The best deep fryers have a basket to submerge and remove food from the hot oil without splatter. Read on to learn about some of the best deep fryer features before you buy, and check out this selection of quality recommendations.
Your cooking goals determine the type that’s the best deep fryer for your household, but most people buy electric deep fryers for indoor use in their kitchen. Electric deep fryers provide an authentic fried cooking taste and experience.
They cook food by submerging it in hot oil, making crisp French fries, chicken tenders, and the like available any night of the week. They’re powered by electricity, so they can be used indoors on a kitchen counter, or outside on a patio with a FCI outlet.
Some electric deep fryers have built-in timers and thermostats for precise cooking time and temperature control. Electric fryers tend to be smallish, holding between 4 and 12 cups of oil, enough to make food for one to six people.
Propane deep fryers made for home use usually have a pot or basin that sits on a pedestal over propane-powered burners. The best deep fryers balance price with capacity and have features like cool-touch exteriors, temperature control, and built-in timers.
Deep fryers take up a fair amount of storage and counter space, so factor its size into the equation when picking the best deep fryer for your kitchen. Deep fryers can be dangerous to handle due to hot oil, so it’s important to choose one with the proper safety features.
Models with a cool-touch exterior keep the deep fryer from getting hot on the outside so the chef doesn’t get burned. Putting a lid on a deep fryer while cooking prevents hot oil from popping and splattering.
A fryer with two or three baskets offers the most flexibility because you can cook more than one type of fried food at a time. Most deep fryers have manual dials or digital buttons to adjust the cooking temperature.
Most electric deep fryers have an immersion heating element and generally take between 7 and 30 minutes to reach the correct cooking temperature. Deep fryers with built-in timers, digital temperature displays, filtration systems, and built-in oil storage are easier to use because they put all the tools you need to cook and maintain the fryer in one unit.
To make it easier for you to pick the best deep fryer, this guide recommends models with features ranging from temperature control to enormous capacity. When you’re ready to reuse it, pull out the drawer and pour the oil in the fry basin.
The Total Deep Fryer has temperature controls and a cooking basket that works in two positions: The first immerses the food in the oil, and the second lets it drain. Its large size, simple controls, and industrial-grade design are suitable for catering work or cooking for extended family gatherings.
This sturdy model stands out for the quantity of food it can cook combined with a modest footprint. The fryer holds up to a gallon of oil, and has a carbon filter that keeps cooking smells from filling the kitchen.
It’s also easy to clean, with baskets and an oil tank that can be removed and run through a dishwasher. This model also includes a ready-indicator light that helps while cooking multiple batches of food.
Most recommend that the food be tossed or turned as it fries to achieve maximum crispiness and even cooking. While most air fryer baskets are generously sized, it’s advisable to cook in small portions.
Overfilling the basket often means pale, soft chips or unevenly cooked veggies and meat. Plus, while you don’t need to use oil in an air fryer, a thin coating gives the best results as it’s what promotes browning.
Deep fat fryers work by heating oil to a set temperature that can then be used to immerse a piece of food to fry it. Non-starchy foods (such as vegetables and fish) need a coating of batter when cooked in a deep fat fryer to help prevent moisture loss.
Deep fat fryers are more effective than chip pans as the oil is heated to a consistent temperature, which can be easily altered for different foods. Instead, it has a tendency to drip off the food, stick to the bottom of the basket and end up chewy, not crispy.
Where air fryers do better is crisping up previously cooked frozen battered food as the hot air cooks it evenly and quickly, as well as food that’s been covered in breadcrumbs or seasoned flour (e.g. chicken, onion rings, mozzarella sticks). Generally, chips from an air fryer are prone to being soft and unevenly browned if not turned enough, but are much healthier since they use less oil.
You’ll need to grease the basket to prevent any sticking and ideally use the tray accessory that some air fryers come with, plus a lower temperature or ‘bake’ mode. For the most authentic taste, as well as larger batches, a deep fat fryer offers the best solution.
For a full-on fried fish supper, a deep fat fryer is the ideal appliance, which is also true if you like battered recipes, such as tempura vegetables or crispy prawns. Air fryers allow you to enjoy fried food more often, plus they’re less messy to use, easier to keep clean and faster to heat up.
