Let’s face it. No matter how ambitious our health goals might be, most of us can’t seem to give up delicious fried foods. A deep fryer, while not essential, is certainly great to have around. But finding the best deep fryer for home use can be a bit of a challenge as there are lots of companies that manufacture them. There are deep fryers that range from very inexpensive, like around 20 bucks, up to several hundred for a near-commercial grade deep fryer. And I’m sure you can find some that cost even more than that.
The good news is that when it comes to finding a very good deep fryer, you don’t have to spend a small fortune. There are plenty of viable options that won’t break the bank. But, you probably won’t want to buy the least expensive model either because it will lack some of the features that you will definitely want.
Below, we’ve listed several very good options that are sure to meet your needs in a deep fryer. Read on below.
Usually, I like products that are in that Goldilocks zone (right price with adequate features and quality build), and I think that the t-fal fr8000 is just that. When considering the price, features, and the quality build of the T-fal fr8000, it’s clear to me that it is one of the best deep fryers on the market. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by this little machine since I first discovered it almost two years ago – although we bought it much more recently than that.
Design and Size
A big part of assessing the value of a deep fryer is to consider the design and size. This unit is constructed out of stainless steel, which means that it is very durable and also aesthetically pleasing. I also like the shape of this fryer, it’s rectangular which means that it should store easily.
Our previous deep fryer had a cylindrical shape that, along with its large clumsy dimensions, made it a nightmare to store, and leaving it sitting on the counter just wasn’t an option.
This model can tuck away into a corner much more easily. It is about 8.5 inches wide by 12 inches long and not too tall. Some customers that purchased this fryer did so because they were influenced by the size.
Power & Performance
Temperature control is very important with most forms of cooking, but especially when it comes to frying. When you add cold food to hot oil, the temperature of the oil will go down. This 1700-watt machine will get up to temperature rather quickly and keep the temp there the whole time you’re cooking.
The “advanced oil temperature heating system” is designed to rebound to the selected temperature after you add food items. It is designed to provide you with the optimal “frying environment”. Which is hot enough to seal the exterior while still properly cooking the interior without burning it. You end up with crispy fried foods instead of the soggy or uneven stuff you get with poor frying machines.
Note: Another benefit of frying with a deep fryer with great temperature control is that it is much healthier because the high heat seals the exterior preventing the oil from seeping into the food.
Capacity is a very important feature for a deep fryer. This model has the perfect capacity, 3.5 liters of oil, and 2.65 pounds of food. This is perfect for a small family but it would also work well for a fish fry or other family gathering.
The precise thermostat control is a lot better than low, medium, and high settings that are found on lesser fryers. This kind of temperature control gives you flexibility over the finally results of your food. Our old unit was much more basic in that it had simple icons associated with a temperature, i.e. 350 degrees for chicken. But what if I wanted to get the exterior a little darker, or I want to use a panko or batter for my fried chicken. The precise thermostat gives you complete control over your final results.
Cleaning a deep fryer is usually a big headache as there is usually no easy way to do it. To clean our odd-shaped fryer, we had to tilt it on its side and usually that resulted in spills and a bigger mess. At best it was always awkward to clean.
We love that the T-fal fr8000 is so easy to clean. It actually has an oil filtration system that drains the oil, filters and stores it in a container at the bottom of the unit until its next use. The detachable parts; fry basket, lid, and plastic oil storage container are dishwasher safe. What more can you ask for?
Note: Don’t worry, the oil will not drain into the plastic container if the oil is too hot. And, the oil filter is permanent.
This unit comes with a limited lifetime warranty. On the Amazon product description page, you can find the pdf to the warranty which will explain all of the details.
This unit is reasonably priced considering the features
Precise thermostat control gives you complete control over your food
Oil filtration and storage
Easy to clean
Looks good in stainless steel
Dishwasher safe parts
Some complain that oil does not completely cover the food
Some say that the temperature of the oil is lower than what you set it to
Secura 4.2L/17-Cup 1700-Watt Stainless-Steel Deep Fryer Review
Secura 4.2L Deep Fryer
The Secura 17-cup deep fryer is another great option. This one makes the short list because, for starters, many customers think that it’s great. It has some features that are very useful and uncommon at its price range. It’s not a very expensive machine, but like the T-Fal fr8000, it isn’t the cheapest fryer out there.
