Whether you are looking for a different way to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner, or you enjoy eating turkey all year round, a turkey fryer is a great addition to your kitchen cookware. Turkey fryers have grown in popularity over the last few years for a number of reasons. They cook a turkey much quicker than roasting or baking, they are easy to use, and they create flavorful and moist results. Unlike traditional deep fryers, turkey fryers are large enough to accommodate an entire turkey safely. They can also be used to prepare other large pieces of meat, including whole chicken, ham and beef. Additionally, they can be used to fry up just about anything, which makes them much more versatile than a traditional fryer, making them a great addition to your kitchen cookware collection if you love fried foods.
There are a lot of turkey fryers available, which can make finding the best option to fit your needs a bit of a challenge. To help you in your quest for finding the best turkey fryer, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. Here, you will find a wealth of information related to turkey fryers that will help you choose the best option for your needs.
Types of Turkey Fryers
Believe it or not, there are a lot of options when it comes to turkey fryers. In fact, there are a total of eight different types of turkey fryers, including:
- The electric turkey fryer
- The gas turkey fryer
- The stovetop turkey fryer
- The countertop turkey fryer
- The outdoor freestanding turkey fryer
- The Floor turkey fryer
- The basket turkey fryer
- The rotating turkey fryer
Each one of these fryers offers a different benefit, so it’s important to understand the difference between each type so that you can choose the best one for your specific needs.
The Electric Turkey Fryer
As you probably guessed, the electric turkey fryer is powered by electricity. It either sits on a countertop, or on the floor. These fryers range in size and features, making them a great option if you want to keep your eye on what you the food you are cooking in the fryer while preparing other types of food.
The Gas Turkey Fryer
Gas turkey fryers are powered by gas, just like a grill, and they are usually free standing devices that are designed to be used outside; again, just like your gas grill. They consist of a large pot, an internal frying basked which the turkey is placed in, and oil is added to. The pot, the oil and the turkey is then heated by gas. The major advantage of a gas powered turkey fryer is that they cook food much quicker than slow roasting or other types of fryers. They create a perfectly crisped outside and a moist and tender inside.
The Stovetop Turkey Fryer
A stovetop turkey fryer is similar to a gas turkey fryer in that it consists of a large pot and a frying basket that they turkey is placed in. Oil is placed in the pot and the turkey is submerged in it. This type of fryer is heated by placing it on a stovetop burner, which allows you to prepare the turkey inside. They can also easily be used to cook a variety of other deep fried foods.
The Countertop Turkey Fryer
Countertop turkey fryers do come in a variety of sizes, but they tend to be smaller than stovetop fryers, and they are definitely smaller than gas fryers. They feature a basket, which the turkey is placed in. They are very similar to standard countertop deep fryers. They are large enough to cook a turkey in, and like the stovetop fryer, the countertop fryer can easily be used to prepare a variety of foods.
The Outdoor Freestanding Turkey Fryer
These fryers are large and are intended to be used outside of the home only. They can easily accommodate a rather large bird, or other large food items. They also keep the smell that is associated with deep frying foods outside of your home. They are a great addition to a barbecue area, as they can be used to cook a variety of foods.
The Floor Turkey Fryer
The floor turkey fryer is also freestanding, but it is designed to be used inside the home. If you aren’t keen on the idea of cooking your turkey outside, then the floor turkey fryer is a great option for you. It will allow you to cook up your bird, or any other type of food, quickly and with ease, providing delicious results.
The Basket Turkey Fryer
A basket turkey fryer is essentially a large pot that has a fitted basket, which is placed inside the pot. The turkey is placed in the basket and the turkey is then lowered into the oil to cook.
The Rotating Turkey Fryer
Rotating turkey fryers also feature a basket; however, they turkey is not submerged in the oil. Instead, the turkey is rotated through the oil and is pulled out every now and again. They use much less oil than other types of turkey fryers, yet provide the same delicious results.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Turkey Fryer
There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when buying a turkey fryer. You want to make sure that the fryer you select will provide you with the results that you expect and will be as easy to use as possible. To help you find the best turkey fryer for your needs, we urge you to consider the following factors before making a purchase.
You definitely want to make sure that you consider the size of the fryer. Larger fryers can accommodate larger turkeys and other types of food; however, they require more space. With that said, you want to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate the food that you are cooking, and that you have enough space to accommodate the fryer itself.
