Dieticians and health nuts can guilt-trip us all they want, but let’s face it: Americans aren’t giving up fried food any time soon. There’s just something so addictive about the taste of flaky Korean fried chicken or a handful of crisp French fries. Thankfully, preparing and enjoying your favorite fried food in your own kitchen isn’t as steep of a challenge as some might think. Cue the home deep fryer: These handy appliances are basically smaller, self-contained versions of the large standing deep fryers you’ll find in restaurants and fast-food joints, but simply scaled down to about the size of a food processor.
A deep fryer is a pretty straightforward device made to heat up a large quantity of oil in which you will immerse your ingredients. However, there are really only a few big considerations when shopping for one: safety, oil/food capacity, ease of use, and frying quality. There is a surprising number of these cookers on the market, but we’ve picked through the herd to bring you the best deep fryers available on Amazon that will have you whipping up some home-fried goodness.
If you want a solid, well-built, nicely sized home deep fryer that’s simple to use while still offering some handy modern features, then the T-Fal is a tough act to beat. This electric deep fryer features a 3.5-liter oil capacity and room enough for more than 2.5 lbs of food, which is a great all-around size for most homes. The aptly named EZ Clean deep fryer also has a neat filtration system that cleans your used oil, greatly reducing waste.
The EZ Clean’s immersed 1,700-watt heating element is kept safely away from your hands, while a sturdy steel lid keeps hot oil splatters off of the counter (and, more importantly, off of your hands). The basket, lid, and oil containers are all dishwasher safe for simple clean-up as well.
Hamilton Beach has been many peoples’ go-to brand for budget-friendly kitchen appliances for decades, and its triple-basket deep fryer is a well-made and well-priced alternative to the T-Fal EZ Clean. It’s also a bit larger, with a 4.5-liter oil capacity, and it comes with three baskets instead of just one: A large single-compartment basket for frying bigger items, plus two side-by-side baskets for cooking up smaller finger foods like nuggets and fries.
If you want something a bit more compact (and even cheaper still), then Hamilton Beach also makes athat would be great in places where counter space is limited.
The Presto GranPappy is, in a word, an old-school fry pot that you simply plug into an outlet instead of placing on a burner. Don’t expect to find any advanced temperature settings or safety features here: You simply fill this bucket-style deep fryer up with oil (it holds six cups or 1.5 quarts), fire it up, wait 15 minutes or so, add your ingredients, and scoop out the crispy fried results with the included spoon – no frying basket included or required.
The Presto GranPappy is simple and it works, and its snap-on lid means you can re-use the cooking oil until you feel it’s time to dump it and pour in some new oil. There’s also the, although we found that to be almost too diminutive for most uses (but it’s another cheap option if you really want something smaller).
When you hear “fried food,” you might immediately think “chicken,” and while most of our picks are fine for frying up separate wings, legs, and thighs, you’ll need something a bit larger for handling a whole bird. If the turkey is on the menu (or if you’re just frying up lots of food for parties or a large family), then the MasterBuilt Butterball has you covered: Its extra-large basket can deep fry an entire turkey (or chicken) weighing up to 20 pounds and easily tackles as much as five pounds’ worth of wings.
The Butterball deep fryer can be filled with water for boiling things, and you even can clip the fryer basket above the water line for steaming veggies. There’s also a handy oil drain valve for emptying the thing out when you’re finished so you can avoid making messes by having to dump it.
When it comes to home deep frying, it doesn’t get much more traditional (or much simpler) than a metal fry pot. The name “Bayou Classic” invokes images of shrimp gumbo and other Cajun foods, and you can certainly fry up some southern fried chicken, seafood, and pretty much anything else in this deep fryer which can be used right on your stovetop or over a similar heat source.
The Bayou Classic stovetop deep fryer utilizes a perforated food basket which is immersed into the 14-quart aluminum pot (note you’ll only be filling it up about a third of the way) which is filled with cooking oil before placed on a burner. The cool-touch handle lets you quickly and safely remove the basket once your food is done.
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