Design and Size
The Secura is a good looking machine, clad in stainless steel and black, it surely won’t be an eyesore. But, the size here is a bit more than some other deep fryers. This unit is about 11-inches deep x 17-inches wide. That means that you will need to make sure that you have adequate space for it if it’s to take up permanent residence on your countertop.
Power and Performance
The 1700-watt heating element of the Secura is on par with the T-Fal model listed above. And that means that heat rebounding should happen pretty quickly but probably not as fast as the T-fal (explained in the “note” below).
The temperature ranges from 250 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (up to 190 degrees Celsius). Instead of precise temperature control, this unit simply has adjustable temperature control. This range is perfect for cooking most anything in your fryer.
If you take a closer look at the picture of the Secura on Amazon or elsewhere, you might notice that the temperature range is in Celsius, but rest assured, the unit you get should have the temperature listed in Fahrenheit.
The timer ranges from 0 to 60 minutes in 1-minute increments and it must be set to at least a minute in order for the machine to operate.
You’ve probably read above about how large this unit was. But there is a reason for that, the oil capacity is 4.2 liters which is amongst some of the largest I’ve seen for home deep fryers. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find another high quality, inexpensive, deep fryer that also has a 4.2 liter oil capacity.
Note: One potential downside of the larger capacity is that the temperature rebounding may take longer. The T-Fal model listed above has a 1700-watt heating element, just like this one, but it has a smaller capacity so in theory the oil temperature should rebound quicker.
This unit is unique in that it comes with 3 fry baskets. There is a very large fry basket, and two smaller ones which is good because that allows you to cook two different foods with different cook times. Even still, there is only one timer. Many customers do appreciate the 3 baskets.
If you fry food at home regularly then you know that there can be lingering smells. It’s one of several reasons that we don’t fry very often. To reduce that fried food smell, this unit comes with a charcoal filter.
Cleaning the Secura 4.2L is pretty simple. You simply remove the heating elements then remove the oil tank. If you wish to strain the oil, you could purchase a wire mesh net and pour the oil over it and into a container. This process requires more work than the T-Fal fr8000 which does the filtering for you. Once you empty out the oil, you can simply put the oil tank and mesh baskets in the dishwasher.
This machine comes with a one year warranty.
Priced very well considering the features
3 baskets; two small, and one large
Odor control filter
A number of customers complained because the timer has to be on for the unit to be on
Presto 05466 Stainless Steel Dual Basket Pro Fry Immersion Element Deep Fryer Review
Presto 05466 Deep Fryer
The Presto 05466 is another great deep fryer option. It is a big deep fryer and it will take up a lot of space on your countertop. For large families and parties, this might be your best option. It is well received by most users.
Design and Size
The rectangular shaped Presto 05466 is a great addition to this list and is definitely sized for a large family. The dimensions are 19-inches wide by 12-inches deep by 12-inches tall. You will need to consider if this size is right for you though. If you have a 3 person family, you probably don’t need a deep fryer that is this large.
This model is stainless steel. Stainless steel seems to be the construction material of choice for most deep fryer manufacturers. This unit like the two listed above are clad in stainless steel. This is usually a good choice in terms of quality and aesthetics.
Power and Performance
This model has the largest capacity of any of the units that we listed here. You can fry a whopping 5 pounds of food in one batch. That’s enough to feed a small army.
Note: I probably wouldn’t fry 5 pounds of food at once as it would probably negatively affect the quality of the finished food as the oil temperature would drop drastically.
This increase in capacity requires more power. This unit has an 1800-watt heating element which is more than the other two listed above. While it may not seem like a lot, it’s only 100 watts more than the two models listed above, it makes a difference. This should make for quick temperature recovery.
To be sure your oil is hot enough an indicator light lets you know when the oil is ready for your food. The oil temperature is adjustable from 250 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit but not precise like the T-Fal fr8000.