Inside or Out?
Would you prefer to cook your turkey inside or outside? Certain turkey fryers are intended to be used outside only, like the freestanding and gas turkey fryers. If you want to cook your turkey while being able to easily prepare other foods, you may want to choose one that can be used indoors.
The best turkey fryers maintain a consistent temperature throughout the entire cooking process. If you plan on cooking for long periods of time, this is very important, as you want to be able to rely on your fryer to remain at a consistent temperature while you are cooking.
The best turkey fryers are easy to clean. Oil can be a challenge to clean, which is why it is highly recommended that you choose a fryer that can easily be disassembled and that has dishwasher safe components.
Amount of Oil Needed
Another factor that is important to consider is the amount of oil that is needed to cook the turkey or any other foods you may be cooking in your fryer. Generally, turkey fryers that use less oil tend to be a better choice. Less oil means it will take less time for it to heat up, so you can start cooking quicker. In addition, you will save money in the long run, as you won’t need to buy as much oil. Also, fryers that use less oil tend to cook healthier.
You should also factor the price of the turkey fryer into consideration. Everyone has a budget, and if sticking to it is important to you, you are going to want to make sure that you pay attention to the price of the turkey fryer. Generally speaking, larger fryers and fryers that offer more features tend to be the most expensive. Bear this in mind when determining your budget so that you don’t spend more than you are comfortable with.
Turkey Fryer Features
There are a number of features available for turkey fryers, and the best fryers will offer a variety of features. It’s important to understand what these features are and what their purpose is, however, so that you can be sure that you need them. As previously mentioned, the more features the fryer offers, the more expensive it will likely be.
A thermostat is a handy feature for a turkey fryer. It allows you to easily adjust the temperature that the oil will be heated to so that you can cook to your preferred liking. Thermostats can either be operated by a dial or by an LCD touch screen.
Removable Dip Tray
Cooking in oil can be messy. The best turkey fryers offer removable drip trays, which collect any oil that may drip during cooking, which makes the cooking process, and cleaning, a whole lot easier.
You are going to need to empty the oil out of your turkey fryer and replace it with new oil. The best turkey fryers will feature a drain valve, which makes remove the oil from the fryer so much easier.
Some turkey fryers come complete with cooking guides. These guides provide you with instructions for cooking a perfect turkey, and can also provide you with instructions and recipes for preparing other types of food in your fryer.
If you plan on using your turkey fryer to cook different types of food, you might want to choose one that offers different basket sizes. This feature will allow you to get the perfect fit for your food so that you can ensure that it will be cooked properly.
Pulling a turkey out of hot oil can be tricky. To make this task easier and safer for you, look for one that features a lifting tool. The tool will allow you to easily remove the turkey from the oil so that you can enjoy a delicious tasting bird – or any other type of food – without having to worry about burning yourself.
Another handy feature that some turkey fryers offer is a timer. With this feature, you can set the timer for the length of time you want to cook your turkey or any other type of food. When the timer goes off, you will know exactly when to remove it.
It can be tough to tell when the oil has reached the right temperature for frying. A turkey fryer that features an indicator light will let you know when the oil has reached the proper temperature so that you can ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
The best turkey fryers will come with a warranty. Should anything happen to your fryer, the warranty will protect your investment. You could potentially have your fryer replaced, repaired or you could have your money reimbursed. Make sure that you look at the fine details of your warranty, however, so that you are sure of exactly what it covers.
Best Turkey Fryer Brands
When it comes to buying a turkey fryer, you will find that you have a lot of choices as far as manufacturers. With so many options, though, how do you know which brands are the best? To help you, we have tested out several brands and have determined that the following are the best of the best.
Oster is a highly regarded name in the kitchen appliance industry. They produce some of the highest quality turkey fryers and offer a wide selection of types, options and features to choose from.
Another one of the most trusted names in the turkey fryer industry is Bayou Classic. This company produces a number of cookware products, including a wide range of turkey fryer. We liked how many features they offered and how easy their fryers were to clean.
A very reputable name in the outdoor products industry, Brinkman produces top of the line turkey fryers. We like all of the different options that they offer, and the many different types of turkey fryers that they produce.