Turkey is the centerpiece of many festive meals, but it can be more complicated to cook than it seems at first glance. To save space in a busy oven and to speed up the cooking process, many home cooks are turning to turkey fryers for help. These stand-alone cooking vessels produce a crispy-skinned, juicy bird in a fraction of the time it takes to roast.
If you are looking for the taste and ease of frying a turkey but worry about the safety of a large vat of heated oil, the Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer is a good solution. It features infrared, oil-free frying for delicious turkey every time.
A turkey fryer comes in three basic types.
Size matters when it comes to choosing your fryer. If you typically roast smaller turkeys, you'll be able to get away with a smaller fryer. These are also good for homes where storage is scarce.
Of course, if you routinely host Thanksgiving or other large family gatherings, you'll want a larger fryer to accommodate a bigger bird.
Many people are concerned about safety when it comes to turkey fryers — and with good reason. The last thing you want is the oil to overheat and catch fire or a large vat of boiling liquid to spill.
The best turkey fryer has a stable base and an auto shut-off that prevents oil from getting too hot. Oil-free turkey fryers are another option — this eliminates the worry of spilling and doesn’t leave you with gallons of used cooking oil to dispose of.
Accessories make cooking a turkey in a fryer much easier. These include things like hooks for lifting the turkey out of the fryer as well as thermometers, steamer baskets, heavy-duty mitts and recipe books.
As with every kitchen appliance, look for quality construction. The base should be firmly attached to the bottom of the fryer, and the walls themselves should feel substantial and sturdy.
The price depends on the type of turkey fryer you purchase as well as any included accessories. Expect to spend $100-$300.
A. There are a few tricks to make frying a turkey safer, easier and virtually foolproof.
A. You can use your turkey fryer to fry other foods such as onion rings, wings and french fries. If you prefer to go the healthier route and your fryer comes with a steamer basket, you can also use it to steam large quantities of vegetables.
Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer
What you need to know: This oil-free turkey fryer is great for those worried about the safety of traditional deep frying.
What you’ll love: Infrared heat delivers a turkey that is consistently juicy, delicious and crispy-skinned. It starts with the twist of a knob and cooks turkeys up to 16 pounds.
What you should consider: Assembly can be tricky, and this can only be used outside.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Wayfair
Masterbuilt Propane Turkey Fryer
What you need to know: This is a simple and effective fryer that produces consistent results.
What you’ll love: The 30-quart pot is stainless and the burner is cast iron for even heating and efficient cooking. It can fry turkeys up to 18 pounds and comes with both a turkey hanger hook and a wide handle lifting hook.
What you should consider: One safety feature requires a person to be present every 15 minutes to push a button for continuous cooking. This is designed to prevent fires and overcooking, but some users found it inconvenient.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Enterprises Oversized Turkey Deep Fryer
What you need to know: If you need a large-capacity fryer, this is the one for you.
What you’ll love: This 44-quart fryer is one of the largest on the market. It sits on a sturdy four-legged stand and comes with a regulator for easy propane hookup. It comes with plenty of accessories: an insulated glove, aluminum perforated rack and grab hook, skewers, seasoning injector, 12-inch thermometer and vented stainless steel lid
What you should consider: Heating up this much oil can take a long time, and some users report that heat is not consistent.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.