Cooking every single day can be a major challenge for many people. Whether due to hectic schedules, or a lack of kitchen skills, making food can be truly painful. There are, however, a number of devices and appliances that can make it easier on us. One such device is undoubtedly a deep fryer.
Something that is becoming more and more common in homes across America, this small, affordable appliance can be used to cook a variety of foods efficiently, and simply. There are an array of products on the market with seemingly identical qualities, but which in reality present some important differences. We have created the following guide so you know what they are, and to help you make the best purchasing decision possible.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best deep fryers on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about deep fryers
- 3.1 What is a deep fryer exactly and how does it work?
- 3.2 Is it better to use a deep fryer or a frying pan?
- 3.3 Is it better to fry with or without oil?
- 3.4 How should I take care of the oil in my fryer?
- 3.5 What is the best frying temperature?
- 3.6 What are interesting features of deep fryers?
- 3.7 What are the advantages and disadvantages of deep fryers?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- Deep fryers are small kitchen appliances that are used to fry different types of food. The primary advantage is that they let you cook food evenly, and don’t stain as much as when you cook in a frying pan.
- There is a wide offer of deep fryers on the U.S. market. While the majority present similar features, they also do have differences. It is important for you to know the characteristics of the model you want to buy.
- Always remember to ensure that the price of your deep fryer corresponds to its features. Sometimes sellers will try and sell you a brand name that is not as good as something else.
- The size of the deep fryer is another key aspect that you should consider. You want to make sure you get something that is the right size for your needs, but not so big that it’s overkill. An appliance that is too big can end up wasting oil and using a lot of power.
Ranking: The best deep fryers on the U.S. market
In order to get the best fryer for you, it is important that you know what they all have to offer. That is why in the below section we have put together a list of the 5 best fryers currently on the U.S. market. Each one has different features you might find appealing, while all of them keep value for money as they primary buying criteria.
No. 1: T-fal – FR8000 Deep Fryer With Stainless Steel Basket
T-fal has been making great kitchen appliances and accessories for a while now, and their FR8000 stainless steel fryer is no exception. 1 1700 watt fryer with 3.5L oil capacity and 2.65 pound food capacity makes this a great fryer to break out when hosting friends and family. This fryer comes with a convenient two position basket for both frying and draining foods, so you don’t have to worry about cross contamination with used and clean oil. Best of all, this fryer packs up and transports easily, in addition to being simple to clean.
The immersed heating element gives you not only better frying results, but also makes frying more efficient, cutting down on fry time and limiting the amount of oil you consume. All of the parts are easy to disassemble and are completely dishwasher safe. The cleaning process is 3 simple steps. Just turn the switch to the “automatic oil filtration” setting, drain and cool the oil in the removable storage container, and disassemble when cool and put into the dishwasher.
No. 2: T-fal – FZ700251 Actifry Oil Less Fryer
Another great product from T-fal, the FZ700251 Actifry Oil Less fryer does just that: it fries with virtually no oil required. An oil less fryer cooks food using hot air convection instead of deep frying. With just a tablespoon of oil, you can cook up to 2.2 pounds of food with this appliance, while greatly cutting down on you and your family’s oil intake. The removable, and ceramic-coated frying pan is non-stick and easy to remove and clean. This product also comes with a great cook book to give you recipe and cooking inspiration.
What’s more, the safe, anti-splatter lid, and the “stay cool” exterior, combined with the anti-odor filter make this product completely hassle free. This is as straightforward as fryers get. Simply put your food into the fry chamber, set the timer, and wait for delicious fried food to emerge with considerably less unhealthy fat and oil. After your done, clean-up takes little to no time. A great alternative to traditional oil frying from a well-respected company.
No. 3: Secura – Stainless Steel Triple Basket Electric Deep Fryer
By far the standout feature of this affordable fryer is the triple basket you get to fry multiple foods at the same time. Secura’s Stainless Steel Triple Basket Electric Deep Fryer was made with fry lovers in mind. Cook fish and chips at the same time, or do fried chicken and donuts. The 1700 watt immersed element heats oil quickly, and optimizes your fry time so you consume less oil. The 4L oil tank is deep, capable of handling a sizable amount of food, and the adjustable timer shuts down the heating element when you have finished cooking.
This is a great product for those looking for a way to make pub and restaurant quality fried food cheaply, and from the comfort of their own kitchen. Great for zucchini sticks, wings, fries, chicken, and more, this is the perfect fryer for those who love having friends and family over. The viewing window is another nice part of this fryer, allowing you to closely monitor what you’re cooking while remaining protected from any splash ups. A great entry-level fryer that is easy to use, and perfect for those just getting into the world of deep frying.
