Everybody wants a great-tasting turkey, and for some people, it doesn’t get any better than a bird that’s deep-fried to bring out that crunchy and crispy texture while oozing with flavorful juices on the inside.
Back in the day, when turkey fryers and ovens weren’t around, people would cook turkeys by either roasting them on an open fire or smoking it. And then the ovens finally came and people were drooling over the appetizing scent a slowly cooking turkey gave out. Using ovens for preparing a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal is still popular, but the arrival of the turkey fryer has been somewhat of a game changer for people who want their holiday birds cooked golden.
A Deep Fried Delicacy for the Family
Deep-fried turkey is a concept that originated from the South and has gradually spread in popularity throughout the rest of the country. It’s a favorite dish during barbecues, holiday feasts, and block parties, so choosing the right turkey fryer is essential for an overall satisfying experience that you can share with those closest to you.
Below, you’ll find some of the best-reviewed turkey cookers for the money. Some cost below $100, while others are priced at an expensive $200. Their qualities also range from average to premium, so you may want to check what your budget limits are and how durable or fully-featured you want your fryer to be.
Considerations When Choosing a Turkey Fryer
This is the most important factor when purchasing a fryer because, as you may already know, the capacity is what determines the size of the turkey you’ll be able to cook. Some can handle a 20-pound turkey while others can only accommodate a 14-pound bird. So you don’t regret the capacity of the fryer you’ll be purchasing, make sure to think about the largest size of poultry you’ll probably be frying.
Most appliances come with at least one year of warranty, and that goes for turkey fryers too. A smart way to choose a suitable warranty for your needs would be to look for the kind that covers the unit against possible mechanical defects and can provide additional coverage for defects that may occur from normal use.
Since you’re cooking with oil, you can imagine what a pain it would be to get rid of all that grease. To make things easier on your part, we suggest getting a fryer with a non-stick interior. Also, you may want the ones that are rust-resistant and come with dishwasher-safe parts. Be advised that most of the parts will need to be washed manually. A decent fryer should be able to cook up to 375 degrees F, but if you’re someone who appreciates versatility, you’ll find that some units will come with adjustable temperature controls. Just be ready to pay a little extra for this feature.
The second most important factor to consider before purchasing a turkey fryer would be the safety features. Because you’re working with plenty of hot oil, it’s best to go for a fryer that’s built with an auto shut-off feature, a cooking basket, vented lid, and a lifter that allows you to remove the poultry after cooking. Among these features, the auto shut-off should be your top priority. You risk the possibility of causing a fire or suffering from burns if your turkey fryer fails to have this.
The Best Turkey Fryers in 2020
- Holds up to an 18-pound turkey; cooks at approximately 31/2 minutes per lb.
- 1800-watt heating element; 2.5-gallon stainless steel reservoir
- Aluminum frying/rotisserie basket, holds 8 pounds of food
- Rotisserie function uses 1 3 less oil than traditional deep fryers; 120-minute timer
- Stainless steel vented lid; Power and Ready indicator lights
What we love best about the Waring is its appealing design and powerful wattage. It’s also equipped with some of the most essential safety features so you have the pleasure of cooking with as minimal stress and anxiety possible. The highest temperature for this unit is 375 degrees F – the perfect temp for most frying needs. From what we’ve seen and read from reviews, the benefits of this unit are plentiful. Aside from it being a safe turkey fryer for indoor use, it’s also built to be economical, using only two and a half gallons of oil whereas propane fryers typically require four gallons or more. Another aspect of the Waring that we absolutely adore would be its 18-pound capacity which can cook a turkey in a little over an hour. There’s also a drain spout that’s conveniently located at the bottom so the oil can be removed after using the fryer a couple of times. Aside from being a great turkey-machine, it also makes a decent steamer and you’ll be surprised at how well it can cook other dishes such as clambakes or lobster. Now that we’ve finished diving into the many praises for this product, we’d like to point out that there are not-so-great aspects to it. Unlike high-end fryers, the Waring does not give out a sound to let you know that the oil has reached your desired temperature so you’ll have to keep watch while it’s heating up. There is, however, a light indicator which eliminates the need to guess whether it’s time to place the turkey in.
