Types of Deep Fryers
Electric Deep Fryers
These are a convenient alternative to the old-fashioned method of using a large pot filled with oil on the stovetop, and are generally easier to use than deep fryers powered by propane. The best electric deep fryers have enclosed heating elements that are safer than using a substantial amount of oil over an open flame, and many electric deep fryers come with lids that prevent splatters from creating a mess and causing burns. Most of the home deep fryers in this report are electric models.
Oil-Less Deep Fryers
While they aren't truly oil free, oil-less deep fryers use much less; often only a tablespoon or light coating of oil. They can be powered by electricity or propane. This type of home deep fryer is a versatile cooking unit designed to produce the same restaurant-style fried taste without the hassle, expense and mess of dealing with large amounts of cooking oil. Many of these also steam or perform other cooking tasks, like stir-frying.
Turkey Deep Fryers
Turkey deep fryers come in all configurations -- electric or propane, oil or oil-less. The only difference between a turkey deep fryer and other home deep fryers is that you need to have the interior capacity for a large bird. However, many people don't like to deep fry a large turkey, even if the manufacturer says the deep fryer has the ability to do so; they prefer frying two smaller birds of about 10 to 12 pounds, saying they get better results.
Finding The Best Deep Fryers
"Deep Fryers Reviews"
"The Best Turkey Fryer"
"The Best Deep Fryer"
many professional tests of deep fryers, although we did find a few
comprehensive roundups from experts at Your Best Digs, Top Ten Reviews and
Wirecutter. All of these sites conduct head-to-head testing and provide
there are few professional tests, we relied heavily on owner feedback on retail
sites such as Amazon, Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond, to name just a few,
analyzing thousands of user reviews for long-term, real-world experiences with
home deep fryers. Owners tend to be passionate about their cookers, and the
reviews we read were detailed -- some were even updated after several years of
the owner using his or her deep fryer. The result of that research is our
recommendations for the home deep fryers with the best combination of
performance, ease of use and durability.
The best electric deep fryers
If you don't
plan to deep-fry a lot of food or you need just a side dish for a couple of
people, the (Est. $50) has a 6-cup capacity that
owners generally say is enough for about two people, depending on your
serving-size preferences. With 1,500 watts of power, this small deep fryer
heats up quickly and recovers fast after foods are added, resulting in crisp,
evenly cooked foods.
CoolDaddy has a useful feature that eliminates the annoying -- and sometimes
painful -- grease splatters that are common when adding foods to a heated pot
of oil. The basket has an exterior handle that's used to lower the basket into
the oil with the lid closed, which then prevents grease from splattering
outside the unit when it comes in contact with cold or frozen foods. The lid
also contains a charcoal air filter, which reduces the unpleasant frying odors
that tend to infiltrate kitchens where deep fryers are used.
There are no
fancy digital controls on the CoolDaddy, just a simple knob to adjust the
desired oil temperature up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The non-stick interior
pot is removable for cleaning, although it's not dishwasher-safe. Overall,
reviewers are pleased with this home deep fryer's performance, noting that it
doesn't take up a lot of storage space, but serves the purpose when they have a
craving for fried food. We review the black model here, but the (Est. $40) is the same fryer with a white finish. However,
owners say it stains more easily and is harder to clean. This deep fryer is
backed by a one-year warranty.
If you don't
use a deep fryer often or are looking for a simpler, more basic option, the (Est. $35) is just that: It
has one temperature setting (meaning no buttons or dial to adjust), and it
consists of a heavy-duty, cast aluminum bucket and lid with a handle. A scoop
for removing foods from the fryer is also included. In testing conducted by Top
Ten Reviews, the 1,500-watt Presto GranPappy took about 15 minutes to reach
cooking temperature and about five minutes to recover after foods were added.
it's simple, reliable, and efficient, and it heats and cooks quickly as long as
you don't try to cook too much food at one time. Like the Presto 05442, the
Presto GranPappy has a 6-cup capacity. With a non-stick surface inside and out
and no messy basket to handle, the GranPappy is easy to clean, and its lid locks
in place for convenient oil storage between uses -- but make sure the fryer has
cooled completely before attaching the lid. It's also backed by a one-year
If you need
even less capacity than the 6-cup Presto 05442 or Presto 05411, the 4-cup (Est. $25) earns solid feedback from experts and users
alike. Your Best Digs' Bryan Vu names it the best deep fryer under $20. (The
retail price is actually $25. You can usually find it on sale for less than
$20, but around the holidays except prices closer to retail). Yu notes that the
05420's compact size makes it convenient to store. In testing, it heats and
maintains oil at consistent temperatures, preparing crisp foods with no oily
A few users
say this deep fryer is basically a glorified pan of oil, but some features make
it more convenient than that. Like the Presto GranPappy 05411, it has a snap on
lid that enables you to refrigerate the oil right in the pot to reuse later --
just be sure the oil has cooled first. One thing owners like is that the basket
can be lowered with the lid in place from outside the pot, eliminating messy
grease splatters. The nonstick pot removes for easy cleaning, but it's not
is the favorite deep fryer of most users, earning terrific reviews across the
board for its entire line, the (Est. $70) earns praise for its safety features. Editors at Top Ten Reviews
say it's one of the safest deep fryers they tested, with a design that allows
users to lower the basket while the lid is closed, eliminating dangerous oil
splatters. It's also equipped with non-slip feet, handles, and stay-cool
exterior walls, and it has a patented oil draining system -- simply pull out
the hose that's stored in the front of the unit to drain used oil into a safe
container for disposal. A non-stick interior makes cleanup a breeze, and the
DeLonghi's detachable magnetic cord detaches from the fryer if accidentally
pulled, avoiding potentially dangerous spills.
adjustable thermostat -- from 300 to 370 degrees -- and an indicator light that
lets you know when the oil has reached the desired temperature, the 1,500-watt
DeLonghi Roto is easy to use. In professional tests, it cooks a variety of
foods effectively and also does a good job of minimizing frying odors. It has a
capacity of 2.2 pounds (users say it can hold about four cups). While most
owners are pleased with the ease of use and performance of this deep fryer, we
did read a few complaints about units that failed to reach desired
temperatures, leaks and units that stop working after a few weeks or months of
use. It is backed by a one-year warranty.
Large deep fryers are best for bigger
Owners say the (Est. $70) is a great choice for larger serving
sizes. It has a generous, 12-cup capacity and a two-basket design that makes it
possible to cook two different foods at once. The oblong baskets are also
well-suited to larger pieces of food, like whole fish. Its 1,800-watt heating
element heats up the fryer quickly and maintains the ideal frying temperature
well. In tests conducted by Top Ten Reviews, foods prepared with the Presto
05466 were about average in terms of texture and taste. It does require a lot
of oil, about five quarts per use, but oil can be reused a few times depending
on how well it's filtered.
05466 has an adjustable thermostat and a signal light lets you know when the
oil is ready to use. Users and experts say the oil returns to temperature
quickly after frying, making it quick to fry in multiple batches. The removable
pot is easy to clean.
The (Est. $60) comes with three
baskets (one large and two small baskets, which fit side-by-side in the fryer)
and boasts a generous, 12-cup capacity. It has an adjustable temperature, from
265 degrees to 375 degrees, with an indicator light to let you know when it's
ready, and a cooking timer that can be set from five to 30 minutes, as well as
a "stay on" function. Editors at Your Best Digs say the Hamilton Beach cooks
crisp, but oily fries, and that it struggled to reach and maintain cooking
temperatures in tests, which they attribute to the unit's thin aluminum casing.
that the build quality feels a bit flimsy, but most say it's a versatile deep
fryer that heats up quickly and recovers fast after foods are added. Owners say
that it's easy to disassemble the unit, which coupled with the dishwasher-safe
baskets, make this deep fryer easy to clean -- aside from the immersed heating
element, which is a bit more cumbersome to clean. The Hamilton Beach 35034 is
backed by a five-year warranty.
If you use a
deep fryer for only one food item a time and don't need a multi-basket design,
the (Est. $110) also gets positive feedback
from owners. Editors at Your Best Digs award it runner-up status, saying it "delivered
perfectly cooked chicken and fries with the nice crunch and minimal greasiness."
It costs a bit more than the Presto, but has a built-in filtration system that
reduces the work involved in draining and filtering oil for reuse. It's
available in a 2.2-pound or 2.65-pound capacity, but with just a single basket.
A locking lid with a built-in filter keeps smoke and odors from filling the
room, and most of its parts are dishwasher-safe.
Your Best Digs rave about the (Est. $70), which was the only fryer they tested that reached the ideal
temperature of 375 degrees. It heats up quickly, editors say, and while its
reheating time is a bit slower, it maintains a sufficient temperature for
evenly-cooked foods without an oily residue. The 1,800-watt Cuisinart has a
built-in timer, which doesn't control the fryer's power but makes it easy to
time food prep, and its one-gallon, enamel-coated oil container is removable
and has a pouring spout for easy draining.
four-quart capacity, the Cuisinart can handle up to 2.3 pounds of food,
although in testing it handled up to 2.5 pounds of chicken wings with ease,
producing dark, golden chicken wings with juicy interiors. Its retractable,
cool-touch basket handle allows for easier storage.
editors at Your Best Digs, the Cuisinart CDF-200 was previously manufactured by
Waring, model DF250B. Waring no longer manufactures home deep fryers and has
transferred all models to Cuisinart. Among owner-written reviews (some of which
refer to the Waring model), we read a few complaints from owners who say their
deep fryers stopped working after a few months of use, but overall, user
feedback is mostly positive. Users say it's fast and efficient, produces
perfectly-cooked foods, and is easy to clean. It's backed by Cuisinart's
one-year limited warranty.
Oil-Free fryers are a healthy
alternative to traditional deep fryers
If you want
an oil-free alternative to deep-frying but don't want to give up the authentic
deep-fried taste, the (Est. $150) is a great choice,
users say. This versatile deep fryer can cook more than just fried foods; you
can use it to create risotto, stir-fry dishes and more. Its paddle
automatically stirs food and a digital timer buzzes to alert you when time is
up, so cooking is practically hands-free.
generally requires about 1 tablespoon of oil to moisten foods and reduce sticking,
but users say it produces great-tasting French fries and many other foods. In
fact, some say they can't tell the difference between foods made with the
ActiFry and those made with a traditional deep fryer. A secure lid prevents
splatters during cooking, and its equipped with a filter to reduce odors. Its
ceramic-coated, non-stick pan is removable, and all the parts other than the
heating element are dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a cinch. The T-fal ActiFry
has a capacity of about 2.2 pounds and is backed by a one-year limited
If you don't mind spending a bit more,
owners say the (Est. $200)
produces foods that taste similar to those prepared in a regular deep fryer. It
uses Rapid Air technology to circulate hot air around the metal mesh cooking
basket, producing foods that are crispy on the outside and tender on the
inside. The removable, non-stick coated drawer and food basket are
dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
The 1,425-watt Phillips Airfryer has
an adjustable temperature control (up to 390 degrees), a built-in, a 30-minute
cooking timer with an audible beep to let you know when your food is ready and an
automatic shutoff feature. It can handle up to 1.75 pounds of food, and users
say it's quiet, convenient for quick meals and easy to clean.