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There’s nothing like eating perfectly crispy onion rings or French fries right out of the fryer. Sure, you can always use a deep skillet or air fryer to do the job, but you will need a deep fryer if you want restaurant-quality crispiness.
The best deep fryers make it simple to fry food from scratch. They are designed to be an all-inclusive appliance that is also easy to clean, safe to use, and packed full of features.
Thankfully, good ones are quite affordable, and they do not take up much real estate on your countertop. Deep fryers designed for the home kitchen are equipped with safety features to ensure that this cooking method is no more dangerous than cooking with oil in a skillet. To help you narrow down the choices, we’ve rounded up our top deep fryers.
Best Overall: Cuisinart CDF-200P1 Deep Fryer
Cuisinart's various deep fryers allow you to cook donuts, onion rings, chicken, and more to crispy perfection, but its 4-quart model is the best one to have on hand. This features a powerful heating element, a generous fry basket that holds up to 2.3 pounds of food, and is the ideal fryer for large families.
The oil sits in a removable container that features a pouring spout for effortless filtration and cleaning. The fry basket with a stay-cool handle is dishwasher safe, making cleaning up a cinch. This model can heat up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to its immersion-style heating element, which provides uniform heat to the oil. It will easily maintain the set temperature as you don't overcrowd the basket.
The lid helps eliminate splatter, and it features a handy view-through window so you can keep a close eye on your food. The fryer's built-in timer also helps ensure nothing gets overcooked. It's backed with a 3-year warranty.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.5 x 11 x 12.25 inches | Capacity: 4 quarts | Wattage: 1800 W
Best Budget: Presto Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker and Steamer
Presto's Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker/Steamer is easy to use out of the box, so it's a fantastic budget-friendly option for beginners. This multipurpose appliance steams, stews, roasts, boils, and, of course, deep-fries all your favorite foods.
The multi-cooker has a heavy aluminum base that distributes heat evenly and efficiently. It comes with a tempered glass cover that prevents splashes and allows for easy monitoring while cooking food. The basket makes it easy to steam, blanch, and fry and has a clamp for effortless draining after cooking.
"The Presto multi-cooker is a great piece of equipment that is versatile, not just to fry, but also to steam, poach, and more. It has lots of uses," says Andrew Arndt, executive chef at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Newport Beach, California. "For the home chef especially, it’s important to have equipment that has more than one use, and this one, in particular, is simple to operate and it’s compact, so it does not take up a lot of counter space."
This deep fryer has a temperature regulator, which adjusts automatically, and a nonstick interior for easy cleaning. Best of all, the heat control is removable so that the entire appliance is fully immersible and dishwasher-safe, making this deep fryer incredibly easy to clean.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.75 x 12.25 x 9.25 inches | Capacity: 5 quarts | Wattage: 1200 W
Best Large Capacity: Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Deep Fryer
If you've always wanted to fry your Thanksgiving turkey but find those outdoor fryers intimidating, the Cuisinart Extra-Large Roistisserie is the appliance you need. Its stainless steel housing offers a 5.3-quart (5-liter) capacity for cooking plenty of fish, meat, and other food.
The fryer has an adjustable temperature control with a 120-minute timer and a spit and cage that can accommodate up to a 14-pound turkey. It also comes with a mesh basket, lifting handles, and a built-in spigot with a drainage hose for easy cleaning. A unique feature is its rotisserie option that uses less oil than a traditional turkey fryer. You can also use the appliance with or without oil due to its restaurant-style multi-functions. Use it to steam or fry, whatever suits your taste.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 20.2 x 16 x 16.4 inches | Capacity: 5.3 quarts | Wattage: 1800 W
Related: The Best Air Fryers
Best Compact: T-fal FF492D Stainless Steel Mini Deep Fryer
This compact fryer won’t take up much space on your counter or inside your cabinet. The mini fryer has 850 watts of power with a 1.25-quart (1.2-liter) capacity. It’s the perfect size for single portions of delicious fried food.
The fryer is easy to use and offers three temperature options. It heats up quickly due to less oil capacity and maintains heat for even frying. Although it has only minimal functions and controls, the fryer has an indicator that lets you know when the time is right to add food to hot oil, and its removable basket is dishwasher safe. The T-Fal mini fryer is perfect for RVs, cabins, or any place with limited space.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.4 x 10.4 x 10.4 inches | Capacity: 1.25 quarts | Wattage: 850 W
Best for Easy Cleanup: DeLonghi D44528DZ Livenza Easy Clean Deep Fryer
One downside of using a deep fryer is having to clean it. Although modern fryer appliances make it easier to clean, some are more practical than others. The DeLonghi Livenza Easy Clean Deep Fryer is a premium appliance designed with power and convenience in mind.