No. 4: Krups – KJ502D51 Triple Basket Deep Fryer
Another beloved name in kitchen appliances, KRUPS Triple Basket Electric Deep Fryer is a professional-grade fryer capable of holding up to 4.5L of oil and 2.6 pounds of food. The three frying baskets include one large, and two small-sized compartments so you can fry entire meals, or multiple items at the same time. On top of that, this unit’s 4 preset functions let you adjust temperature and time without having to constantly monitor what you’re cooking, while still giving you amazing results.
What’s more, this product is built with your and your family’s safety in mind. The large-size viewing window lets you see how your food is cooking, without exposing you to any hot oil. The cool touch handles mitigate against burns when touching and picking up the baskets, and the breakaway safety cords means that if you accidentally bump the cord, the whole thing will not come tumbling down full of hot oil. Dismantle the entire thing in seconds for simple cleaning, and even easier storage.
No. 5: Bella – 14538 2.6 Quart Air Convection Fryer
Bella’s 14538 Air Convection Fryer is great entry-level hot air fryer that gives you a fantastic alternative to oil deep frying at a very affordable price. It contains a 2.5L capacity removable, and completely dishwasher-safe container that is capable of holding up to 2.2 pounds of food. All you have to do is set your desired temp and the time, and Bella’s 14538 Convection Fryer will do the rest. The 1500 watt circular heating device makes sure things cook fast and evenly, while eliminating the smell and oil that you sometimes get with traditional deep fryers.
This small, sleek device doesn’t take up much counter space and looks great in any kitchen, modern or older. A great option to keep around for when you want a meal cooked quickly and deliciously, but want to avoid the oil and fat. Bella’s simple-to-clean, entirely affordable product gives you crispy fried food that tastes and looks great, but which is ultimately much better for you.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about deep fryers
In the section you just finished reading, you found out a bit more about some of the best deep fryers out there, as well as what is most appealing about each one. This will be useful information to have when it comes time to buy one for yourself. Before you make your purchase, however, there are some other important features to keep in mind and we have laid them out in the following paragraphs.
What is a deep fryer exactly and how does it work?
As you already know, this small appliance is designed to easily fry a variety of foods. Using it is very straightforward: all you have to do is fill the container with oil, plug it in a power outlet and adjust the temperature.
Is it better to use a deep fryer or a frying pan?
This question is hard to answer because they each are capable of accomplishing something different. Many people think a frying pan is all around better, but deep fryers are better at many things. Frying pans created more dirt and grime, are easier to burn yourself with, and tend to give you a less even result. With frying pans however, you can sear food, and it tends to be slightly less greasy.
Is it better to fry with or without oil?
Another question you might yourself asking is whether it is better to cook with, or without oil. As we showed you above, there are fryers that operate without the use of oil. If you want to use oil, just pour it into the container, wait until it is sufficiently hot, and fry your food. Almost all fryers allow you to regulate the temperature manually.
On the other hand, fryers that do not use oil can fry, but also roast, bake or keep your food warm. This is accomplished via air convection inside the fryer. Below is an informative table laying out the advantages of each coking method:
|Advantages of oil fryers||Advantages of air fryers|
|They cook faster. Foods are fried better. The food is crunchy. They are more affordable.||You don’t have to spend money on oil. They are healthier. They don’t emit odors. They are easier to clean.|
How should I take care of the oil in my fryer?
One of the key elements to get the most out of your fryer is the oil you use. This is the essential ingredient in all deep fryers. This is why we have provided you with the following tips to help you fry better. If you keep them in mind, you will be an expert deep fryer in no time.
- Temperature: It is recommended not to exceed 170 or 180 degrees. Keep in mind that there are certain oil byproducts that are not good for you. You will immediately be able to tell when your oil is burning by the smoke and smell.
- Food: Make sure to fry dry food. Putting in frozen food will lower the temperature of your oil, and you might have to reheat it to reach cooking temperature again.
- Oils: Sunflower oil is the most commonly used with deep fryers, although you can also use olive or seed oil.Don’t mix different oils, or mix old and new oil together.
- Batter: If you make your own batter, add a tablespoon of water or milk to your egg. This lets your food become more crunchy while absorbing less oil.
- Changing the oil: It is time for an oil change when it starts to thicken, smell bad, turn dark, or start to foam.
- Recycling the oil: Oil is very polluting, so avoid simply throwing it down the sink. The most environmentally responsible thing you can do is take it to a collection point. If you can’t do that, then place it in a bottle and throw it in the trash. This, however, is still not a great way to dispose of oil.
