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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

A self-contained unit cooks food fast without creating a huge mess. Bayou Classic

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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

Dual burners mean you can cook twice as much food in the same amount of time. King Kooker

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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

If you don’t need to prepare a huge feast, a simple single-burner cooker should be all you need. King Kooker

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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.

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