Best Presto Deep Fryers

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
113 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best Presto deep fryers

French fries, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks. They might not be the healthiest options, but it’s tough to argue that fried food isn’t delicious. If you want to deep fry at home, it helps to have a dedicated appliance rather than use a pot of boiling oil on the stove. While there are many to choose from, Presto makes some of the best home deep fryers that make it easy to fry up your favorites.

Presto deep fryers are countertop appliances with a small footprint. Some models have a basket, which makes it extremely easy to add and remove food. Others have a single chamber, so you have to use a slotted spoon or tongs to move the food into and out of the oil. You can find Presto deep fryers in various sizes too, so there’s bound to be one that suits your household’s needs. 

If you’re looking for a Presto deep fryer, we’ve put together this buying guide to help you decide on the best type, capacity, and other features to make sure it works well for your home. If you’re still unsure, check out our product recommendations for completely stress-free shopping.

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Your food has to be fully submerged in oil to fry properly. Make sure to fill your deep fryer to at least the minimum fill line so your food is fried to perfection.

Key considerations

Type

All Presto deep fryers are electric, suitable for use indoors. They sit on the counter and plug into a standard wall outlet. When the unit is on, a heating element heats the oil for frying. Presto offers two different types of electric deep fryers: pot-style fryers with a locking lid and deep fryers with a basket. Both types work well, but there are some key differences. 

Pot-style deep fryer: As the name suggests, Presto pot-style deep fryers have a shape similar to that of a slow cooker. These consist of a heating element and a single chamber into which you add the oil for frying. You drop your food directly into the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and use the same tool to lift it out when it's done. These fryers come with a locking lid, so you can store your oil in it for reuse.

Presto locking lid deep fryers are typically the most affordable models. However, they increase your risk of coming into contact with hot oil because you need to use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the food from the oil. You can’t remove all the food at once, so you run the risk of burning or overcooking some pieces.

Basket deep fryer: These are square or rectangular and also have a heating element and chamber, but these models also come with one or more baskets that fit inside the chamber. You add food to the basket and lower it into the hot oil. When your food is done, you can easily lift it out of the oil by raising the basket. These fryers come with some type of cover or lid too, so you can store the oil for reuse. 

Presto basket deep fryers are usually more expensive, but it’s much easier to add food to the hot oil. There’s less risk of exposure to splattering oil too. 

Capacity

Presto deep fryers range in capacity from 4 to 12 cups, which refers to how much oil the fryer can hold, but each cup of oil typically equals one serving of food. That means a model with a 4-cup capacity can fry four servings of food at a time. Presto basket deep fryers are generally larger than locking-lid models. 

A 4- or 6-cup Presto deep fryer works well for a small group or family. However, for larger groups, you’d likely want an 8- or 12-cup fryer, so you can prepare larger batches of food at once. 

Dyk1
Did You Know?
When you’re deep frying food, all the pieces should cook in the same amount of time. That’s why you should cut the food into pieces of equal size and thickness. 
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Dual baskets or chambers

Sometimes when you’re making fried foods you want to cook two foods simultaneously, such as french fries and chicken nuggets. Many deep fryers have only a single basket or chamber for frying, and since all fried foods don’t have the same cooking times, you can’t just mix different foods together. 

Fortunately, some Presto deep fryers have two baskets or a divided chamber, which allows you to fry two foods simultaneously and keep them separated. If you do a lot of deep frying, a model with two baskets or chambers is usually your best bet. 

Controls

Indicator lights: Many Presto deep fryers have an indicator light to let you know when the appliance is turned on. However, some models also have an alert light so you know when the oil has come to frying temperature. That makes it much easier to know when you can start frying. 

Thermostat: Some Presto deep fryers have a built-in thermostat that tells you the temperature of the oil. These deep fryers allow you to adjust the temperature too. 

If you choose a model without a thermostat, you’ll want to invest in a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the oil’s temperature. These deep fryers heat to a single temperature, so you don’t have any control if you need to change the heat to a specific temperature. 

Cool-touch exterior

Many Presto deep fryers are designed with safety in mind. These models have a cool-touch exterior that helps prevent you from accidentally burning yourself and also makes deep frying easier. 

Charcoal filter

Deep frying makes delicious food, but it can also leave lingering odors in your kitchen. Some Presto deep fryers include a charcoal filter that helps absorb cooking odors, so your house doesn’t smell like fried shrimp for a week after you’ve cooked them. The filters are replaceable and easy to use. 

