Which deep fryer is best?

Deep-frying food may be among the least healthy ways to cook, but it’s also among the most delicious. If you want to treat yourself to a deep-fried Oreo or fresh, piping hot french fries, then you’ll need to own a deep fryer. They come in a variety of capacities with all manner of useful features, whether you want one for home or for commercial purposes.

For use at home, the best option is the T-Fal Basket Deep Fryer. It has handy features such as an oil-filtration system, and the pieces that get dirtiest are dishwasher-safe.

What to know before you buy a deep fryer

Deep fryer types

There are three types of deep fryers — pot, basket and commercial.

  • Pot fryers are small and meant solely for at-home use. They have a small capacity, with a single chamber that can only cook one type of food at a time. They are also the most affordable.
  • Basket fryers are the most varied. They’re square or rectangular and can have many individually heated chambers to cook several types, or several servings, of foods at once. Two-basket capacities are the most common.
  • Commercial fryers can be small enough to rest on a counter or as large as a flat-top grill to best fit your restaurant’s needs. Otherwise, they function similarly to basket models.

Size and capacity

When shopping for deep fryers, you need to balance their size and capacity with your available space and needs.

  • Size: At-home models are designed to take up as little counter space as possible while still having reasonable capacities. For safety reasons, make sure the fryer is small enough to sit away from your counter’s edge.
  • Capacity: Deep fryers, as the name suggests, have ample room to hold large amounts of oil in even the smallest fryers. That said, the smallest hold roughly 3 cups, while the largest commercial fryers can hold tens of gallons. Double-check the depth and width to make sure your intended food will fit.

Baskets

For basket deep fryers, consider the number and quality of the included basket or baskets. They should have a comfortable handle with some kind of stay-cool material and be long enough that there is a low risk of splatter burns. If the fryer is large enough for two or more baskets, check to see if it includes a basket large enough to cover the entire capacity.

What to look for in a quality deep fryer

Temperature control

The best deep fryers have a built-in thermostat and temperature control. This lets you avoid having to use a separate thermometer to track your oil temperature.

Safety

Deep fryers may have a variety of safety measures, but the best include two key options: cool-touch exterior and automatic shutoff. Cool-touch exteriors prevent accidental burns and automatic shutoff triggers if your oil becomes too hot.

How much you can expect to spend on a deep fryer

Deep fryers typically cost between $30 and thousands of dollars. You won’t spend more than $300-$400 for an at-home deep fryer, while commercial fryers typically start around $200 and can rapidly increase in cost.

Deep fryer FAQ

What kind of oils should I use in a deep fryer?

A. There are many excellent oil choices, each with its pros and cons.

  • Olive oil is a great choice. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it has a high smoking point — the point where it stops shimmering and starts to smoke — and according to the National Institutes of Health, it brings many health benefits.
  • Canola oil is a common choice. It has a high smoking point and is packed with Omega-3 amino acids. However, it doesn’t hold up well to repeat usage, so you’ll go through it fast.
  • Vegetable oil is another common choice. It has a neutral flavor and is among the cheapest oils.
  • Peanut oil is the most commonly used in commercial settings. It has a neutral flavor and high smoking point, but it’s expensive and causes reactions in those with nut allergies.
  • Safflower oil is uncommon thanks to its strong flavor, but it’s packed with Omega-6 acids and unsaturated fats.

How do I clean oil for reuse?

A. First, skim off any leftover particles from the top of the oil. Then, strain it through a very fine sieve. Store the now cleaned oil in a container and refrigerate it.

What’s the best deep fryer to buy?

Top deep fryer

T-Fal Basket Deep Fryer

T-Fal Basket Deep Fryer

What you need to know: It’s got excellent features for a great price.

What you’ll love: It has a 3.7-quart capacity and uses a filtration system to clean used oil for reuse so you get the most for your money. Every piece except the heating element and base unit is dishwasher-safe. It has an adjustable temperature using both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

What you should consider: A few consumers had issues with batter sticking to the basket, making cleaning difficult. The cooking area could be deeper than it is.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top deep fryer for the money

Presto CoolDaddy Cool-Touch Deep Fryer

Presto CoolDaddy Cool-Touch Deep Fryer

What you need to know: This small fryer is good for small households.

What you’ll love: The fryer basket is lifted and dropped using a roomy handle that keeps your hands protected from any oil splashes. A charcoal air filter helps absorb odors to limit lingering oily smells. It has a locking cover to prevent spills and splattering.

What you should consider: It doesn’t have the power of stronger models, so heating up to your selected temperature can take a while. Its capacity is a bit small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

CookRite Commercial Deep Fryer

CookRite Commercial Deep Fryer

What you need to know: This is a great purchase for a burgeoning business.

What you’ll love: It has a 7-gallon capacity, large enough to deep-fry a whole turkey. It can be set to temperatures between 200-400 degrees and each burner can be manually controlled. The stainless steel body and thermo-tube heating element are built for maximum durability. 

What you should consider: It has no self-cleaning function, which makes cleaning long and difficult. It’s large and heavy — getting it into place is challenging. It’s among the pricier options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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