The dual baskets are very useful as they allow you to cook two separate types of food at the same time. This is perfect when cooking fries and chicken wings when different cooking times are needed. It also gives you more flexibility
The baskets are oblong shaped rather than square. This shape is preferable when frying long pieces of fish, for example. This shape is also helpful when you need to shake up the fish basket to move things around to prevent the food from sticking. Having two midsized baskets can be preferred over one large basket because it gives you flexibility over the amount of food you prepare in one batch.
Cleaning is easy with this unit. You simply remove the heating element to remove the oil tank. Empty out the oil, or strain it. Then you can throw the oil tank and baskets in the dishwasher.
This machine comes with a one year warranty
Considering the size and quality this unit is offered at a great price
Very large capacity
View window to check progress
Power cord is short
Surprisingly some complain that the unit is a bit under-powered
Hamilton Beach 35034 Professional-Style Deep Fryer Review
Hamilton Beach 35034
Yet another stainless steel unit, the Hamilton Beach 35034 is a large great deep fryer option. It is priced competitively to fit into most budgets. Although it is a bit bulky, I think it is a good looking machine and will fit into most kitchens.
Design and Size
Most modern deep fryers look pretty similar. They are either square or rectangular in shape. This unit fits the mode. But I have to note that when you look at the pictures, it does have a more compact look to it. I think it has a cleaner low profile look than the other two large fryers on this list.
The temperature and timer dials are low profile too. The shape of the lid and side handles not only make this fryer portable but they also give it a more contemporary look. Another small, but noteworthy advantage is that the fry basket handles can be removed or folded down for storage (I’ve come across complaints on other models that didn’t have this feature).
This deep fryer is large roughly the same size as the unit listed just below. The dimensions are 15.6-inches deep x 14.8-inches wide x 11-inches tall.
Power and Performance
This unit is powerful with 1800-watts of power which should be plenty powerful enough to get the heat back up to where it was originally set. The temperature ranges from 265 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like the Secura model on this page, this unit comes with 3 fry baskets; 2 small baskets and 1 large one. This is ideal as it gives you flexibility in how you cook. You can cook two different food types at once or you could opt to fry one large batch all at once.
This fryer also has a very large capacity; up to 12 cups of food can be fried at once. That means that you can prepare food for the entire family in fewer batches. Not sure if you’re food is done? Instead of removing the lid (and releasing precious heat), use the view window to see if your food is golden brown.
This unit comes with a timer which, surprisingly, isn’t a standard feature on all modern deep fryers. The 30-minute timer is set in 5-minute increments.
Like with the other units on this list this one has a removable oil tank which makes it easier to clean than the models whose oil tank doesn’t detach. You first remove the heating element and pour out the oil. The oil tank and baskets are dishwasher safe. And you can just wipe down the surface with a cloth or paper towel. The process sounds simple enough although some complain that it is not very easy to clean.
This deep fryer has a one year warranty
When the timer expires the machine shuts off
Large countertop footprint
Uses a lot of oil
Some say that the cord is too short and detaches too easily
The temperature selector isn’t precise according to some reports
DeLonghi D24527DZ Dual Zone 3-Pound-Capacity Deep Fryer Review
DeLonghi D24527DZ Dual Zone Deep Fryer
This deep fryer is a unique option indeed. Like the others on this list, it’s exterior is stainless steel which is a great surface for a fryer. Stainless steel is incredibly easy to clean which adds to its usability. But this machine isn’t just like the others on the list; it has some unique features and functionality.
Design and Size
One of the first things that you will notice about this machine is that it has a very unique design and shape. You will have to take a look at the picture to know what I mean. The top of the lid has a thick plastic handle that will make removing the lid a lot easier on you. And the lid also has a viewing window which is large enough for you to see the progress of your food as it cooks.
There are a lot of handles on this machine, seven in total. This allows you to easily move it around and pick it up safely reducing the risk of burning yourself.
Power and Performance
A digital control panel makes it easy for you to set the temperature and timer.
The adjustable thermostat gives you complete control over your crispy creations. You can set the frying temp from 300 to 375 degrees. The heating element is 1500-watts which is decent but there are some models on this page that are more powerful. A powerful heating element will allow the temperature to rebound quicker. This is especially important for larger capacity fryers.
