What is the Best Deep Fryer for Home?
Great deep fryers come in many different styles, and are commonly used in household and commercial kitchens. Frying foods in vegetable or animal fat is a tradition that dates back to the Egyptians. Of course this method of cooking is often viewed as being unhealthy because of the oil absorption, but there are healthier alternatives such as olive oil and coconut oil, and even oil-less frying.A deep fryer is a kitchen appliance that is an ideal option for a busy lifestyle. It will help maintain the correct temperature control so that your food is cooked just right. Most home fryers have a 2 to 12 cup capacity. When choosing a fryer, it is important to select one that will best suit your needs. If you have a small family or if it is just you, then you would not need a large capacity fryer. However, if you entertain a lot, or have a large family, you will want to select a fryer that has a larger capacity. If you like to fry turkeys for holidays, there are fryers that can handle that. Also, if you are on a budget, there are simple fryers that are easy to use, but for the sophisticated cook who wants all the bells and whistles, there are fryers that have a number of features at a higher cost.
Top 5 Home Deep Fryer Reviews
There are many brands of deep fryers on the market today, and depending on your needs, it is a matter of your preference. These fryers eliminate having to stand over a hot stove and constantly turn and watch your food to keep it from frying too hard or burning. They also eliminate messy cooking and provide better safety in the kitchen. Below are reviews of 5 top home deep fryers.
#1: T-fal FR8000 Ultimate EZ Clean 2.6-Pound / 3.5-Liter Stainless Steel Immersion Deep Fryer
This stainless steel fryer features a unique oil filtration system that drains and filters the oil automatically so that it can be used again. There is a separate, sealed plastic container that stores the oil for the next time you are ready to use it. Another feature of this fryer is the advanced oil temperature heating system. The T-fal EZ clean system maintains the best frying temperature so that food’s exterior is sealed for minimal oil absorption which results in healthier fried food.
An adjustable thermostat controls the 1700-watt heating element resulting in professional dishes every time. A viewing window in the lid helps you keep an eye on your food while it is frying, and a permanent odor filter helps control smells that are often present when food is frying. Oil capacity for this fryer is 3.5l and food capacity is 2.65 pounds. A 2-position basket is included for cooking and draining food, and the parts on this fryer are removable and dishwasher safe. Handles provide easy storage and transportation, and the fryer comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
#2: Waring Pro DF280 Professional Deep Fryer
The Waring Pro DF280 is ideal for people who have large families or like to entertain. It has 2-3 pound food capacity, and one large, and two small baskets so that you can cook one or two batches at a time. The baskets are made of heavy mesh with cool-touch collapsible handles. This stainless steel appliance also features a removable 1800-watt immersion style heating element and a 1-gallon removable stainless steel oil container with a pouring spout. Power and oil ready indicator lights inform you of the fryer’s status and lid with a see-through viewing window enables you to check in on your food.
A breakaway cord and polarized plug are included. The cord is designed so that it will quickly disconnect from the fryer when a pulling force is applied. The polarized plug minimizes the risk of electric shock. The fryer is equipped with thermostat overload protection so that if it heats up beyond recommended temperatures, it will automatically shut off. There is a 60-minute digital timer and temperature control which allows you to adjust temperature up or down. Maximum temperature setting is 375o F, and the safety interlock feature will not allow the fryer to operate unless the heating element is properly seated.
#3: Presto 05411 GranPappy Electric Deep Fryer
When you look at this fryer it may remind you of GranPappy frying food in a big cast-iron skillet, Well, this pot is just as simple. It is a basic black bucket made of heavy-duty cast aluminum with nonstick finish and skid-resistant rubber feet. It runs on 1500 watts and an internal thermostat automatically keeps the oil at optimum temperature. This fryer holds up to 3 pounds of shortening or 6 cups of oil, whichever you choose to use. It can also accommodate up to 6 servings of food at one time.
