dual capacity deep fryer, you can cook more than one kind of food at a time. Food flavors are also less likely to transfer when each basket has its own container of oil.
Outdoor Large Capacity Deep Fryers
Large capacity deep fryers made for outdoor use are often used to cook holiday turkeys or big amounts of foods for carnivals, fairs and festivals. Professional or commercial models large capacity deep fryers are also available.
Some outdoor deep fryers have baskets with dual or single handles that collapse for storage and make them easier to transport to family reunions or other events.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, large capacity deep fryer, remember that a product warranty can help offset the purchase price, especially if it’s valid for an extended period of time. Read the warranty to find out how long it lasts and whether it covers repairs or replacement parts.
Fryer accessories, such as large pots for boiling or steaming, skimmers and stir paddles, are available for some kinds of deep fryers.
Outdoor Deep Fryers for Turkeys
Turkey fryers designed for outdoor use may come with a deep fry thermometer, a basket with heat-resistant single or dual handles and a battery operated timer to automatically shut off the propane gas and prevent overheating. These large capacity deep fryers often have tip guards to help keep the fryer from falling off the stand and heavy-duty heat shield guards. Turkey deep fryers usually come with a grab hook or other tool to help you raise and lower the turkey.