There’s a lot that can be said about this machine, but the least of which certainly wouldn’t be the dual-zone technology. This feature is incredibly smart, practical, and thoughtful. When you fry foods, there will always be little bits of food that fall and end up resting at the bottom of the fryer.
When the oil heats up, those little bits start to burn and that lends itself to that awful and lingering fried food smell. Which is one of the reasons why we don’t fry very often. The Delonghi D24527DZ works by keeping the temperature at the very bottom of the oil tank, beneath the heating element, low enough that those little bits don’t burn. Meanwhile, the oil above that level stays at a temperature suitable for frying. It’s genius!
But that isn’t the only convenient feature.
The patented oil drain system is very convenient. While not in use, the hose and nozzle are stored in a little compartment in the front of the fryer. You simply turn the nozzle to start the draining process.
And if that isn’t enough convenience, there is also a timer. Once the timer expires you will hear an audible beeping sound that lets you know that your food is done. You won’t have to worry about overcooking your food. There are some really good deep fryers out there that don’t have a timer; heck, even my favorite on this list, the T-Fal fr8000 listed above has no timer. And for some that could be the deal breaker.
If you decide to go for this unit, I think you will be happy with the capacity. This thing can hold 4-liters of oil and fry up to 3 pounds of food in one batch. The larger oil capacity means that your oil will stay fresher longer.
Clean up should be high on your list of priorities when searching for a new deep fryer for your home. You’ve already learned that this unit can drain its oil easily with the hose attachment. But you’ll also be happy to learn that the removable bowl, basket, and lid are dishwasher safe.
1 year warranty
Large 3 pound food capacity
4-liter oil capacity
Permanent stainless steel filter
Dual-zone technology helps to keep little food bits from burning
Some complain that the temp doesn’t rebound fast enough
Cuisinart CDF-200 Stainless Steel Deep Fryer Review
Cuisinart CDF-200 Deep Fryer
Another good deep fryer is the Cusinart CDF-200. It is backed by a very respectable brand that has been around for a long while. With a 4-liter capacity, this unit will take up considerable space on your countertop. But, perhaps it’s exactly what you are looking for.
Design and Size
Stainless steel housing makes this unit fall in line with the other models that are ever-present. It is the housing material of choice for most deep fryer manufacturers. Aside from a large viewing window, there aren’t any special physical features that make this one stand out.
But, we don’t need our deep fryer to be unique. We just need it to work well and be fairly easy to use. This model has a very easy to understand control panel as there are just two knobs. One of the knobs is for the timer and the other is for the temperature. The timer is up to 30 minutes while the temperature range is from 175 to 375 degrees, which is perfect.
Size is something that is very important for most small kitchen appliances as most folks have a very limited amount of space to work with. With 12.25″ H x 11″ W x 16.5″ D dimensions, it will certainly take up a fair share of space on your countertop.
Power and Performance
The power of the heating element is very important. It’s what dictates how fast your oil heats up. And even more importantly, it determines how fast the oil temperature will rebound. A fryer whose temperature rebounds slowly will produce greasier fried foods and we definitely don’t want that. This model comes with an 1800-watt heating element. Your oil temperature should rebound fast in this fryer. This feature is very important considering that this unit has a fairly large capacity; 2.3 pounds of food in a single batch.
The 30-minute timer should be sufficient as most brown goods don’t require that much frying time. Cool touch handles will keep you safe when opening lid and moving the fryer around. The large viewing window means that you won’t have to remove the lid to check on the progress of your food.
You get three baskets with this fryer which gives you complete control over how you cook. Use the large basket to cook one big batch of onion rings. Or, you can use the two smaller baskets to cook fish and chips (fries).
Curiously missing is an oil draining system. So, when you go to change out the dirty oil, you have to pour the oil out, you have to be careful not to spill any. Good luck with that! Models in this price range typically have one. In my book, it loses major points for this absence.
Instead of a complete oil drainage system, the enamel coated oil container does have a drain spout. This spout is basically a groove that helps to direct the oil into the direction that you want it to go in. I think that this is an okay solution. Certainly better than the units of yesteryear that had absolutely no oil pouring design.