Breakaway cord

A breakaway cord is an important safety feature to look for because it can prevent hot oil from spilling in your kitchen. If you bump into the fryer or accidentally snag the cord, the breakaway cord detaches to keep the fryer from falling and sending the oil flying. 

Maintenance

Most Presto deep fryers are pretty easy to clean, but some are easier than others. Models with a removable pot and heating element are much easier to clean because they allow you to wash the items in the sink. 

Caution2
Caution
Lower or drop food in a deep fryer slowly and carefully. If you do it too quickly, it can splatter hot oil.
Staff
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Accessories

Deep-fry thermometer: Etekcity Lasergrip Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer
If you choose a Presto deep fryer without a built-in thermostat, you’ll definitely need a deep-fry thermometer to make sure you heat the oil to the right temperature. This model from Etekcity is an excellent option because you only have to point it at the oil to get a digital reading. The display is backlit to make it easy to read.

French fry cutter: New Star Foodservice Commercial Grade French Fry Cutter
French fries are a popular item to make in a deep fryer, and a french fry cutter lets you slice the potatoes quickly and easily. We love this cutter from New Star Foodservice because it’s made of durable stainless steel and iron to cut through plenty of potatoes. It can also cut all types of potatoes, so you can also use it to make sweet potato fries.

Presto deep fryer prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable Presto deep fryers are pot-style models with a locking lid and a capacity of 4 cups or less. These don’t have a built-in thermostat or many other special features. They generally cost between $25 and $37.

Mid-range: These Presto deep fryers are larger pot-style models that can hold 4 to 6 cups and have a divider for frying two foods simultaneously. Some smaller basket models that hold 8 cups or less and have a single basket also fall into this price range. Some models have a built-in thermostat and indicator lights too. These deep fryers generally cost between $37 and $51.

Expensive: The most expensive Presto deep fryers are larger basket models, including those with dual baskets for frying two foods simultaneously. All these fryers have a built-in thermostat and indicator lights, and some boast additional features like a cool-touch exterior. These deep fryers generally cost between $51 and $76.

Dyk3
Did You Know?
To avoid overcrowding your deep fryer, never fill the basket or frying chamber more than two-thirds full.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose the oil carefully. You should use a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point in a deep fryer. Peanut, grapeseed, corn, sunflower, canola, and vegetable oil all work well. 
  • Strain the oil after each use. You can reuse oil for deep frying, but you should strain the cooled oil to remove any bits of food. Store the oil in a cool, dark place to keep it fresh. Once the oil starts to thicken or turn brown, it’s time to toss it.
  • Don’t crowd the food. Add only a small amount of food to the fryer at a time so the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop too quickly and all the food can fry evenly.
  • Pat food dry before dipping it in batter. A paper towel works well. If there’s moisture on the food when you add it to the deep fryer, the oil may pop and splatter.
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Remember to only use heat-resistant utensils and kitchen tools in your deep fryer. Plastic and rubber tools can melt when subjected to the high temperature of the oil. 

FAQ

Q. What foods can I fry in a Presto deep fryer?

A. Think of your favorite restaurant fried foods. All of them are ideal candidates for your deep fryer. French fries and fried chicken are probably the most popular options, but you can prepare fried fish, shrimp, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, and veggies like zucchini and cauliflower. You can also make sweet treats like donuts and fried dough. Basically, anything you can dip in batter and deep fry can be made in a Presto deep fryer.

Q. Are deep fryers safe to use? 

A. If you use your deep fryer properly, it’s perfectly safe to use. Most high-end models that cost a little more have additional safety features to make operation even safer. Here are some safety tips for using your appliance:

  • Never leave your deep fryer unattended once it’s turned on. 
  • Make sure to monitor the temperature of the oil at all times so it never goes above 400°F. If the oil gets too hot, immediately turn off the fryer to bring the temperature down and prevent a grease fire. 
  • If a grease fire does occur, do not use water to put it out. Instead, smother the fire with a pot lid. You can also pour baking soda on a grease fire to put it out. If you can’t get control of the fire, call 911 immediately.

Q. Do Presto deep fryers come with warranty coverage? 

A. Presto deep fryers are protected by a 12-month limited warranty. If any problems occur with your deep fryer due to defects in the workmanship or materials during the first year after purchase, Presto will replace or repair it without charge. 

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