How to Decide Which Outdoor Fryer is Right for You

Deep-fried meals are easy to prepare and a terrific way to feed a lot of people, so long as you have a setup that’s built for the task

Close up of fried chicken
Deep frying food is simple, inexpensive, and an easy way to crank out a simple meal in little time.Pixabay

Fried foods may not be part of the heart-healthiest diet, but let’s face it, frying is one of the best ways to bring out flavor and lock in moisture. Moving that time-honored style of cooking outdoors means increased volume for family feeds and other large gatherings, and a safer environment for dealing with hot oil and an open flame. If you are thinking about kicking up your fry game, here are a few things to look for in dedicated outdoor fryers.

Self-Contained

Bayou Classic 4-Gallon Bayou Fryer Stainless Steel
A self-contained unit cooks food fast without creating a huge mess.Bayou Classic

If you are serious about outdoor frying, it's hard to beat a dedicated, self-contained unit. A hinged lid reduces splatters, helps bring oil up to temperature, and keeps debris out of the cook space while you are whipping up those onion rings or fried shrimp.

Dual Burners

King Kooker 30-Inch Dual-Burner Outdoor Propane Frying Cart
Dual burners mean you can cook twice as much food in the same amount of time.King Kooker

Certain types of outdoor cooking mean two different foods going at the same time. Frying fish and hush puppies simultaneously is a perfect example. Having two burners allows you to keep flavors separate and control each item at its own temperature depending upon what you are cooking and when you dropped it in.

Tabletop

King Kooker 16-Inch Propane Outdoor Cooker with Aluminum Pan and 2 Frying Baskets
If you don’t need to prepare a huge feast, a simple single-burner cooker should be all you need.King Kooker

Looking for something more compact to operate on a picnic table or other outdoor cook surface? A low-profile fryer with a single burner is great for boiling or frying anything from French fries to fish filets.