If you're looking for a healthier alternative to deep-frying a turkey combined with the convenience of deep-frying, the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer is an easy-to-use, oil-free alternative to standard deep fryers. It can't be used indoors, because it requires a propane tank rather than electricity. However, reviewers say it's a great choice for outdoor events such as tailgating parties. It costs about the same as a standard deep fryer.
Oil-less operation. The Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer uses little to no oil to produce the same deep-fried taste as traditional turkey fryers. Its infrared cooking technology reduces hot and cold spots to cook more evenly and thoroughly, and the included meat thermometer must be used to determine when foods are done. It takes a bit longer to cook than the Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Series Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer (Est. $150) -- about 10 minutes per pound. But with its oil-free design, you don't have to wait for the oil to heat up before using this fryer.
Outdoors only. Because there's no oil involved, the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer is far less messy than standard deep fryers and turkey fryers. It requires a propane tank to operate, so isn't suitable for indoor use. It features 15 different temperature settings for more control over the frying process when cooking various foods. The Big Easy cools down in about 15 to 20 minutes, and one HomeDepot.com owner says it's handy for tailgate parties. Most users call it easy to clean.
Simple design for healthier foods. The Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer includes a basket, lifter, meat thermometer for ensuring meats are cooked through to the recommended temperature, and even a quick-start cooking guide. Because the fryer uses no oil, cooked foods contain less fat and users don't have to purchase mass quantities of cooking oil for every use. Cool-touch handles and a removable grease tray for easy cleanup are included.
Mixed feedback. Among hundreds of owner posts across sites such as Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com, a few complain about the quality of the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer. Several say the pot is merely tack-welded together, making it likely to come apart after just a few uses. Others reviewers say they have owned this model for several years and have never had a problem despite continuous use. The Big Easy is backed by a 90-day warranty, shorter than that of traditional deep fryers, but on a par with other turkey fryers.
About 400 owners post feedback on the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer at Amazon.com, where it earns an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Users love the healthier, oil-free option and say the fryer's easy to clean.
Review: Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013
The Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer gets 4.9 stars out of 5 after more than 200 owner reviews at HomeDepot.com. Users rave about its oil-free operation, convenience and ease of cleaning.
Review: Char-Broil Big Easy 16,000 BTU Oilless Propane Gas Outdoor Turkey Fryer, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2013
Riches says the Char-Broil The Big Easy offers good temperature control with 15 settings and is a safer alternative to deep-frying a turkey. He notes, however, that the construction quality is "limited."
Review: Char-Broil The Big Easy 2 in 1 Electric Smoker & Roaster, Derrick Riches, Not dated