Best Turkey Fryers of 2018
A turkey fryer gives you moist, succulent meat with a crispy skin easier and quicker than the traditional oven-cooking method. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best turkey fryer.
Shopping Guide for the Best Turkey Fryers
If turkey is a staple in your diet (or you want it to be), it's time to get a turkey fryer. And before you worry about the unhealthy factor, know that most turkey fryers are oil-free.
If you want moist, succulent meat with a crispy skin, a turkey fryer can help achieve this goal easier and quicker than the traditional oven-cooking method. Unfortunately, like so many things these days, the choices seem endless. Our mission at BestReviews is to help make your purchasing decision easy—and one you'll be happy with for years to come.
We buy our products just like you would, never accepting freebies from manufacturers. We test products ourselves and talk to experts and consumers just like you. As such, you can trust all our recommendations to be genuine and unbiased.
Ready to buy? We put our favorite three models at the top of this page. To learn more about turkey fryers and which one would suit your needs, read on.
Turkey Fryer Benefits
- Cooking a turkey in a fryer is much faster than the traditional oven method—about half as long, or even a third. So, a 12-pound turkey takes about 30 minutes in the fryer but up to 3 hours in the oven.
- Since you won't be using your oven, you'll have plenty of space for all your sides, from roast vegetables to rolls and pie.
- No more soggy skin—the fryer cooks evenly on all sides of your meat and crisps up the outside nicely.
- Another benefit of the quick cooking time a fryer provides: Your meat won't dry out.
Turkey Fryer Considerations
There are four main factors to consider before you buy a turkey fryer: type, oil or oil-free, size, and price.
- Propane: Propane turkey fryers have the largest capacity, but they can only be used outdoors and away from structures, furniture, and other flammables. You must pay extra for the propane tank (which needs to be replaced about once a year—more if you use it often), and propane fryers often require more cooking oil. Extra caution must be used, as the oil can overheat or spill. Propane units can boil, fry, or steam food.
- Electric: Usually your safest option, electric turkey fryers can be used indoors. They tend to be easiest to clean, especially if they have dishwasher-safe components as most models do. They can boil, fry, and steam, but they tend to be smaller and are therefore not ideal for large gatherings. If you opt for an electric turkey fryer, you'll need access to an outlet to use it.
- Fryer Pot: A turkey fryer pot is a large stock pot with a rack and thermometer built in. You need to use an additional heat source, such as a fire pit or grill. The extra-large size is good if you're feeding a crowd or preparing a very big turkey or cuts of meat. You can also use a fryer pot to fry, steam, or boil meat.
Oil or Oil-Free
Turkey fryers use either oil or infrared heat to cook the meat. The fryer pot is the only type you cannot use oil-free. If crispy skin is your main priority, use oil. If you want healthier food and a safer cooking method, go oil-free. If you don't use oil, you can use the drippings for gravy.
Size can be a very important consideration if space for your fryer is limited or you're feeding a big crowd. Electric models tend to be smaller and need only a bit of counter space, whereas propane and fryer pot options may need a large outdoor area.
● Mid-size electric turkey fryers cost between $40 and $70.
● Large electric turkey fryers cost between $100 and $200.
● Mid-size propane turkey fryers cost between $80 and $100.
● Large propane turkey fryers cost between $110 and $200.
● Turkey fryer pots cost from $30 to $65.
Turkey Fryer Features
There are several optional features or "add-ons" that may come with your turkey fryer if it's part of a kit. These include:
- Cooking basket
- Hook to lift turkey in and out of fryer
- Meat thermometer
- Marinade injector
- Skewers for smaller cuts of meat
- Drain valve
If something that you want is not included with your turkey fryer, you have the option of purchasing it separately if the fryer design allows for it.
Q. What kind of oil can I use in a turkey fryer?
A. We recommend peanut oil for its high flash point and neutral taste, but corn or vegetable oil can work, too.
Q. Can it be dangerous to use a turkey fryer?
A. If used improperly, yes. Hot oil can spill out or splatter, causing burns or stains. And like any cooking device, a turkey fryer can be a fire hazard. Follow all the safety precautions included in the manual, along with common sense.
- Do not use your fryer near anything that could catch fire or sustain heat damage.
- Wear cooking gloves when using the fryer and any of its components near the heat source.
- Do not overfill the fryer, and keep all parts clean and in good order.
- Fryers can tip over, so keep yours on a steady surface where no one will bump into it.
Q. How do I clean a turkey fryer?
A. Many electric indoor models come with removable, dishwasher-safe parts and are easy to wipe out and clean. If you plan to cook with oil, a drain valve makes cleaning much easier. Nonstick components are easy to clean with soap, water, and a sponge after the fryer is cool.