As seen in:
Masterbuilt
Butterball Electric
Char-Broil
The Big Easy
Masterbuilt
Butterball Oil-Free
Bayou Classic
32-Quart
Waring
Pro Rotisserie
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Good

Can accommodate a 20-lb. bird as well as seafood and things like onion rings. Also steams and boils. Yields crispy, perfect turkey as well as a number of other delectable foods.

Uses infrared heat, which is cleaner and healthier than most other methods. Suitable for 16-pound turkeys and large cuts of meat.

Can be used outside. Capacity is similar to that of the Char-Broil. Same safety features as the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Cooker.

Heat can reach 750°F. Can handle a 25-pound turkey; great for serving a large number of people.

Can handle an 18-pound turkey. Indoor model. Professional-grade machine.

Bad

A bit ungainly, and some users don't like the power cord length.

Cannot be used indoors.

Cooking time is twice that of a traditional oil fryer -- unacceptable for some consumers.

An expensive option.

Automatically shuts off when it reaches 450°F, so frequent monitoring is necessary. Expensive.

Bottom Line

The king of indoor fryers and the best you'll find on the market.

An affordable outdoor model, fired by propane, with delicious, "oil-free" results. The best deal on the market today.

An outdoor, oil-free fryer powered by electricity. Similar to the Char-Broil in many respects, but a little pricier.

According to customers, a "flawless" option for cooking turkey in short order. Can also handle other foods.

Professional-grade fryer with the ability to steam foods and cook meats using a rotisserie function.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
198
Consumers Consulted

Best Turkey Fryers

After a great deal of research, we've narrowed the field down to five top-notch turkey fryers, each of which offers something special. Our contenders feature different capacities and different cooking methods. Some can be used indoors, but we explore several outdoor models, too.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a good fryer. That being said, investing a little extra money will give you a product that cooks more than just poultry. Our finalists are:

Products we Considered

Masterbuilt
Butterball Electric
Char-Broil
The Big Easy
Masterbuilt
Butterball Oil-Free
Bayou Classic
32-Quart
Waring
Pro Rotisserie

Considerations

Cooker Type

The classic outdoor method of frying a turkey in a big pan of oil on a powerful burner is as popular as ever, but there are also electric options, oil-free models, and infrared technologies you can use to cook your bird.

Size & Capacity

Some fryers take up a lot of space; others can fit on your kitchen counter top. Keep in mind how many mouths you have to feed and the actual size of turkey you want to cook.

Features & Accessories

With each different frying method you get different features and accessories, from basic hooks (to pull out the meat) to temperature gauges and timers.

Price

A high-quality turkey fryer is not a particularly expensive item, but it still costs quite a few bucks if it only does one job. Happily, most modern fryers do more than just cook poultry, and many deliver excellent value for your money.

Considerations

Cooker Type

Char-Broil The Big Easy

At first glance, the Char-Broil The Big Easy Turkey Fryer looks a lot like a traditional outdoor cooking pot resting on a burner. However, the Char-Broil is actually an all-in-one unit. You'll never have to worry about the cost of filling it up with oil because, being oil-less, it doesn't use any! Instead, the Char-Broil's 16,000 BTU propane burner creates infrared heat. This type of heat cooks evenly and is a lot healthier and cleaner than some other methods. The manufacturer has given a lot of consideration to safety, and while this fryer should only be used outdoors, the burner itself is enclosed. Because no oil is used, you're in no danger of burns or fires from spills. On top of that, the cooking chamber itself is double-walled, so little heat escapes and the handles stay cool.

Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Gen III

The Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Fryer is, as the title describes, an indoor machine. You can see from this fryer's sleek, modern look that considerable thought has gone into its styling. The stainless steel outer body is complimented by a porcelain-coated interior to keep as much heat as possible inside. Actual power is 1,650 watts, which should get the oil up to temperature pretty quickly, and there's a thermostatic control to maintain even cooking once it gets there. There's also an automatic safety shutoff that prevents the oil from going beyond the maximum.

Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer

Our next model is also from the Masterbuilt company, but the Butterball Oil-Free Fryer is different from the Butterball Indoor Cooker in several ways. This is an outdoor, oil-free appliance that operates on electricity (as opposed to propane). The unit uses what the manufacturer calls "radiant heat." It features the same double-walled construction as the Butterball Indoor Cooker and has the same safety features, too -- with the added bonus that you can take it outdoors.

