Deep Fat Fryer Buying Guide

How to choose a deep fat fryer

Every lover of good food will no doubt want to own the best deep fat fryer that they can get their hands on. Quality fryers give you more bang for your buck, fry your food better, get to the optimal frying temperature quicker and give your food way more flavor and texture.

Anything you can think of damn near can be tossed in and deep-fried and when you use the best deep fryers available your french fries, samosas, taquitos, and more will turn out tastier and be more crunchy. But with there being so many options it can be difficult to choose the right fryer unit and there are a number of things you should consider before making your choice.

There are a few key factors to consider. How much frying capacity do you need? Will you be frying for one or two people or will you be using your deep fryer to host parties? Do you want a single basket unit or would you prefer to have two so you can fry two different types of food at once? How much do you want to spend on a quality deep fat fryer? How often will you be frying?

The fryer shown here is the award winning Secura 4.2L 1700-Watt Stainless Triple Basket Fryer

17 Key Considerations When Choosing the Best Deep Fat Fryer

  1. Capacity – I fry large batches of snack foods for parties and gatherings and so I want a fryer that’s at least capable of handling one small bag of fries or jalapeno poppers per basket load.
  2. Does it have a removable heating element? – This is a MUST HAVE for me. It’s a key indicator of a high-quality fryer, helps to get your oil temperature up into the optimal range, and makes cleaning your fryer easier. Beware though that you can get frying debris underneath it and it can negatively affect your frying results if you don’t keep your fryer clean.
  3. How many temperature settings does it have? – One of the key complaints about the Emeril deep fryer is the lack of temperature control; it only includes a handful of presets. Ideally you’ll have full control over the temperature and not be locked into presets.
  4. Is a thermometer built-in or do I need to get one? – Many people don’t use thermometers when deep frying but I highly recommend doing so. Thermometers help you to achieve the optimal frying temperature for the food you’re cooking. Proper frying temperature helps to prevent soggy and greasy food. Most fryers don’t include one so if you go for those models be sure to also buy a thermometer (usually called an oil thermometer or candy thermometer).
  5. What material is the outside of the fryer made from? – I prefer stainless steel for looks, durability, and ease of cleaning. You can use cleaning solutions on stainless that you can’t use on plastic fryers. I also like that stainless shows grease and dirt better so you know if the fryer needs to be cleaned. Fryers like the FryDaddy hide dirt with their black finish and can become gross over time.
  6. Does the cord detach? – Detachable cords are the norm for deep fryers and can easily be lost. If you end up buying a fryer with a removable cord it’s a good idea to get a second cord in case you misplace or lose the original.
  7. Is an odor filter included? – High quality home fryers have filters built into the lid to prevent “fryer smell” from taking over your house. I don’t mind the smell of fried foods and oil and so this is a secondary concern for me; however, many people prefer a fryer with an odor filter.
  8. Does it include an integrated oil filtration system? Is there a built-in oil storage container? – If you don’t already have a separate oil filter and storage container you may want to consider a fryer like the Emeril FR7015001 which has a built-in storage system for keeping your oil fresh after use. It also prevents spills when moving the fryer around.
  9. What type of warranty is included? – Most manufacturers offer a 1-year limited warranty. If you’re buying a fryer that costs more than $100 I would highly recommend getting an extended warranty through SquareTrade in case the heating element fails after the first year.
  10. How many baskets are included? – I love when fryers are setup for using one basket at a time but come with two baskets. This lets me stage the next batch of food to fry while one is cooking in the hot oil. You may also be frying more than one type of food at a time and benefit from a dual basket fryer. Some dual basket fryers also separate the oil containers so you don’t get flavors from one food contaminating the other.
  11. Can the basket handles be removed or folded up into the basket? – Removable handles makes cleanup easier. I’ve also seen a few models that allow you to fold the handle up before putting the basket into the fryer for storage when not in use.
  12. How well does the fryer maintain the oil temperature I want – A good fryer will heat up quickly and maintain the temperature throughout use. If you read reviews on Amazon you will see quite a few people who find that their fryers are not getting up to the temperatures that the manufacturer claims they are capable of; this is usually due to user error or receiving a faulty unit. Be sure to read the user manual to make sure you’re using it correctly.
  13. Is it easy to clean? Dishwasher safe? – These days most deep fryers have dishwasher safe oil containers that can be removed. Another thing to look for that indicates easy cleanup is an enameled oil container. The enamel coating makes it easy to just wipe out (once it’s cooled down and the oil’s been drained that is!)
  14. Can I afford to invest in this fryer? – I refuse to spend more than $200 on a home deep fryer so budget is always a consideration. The three fryers I’ve owned so far were all around $150 and tend to last through 3-4 years of heavy use before the heating elements are shot.
  15. Styling – Does the fryer design and look fit into my existing decor? I won’t buy a deep fryer or any other kitchen appliance if it doesn’t match my kitchen design. I prefer stainless steel as they fit with my modern kitchen design.
  16. Footprint – How much counter space does it take up? I want a balance between frying capacity and the amount of space it takes up on the counter. Personally I’m not interested in a very larger fryer that I can’t easily move to another location.
  17. Does it have a frying timer? – Timers help you to avoid burning or overcooking food. I find that integrated timers are best since I don’t forget to use them as often as if I had to use a stand alone timer.