This fryer has a capacity for 3.3 pounds of food, ideal for those who cook large quantities at once. The fryer has dual-zone technology that prevents fallen food from burning, and an oil cycle counter notifies you when an oil change is required. It also comes with adjustable temperature controls and is equipped with an easy oil drain system for hassle-free cleaning. All non-electronic parts are dishwasher safe.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 18 x 11 x 12.5 inches | Capacity: 1 gallon | Wattage: 1800 W
Related: The Best Toaster Ovens
Best Smart: Breville BDF500XL Smart Fryer
Smart devices in the kitchen are not only limited to your fridges and coffee makers. Although you may not be able to control it via an app on your mobile phone, this offers some unique features that are not offered in many deep fryers at home.
The Breville Smart Fryer has a 4-quart capacity and will fry enough food to feed two to four people. It features an LCD display with a smart system that helps you set temperatures and timers with one touch. All you have to do is let the fryer know what you're cooking, and it will handle the rest. It has sleek stainless steel housing and a nonstick interior. With a removable inner pot and a heating element, the fryer is also easy to clean.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.5 x 10.5 x 10.2 inches | Capacity: 4 quarts | Wattage: 1800 W
Best Outdoor: Bayou Classic 32-Quart Turkey Fryer
Although the Bayou Classic 32-Quart Fryer is sold as a turkey fryer, it is versatile and can be used to prepare a ton of different dishes with ease. Constructed of stainless steel, this fryer has a sturdy construction that allows optimal boiling or frying. With its extra-large capacity, you can prepare a lot of food at once, which is ideal for serving large parties.
The fryer comes with useful accessories, including a thermometer and seasoning injector. You need an external heat source to use this fryer; it is only a stainless steel pot with a basket insert with no internal heat element. However, it is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to clean.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14 x 14 x 18 inches | Capacity: 8 gallons
Related: The Best Turkey Fryers
With a generous capacity, removable container, and a lid to limit messes, the Cuisinart CDF-200P1 Deep Fryer (view at Amazon) is my top pick. If you're looking for an affordable deep fryer that can handle a decent amount of fries, look no further than the Presto Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker and Steamer (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Deep Fryer
You may have some safety concerns about using a deep fryer, especially when the oil can reach temperatures of 350 degrees or higher. Choose a model that’s equipped with safety features, so you can focus on frying your favorite foods instead of dodging hot oil as you cook. Safety features can include stay-cool handles, splatter lid, view-through window, built-in timer, temperature regulator, and adjustable temperature controls.
When frying, oil can reach temperatures of up 400 degrees. However, not all foods fry optimally at the same temperature. Opt for a model that lets you adjust the temperature based on each specific food you’re frying. Since the temperature can affect the flavor, crispiness, and oil absorption, this is an important consideration that can be the difference between crispy and burnt.
Cleanup is a breeze with deep fryers that have dishwasher-safe baskets. Many have nonstick interiors so food slides right off. Be sure to dispose of all used oil before washing your deep fryer basket in the dishwasher. Some models have a drainage hose to easily drain the fryer basket before cleaning. Cleaning your deep fryer thoroughly after each use, using high-quality frying oil, and adjusting the temperature as needed are all part of maintaining the longevity of your deep fryer.
What is the best oil for deep frying?
Vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed oil are the most commonly used oils for deep frying. The oil should have a high smoke point since the deep fryer reaches very high temperatures. Since oil is used in large volumes in deep frying, opt for an oil that’s affordable.
What’s the difference between a deep fryer and an air fryer?
Both deep fryers and air fryers have a shared goal—cook food in a way that results in a crispy texture. However, they operate much differently. Air fryers are similar to convection ovens in that they circulate hot air around the food, which requires little to no oil. On the opposite hand, deep fryers require a lot of oil to fully submerge food. While air fryers are viewed as a generally healthier option, deep frying tends to result in more flavor and a crispier texture.
How do you dispose of used frying oil?
Let the used frying oil cool down before disposing of it. It may even solidify. Then pour it into a container with a lid. Place the container full of oil into a trash bin that’s not used for recyclables. Don't pour used oil down the drain as it can clog pipes, affect municipal sewers, and damage septic systems.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer and online shopping expert who spends hours researching and comparing household items, so you don't have to. She is the proud owner of countless appliances and can help you choose the right one, regardless of your needs.
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