The Best Deep Fryers of 2016

Deep Fryer Features To Look For

Serving capacity

Deep fryers are intended for use by families and large groups. They are typically measured by oil capacity (quarts, liters, or cups) and the amount of food you can make (pounds or servings). In general, the number of cups equals the amount of servings, so a deep fryer that uses six cups of oil makes six servings. Smaller fryers make about four servings, while larger ones can make twelve or more. The really large fryers can hold 3 pounds of food or even deep-fry a 14-pound turkey. If you want to get a fryer that makes lots of leftovers, bear in mind that fried food is best when eaten soon after it is initially fried. It can get soggy when reheated later in the microwave.

Wattage power

To reach the high temperatures necessary for deep-frying, a deep fryer needs strong wattage. 1500 watts is enough to keep the deep fryer at one consistent temperature, while deep fryers with adjustable temps can go as high as 1650-1800 watts. For larger deep fryers, this is very important, because larger amounts of oil can take a long time to heat up if the wattage is too low. For best results, the heating element should be immersed.

Adjustable temperature

Getting oil hot enough is crucial for frying food, though some require hotter temperatures than others. Most deep fryers have adjustable temperatures that range from 250-375 degrees Fahrenheit. An indicator light will let you know when your temp selection is reached. Having heat control over the deep fryer means you don’t have to babysit the oil too closely, and your food will be perfectly fried and not burned. When making fried food, be sure to look up the recommended temperature for the specific food you’re making.

Effective filter

Frying foods produces a lot of smells, so to help absorb them, deep fryers include air filters. They are usually either charcoal, oil vapor, or paper. Charcoal filters work when millions of tiny pores in between the carbon atoms create a filter that absorbs extra grease and oil fume odor. Oil vapor filters are intended to reduce the “fog” that deep-frying creates. These get saturated in oil, so they need to be washed. Paper filters catch leftover bits of food in the oil, so you can reuse the oil. Like most filters in household appliances, you will need to replace your filter eventually. Some deep fryers have permanent filters, but replaceable ones are more common. Most filters are fairly cheap and can be cut to fit into a variety of deep-fryer brands.

Interior basket

The interior basket is what food sits in. Using a handle, you immerse your veggies, meat, what have you into the hot oil. These baskets are made from wire and usually have an external basket handle you can hold while the fryer cover is closed, so the hot oil doesn’t splash on you. Some also feature small foods that are ideal for draining off oil without letting smaller bits of food fall out. The basket should also have a clip for the side of the fryer during draining. There are some deep fryers that don’t have baskets, and instead use scoops. You will just want to make sure that the fryer has safety precautions in place to prevent dropping the scoop or getting splashed.

Construction

Deep fryers consist of an inner frying “pot,” a locking cover, and some kind of strainer, like a scoop or wire basket. Covers often include a viewing window so you can check on your food without opening it, or are made from tempered glass. Deep fryers must be durable to endure the hot heat from the oil. Stainless steel is a very common material or heavy-cast aluminum. Both are good for providing even heat distribution, although stainless steel is more reliable. The inner pot part of most deep fryers usually has a non-stick finish or is coated in porcelain.

Easy clean-up

Cleaning up a deep fryer might seem like a pain, but there are features that make it easier. A drain valve makes removing the used oil easy, though many deep fryers allow you to refuse oil. A storage lid is intended for these types of deep fryers. You can only use the oil so many times though, so eventually, you’ll have to dispose of it. Many deep fryers have removable parts (the cover, basket, pot) that are dishwasher-safe, so once you drain the oil, you just stick it in the wash. If your deep fryer has a nonstick finish, do not scrub with steel wool or harsh chemicals, as that will cause the finish to strip off.

Weight

Deep fryers are meant to be used on a countertop, so they can be very lightweight. Smaller ones can be as little as 3-5 pounds, while medium-sized fryers are 8-13. The really big ones that you can fry a turkey in can be 20 pounds. You’ll need a good amount of counter and storage space for those. Safety can also be a concern with a very heavy deep fryer, so be sure the fryer is stable when you’re using it, and don’t have it close to the edge of a counter when it’s full of hot oil. Some deep fryers have skid-proof rubber feet to help with this issue.

Best Deep Fryer Brands

Presto

In 1905, Northwestern Steel and Iron Works (Presto’s original name) was manufacturing industrial-sized pressure canners. They soon began making cans for home use, and regulation forced all canneries to use pressure canners, Presto became one of the largest manufacturers in the US. In 1939, they created the country’s first saucepan-style pressure cooker and named “Presto.” Soon, this became their company name, and though WWII put a pause on their success, Presto came back with more cans, pressure cookers, and even a vapor steam iron. Their first deep fryer, called the FryBaby, came out in 1976 and was a huge success. They released two more deep fryers over the next two years. Currently, Presto continues to make deep fryers as well as popcorn makers and pizza ovens.

Masterbuilt

Masterbuilt is primarily known as a smoker brand, but they specialize in all kinds of “fun” food, like the kind you make with a deep fryer. The current CEO has been “in the business” since he was a kid and delivered plant stands for his dad with a wagon. He became a part-owner with his brother at 19, and eventually replaced both his father and brother as the lone owner. The company manufactures smokers, grills, and deep fryers.

Waring

Waring is best-known for its blenders, but they have found huge success with a range of food appliances like citrus juicers, ice cream makers, waffle makers, and deep fryers over the past 75 years. In 1998, Waring was purchased by Cuisinart, and in 2000, they released their first deep fryer.

DeLonghi

DeLonghi is recognized for its gourmet espresso machines and gelato makers, but they also make products like a portable air conditioner, irons, and deep fryers. They essentially make every type of product that someone would use in the home. They were founded in Italy in 1902 as a small industrial parts workshop. Over time, they branched out from air conditioning and heating products and began to make food appliances. The deep fryers from DeLonghi can be expensive, and include features like tilted, rotating baskets, dual filters, and easy cleanup.

Features of Professional & Commercial Deep Fryers

Multipurpose and versatile

Deep fryers can be used to make a variety of foods, not just deep-fried goodness. If you’ve been skeptical about getting a deep fryer because of health reasons or you don’t want to spend money on something so specific, there are deep fryers that do a lot. On certain models, you can make dishes like soups, casseroles, pastas,and meat. You can use the deep fryer as a steamer to make healthy veggies and rice.

Unique shape

For cooking larger pieces of meats like chicken or fish, look for the deep fryers that have longer, oblong-shaped baskets. Many deep fryers are very compact, so you can’t fit long pieces of food into them. The unique oblong-shape of fryers like the Presto Digital ProFry allows you to fry chicken tenders or fish fingers easily without breaking them up.

Oil indicator

Most deep fryers allow you to reuse oil, but how do know when it is time to change? Features like an oil change indicator light and an oil filtration system make it easy, so the oil automatically drains out and filters in new oil.

Oil safety features

Oil in a deep fryer can be extremely dangerous. To protect you and yours, many deep fryers are equipped with safety features, like a “cool zone.” This is a part of the fryer located beneath the heating element that is cooler than the rest of the fryer, so when food falls, it doesn’t burn. This also helps reduce frying odor. Another great feature is a condensation safety shield, which stops oil from dripping or splashing onto the cord. Looking for fryers that prioritize safety features is especially important if you have kids or pets.

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