What types of deep fryers are there?
There are two main types of deep fryers: there are regular deep fryers and rotating basket deep fryers. Regular deep fryers will all generally use the same amount of oil and have similar cooking times; they heat oil to a certain temperature, and food is submerged in the oil until it’s cooked through. Rotating basket fryers use less oil and heat up much faster; the oil is heated and food is submerged, removed, and submerged again, repeating the process until the food is fully cooked. Rotating basket fryers tend to create less greasy foods but aren’t suitable for frying every type of food, giving you less variety of cooking options. They also require more oversight and special care not to burn the food.
What size deep fryer should I buy?
Depending on how much you plan on cooking in your deep fryer, you have a range of size options from as small as 3 cups to as large as 8 or more cups. Smaller models will have a single basket and are great if you are planning on making small amounts of food for appetizers or snacks for one to four people. Small fryers are also suited only for smaller foods, like chicken or French fries, and will not accommodate a whole chicken or turkey. Larger models can have multiple baskets and possibly even individual compartments for frying different types of food at one time. Larger fryers are ideal for cooking up large batches for family gatherings or parties, or if you want to be able to deep fry a turkey or other large items. Be aware that if you have a small fryer and try to prepare too much food at one time, you run the risk of under-cooking your food. Conversely, buying a fryer that is too large can lead to over-cooking and can waste oil and electricity. When considering what size fryer to get, also be aware of how much space you have in your kitchen or home to accommodate it.
Is wattage important in a deep fryer?
Higher wattage means faster cooking time due to more powerful heating. A deep fryer with a high wattage will allow the oil to heat up to the necessary temperature quickly; once you add the food, which can reduce the temperature, it will also heat the oil back up faster as well. Having a quick cooking time is integral to making great fried foods: the faster the food cooks, the crispier it will be without losing any of the internal moisture. Having a deep fryer with a high wattage can also reduce how much oil the food absorbs, so it’s less greasy.
Should I get a deep fryer with adjustable temperatures?
For most frying needs, 375 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature, so many fryers will not include adjustable temperatures. If you want a deep fryer to use once in a while to make basic dishes, you shouldn’t need adjustable temperature controls. However, if you are an experienced cook who likes to experiment and have full control over the cooking process, you might want to get a model that has various temperature settings so you can choose exactly what temperature you desire.
What sorts of features should I look for in a deep fryer?
Some good features to look for in a deep fryer include a locking lid, timer, flipping baskets, and draining hooks.
What are the benefits of a locking lid?
Some compact fryers, including some Presto models, include a lid that can be locked in place during the frying process to prevent spills and popping oil from causing damage to you or your kitchen. They will often have a see-through compartment so you can monitor the food as it fries as well as indicator lights and timers.
What are the benefits of having a timer?
A timer can help you monitor how long food has been in the fryer without needing to worry about watching the clock; timers can also include built-in shut-off that will turn the fryer off when it is no longer being used, saving you from worrying about whether or not you remembered to turn the fryer off.
Why are flipping baskets beneficial?
Flipping baskets are crucial for many foods like fried dough and donuts; they are mostly used in dessert cooking, so if you plan on preparing mostly desserts you should definitely purchase a fryer with flipping baskets.
Why are draining hooks beneficial?
Draining hooks, available on many Presto models, allow you to suspend the basket over the oil after the food has been cooked so that excess oil and grease can drip off; this helps to recycle some of the oil as well as leaving your food less greasy.
How easy is clean-up on a deep fryer?
Some deep fryers can be extremely difficult to clean; keeping your fryer clean is vital to making great-tasting food, so look for a model that is dishwasher safe and has nonstick surfaces so that grease doesn’t accumulate. You’ll also want to be sure to get a deep fryer that makes it easy to change the oil, either with an easily drain-able or detachable oil compartment. Some fryers in the Emeril and Cuisinart line are specially designed to be easy to clean. Waring also makes dishwasher-friendly models.
Are there any safety concerns with a deep fryer?
A deep fryer is absolutely safe to use as long as you are careful and aware of proper safety techniques. Never allow small children to play near a deep fryer, even when it’s not in use. Don’t overfill the fryer, or excess oil can overflow and cause contact burns. It’s a good idea to wear heat gloves or an oven mitt while using your deep fryer, and you may also want to wear eye protection. It’s also useful to keep your deep fryer on something that can absorb oil without being damaged, because spills can occur and can do real damage to counter tops and other surfaces. Look for models with a breakaway power cord that will automatically disconnect and cease power flow when the fryer is bumped into or moved, as well as models with cool-touch surfaces. Some models, such as many in the Masterbuilt line, offer additional safety features, as well.
What should I do with the oil from my deep fryer?
The cooking oil in your fryer can be strained and re-used a number of times, though it will eventually need to be changed. When you are replacing the oil, never pour the old oil into your plumbing system. Instead, pour it into a container of some kind (old wine bottles, milk jugs, etc.) and recycle it. Look up your particular county or municipalities’ rules for oil recycling; some places require it to be recycled as hazardous waste, while others allow you to simply put it in your recycling bin. You can also ask some local restaurants to take your oil, because they dispose of large quantities at a time. Some people also bury their used oil in their backyards, but this can damage the soil.
What can I make in a deep fryer?
With a deep fryer, your cooking options are almost unlimited. You can make fried dough, donuts, fried pickles, jalapeno poppers, French fries, or fried fish. You can prepare Southern favorites like hushpuppies, fried okra, and fried shrimp for po’ boy sandwiches, or finger foods like zucchini fries and calamari. If you purchase a large deep fryer, you can even fry large meats like turkey. A deep fryer is great if you love fried chicken, and you can even make fried tofu or tempeh if you’re a vegetarian. Look for a deep fryer that comes with a recipe book, or buy a recipe book from your local bookstore; there are also lots of recipes and ideas available online. Experiment with frying your favorite vegetables, snacks, and desserts.