An internal thermometer prevents oil from overheating and regulates the temperature during cooking, which means you don't have to worry about raising or lowering the heat like you would on the stove, or fussy thermometers. If you plan on deep-frying often, you might want to consider a deep fryer with a small footprint so you can keep it out on your counter without hogging up too much space.
Stainless steel housing and digital control panels look sleek on countertops. If you're deep-frying for one or two, a small deep fryer, such as 1 quart or 4 cups, is more than sufficient; plus, it requires less oil.
Some large capacity deep fryers can be very big and bulky, although one of our top picks features a unique oil storing container. Large green and red indicator lights clearly let you know when the fryer is at temperature and when the heater is on, while a wide viewing window allows you to peer inside without opening the lid and causing the temperature to drop during cooking.
It also has a lid to store oil and use again, and takes up minimal counter space. The LCD-lit digital display and digital controls offers pre-programmed settings for seven commonly fried foods (French fries, wings, calamari, and more), whether they're fresh or frozen.
It has a compact footprint that can be stored easily and can fry up to 3/4 pound of food. The Presto Kitchen Kettle is comparable to a cooking pot that heats up quickly, no flame required.
It heats up quickly and can be used for an array of purposes, from frying and steaming to browning and cooking soup. It reaches up to 400ºF, and features a tempered glass lid, which allows you to see inside the pot during cooking.
When ready to re-use, simply slide out the drawer and transfer to the oil container. The oil container, lid and basket are dishwasher safe, which make the whole cooking process that much easier.
Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Testing Editor & Producer Nicole is a recipe developer trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition who specializes in testing and developing kitchen appliances; she currently runs the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
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. We spent hours researching the market and testing deep fryers in our lab.
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.
The best oils for deep-frying generally have a neutral flavor and a high smoking point (over 400 °F). 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.
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. The batter forms a barrier between the moist interior of the chicken and the hot cooking oil.
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 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.