The GranPappy Fryercomes with a scoop that is slotted for draining. It will also allow you to lift food in and out, and turn food if needed while cooking. This fryer is easy to maintain – just wash it with warm soapy water and thoroughly dry it. Do not immerse it in water or use harsh abrasives like steel wool, which can damage the non-stick finish over time. GranPappy also features a magnetic safety connection on the power cord. This connection shuts the power off if the unit is shaken or moved around while cooking. A snap-on plastic lid is included which can be used to store oil after straining it. The unit will fit nicely on most countertops and it is easy to use. Simply put oil in, plug it in, and once the oil is heated (around 15 minutes), you are ready to fry your food.
#4: Cuisinart CDF-100 Compact 1.1-Liter Deep Fryer
The Cuisinart CDF-100 Compact is designed to take up less of your counter space. The fry basket is made of chrome plated steel mesh and holds up to 3/4 pounds and has a maximum oil capacity of 1.1 liter. Oil heats up quickly so you don’t have to wait a long time to start frying. Temperature on this fryer is adjustable, and can reach up to 375o F, and the non-stick die-cast bowl with an attached heating element, results in food fried to perfection. The bowl also has a pouring spout. You can fry quick snacks like mozzarella sticks or calamari to top a salad.
The Cuisinart CDF-100 has a short power cord to minimize any risk of becoming entangled or tripping over the cord. It is not recommended that you use a longer detachable power cord. This fryer also has a polarized plug which lessens the risk of electric shock. Nonskid feet keep the fryer secure especially when cooking. Indicator lights let you know when the fryer is heating up (red), and when the fryer is ready to cook (green). Cool touch side handles enable you to touch the fryer without getting burned. Also included with this fryer are a removable lid, viewing window, and a removable charcoal filter, which helps contain steam and odors during the cooking process. Clean the fryer with warm, soapy water. The lid and basket can be put into the dishwasher.
#5: Hamilton Beach 35021 Deep Fryer with Cool Touch Review
The Hamilton Beach 35021 Deep Fryer cooks faster than many of the leading brands. The removable immersed heating element allows the fryer to heat up and fry fast. It has an 8-cup oil capacity and can cook up to 6 cups of fries or chicken tenders. Indicator lights let you know when the power is on and when the fryer is ready to cook. The lid is designed so that you can fry with the lid closed, as well as lift the basket to drain while the lid is closed. This prevents splattering and messy spills. If you accidentally touch the sides of the fryer while it is hot, the cool touch sides will keep you from burning your hands.
Temperature on the Hamilton Beach 35021 fryer is adjustable, and the viewing window in the lid allows you to check on your food. The oil tank is removable and easy to clean. A breakaway, magnetic power cord is also included. The unit is easy to clean and the control panel and lid can be removed.
How to Choose the Best Deep Fryer for Home
There are a number of things you should consider when purchasing a deep fryer. Of course, the main things are quality food and safety. Price may also be a factor for those on a budget, but there are many quality brands that are reasonably priced.
Safety should be the first thing you look for when selecting a deep fryer. We have all heard stories of or know people who have been burned by hot grease while cooking. First, be sure that the fryer meets North American Electrical Standards. Look for things like non-skid feet which ensures that the fryer will sit securely in one place. Also, polarized plugs protect against electric shock. Many fryers come with automatic shut off if the fryer overheats or is jostled while cooking. Be sure to follow all instructions by the manufacturer. A deep fryer is a great appliance to have, but it can be lethal if used improperly.
You want a fryer that is going to last, so take into consideration the material that it is made from. Stainless steel is an excellent choice. If you can remember those cast-iron skillets that were used to fry foods, you know that they could withstand just about anything. Stainless steel is is durable and easy to clean. You can also see dirt buildup easier.
Depending on your needs, there are several features that you might look look for when purchasing a deep fryer.
- Capacity is important. If you have a small family or it is just you, a 2-4 cup might be all that you need. However, if you entertain a lot, or have a large family, you might want a 6 or 12 cup capacity. It is now common for people to fry turkey during holidays, and there are dedicated fryers for that purpose.
- Adjustable temperature is another good feature because you often need versatility when frying different types of food. Also, fryers that have higher wattage usually come with heating elements that are more powerful. Make sure cooking temperatures and wattage are adjustable and balanced.