Large fryers take up a substantial amount of counter space, so a smaller model is more suitable for a small household. Also think about features such as an oil drain, adjustable thermostat, ease of cleaning, and a mechanism for spill prevention.
In our reviews, we’ve suggested some solid deep fryers to enhance your kitchen toolkit. The insights we gained through testing and research have helped us to identify the top five deep fryers on today’s market.
You may be wondering if a deep fryer is a “fad” kitchen gadget that you’d use a few times, then stash away for months. If this sounds like you, you could potentially achieve the same deep-fried” effect with a heavy Dutch oven and a good supply of cooking oil.
In short, an honest evaluation of your potential usage is always wise before investing in a countertop appliance. Finding the right cooking oil or fat for deep-frying foods is not always a straightforward process.
Olive oil is a great candidate for deep-frying, but the extra virgin variety has a low smoking point and can become bitter when overheated. It has a high smoking point, polyunsaturated fats, and beneficial Omega6 amino acids.
The main drawback to using canola oil for deep-frying is its tendency to break down after one session. The tastiness of deep-fried food hinges on the temperature of the oil it’s cooked in.
Ideally, you’ll end up with a platter full of golden, crispy deep-fried food every time you use your fryer. Useful features include an adjustable thermostat, a signal light, a sealed locking safety lid, and a filter for oil drainage.
Oil that’s too cool won’t form bubbles, and the food will absorb it rather than repel it. There are dozens of oils, shortenings, and animal fats available for deep-frying, but not all of them are safe to use at high temperatures.
This is a bummer, because not only is that coating delicious, it provides a protective barrier between the food’s moist interior and the hot cooking oil. One solution is to refrigerate or freeze breaded food products before deep-frying.
However, for best results, you’ll still need to thaw the food a bit before dropping it into the hot oil. Some flash frying techniques suggest that you wait until the last minute to batter the food.
Pro chefs who prepare Japanese tempura tend to follow this philosophy. Deep-frying at an excessively high temperature can cause your food to lose its protective breading or batter and burn.
You may ask: are breaded mozzarella sticks, battered fish, and Southern fried chicken healthy? After all, the very act of deep-frying usually involves saturated animal fats or heavy, plant-based cooking oils.
If doctors and dietitians suggest cutting back on artery-clogging saturated fats as part of a healthy diet, where does deep-frying stand as a cooking method? Instead, we should carefully balance our ratio of “treat” foods against a diet that’s rich in veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
Fry baskets and heating elements usually develop a patina of burned cooking oil that is notoriously difficult to remove. We also know that lighter oils, while healthier for the body, have a lower smoking point and can impart “off” flavors to food.
As the chicken continues to fry, the hot oil creates a crispy exterior, but the meat itself steams in its natural moisture. Otherwise, you’ll spend extra time frying food in multiple batches.
The first step is to use a skimmer to remove any food or coating remnants floating on the surface of the oil. If you can do it safely, the next step is to pour most of the remaining oil through a fine sieve suspended over a clean, heat-resistant container.
Proper oil temperature control has been an issue with electric deep fryers for a long time. You can probably count on your onboard thermostat to sit within 25° of the target temperature, but for more precise control, we recommend investing in an additional analog bulb thermometer as a safeguard.
Many restaurant use a proprietary form of shortening in their fryers that would be prohibitively expensive for home cooks. Oil temperature and quality can also affect the appearance of foods prepared in home deep fryers.
Aside from being manufactured by Total, a popular household brand, the Ultimate EZ Clean renders an exceptional performance. With its detachable, dishwasher safe parts, it’s also one of the easiest models to clean on today’s market.
The adjustable temperature settings open up a world of possibilities when it comes to experimenting with ingredients and recipes. What’s more, the Total’s generous cooking space give you plenty of real estate to prepare just about any meal.
The Cuisinart Deep Fryer delivers an enormous value for an incredibly low price. The feature set on this unit is akin to fryers that cost twice as much, and its performance and quality sit on level with its higher-priced rivals.
While the machine is a bit smaller than some premium fryers, it’s the optimal purchase for anyone planning to use it in everyday settings. Remove your dough from the fridge and begin heating oil 360F in your deep fryer.
Working half the dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2” thickness. Remove from the oil and set them on paper towels, then place them into a brown bag and add the cinnamon sugar coating.