Here we will discuss some of the best deep fat fryers and accessories on the market right now in 2012/2013. There are quite a few fryers available so the choice can be mind boggling. The main choices are:

Professional-Grade Deep Fat Fryers — More expensive but heat up quicker and usually have a larger capacity for frying party-sized portions.

Compact Deep Fryers — Make proper deep fried comfort foods with a wide range of prices from $50 for low end to $130+ for top end.

Turkey Deep Fryers — Fry whole turkeys and chickens for the holidays with ease, $60 – $500+.

Commercial Deep Fryers — Big and expensive units can fry huge amounts of food in a hurry. $1000 – $8000+.

Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Compact Deep Fryer

For your first deep fat fryer you’ll most likely want to start with a low-end compact fryer unit until you know how often you’ll be using it or how large of a fryer you’ll need. The most popular deep fryer on Amazon and in fact their best selling deep fat fryer is the Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Compact Deep Fryer.

Listed below are a range of the deep fryers available in each of the categories.

Professional-Grade Deep Fat Fryers

Presto 05466 Dual Basket Pro Deep Fryer

If you want to fry a lot of snacks at a time for a large family, a party or the Super Bowl or you need a fryer that heats up quickly because you’re in a hurry then a professional grade deep fat fryer is the one for you.

Professional grade fryers usually have better heating elements which mean you’ll have to wait less time between frys and your food will cook more evenly. They also tend to have a removable basket and sometimes even more than one which makes it handy to operate.

The Presto 05466 Dual Basket Pro Fryer in Stainless Steel.

How to Choose the Best Deep Fat Fryer for Home Use

Which deep fat fryer is best could be the top question that you’re asking to yourself. There are a lot of different fryer models to choose from but the right one for your home and family is the one that you’re actually going to use. For instance, if you know you’ll be frying large amounts for dinner you’ll want a professional-grade fryer whereas if you will be frying multiple things you might want a double basket fryer so you can make fish and chips at the same time.

Compact Deep Fryers

Presto 05450 DualDaddy Compact Deep Fryer

Compact deep fryers units are best if you’re frying for yourself or you and another person. These units have smaller basket capacities and are usually less expensive of an investment than a larger professional-grade model. If you have limited counter space a compact unit can also be a great choice as they have a smaller footprint than other fryers.

These smaller fryers usually give you a decent heating element but as a rule of thumb will take longer to get to 350 degrees (the optimal frying temperature for many foods) than a pro model. Compact units are also easy to store and typically easier to clean that the professional units that use immersion elements.

The Presto 05450 DualDaddy Compact Deep Fryer.

Waring DF250B 1800W Professional Deep Fryer Waring DF280 Professional Deep Fryer
Waring DB250B Deep Fryer Waring DB250B Deep Fryer
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DeLonghi D24527DZ Dual Zone Deep Fryer T-Fal FR7008002 Ultimate Deep Fryer
DeLonghi Dual Zone Deep Fryer T-Fal FR7008002 Ultimate Deep Fryer
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Turkey Deep Fryers

Char-Broil Infared Turkey Fryer (No oil)

Every year more and more people take the leap and fry their first whole turkey at home. Turkey fryers are usually bought for Thanksgiving holiday dinner but can be used throughout the year and also double as a whole chicken fryer. There are some tricks and safety precautions to heed when frying whole birds but it’s not that difficult. The key is to keep the bird really dry before you place it into the hot oil and to lower it VERY slowly into the oil to avoid oil splashing and fires.

Deep fried turkey and chicken are some of my favorite foods from the fryer. This Thanksgiving I fried my first turkey and while it didn’t turn out as moist as I would have liked it was still better than anything from the oven.

The Char-Broil Infared Turkey Fryer (No oil required).

Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Indoor Turkey Fryer Bayou Classic 3066A Outdoor Turkey Fryer Kit
Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Indoor Turkey Fryer Bayou Classic 3066A Outdoor Turkey Fryer Kit
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Waring Pro TF200 Professional Turkey Fryer Masterbuilt MB10 Outdoor LP Gas Turkey Fryer
Waring Pro TF200 Professional Turkey Fryer T-Fal FR7008002 Ultimate Deep Fryer
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Be sure to click through the links to amazon if you see a deep fat fryer that you like and read the tons of consumer reports deep fat fryer units so you can see other peoples experiences with some of the top deep fryer units and that should help you make up your mind which fryer model will work best for you and your frying needs.

Some of the best deep fat fryer models that Amazon.com sells

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