An acceptable choice for outdoor turkey frying, thanks to its spacious 29-quart capacity that's powered by propane. Includes 2 pots, rack, and lifting hook.
The aluminum feels a bit thin. Pots are prone to dents.
High-output burner is highly portable. Complete package weighs less than 15 pounds. Sports steel-braided hose with regulator and O-ring for safe and secure fuel connections. Includes 24-quart aluminum pot.
Does not include a dedicated fry pan and basket.
Uses a 1-pound propane tank that will last about 3 hours to produce all kinds of foods from shrimp to hot dogs. Only uses 1 quart of oil to save on money. Has 3 settings along with an electric igniter. A good unit to have for backyard parties.
Angle of rim is a little steep. Could be a little sturdier.
Easy to assemble and take apart without tools. Fits inside a trunk or RV. Durable, sturdy, and of good quality. Cooks fast. The more you use it, the better food tastes. Perfect for using when camping, tailgating, and more.
Burner may be too small for some users. No converter hose is included.
Collapsible, portable cooker with disc cooking surface for variety of foods. Comfortable height of 25 inches. Made of strong, flexible carbon steel. Can use various sizes of propane tank. Legs can adjust to uneven surfaces.
Expensive. Can only be used with built-in cooking surface.
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It’s great to cook outdoors, whether for you and your partner or a whole bunch of friends and family. Grills are very popular, but there are lots of cooking styles they can’t handle: delicious, crispy turkey, Cajun style, large joints, breaded fish, or fries. Gotta have fries. The answer is a portable propane deep fryer.
There are numerous designs and sizes, from those that disassemble for easy transport to a picnic ground or campsite to those that can be wheeled into the backyard to feed the whole neighborhood or used for commercial cooking. But how do you know which one is the right model for your needs? There are a number of things to think about to make sure you get the right portable propane deep fryer at the best price.
The BestReviews team has been cooking up a storm to bring you the information you need on all of the latest models. Our recommendations cover a wide range of versatile fryers, and our buying guide takes a thorough look at the important features.
At a glance, many of these portable propane deep flyers have a similar design: a robust stand houses a propane burner and supports a cooking pot. However, there are a couple of less common options that might suit you better. To make the right choice, you need to answer a few key questions.
The word “portable” means different things to different people. For some, the fryer needs to come apart so it can fit in the back of the family car or storage area of the RV. There are models with folding stands and relatively shallow cooking pans that are ideal for this purpose.
The majority aren’t so compact, but they’re small and light enough to store in a garden shed or a corner of a garage until needed. These are the ones people typically think of when you mention a portable propane deep fryer. They offer the widest choice in terms of size.
Large fryers tend to be built into a cart with at least two wheels. There’s often a shelf to support a standard 20-pound propane tank, and perhaps storage underneath. You’ll often see these fryers used at fairs or other outdoor events where a lot of food needs to be prepared fairly quickly over an extended period.
The common picture of a deep fryer is probably the one where it’s swallowing a whole turkey, large cuts of meat, or sausages. They’re perfect for that kind of outdoor cooking, but you do need deep cooking pots. For many, there’s no substitute for a deep pot full of hot oil — it gives food an unbeatable flavor — but it’s worth thinking about the other options available.
The most common way to add versatility is to provide two pots instead of one. While you can’t fry a whole bird, you can produce a lot of smaller items quickly.
Some models have a central well for deep frying and a wide rim surrounding it for draining excess oil and keeping food warm. Folding legs make these fryers very portable.
There are other shallow designs, equally easy to move around, that incorporate a wide pan that can be used to grill, fry, cook rice, or even make soup.
Most portable propane deep fryers have a single burner outputting something like 50,000 British thermal units (Btu). There’s little variation in the power of the burner across many different models, which tells you they provide perfectly adequate power for a single pan. Many commercial models with twin baskets have two burners.
The size of the pot or pan included is going to affect the amount of food you can cook in one go. Manufacturers sometimes tell you their fryer will cook 10 pounds of food, for example, but that’s not a very accurate guide. Ten pounds of chicken wings? fries? onion rings? A review of owner comments will give you useful information, but to a large extent, it’s a judgment you need to make yourself.
Handles: It’s not always practical, but it’s nice when the pots or pans have long handles so you can keep your hands well away from the hot oil. It’s also good when they have a grip that offers some insulation.
Drain plug: On models with large oil tanks, a drain plug is pretty much a necessity.
Ignition: An electric igniter isn’t common on smaller fryers, but one is definitely convenient.
Thermometer: You’ll need a meat thermometer. If one is included with the fryer, it will save you a few bucks.
We’d generally recommend storing your portable propane deep fryer indoors if at all possible (once it has cooled), but it’s nice to have a cover anyway.
You can’t judge the quality from pictures online, but you can check owner feedback. As long as there’s a good number of responses, you’ll soon discover if there are frequent faults.
Meat thermometer: Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
The Kizen thermometer is the ideal way to make sure your food is cooked properly. It’s low cost, designed for portability, has an easy-to-read screen, and turns itself off when you fold it away. Thanks to a built-in magnet and hanging hole, you can always keep it handy wherever you are.
Fryer/grilling gloves: Jolly Green Products Ekogrips
These insulated silicone grill gloves are heat resistant to 425°F and provide excellent grip plus terrific flexibility, so they don’t restrict movement. They’re completely waterproof and odor-free, and when you’re done frying, you can just toss them in the washer with the rest of the dishes.
Inexpensive: The problem with the cheapest portable propane deep fryers is the quality: thin stands and pans just don’t last. We would expect to pay at least $60 for a well-made set from a trusted brand.
Mid-range: Between $100 and $200, you have a huge choice, including oil-free models and those with twin frying baskets. We expect most people can find what they’re looking for in this price range.
Expensive: Not many propane deep fryers top $200. Those that do usually hold 30 quarts or more — great for big parties in your backyard, but they do push the limits of “portability.” Those targeted at commercial users cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,000.
If you don’t see your next fryer in our matrix, we have a few more for you. The GasOne Propane Burner and Turkey Fry is great for those on a tight budget. There’s a well-made stand, adjustable regulator, and versatile aluminum steamer/stockpot, and the whole lot weighs just 15 pounds. A deep fryer without oil?
You won’t find many more comprehensive sets than the Cooper & Co Backyard Pro Kit. There’s a powerful 55,000 Btu burner, pans, baskets, racks, lifting hooks, and even a sauce syringe and thermometer.
Q. Can I use 1-pound propane canisters for my portable fryer, or do I need a 20-pound tank?
A. It depends on the demands of the burner. Some smaller models will work off either (you may need to swap the hose and regulator), but a 1-pound canister often won’t provide enough consistent pressure for larger models. Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions. For safety reasons, it’s not something you should play around with.
Q. How do infrared propane deep fryers work?
A. The propane is used to power a tubular burner that heats the inside wall of the fryer. This creates radiant heat which then reflects around the interior. It’s a very thorough method, but it’s perhaps more like a big oven than a true fryer. It’s very good at roasting, and you can do vegetables in it, but there’s no oil, so you can’t do fried fish or fries. In general, they take a little longer than a deep fryer.
Q. Is it OK to leave oil in my deep fryer until next time?
A. You can, but it can soon turn rancid. Check it each time before you cook — the smell will usually give it away. Any cloudiness should clear once the oil is heated. If it doesn’t, you need to throw it away. It will keep much longer — up to three months — if you strain it and keep it in a closed container in the refrigerator.