So, now you might be thinking, “why is this model good enough to make the list?” Well, because I have come across numerous reports that praise the accuracy of the thermostat. This fryer reportedly gets very hot, unlike other brands that are regularly below the set temperature (according to customers). An accurate thermostat is probably the most important thing to consider when looking for a new deep fryer. The temperature needs to be hot enough to seal the exterior without burning it while cooking the interior thoroughly.
Most deep fryers in this price range comes with some kind of oil drainage system. Some even come with an oil filtering system (see our favorite pick above). Unfortunately, this model does not have an oil drainage system. That sucks. I have plenty of experiences in dealing with outdated deep fryers. The dread of emptying oil from an awkward oil tank is enough to make me reconsider frying at home altogether.
On the plus side, once you do manage to get the oil emptied out, you can just throw it along with the frying basket and lid in the dishwasher for quicker cleanup.
This machine comes with a one year warranty
1800-watt heating element means that temperatures rebound quickly
3 fry baskets; one large and two small
Dishwasher safe parts; fry baskets, lid, and oil tank
As you’re probably well aware of, there are plenty of deep fryers out there. Through lots of research I discovered many different features. Some are an absolute necessity and others are just nice to have. There are many things to consider if your goal is to choose a deep fryer that will provide you with great performance for many years to come.
One of the most important features to consider is the heating element. Typically, the more powerful the heating element, the better. This doesn’t mean that you should go out of your way to just get the most powerful heating element. It needs to be powerful relative to its capacity. For example, you wouldn’t want a deep fryer with a gallon oil capacity with a 1300-watt heating element. You would wait forever for the temperature to rebound once you add cold food to the oil, the temperature would take a lifetime to rebound. Most of the options on this page should work well for you.
Not surprisingly, you’re budget is largely going to determine the quality of the deep fryer that you get. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to have to plunk down $300 for a very good one. There are good options on this page for a fraction of that. On the flip side, and based on what I’ve come across, you’re not going find a very good deep fryer for less than $50. The sweet spot, however, is at around $100. Around that range is where you can expect to find some really convenient features, i.e. drain, timer, upgraded filters.
There’s a few reasons why you’ll need to consider the capacity. For starters, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to fry enough food in one batch for your family. If you go too small you’ll have hungry family members waiting impatiently for the next batch, “is it done yet”! Secondly, oil quality will degrade faster in smaller units. For most people, a food capacity of 2-3 pounds should work out.
If you go too big for your family size, however, you’ll have to use a lot of oil and you’ll probably end up wasting some. There’s no point in having a 5-pound capacity unit if you only need one pound.
The size of your deep fryer is directly connected to its capacity. Get only what you need and save some counter space. Storing your deep fryer in a place other than your counter is unlikely because it will have oil in it from when it was last used. Most folks don’t drain the oil after each use.
For me, oil drainage would be a deal breaker. I would much rather lose out on some optional features like a lid window than oil drainage. After dealing with several older fryers that didn’t have this feature, I can tell you that it is pain in the neck trying to change oil. One of my old units had a parabolic shape that made it even harder to drain the oil. Now, you can find a very good fryer sans the oil drainage system, i.e. the Cuisinart CDF-200 listed above. Most of the units on this page have an oil drainage system.
Convenient Features but Not Deal Breakers…
A viewing window is very convenient as it allows you to check on the status of your food without opening the lid. Opening the lid releases heat which will lower the temperature of the oil. If you find a good fryer that doesn’t have a viewing window, that’s fine. I wouldn’t sweat it. Besides if you follow a good frying recipe and make sure that the oil temperature is hot enough, you shouldn’t need to check on the progress too much.
A timer is another convenient feature but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you because it’s a very common thing. You can use the timer on your phone, microwave, or oven to keep track of food cooking times.
Multiple frying baskets are incredibly convenient as they usually allow you to fry one large batch of something or two smaller batches of different foods. But, if a fryer doesn’t have this feature, don’t let that stop you from proceeding to checkout. It’s not a vital feature.
Digital Temperature Readout – This is a very convenient feature that you aren’t likely to see on most deep fryers in a reasonable price range.