- Frying baskets. Frying baskets are ideal for putting food in and taking it out of hot oil. They also help drain the oil from the food, so you don’t absorb as much oil. Some fryers feature hooks so that you can hang the basket after you lift it from the oil and let the oil drain into the oil container. Fryer baskets come in different shapes and sizes and are often made of heavy mesh material.
- Easy cleaning. No one wants to spend time trying to scrub grease and gook after frying food. Many of the fryers come with non-stick interior pots which are removable and easy to clean. Some lids and baskets are also removable and some are dishwasher safe. Others you can just hand wash with warm, soapy water. Stainless steel housing is a plus because you can also wipe it down with warm, soapy water and it does not rust.
- Multi-purpose fryers. Some fryers can be used for other purposes such as boilers or steamers. This enables you to cook a variety of foods, or even a whole meal.
- Oil-less deep fryers. People are more health conscious these days, so some manufacturers offer an alternative to deep frying with oil. This process uses halogen, infrared and convection and uses little or no oil at all, but your food will come out just as crispy.
Main Types of Deep Fryers
Deep fryers, also called deep fat fryers, come in all shapes and sizes, with various features depending upon your needs. If you are using one for a restaurant, you would need a commercial deep fryer or a large deep fryer. For families or entertaining you might use a home deep fryer that fits nicely on your countertop. Although these fryers are not as large as the commercial fryers, you can still get restaurant quality results. Here are some of the main types of deep fryers that you will find on the market.
Commercial or large deep fryer
These fryers usually have three pot designs: open pot, flat-bottom, and tube type. Open pot fryers are good for things like French fries and lightly breaded food. Flat-bottom pots are for delicate foods like tortilla chips, taco shells or tortilla chips. Commercial fryers are usually referenced according to tank capacity. A good fryer can create volume that is 2 times the weight of oil that it can contain. For example, a 30 pound fryer is capable of making 60 pounds of fries each hour under the right conditions.
Electric deep fryer
Electric fryers are generally closed which decreases the risk of oil burns from spatters or spills. This makes them safer to fry food s with. These fryers often have temperature control and automatic setting controls for more precise cooking. Electric fryers also tend to fry quicker because of consistent temperature control and the fact that electricity heats up the coils more rapidly. These fryers are also easy to clean and many of the parts are removable and dishwasher safe.
Propane deep fryers/gas fryers
These fryers, also known as outdoor fryers, should be used outside. They generally have a propane set up that can be used with a natural gas line or propane tank. Propane or gas fryers usually heat up quicker than electric fryers and can reach a greater maximum temperature. In many cases these fryers are less expensive to operate. Outdoor fryers are often deep stockpots that come with fryer kits including a poultry rack, lid, and thermometer.
Small deep fryer
Small fryers are often called countertop fryers or portable fryers. That is because they are compact and fit nicely on most countertops. They can also be easily transported for picnics or cookouts. They are ideal if you are cooking for one or two people and they are easy to store after use. The best small deep fryers come with many of the features that large fryers have.
An air fryer uses hot air to cook food instead of oil. The process works by the use of high-speed hot air circulation. The fryer creates hot air after which a mechanical fan circulates the air rapidly around the food. The outcome is fried food with a crispy layer. Of course, this is a huge health benefit. Air fryers are also safer than oil fryers because there is no need to boil oil.
Oil-less deep fryers
Oil-free fryers come in propane or electric and require little to no oil for cooking. Many of these fryers are multi-functional and can steam or stir-fry. No-oil fryers are much less messy because little to no oil is used for frying. An advanced heat wave infrared technology is used to cook your food and you will still get the same crispiness that you do when you fry with oil. The difference is you do not absorb the same amount of oil, so it tends to be healthier.
Double deep fryer
Double deep fryers have two frying tanks which enable you to fry different foods at the same time without mixing the flavors. Each of the tanks has their own adjustable thermostat which allows for cooking a variety of foods at different temperatures. The unit is designed for both tanks to run at the same time on a standard outlet.