Bayou Classic 1195 Stainless-Steel

For some people, nothing beats a deep-fried bird done outdoors, and that's exactly what the Bayou Classic 1195 Turkey Fryer Kit is for. You could cook your turkey with a big steel stockpot and separate burner, but it's always safer to have a matched pair like this, with a wide, sturdy base to support all that hot oil. The pot is a high-quality, stainless steel item, as is the rigid frame. Heat comes by way of a 55,000 BTU burner (capable of temperatures as high as 750°F) that is fitted with a 10-psi regulator.

Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer

If you're going for a "professional" kitchen look, the Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer will certainly fit your style. With 1,800 watts of power, it's a monster of an indoor cooker. Vents in the Waring's stainless steel lid prevent pressure build up, and a thermostatic control ensures even cooking at temperatures up to 450°F. For safety reasons, the Waring shuts off automatically after reaching this temperature point. Considering that most people find 375° to be the perfect heat for turkey frying, this is more than hot enough! The rotisserie is unique among the other models in our ratings and is particularly useful for those who want more from their appliance that just turkey frying.

The Char-Broil's infrared-heated, oil-less fryer cooks evenly and is a lot cleaner and healthier than some other cooking methods.
Considerations

Size & Capacity

You might like cooking outdoors, but if your fryer is too bulky, it can be inconvenient to use. The Char-Broil is an all-in-one unit, which saves you the hassle of having to move two parts. At 30 pounds, it's no lightweight, but at just a half-inch inch over two feet tall and twenty-one inches in diameter, it's not too cumbersome, either. Two people -- one on each handle -- could move this unit easier than an individual on his or her own. In terms of capacity, this model is rated for a 16-pound bird. However, because you're not cooking in oil, you could also use this fryer to cook large cuts of pork or beef.

Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer

While the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer is definitely a counter top model, you'll still need a fair bit of space. It measures 18.3 x 16.1 x 14.8 inches and weighs a little under 20 pounds -- and that's before you add the oil. The manufacturer likes to point out that the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric uses up to 33 percent less oil than ordinary fryers, but you'll still need a couple of gallons, which adds up to about 15 pounds. The plus side of all this size and weight is that the Masterbuilt can cook a turkey of up to 20 pounds -- a bigger bird than many outdoor fryers can manage.

Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer

We've already seen the cooking similarities between the Masterbuilt Butterball Oil-Free Fryer and the Char-Broil, but at approximately 16 inches tall and wide, the Butterball Oil-Free is a somewhat smaller unit (even if, at 29 pounds, it weighs about the same). In spite of more compact dimensions, this fryer is actually capable of accommodating an 18-pound turkey. And, like the Char-Broil, it can prepare just about anything else you place in its cooking chamber.

Bayou Classic 1195 Stainless-Steel

The fact that the Bayou Classic 1195 Turkey Fryer Kit comes in two pieces -- stand and pot -- makes it easier to move around than if it were all in one piece. At a combined weight/height of 30 pounds and 16 x 16 x 31 inches, the Bayou's height is the only dimension that's much different from the other outdoor fryers on our shortlist. Of course, the Bayou's 32-quart stainless steel pot does require a lot of oil (heavy!), so make sure you place it on a solid, level surface before you start. This product's main advantage comes when it's time to feed a lot of people; the amazing Bayou Classic will take a turkey of up to 25 pounds.

At roughly 20 x 23 x 19 inches, the Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer is slightly bigger than the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Cooker, but quite a lot heavier at 28 pounds. That's not including the weight of the oil, so all in all, this is a heavy fryer when in use. Given this machine's flexibility, finding a space for it in the kitchen shouldn't be much of a problem for most people. The ability to handle an 18-pound turkey is just one of the benefits that this professional-quality, indoor fryer brings to the table.

The Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Cooker can fry a turkey of up to 20 pounds -- a bigger bird than many outdoor fryers can manage.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Features & Accessories

Char-Broil The Big Easy

The Char-Broil comes with a set of accessories similar to those you would get with a traditional, oil-filled outdoor fryer: wire cooking basket, metal lifting hook, meat thermometer. A removable grease tray helps make cleaning easier, but this product doesn't have much else in the way of features. However, you get some creative cooking options with this model. Whereas a keen outdoor cook could only use stuffings and injectable marinades with an oil fryer, the oil-free Char-Broil lends itself to the use of herb/spice surface rubs as well.

Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Gen III

One of the indoor Masterbuilt Butterball Electric's greatest perks is the fact that it's a versatile unit. In addition to cooking a turkey, you can use this cooker to steam vegetables and boil seafood. This model comes with a lift-out cooking basket, a separate drain valve to make cleaning easier, and a very useful timer. A few owners told us they weren't entirely happy with the crispness and taste of the Masterbuilt's turkey. However, this problem can often be attributed to a too-low temperature at the start of cooking.

Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer

The Masterbuilt Butterball Oil-Free is unusual for an outdoor model in that the electric power source also gives you thermostatic control over the cooking temperature. This package includes a kit of accessories similar to that of the Char-Broil: cooking basket, lifting hook, drip tray for easier cleaning. However, the Butterball Oil-Free kit contains no thermometer. You do get a handy wood chip box (so you can add that smoky flavor if you want to) and a glass lid so you can have a clear view of how things are progressing.

Bayou Classic 1195 Stainless-Steel

The Bayou Classic 1195 Turkey Fryer Kit is pretty simple. You get a basic, big pot and a powerful burner, as well as a few useful accessories. And who says you have to fill the pot with oil all the time? There are, in fact, three ways to immerse food in the Bayou: a steaming/boiling basket that you can use for vegetables and seafood, a poultry rack, and a three-bird skewer set for chickens. The Bayou also comes with a lifting hook and thermometer.

Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer

With the purchase of the Waring, you gain the ability to steam, fry, and cook meat using a rotisserie function. Features include an 8-pound steam basket for vegetables, fish, etc., a stainless steel, vented lid, and a 120-minute timer. Of course, one of the best features of the Waring is its ability to cook an 18-pound turkey in an hour!

In addition to cooking turkey, you can use the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Cooker to steam vegetables and boil seafood.
Considerations

Price

Char-Broil The Big Easy

You can pick up a Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer for around $99. In our opinion, that is a very good price. For some people, there's just no substitute for cooking a turkey outdoors. The Char-Broil allows you to do this without the hassle, cost, or danger of oil. Hundreds of owners tell us that Char-Broil turkey tastes absolutely delicious. In fact, all kinds of meat taste great (and retains its juiciness) when prepared in the Char-Broil. If you simply must have the taste of cooking oil in your turkey, this product probably isn't for you. But if you're open to other delicious tastes -- more healthy ones, at that -- you're likely to enjoy the meat you prepare in the Char-Broil immensely.

Masterbuilt Electric Fryer

You can get the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer for $70. That's an excellent deal for an indoor machine that will give you a traditional fried turkey taste. The cooker itself is the combined effort of Masterbuilt, a company with a top-notch reputation in the kitchen equipment world, and Butterball, a company that knows a thing or two about turkey! This model doesn't just cook turkeys; it fries fabulous onion rings, steams and boils tasty lobsters, and cooks other seafood to perfection. A few owners did complain about a "fatty" taste from the food, but as any good cook knows, it's really important to use the correct temperature. We suspect the occasional negative comment was largely due to impatience!

Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer

The Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Fryer costs $133. It's not an overly expensive machine, and it's worth a serious look if you're interested in oil-free, outdoor cooking. This model is very similar to the Char-Broil, but with one or two useful extra features. We particularly like the optional wood chip box for adding the smoky flavor that some people love. This model will also accommodate a slightly larger bird than the Char-Broil. As you might expect, many owners compliment the succulent meat and crispy skin this unit produces. The cooking rate appears to be around ten minutes a pound, which is twice the time of a traditional oil fryer. For some of the people we surveyed, that extra time requirement is unacceptable. Be that as it may, the number of owners who love this product far outweighs the number of those who don't.

