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Deep Fryer Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on November 08, 2016

Editor's note:
The Presto 05466 Dual Basket Deep Fryer replaces our former pick for best large deep fryer and it gets great reviews for its versatile frying options at an attractive price. Among oil-less fryers the T-fal ActiFry still rules, while our top turkey fryers give you both traditional deep-frying as well as oil-less options.

Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Deep Fryer Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Watts - 1,600 Adjustable temp - Yes Size (d,w,h) - 14.5" x 10" x 9"

Best deep fryer

If you're looking for a simple, low-mess, low-odor deep fryer, the Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Deep Fryer can't be beat, say reviewers. With adjustable temperature controls and a convenient temperature indicator light, there's no guesswork involved in knowing when the fryer's ready to cook. An external handle lowers the basket with the lid closed to eliminate splatters. The CoolDaddy's six-cup capacity makes about two generous servings.

Buy for $41.49
Presto 05466 Dual Basket Deep Fryer Reviews
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Watts - 1,800 Adjustable temp - Yes Size (d,w,h) - 16" x 15" x 11"

Best large deep fryer

The Presto 05466 Dual Basket Deep Fryer has a generous 12-cup capacity along with two oblong baskets for more versatile frying options, including larger pieces of food like whole fish. An adjustable thermostat and signal lights make this deep fryer very intuitive to use. At 1,800 watts it recovers its temperature quickly between batches. It's also reported as easy to use and clean.

Buy for $70.10
T-fal FZ700251 ActiFry Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Watts - 1,450 Adjustable temp - No Size (d,w,h) - 16.7" x 13.6" x 9.4"

Oil-less deep fryer

While it's not entirely oil-less, the T-fal ActiFry requires as little as a single tablespoon of oil to provide the flavor of traditional deep frying without the drawbacks of cooking in large quantities of oil. Its self-stirring design makes it useful for effortlessly cooking a variety of foods, including stir-fry dishes and risotto. Its nonstick interior and dishwasher-safe parts make for easy cleanup.

Buy for $140.34
Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Watts - 1,650 Adjustable temp - Yes Size (d,w,h) - 16" x 16" x 14"

Best indoor turkey fryer

Love fried turkey but can't (or don't want to) cook outside? The Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer is a safer, more convenient option than the standard outdoor turkey fryer. Turkeys of up to 14 pounds come out moist on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside. It's not just for Thanksgiving, either; you can use it for a wide variety of fried or steamed foods.

Bayou Classic 3025 30-Quart Aluminum Turkey Fryer Pot Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Watts - N/A Adjustable temp - N/A Size (d,w,h) - 14" x 14" x 17"

Turkey deep fryer

The Bayou Classic 3025 30-Quart Aluminum Turkey Fryer Pot earns high praise from devotees of traditional, deep-fried turkey. This stock pot will fry a perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside turkey in about 45 minutes for an 18-pound bird. The turkey fryer kit includes a thermometer, seasoning injector and poultry rack. For safety, however, only consider the Bayou Classic turkey deep fryer if you plan on cooking your bird outdoors.

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Watts - N/A Adjustable temp - No Size (d,w,h) - 21" x 21" x 24.5"

Oil-less, outdoor turkey fryer

If you love the taste of deep-fried turkey, but don't like the thought of all that oil, the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer is an easy-to-use, oil-free alternative to standard deep fryers that users say makes a very tasty bird. Because it requires propane, it must be used outdoors. However, that makes it a good choice for outdoor events such as tailgating and parties.

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
Our Sources
"Deep Fryers Reviews"
"The Best Turkey Fryer"
"Deep Fryers"

There aren't many professional tests of deep fryers; although new for this year is a comprehensive roundup by the editors of TopTenReviews.com that includes testing. Because of that, we turned primarily to retail sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and BedBathandBeyond.com, 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 Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Deep Fryer (Est. $50) has a 6-cup capacity that owners generally say is enough for about two people, depending on your serving-size preferences. With 1,600 watts of power, this small deep fryer heats up quickly and recovers fast after foods are added, resulting in crisp, evenly cooked foods.

The Presto 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 CoolDaddy 05443 (Est. $35) 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.

The 9-cup Presto 05462 Digital ProFry (Est. $50) offers a slightly larger capacity than the Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Cool-touch Deep Fryer. It's also a bit more powerful for faster cooking with a 1,800-watt heating element. The heating element and pot both remove for easy cleaning, but it must be hand-washed.

As with all of the Presto fryers in this report, the 05462 gets rave reviews from users for its great performance and simple operation.

If you need even less capacity than the 6-cup Presto 05442, the 4-cup Presto 05420 (Est. $25) earns solid owner feedback on consumer review sites. A few users say this deep fryer is basically a glorified pan of oil, but some features make it more convenient than that, such as 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 dishwasher-safe.

While Presto is the favorite deep fryer of most users, earning terrific reviews across the board for its entire line, the Breville BDF500XL Smart Fryer (Est. $130) earns a silver award in a roundup of 10 deep fryers at TopTenReviews.com. In testing there, editors find it heats to an accurate, consistent temperature and has intuitive controls with presets for most of the foods home cooks like to fry. However, we saw too many troubling reports of poor durability with units failing within a few uses. This, coupled with reports of unhelpful customer service keeps us from giving this our Best Reviewed nod in spite of its high ranking in that expert roundup.

Those who don't experience durability issues love the Breville BDF500XL, though. Many say its easy-to-use settings turn out perfectly fried wings, calamari, nuggets, onion rings and more. The most popular feature, though, is the option to double fry French fries, which users say makes them taste like those from the fryer in their favorite fast food restaurant. It has a 2.5 pound capacity, enough to cook about five servings of chicken.

Large deep fryers are best for bigger families

Owners say the Presto 05466 Dual Basket Deep Fryer (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. 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.

The Presto 05466 has an adjustable thermostat and a signal light lets you know when the oil is ready to use. Users say the oil returns to temperature quickly after frying, making it quick to fry in multiple batches. The removable pot is easy to clean.

If you use a deep fryer for only one food item a time and don't need a multi-basket design, the T-fal FR8000 (Est. $110) also gets positive feedback from owners. 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.

Our former Best Reviewed large deep fryer, the Waring Pro DF280 Professional Deep Fryer (Est. $100) was recently discontinued, but if you can find one before supplies are gone, it remains a top option.

Like the Presto 05466, the Waring DF280 has a, 12-cup capacity, but the feature that makes it wildly popular is its versatile three-basket design; you can use the two smaller baskets to cook two different foods at once, or the large basket to cook a larger quantity of one type of food. Its 1,800-watts of power mean it heats and reheats quickly, as well as maintaining a consistent temperature. A pour spout drains the oil quickly and easily, so you can strain it through a filter and store it for reuse. The Waring Pro has a removable, dishwasher-safe bowl for easy cleaning, and stay-cool handles so you can move it around without burning your hands or wearing bulky oven mitts.

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 T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker (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.

The ActiFry 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. The T-fal ActiFry has a capacity of about 2.2 pounds and is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

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Deep Fryers buying guide

What every best Deep Fryers has:

  • The right capacity.
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  • An adjustable temperature.

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