Of all the comfort food that exists, none may be better than fried food. A vat of oil heated just right so that when your chicken, fish, or side dish hit the juice, it sizzles both in the pan and your mouth.
Unfortunately, we have become conditioned to accept that only the most learned among us can fry food the right way - in a skillet, preferably cast iron, and over the course of several hours. If we don’t have that savant in our family, we are forced to head out to restaurants or worse yet, fast food joints to get our fried food fix.
Thankfully, at home frying has become faster, easier, and much more enjoyable than the days of old. In a minute, we’re going to review the ten best deep fryers that you can use in your kitchen.
But first, if you’re still dealing with that tedious skillet method or you're a first timer to the whole endeavor of making crispy golden foods, let’s look at some of the important factors involved in purchasing this very handy small appliance.
Deep Fryer Buyers Guide
When purchasing a deep fryer, there are several things you will want to look out for before committing to a model. The main two factors in determining what fryer you buy usually are how and how much you plan to use it. Here are the items to take into account before acquiring your new fryer.
Types of Deep Fryers
When talking about deep fryers, most accept the plugin electric version that requires a decent amount of oil as the standard. However, there are two other variations that have gained popularity in recent years, an oil-less version and models that are specific for turkeys.
The oil-less fryers, also known as air fryers, still use oil, but a far less amount than your standard version by using hot air circulation to cook the food. The turkey specific models take the common outdoor method and bring it inside with most of the units currently available able to handle up to a 20-pound turkey.
This consideration is part of how you plan to use your deep fryer. Understanding how many people you'll cook for will help save time and effort. Buy a fryer that’s too small, and you’ll find yourself making extra batches. Get one a little too big and you’re wasting oil and storage space when it's not in use.
Typically the size range runs from 1 liter (4 cups) up to 4.5 liters (19 cups), so there is a broad selection available.
The key to getting fried food to taste its best is the temperature of the oil and ensuring that you get the crisp golden outside layer without compromising the inside portion. To get the most out your fryer and your food, you’ll want two things:
Higher wattage models will have better heating elements, which ensure that your oil heats quickly and evenly. It also means that when you submerge your food into the oil, the oil temperature recovers faster and gets the cooking process moving more quickly.
The second part of heating is the actual temperature. You’ll notice on our list of the ten best deep fryers below we have a mix of fryers with and without an adjustable temperature gauge.
We typically recommend ones with an actual control as it does make the frying process considerably easier. Although a thermometer will work just as well for monitoring your oil temperature in the inexpensive versions that do not have the built-in gauges.
One of the key elements of any deep fryer is the basket, and you’ll want to ensure the fryer you purchase comes with one that is sturdy and has with a hook to allow your food to drain before moving it out of the fryer. Stainless steel baskets are also best since they typically resist rusting and last far longer than other materials.
The most cumbersome part of any fryer is the oil and what to do with it once you’ve finished cooking. You can easily reuse oil multiple times, so ensure the fryer you want has a mechanism to recycle what's left.
Some models will have a drainage system, so it’s simple to get the oil out of the pot and store for the future. Others, however, will come with lids that allow you to store the oil directly in the pot until the next use.
Fryers with nonstick interiors are going to be far easier to clean that those that don’t (and trust us, fryers are not the easiest things to clean-up). Some units will also have dishwasher safe components, which are always welcome. Just be mindful the majority of parts will need to be washed by hand.
Deep fryers are not small compared to other countertop appliances. Larger than your typical coffee maker, these appliances do take up a sizeable amount of counter area and can be difficult to store if you don’t have space. We do recommend taking stock of your kitchen storage before bringing home a unit that doesn’t fit.
The final item in our buying guide is safety. Deep fryers are typically the least safe small appliance you’ll have in your kitchen. Not to say they're unsafe, but the potential for hazards and accidents increase when you’re dealing with heated oil.
To that end, look for fryers that come with detachable cords (all should have this feature, and if not, then we do not recommend you purchasing the unit) and an automatic shut off and splash guards to keep the hot oil from popping onto your counter.
How We Determined Our Ten Best Deep Fryers
Now that you know what to look for let’s quickly review how we determined our ten best for you to consider. The most significant factor that goes into picking the right fryer is you and your families needs. That’s why we took a look at a lot of different models, both big and small, so you’d have a wide selection to consider.
We also worked to understand the customer side of the equation, making sure the products worked as advertised and that consumers were happy with the models they chose. This small appliance makes a great addition to any kitchen, and we hope you can find just the right one among our ten best deep fryers.
Ten Best Deep Fryers
Secura 1700 Watt Triple Basket
- Fry Fish And Chips At The Same Time. Our cool-touch, stainless steel Deep Fryer comes with 3 fry baskets--one jumbo for...
- 1700 watt immersion element preheats and recovers oil temperature fast.
- 4.0-liter removable oil tank for easy clean-ups, extra set of odor filters.
The great thing about the first entry on our list is the multiple basket design. You can fry up to two items separately or use the third, big basket for a larger task. The Secura also comes with adjustable temperature control, 60-minute countdown timer, and a generous 17-cup capacity.
If you’re looking for a unit that helps you cook a lot of different things at one time, this is the best one for the job.
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: Powerful 1700 watt deep fryer with 3.5 liter oil capacity and 2.65 pound food capacity to offer...