Cast iron deep fryer/stovetop fryer
Remember the cast iron “frying pans” that your mom or grandmom used years ago? Those things were heavy and tough! Talk about durable. Cast iron fryers are some of the oldest on the market and will last you a lifetime. Most can be used in the oven as well as on a stove. If you season your utensils right, this fryer will have a natural non-stick surface.
Pressure fryers are big and deep. When using this fryer you immerse the food down in the oil and put a lid on the fryer. The lid should be sealed tightly. Food cooked in a pressure fryer cooks faster, keeps its natural moisture on the inside, and has a crispy texture on the outside.
Deep fryer with filtration system
In this fryer, the oil is depleted and filtered for later use. The oil is generally filtered into a specific container which is part of the fryer. Filtering the oil gives you better flavor and makes the oil last longer. It also enables you to use the oil several times before replacing it.
Best Turkey Fryers and Chicken Fryers
Turkey and chicken fryers are generally deep pots that are large enough to accommodate a whole turkey or whole chicken. Although there are indoor fryers for these meats, many people would prefer to fry them outdoors, especially when it comes to a large turkey. These fryers come in indoor and outdoor models, and even have options for not using oil. Go to the Best Turkey Fryers and Chicken Fryers to review some of the best models on the market.
Best Fryer Baskets
Fryer baskets are essential to using a deep fryer. They help drain the food and also help you immerse and take out the food when the oil is hot. The handle on a basket is generally long enough so that you can comfortably maneuver the food while it is cooking. Baskets are usually made of heavy mesh making them safe and durable. Go to the Best Fryer Baskets to review some of the best baskets on the market today.
Best Oil for Deep Frying
Many people debate whether they should fry or bake. Of course, it has been found that fried foods can be detrimental to your health by clogging your arteries among other problems. Even so, for some, you can’t replace the taste of a good piece of fried chicken. There are options that can help decrease risks, so that you don’t have to totally give up frying. Some of the fryers on the market are oil-less or require a minimal amount of oil.
When selecting the best oil for deep frying, you should consider the smoke point and the fats. Oils that have a higher smoke point will allow you to fry without letting the whole neighborhood know you are frying. Oils that are low in certain types of fat are of course the healthier choices. There are a number of options for the type of oil you can use when deep frying. Let’s look at some of them.
This oil can stand extremely high temperatures moreso than the other oils. It is rich in vitamin E and low in unhealthy saturated fats. The two kinds of sunflower oil are high oleic and linoleic. Sunflower oil has a pale yellow color.
This is one of the better oils to deep fry with. Many Chinese restaurants in the United States use peanut oil to fry their food in. If the oil is refined, it will not smoke before 450 F and does not carry a heavy smoky odor that often comes from frying. It smells a little like nuts. There are several ways in which peanut oil is processed. The refined oil is made when raw peanuts are process under very high heat which eliminates the peanut proteins from the oil. People with allergies to peanuts can often use this type. Other types of peanut oil are cold pressed, aromatic, and roasted. These are not safe for individuals with peanut allergies. Peanut oil is also a healthy option because of the low saturated fat and high polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat levels.
Sesame oil is made from unroasted, pressed sesame seeds. If the oil is semi-refined, it is good for deep frying. It will not smoke before 410oF. This oil is not as healthy because of the high percentage of polyunsaturated fat.
Sweet Almond Oil
This oil is one of the most healthy oils to use when deep frying. It will not smoke before 420oF, and is high in healthy fats like omega-9 . Almond oil has a nut flavor and is the source of vitamins E and K. It has no cholesterol or trans-fat content.
Of course, there is good old-fashioned shortening which is very popular for deep-frying. Shortening comes from vegetables or animals and is generally 100% fat. Vegetable oils have lower smoke points of approximately 356 – 370oF. They are also high in trans fat, so don’t let the label vegetable oil fool you.
Be careful about reusing oil unless you have an oil filtration system for your deep fryer. If it has particles from the food you last fried and it is dark in color, it should be discarded. When oil is subject to high temperature it becomes destabilized, so avoid using it a second time unless you are sure it has been properly filtered. Many of the deep fryers on the market have a filtration system built in. Deep fryers are good for frying because the high temperature keeps the oil from being absorbed into the food and becoming greasy.