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For many decades, roasted turkey was considered the entree to serve at Thanksgiving dinner and other occasions. While roasted turkey can be good, it’s easy to overcook and dry out. Then, someone somewhere had the idea of deep-frying a holiday bird and taking it to their family gathering, and thus the turkey fryer was created. Juicy succulent fried turkey is now a staple at many tables at Thanksgiving—and during all times of the year.
- Best Overall: King Kooker Outdoor Fry Package
- Best for Beginners: Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
- Best For Seafood: Barton All Purpose 52 QT Aluminum Turkey Fryer Steamer
- Best Air Fryer: 10-In-1 Air Fryer
- Best Cheap: GasOne Propane Fryer
Features to consider when shopping for the best turkey deep fryer
The first consideration is size. Will you be frying a large bird or a small one? Also think about whether or not you want to fry other foods. Turkey fryers are more versatile cooking tools than the name might lend you to believe, and can be used to cook a variety of different, delicious foods, and not just in oil. If you don’t want to deep fry a bird but still want the taste, you can opt for an air fryer. Finally, budget is always a consideration, so think about how much you can spend on the fryer as well as on the oil that you’ll need to fry the bird.
A sturdy turkey fryer is a safe turkey fryer. When you deep fry a turkey you are boiling oil to extremely high temperatures. Throw in a rickety fryer base, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Welded bases are often the most sturdy, although they typically demand a premium price. If you purchase a fryer held together by nuts and bolts, ensure that all are tight before every use so it’ll stand up to the job.
Best Turkey Fryer For All-Around Use: King Kooker Outdoor Fry Package
This turkey fryer kit makes frying a turkey easy and convenient. The heavy-duty, welded outdoor cooker features 33,000 BTU cast burners and even a deep fryer thermometer. And with two pots, you can choose the size that works best for whatever you are cooking.
Size matters, especially in turkey cookers. If you generally cook quite a large bird, obviously you won’t be satisfied with a smaller fryer. On the other hand, if you cook a medium to small bird, having an extra-large fry pan on your fryer will make the process take longer and use more cooking oil than you really need to.
When shopping for the best turkey fryer by size, consider what might be the largest bird you’d be likely to ever cook and use that as your starting point. That way you’ll never come up short on space.
Best Turkey Fryer for Beginners: Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
Beginners will find the Bayou Classic easy-to-use and perfect for any job. The 32-quart fry pan has plenty of room to cook even a large turkey. It has an adjustable propane regulator, and it’s made of polished stainless steel for optimal durability and easy cleaning.
Smart turkey fryer shoppers can get more for their money if they look for kits that include much more than just the fryer base and pan/bucket on top. Some include baskets that make it easier to remove fish filets and even boiled seafood, and others include a hot oil thermometer to make monitoring your oil temperature a much easier job, and a marinade injector to ensure juicy meat.
Best Turkey Fryer For Seafood: Barton All Purpose 52 QT Aluminum Turkey Fryer Steamer
With a 52-quart pan, this outdoor deep fryer has a poultry rack to ensure even cooking and comes with a long-probe thermometer and a marinade injector to help you prepare the perfect turkey. The large capacity means you can boil up a seafood feast for a crowd.
The Versatile Turkey Air Fryer
A good-quality air fry oven can be used for far more cooking chores that many peoplemight expect. Use it to air fry, bake, grill roast and toast. It can even be used as a rotisserie and a dehydrator. These ovens circulate super-hot air around your food instead of oil to cook. The hot air penetrates the inside of food, cooks evenly and locks in moisture.
If versatility is what you’re looking for, look no further than air fryers. While you can’t cook large birds in these units, their versatility is a tremendous advantage.
Best Air Turkey Fryer: 10-In-1 Air Fryer
This top-quality turkey air fryer oven is just the ticket for those who want to cook a great bird but don’t want it deep fried in cooking oil. Additionally, this oven is not only an air fryer, but also a rotisserie, dehydrator, pizza grill and oven toaster. With a wide temperature range from 180 to 400℉, this large air fryer allows you to air fry, bake, grill, roast, toast, dehydrate and rotisserie.
Budget Turkey Fryers: What You Get for Under $75
If your budget is limited, you can still get a decent fryer. Just make sure it has a gas regulator. A dangerous flare-up is the last thing you want when you’re frying a turkey, especially with all that oil present. A regulator can help avoid that. Also, check for a solid stand and a sturdy gas hose.
Best Cheap Turkey Fryer: GasOne Propane Fryer
Don’t let the budget price tag fool you: This GasOne Burner can get the job done, and get it done right. With a single propane burner that cooks, boils and grills rather quickly, it could make a great addition for those looking to power their tailgating, camping or family cook-out. It also features a 0 to 5 psi adjustable regulator and a heat-resistant, steel-braided hose that ensures safe gas pressure and flow.
What is the best indoor turkey fryer?
The best indoor turkey fryer is the one that will fit on your counter! Find one that is big enough and strong enough to cook what you want, but also will fit wherever you plan on using it. Get out a tape measure and check your space and the fryer’s dimensions—both horizontally and vertically.
Do you have to use peanut oil to fry a turkey?
No, but many people prefer peanut oil because of its high flash point (meaning it won’t burn easily) and the taste it gives the meat. But you can safely use vegetable oils or even canola oils if you would prefer.
Why is frying a turkey dangerous?
Any time you are working with boiling oil hot enough that it can cause severe burns, you should consider the task to be dangerous. But with the proper precautions, including keeping small children away and not allowing any horseplay near the fryer, you can deep fry a turkey safely.
A Last Tip for Finding the Best Turkey Fryer for You
Frying a turkey makes for evenly cooked, juicy, and tender meat. They take up space when not being used, and they’re not cheap, so make sure the one you get is big enough for the bird you want to cook and has all the features you want so you’ll use your turkey fryer instead of storing it.