- Stainless-steel turkey fryer kit with 32-quart stockpot and thermometer
- Fries a whole turkey up to 25 pounds; skewer set for frying up to 3 chickens
- Perforated poultry rack with grab hook; perforated steam/boil basket
- Outdoor gas burner; 1-piece welded stainless-steel frame; 10-PSI regulator
- Measures approximately 16 by 16 by 31 inches
The next turkey fryer that made its way on our list is the Bayou Classic 1195. It’s made of the premium grade stainless steel material and includes a 32-quart stockpot that’s large enough to hold a turkey that’s a whopping 25 lbs. in weight. There are also a number of useful add-ons to this product, which includes the poultry rack, boil basket, 10 PSI regulator, and a very durable housing that’s resistant to rusts and stains. Although the capacity is pretty much what you could hope for from a quality product, it’s surprisingly compact and doesn’t take up as much space as you’d expect from a large turkey fryer. And if you’re not looking forward to assembling everything yourself, it’s actually much easier and faster compared to other turkey fryer models because there aren’t as many parts. Just expect to experience a bit of a learning curve because this machine will require some effort and patience to get the right amount of heat and cooking oil. But once the numbers are dialed in, everything else is a cinch. If you’ve never owned a turkey fryer before and are worried that this might prove a little too complex, don’t fret. All you’ll need to know will be in the instructions provided with your purchase of this model and you’ll be frying in no time.
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Thermostat Temperature control
- Cooking Basket with Drain Clip
- Drain Valve for Easy Cleaning
- Fry up to a 20lb Turkey or Boil Seafood and Steam Vegetables
The Masterbuilt Butterball is a top-class unit that’s created with durability, safety, and convenience in mind. Those aspects to this fryer make it truly sought-after, but its winning quality would admittedly be its impressive capacity, which lets it cook a 20-pound turkey easily. It operates on a 1,650-watt heating element so it cooks faster than most units. For the most part, it’s easy to clean and use and a drain valve is built into the device so it releases oil, making it safer than units that require the oil to be manually poured out. Although there’s no vented lid to let steam escape, we’re pleased to know that it does come with the most important safety feature, which is the auto shut-off. Perhaps one other thing we feel we need to point out is this unit’s lack of a timer, which is a little disappointing for consumers, but can be easily fixed if you’ve got a spare timer on hand. It does have a thermostat and a few convenient indicator lights to let you know the progress of your turkey frying. A stainless steel basket comes with a lifting hook which makes it safer to lift up or lower down the turkey into the hot bubbling oil. There’s also a drain clip fitted into the basket so you can easily drain the oil from the turkey and let it cool.
- Oil-Less Turkey Fryer is a smart option for those trying to watch their calories
- Patented infrared cooking technology prevents flare-ups, eliminates hot and cold spots, and delivers juicy, crisp, and flavorful results every time
- Prepare perfect turkeys (up to 16 lbs.), chickens, beef roasts, pork tenderloins, and other large cuts of meat with injectable marinades – or use seasoned rubs on the outside (not an option with traditional fryers)
- No hot oil to burn, splatter, or spill! Save money and stress without having to purchase or dispose of any oil – and, of course, the food is healthier, too!
- Includes cooker, cooking basket, lifter, meat thermometer, and quick start cooking guide
- Measures 24.5″H with a 21.1″ diameter and weighs 30 lbs
With its traditional look and cooking efficiency, Char-Broil’s The Big Easy is one of the more affordable yet dependable products on the market today. You’re not just saving money from not having to buy a more expensive unit, but you also get to cut back costs from having to purchase gallons of oil to use for cooking. Since you’re cooking your turkey oil-free, you won’t ever have to worry about getting burned or cleaning up spilled oil. Talking about capacity, Char-Broil’s The Big Easy is labeled to be a suitable fryer for a 16-pound turkey. All the accessories you would expect from a standard turkey fryer are also included, such as the cooking basket, lifting hook, and thermometer. And at a price under $200, we feel that it truly deserves its reputation as one of the most well-loved fryers designed especially for cooking a delicious turkey.