What is the best frying temperature?
Another aspect that you’ll need to consider when it comes to cooking in a deep fryer is the temperature of the oil. Certain models will have preset cooking functions, which means it automatically provides you with a temp based on what you’re cooking. Many models come with temperature settings for you to select from.
It is almost always best to opt for a lower temperature over a higher one. Food will take longer to cook at lower temperature, but you won’t spoil your oil as fast, allowing you to get more use out of it. With that in mind, always understand that lower temperatures will fry food slower and it will absorb more fat.
What are interesting features of deep fryers?
There are a number of fryer characteristics that might come in handy to you. It is vital that you know what these are if you want to purchase the right fryer for you. We have laid out these features in the below list so you know what to look for when buying a deep fryer:
- Cold zone: This isn’t something you’ll particularly need to pay attention to when purchasing your fryer, as the vast majority now feature one, though it is interesting to know how it works. This is the place in the fryer that collects food scraps and prevent flavors from mixing together. It also minimizes the smells your fryer emits.
- Self-cleaning system: Certain models also have a self-cleaning mode. You’ll still have to clean the pot by hand, unless it is dishwasher-safe.
- Anti-odour filter: Some deep fryers feature anti-odour filters. Do note that some smell will still emanate from your appliance.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of deep fryers?
Having this small household appliance at home naturally offers many benefits. You will have to consider a number of important factors if you want to get the right product for you. The above sections have already introduced some of them to you, and in the following section we will give you some additional information. First, however, pay attention to the below pros and cons of owning a deep fryer:
Our shopping guide is coming to a conclusion, but we can’t end it without analyzing a few other key aspects. It is paramount that you take these into consideration if you want to purchase the right fryer for you. Below are the different aspects we will examine in the final section of our article:
- Other features
The size of the deep fryer you want to buy is something to keep in mind and will be determined by how many people you plan on cooking for. Getting the right sized fryer means you won’t waste time cooking, while also economizing on energy and oil. The below table will help you choose a deep fryer with size in mind:
|Small||Its capacity is a little over one liters and is ideal for up to four people.|
|Medium||Its container can hold between 1.5 and 2.3 liters, allowing you to cook for four to six people.|
|Large||It offers the largest capacity – between 3 and 4 liters – and is perfect for families with up to eight members.|
Make sure you carefully assess this aspect when buying your own deep fryer, and take into account your family members and potential guests you’ll want to cook for. What you are going to cook and how frequently should also be factored into the size of fryer you buy.
You need to clean the outside of your deep fryer every single time you use it. The first thing you need to do is wipe it down with soapy water, followed by another once over with just water, then dry it well. You need to clean the inside of your fryer every time you do an oil change. Getting one that can be easily broken down, and even better, can be thrown in the dishwasher is best.
Try to buy a deep fryer that features a glass lid through which you can see inside. This eliminates the need to constantly open and close the lid to check progress. Every time you expose the oil to the air, you cool it down. Glass lids ensure your food cooks quickly and at the right temperature.
It is essential that you evaluate the power of your deep fryer and opt for a model that offers between 1,500 and 2,000 watts. The size of your appliance will determine the power output – models with more capacity require more power to cook food. If you don’t get the right power level, it might end up taking much longer to cook food, in which case it can turn out overcooked, instead of beautifully fried.
All fryers need a filter to keep the oil cleaner for longer. Many models also include anti-odor filters. Nobody likes a house that smells like oil and fried food all the time. Anti-odor filters stop this from happening and are popular features on many deep fryers.
There are other characteristics that you may want to pay attention to. Your fryer should have a timer and thermostat included to control cooking time and temp. The cool wall feature is another nice addition that helps prevent burns. Some models also include removable containers that collect leftover food so you can get rid of it easier.
Simple to set up, use, and clean a deep fryer is an affordable, convenient kitchen appliances used for a variety of foods. The market for these appliances has grown considerably in the U.S. in recent years, where they are now affordable and high-tech. Keeping in mind your budget, and value for money are still two of the most important things you can do when buying one.
You’ve discovered the many aspects that you need to take into account when buying your own deep fryer. Ensure whichever one you end up deciding on has enough capacity for your intended use, and is easy enough to clean that using it on is enjoyable. Lastly, try to get one that has some of the aforementioned additional features (anti-odor filters, thermostat, timers, and cool wall technology). Always go for one that suits your needs the best.
We hope that you found our shopping guide on deep fryers interesting and helpful. If you have, please feel free to leave a comment below, and/or share it with friends and family on social media!
(Source of featured image: David Kadlec: 86581862/ 123rf.com)