Oil Filter – A built-in filter system is a really good feature, but I wouldn’t say that it is absolutely necessary. We love the t-fal fr8000 for many reasons (see above), and the Oil filtration is one of those reasons. But you might not want this model for one reason or another, perhaps you want a fryer with a larger capacity. You can always buy a separate oil filtering device.
Which one should You Choose?
If I were choosing a new deep fryer, I would go with the T-fal fr8000. It isn’t a very large machine so it doesn’t take up too much countertop space. It has a powerful (for its capacity) 1700-watt heating element which means the temperature will rebound quickly when you add cold food to the hot oil.
The oil filtration and drain process makes cleanup a breeze. The food capacity is large enough for a small to medium sized family. It is priced affordably, has a limited-lifetime warranty, and many customers are happy with it.
But if you have a large family and/or entertain often then you may want a larger machine. I wouldn’t blame you. In fact, I’d recommend a larger capacity deep fryer.
Larger families would probably want as large of a frying capacity as reasonably possible. Well, two of the models on this list, Presto and Hamilton Beach, are 12-cup food capacity fryers. Although I probably wouldn’t fry that much food in either unit at once, either would certainly hold more than the T-Fal.
For larger families, I’d go with the Hamilton Beach 35034 or Cuisinart CDF-200. They are quality machines and come with a timer and 3 fry baskets and oil drainage systems.
How to Make Deep Fried Fat Foods a Little Healthier…
We all love fried foods. There truly is no substitute for it (read our section on air fryers below). But, it’s not the type of food that you want to have all of the time. Below is a list of things that you can do to make your deep fried food healthier at home.
When you fry with a temperature that is too low, you end up with soggy food that is drenched in oil. But when you cook at the right temperature, the exterior of your food is sealed and unpenetrated by the oil. Fried Foods are best if cooked between 325-degrees and 400-degrees.
Although worthy deep fryers have a temperature dial that doesn’t mean that they are always accurate. I would recommend that you get a separate food thermometer for your fried food.
Use Better Oils For Deep Fried Foods
Many sources consider corn, soy, and canola oil to be bad for you. They are also some of the most common and cheap oils available. If you are really interested in making your fried food healthier then you might consider virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil (it adds a nice nutty and a very slight sweet note to your food in my opinion), and even lard. I would explain about smoke point and all that technical stuff here, but they do a much better job than I can, here. These oils are more expensive, but because of their high smoke point, they will last longer.
Use Clean Oil
Clean Oil is healthier oil. I’ve seen some nightmare situations at hole in the wall fried food shops. I’m talking about dirty oil. Look, if you’re oil has a rancid smell, and it’s no longer translucent, then it’s time to change that oil. Better still, get a deep fryer with an oil filtration system or get a strainer and dirty oil container.
Let Your Food Rest on Paper Towel
Don’t jump all over those irresistible fried wings just yet. Places those tasty bites on some paper towel to absorb that excess oil. Commercial deep fryers are designed so that the fry basket sits on the unit allowing the oil to drip into the oil tank. If you come across a fryer like this then you might want to consider it.
Are You Considering an Air Fryer…?
First of all, an air fryer is not a real fryer. The word “airfryer” is clever marketing at its absolute best or worst, depending on how you view the world (sometimes I’m a cynic). In reality, an air fryer is actually nothing more than a small convection oven.
Air fryers work with a heating element and a fan, a la convection ovens, that spin rapidly. So instead of oil frying your food, your food is cooked with heated air. Some recipes do require a little oil, but just a little.
I gotta tell you, when I first started hearing about air fryers I was skeptical (Sarah was much more optimistic). You see, I’m not much of a believer in substitutions. I’m not interested in “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, and I don’t like diet coke in place of the real deal. Stevia, sweet n’ low, equal, splenda; no thank you.
I’d much rather eat fewer junk food items than to attempt to substitute them.
After trying an air fryer I will say that I like some of the recipes that I tried. I really did. I tried sweet potato fries and chicken wings and other stuff. They taste good for what they are, i.e. oven fried chicken. But in my opinion an air fryer is not a 1 to 1 substitute for fried foods – at least not taste wise. You can get food with that crispy texture and that will put you in the mind of fried foods. But at the end of the day there’s nothing quite like the artery clogging, crispy, crunchy goodness that is fried foods.