- EASY TO USE: With 2 position basket for cooking and draining food; Handles for easy transportation and storage
- PATENTED OIL FILTRATION SYSTEM: EZ Clean oil filtration system for convenient deep frying, cost savings, and simple oil...
The FR8000 is perhaps the most industrial fryer on our list with a stout design and great filtration system that lets you keep oil for use in the future.
The 1700-watt FR8000 also has an immersed heating element, which means your oil heats quicker and more evenly, but does make clean up something of a pain. This model also has an adjustable thermostat to dial that element into the right temperature.
Hamilton Beach Model 35021
- Cool-touch sides: Protect from accidental burns if you touch the sides of the deep fryer during cooking process.
- Fast frying & heat-up: Immersed heating element in this professional style deep fryer heats up oil and cooks food faster...
- 2 liter oil capacity: Professional style deep fryer for home use cooks up to 6 cups of French fries or chicken tenders.
We love the sleek design of this Hamilton Beach model, which is made to keep the exterior of the unit safe to the touch when in use (these appliances can get very hot).
This eight-cup capacity fryer also has an immersed element and the ability to lift up the fry basket to drain food without opening the lid. You can also control the temp from the front of the unit and watch your food cook through a large viewing window.
It’s hard to complete one of these lists without a Cuisinart, and the CDF-200 is a worthy inclusion. One of the most potent fryers on our list at 1800-watts with an immersed heating element this unit also has a massive capacity at 16 total cups. Controls include a dial timer and temperature gauge. The CDF-200 is a fantastic option if you want fast heating with a large frying volume.
Presto FryDaddy and GranPappy
Presto is one of the top names in at-home deep fryers. We’ve got three on our list and for a good reason. They just work. At the entry level is Presto’s FryDaddy and GranPappy. They are essentially the same unit with the GranPappy running 300 more watts (1200 vs 1500) and having a slightly larger capacity.
Of all the models on our list, these two are by far the easiest to operate. A straightforward design, the units come with a non-stick surface, basket and separate scoop, and a tight seal lid that allows you to store oil for later use. Although they lack any gauges, overall, we recommend either of these if you want something simple and to the point.
- Perfect for chicken, shrimp, french fries and more.
- Adjustable thermostat permits easy selection of the desired frying temperature. Handy indicator light signals when the...
- Locking cover prevents spattering and reduces odors. Extra-large viewing window lets you monitor frying without opening...
The third Presto is a step up from the first two models with a bigger, and very smart safety-minded design. The CoolDaddy comes with a temperature gauge and charcoal filter to help element odors from the frying process.
The whole fryer is made to be cool to the touch on the outside, which is nice if you have young children who like to help in the kitchen. The only real downside here is that all parts are hand wash only.
Philips Avance XL Digital Airfryer
- Rapid air technology circulates hot air with speed and precision
- Smart preset button that memorizes the setting for your favorite food
- Includes a set of skewers for vegetable or meat kabobs
As we mentioned earlier, there are two other types of deep fryers - air and turkey fryers. We will start this section with the Philips Avance. Perhaps the most tech-filled unit we reviewed, the Avance has a bevy of features.
It has a digital touchscreen with temperature readout, 60-minute timer, and a thermostat adjust of up to 390 degrees, and a two and a half pound capacity. They also make clean up easy with dishwasher safe components.
The big draw to this and the T-fal ActiFry unit below is that by using less oil you are getting the same taste in your food but from a much healthier cooking process. We can attest that the food quality is fine, but whether or not it increases the health value is debatable. Ultimately, that will depend on the food you’re putting in the fryer.
- ONLY A TABLESPOON OR LESS OF OIL to Cook all your favorite fried food (up to 2.2 pounds). Automatic rotating paddle for...
- SIMPLE ON / OFF SWITCH and digital countdown timer with buzzer for easy monitoring
- PTFE AND PFOA FREE removable ceramic coated nonstick pan for easy clean up
Much like the Philips Avance, the T-Fal ActiFry works with a tablespoon of oil and uses hot air circulation to fry your favorite dish. As we noted above, this unit markets itself on the premise of frying healthier food.
The ActiFry does make the whole process very easy with an LCD countdown timer, steam free see-through panel, a ceramic-coated non-stick pay, and dishwasher safe components. Included with the packaging are a measuring spoon and recipe book.
Butterball XL Electric Fryer
If you’ve ever celebrated Thanksgiving with fried turkey than you know that's how pilgrims truly intended it to be. But let’s be honest, fooling around with a propane and burner rig setup is not exactly the most appealing way to spend Thanksgiving morning. Leave it to Butterball to help address both of those concerns.
Their extra large turkey fryer is a beast of cooking capabilities. You can use it to fry up to a 20 lb turkey or 5 lbs of chicken wings, and its versatile enough to also do a seafood boil.
For its size, it’s also easy to clean with a drain valve for emptying out the oil and dishwasher safe components like the pot, basket, and lid. It may not offer the versatility as some of the other fryers on our list, but for its intended use, nothing beats it.
As you can see a lot of options are available when it comes to frying your food at home. Figuring out your specific cooking needs is the first step in deciding which one may work best. After that, we hope our buyer's guide and list of ten best deep fryers gives you the final details you need to make the purchase that’s right for you.