Bayou Classic 1195 Stainless-Steel

If traditional outdoor cooking in oil is your thing, the Bayou Classic 1195 Turkey Fryer Kit is the model for you. It will cost you $216, which may seem a little expensive, but what you're paying for is a beautiful, stainless steel product from a big-name brand with a superb reputation. Yes, you could buy a big pail and a separate burner for less money, but you won't get this high-quality matched pair. The Bayou has the largest food capacity in our ratings, and once you've got all that oil up to temperature, the Bayou will cook a 25-pound bird for you in around 45 minutes. This unit offers an uncomplicated cooking approach that, for many owners, is exactly what they're looking for. "Flawless" is a word we encountered frequently during our research of this product. Hardly anyone has a bad word to say about it.

Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer

At a price of $333, the Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer is one of the most expensive models in this review. Whether you think that's a lot of money depends on how much you'll use it. If the answer to that question is "a lot", then investing in a professional-grade piece of equipment like this is probably worth it. Of course, the Waring is much more than a high-end indoor turkey fryer. It's also a rotisserie and a steamer with an 8-pound food basket. As far as the owners we surveyed are concerned, it's "a great addition to the kitchen," capable of cooking an 18-pound turkey in an hour. One user did comment that the Waring's warm-up time seems awfully long (around 40 minutes), but that rate is actually on a par with most machines of this kind.

The Char-Broil gives you a tasty, outdoor-cooked turkey without the hassle, cost, or danger of using oil.

Best of the Best

If traditional outdoor turkey frying is your thing, you can't beat the Bayou Classic 1195. However, flexible indoor models are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, and for us, the best turkey fryer on the market today is the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer.

The Waring Pro is a quality professional tool, but the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer costs about half as much and can actually cook a larger bird. When choosing the best turkey fryer, price isn't the deciding factor; ratings are. And when you look at its ratings, the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer really stacks up. First and foremost, you get that real, fried turkey taste. If you're not in the mood for a heavy meal, this product is equally good at steaming seafood and vegetables. When you do fry, however, correct heat is important, and this model has both an indicator light and a thermostat to help you maintain the proper temperature. The Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer does take time to heat up, but if you make use of the included timer, you can set it in advance. And of course, being an indoor model, you'll never have to stand out in the cold to cook your turkey again!

We always take into account the opinions of owners when putting together these ratings -- who better to point out a product's weaknesses than the people who use it on a regular basis? In the case of the Butterball Electric Fryer, however, critical comments come few and far between. One owner told us that he preferred oven-baked poultry, but that's a personal choice, not a judgement of this product. Another said he didn't think the skin was crispy enough. However, the overwhelming majority of customers we surveyed absolutely love this turkey fryer. If you're looking for a top-notch turkey fryer that serves up great-tasting turkey as well as other dinner entrees, the Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer simply cannot be beat.

Best of the Best
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When choosing the top turkey fryer, price isn't the deciding factor; ratings are. And according to numerous owners, the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Cooker really stacks up.

Best Bang for your Buck

We think it's unlikely that anyone would be disappointed with any of our top five, but the "Best Bang for Your Buck" award has to go to the Char-Broil Big Easy.

This outdoor, oil-free fryer doesn't have the convenience of an indoor model, but for some people there's nothing quite like outdoor cooking -- even when it's cold outside! The Char-Broil offers a modern approach to traditional cooking. It's propane-fired, but with the burner built directly into the main unit, it's a neater solution to cooking.

Then there's the safety aspect of this fryer, which we love. Cooking-oil fires are responsible for millions of dollars of property damage and hundreds of trips to the emergency room every year. The Char-Broil is oil-free, making it both safer and healthier. What's more, you can use it for other meats and try out a variety of surface rubs because you know they won't get washed off with oil. Cooking a large piece of meat might take a little longer in the Char-Broil than some models, but when you're preparing a meal, all sorts of timetables come into play -- how long the turkey fryer takes hardly makes a major difference.

Last but not least, we must comment on taste. This model doesn't give you the taste of an old-fashioned, fried turkey, and for some people that rules it out completely. However, if you like crispy skin, juicy meat, and the taste of WHAT you're cooking rather than the OIL you're cooking it in, the Char-Broil is an excellent choice. At a price of $99, this deal is unbeatable.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Char-Broil is oil-free, making it safer and healthier. What's more, you can use it for other meats and experiment with a variety of tasty surface rubs.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations