Whether it’s Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, there’s nothing quite like a delicious turkey to feast on for gatherings large and small. For many cooking and grilling enthusiasts, that means a good old turkey fry for Americans near and far. If you’re just beginning to dabble with turkey-frying or you’re a seasoned chef looking for the latest and greatest on the market, you may be searching for the best turkey fryer available.
Turkey, of course, has long been an American favorite. In addition to being the guest of honor on our Thanksgiving tables, it’s a must-have daily deli meat or salad protein for millions come lunchtime. And there are great health benefits to eating turkey, too. The key, experts, is to avoid the skin and opt for the leaner white meat. Though fried turkey is certainly delicious, it’s better for your heart to limit your fried food intake as much as possible. That’s especially the case for fried turkey skin.
“Turkey is a great source of protein, rich in many vitamins and minerals, and is low-fat – if you don’t eat the skin,” says Catherine M. Champagne, a professor of nutritional epidemiology and dietary assessment and nutrition counseling at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
Another recent study shows that turkey it’s a fantastic option for Celiac disease sufferers. According to researchers at McMaster University’s Farncombe Institute, their study finds that tryptophan, a substance found in large quantities in turkey, can help heal the body and allows celiac patients to tolerate a gluten-free diet better.
Allright, health mumbo jumbo aside, you came here looking for the best turkey fryer. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 “expert” websites that offers turkey fryer reviews and grades. We put together this list of the best turkey fryers by seeking out the products that were most recommended across these sites. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Turkey Fryers, According To Experts
The results were quite clear here: The Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer was the most frequently suggested product by expert sites. And clearly for good reason.
“We love this Bayou Classic 1118 Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer because of its sound conduction and thoughtful design. The kit comes with a pot, basket, rack, lift hook, seasoning injector, skewers, and a thermometer range of 50 to 750 degrees,” writes AllRecipes.com.
Experts across the board love how the Bayou Classic fryer comes with lots of extras for preparing and cooking your bird. That said, the folks at BobVila.com say you will need to still purchase some other essentials: “There’s one problem with this unit: It doesn’t come with a frame and burner. Those, as well as an insulated fry glove, have to be ordered separately,” they write.
Perhaps most importantly when it comes to ensuring the best turkey fryer, experts say the Bayou Classic’s quality is top notch.
“The pot and all the other tools are made of high-quality stainless steel, making them durable. It holds and distributes heat well, providing robust and consistent heating the entire time you fry your turkey,” adds National Today.
One of less appealing aspects of frying a turkey is the oil. Disposing of oil after frying the bird can be a challenging and messy process. Using oil also increases the chances of oil fires and oil burns. That’s why reviewers say Char-Broil’s oil-less infrared cooker is perfect for people who’d rather avoid the oil.
“The fryer uses patented infrared heat technology to achieve an ultra juicy bird and crisp skin without the gallons of oil. There is no waiting time for the oil to come up to the correct frying temperature, and no hot and cold spots, which means turkeys cook evenly, inside and out,” explains Forbes.
“Customers say this fryer cooked their turkeys with excellent results: delectably crisp skin and juicy meat, just like turkeys fried traditionally in oil,” adds TheSpruceEats review.
The product is also ideal because it can be used to cook other meats as well.
“This cooker can handle up to a 16-pound turkey and can also be used for other large pieces of meat like chicken or beef roasts,” says Good Housekeeping. “It includes a cooking basket and a lifter to help maneuver your turkey.”
For many, there’s the best fried turkey can only be cooked outdoors. Well, if that’s your thing, the King Cooker Outdoor Turkey Fryer is a clear winner, experts agree.
“Boasting a welded frame with a high-pressure 33,000-BTU cast burner, this model features what many turkey fryers love to see: a battery-operated timer and a 15-minute safety regulator on the LP hose leading to the Type 1 connector. If the oil comes to a boiling temperature while the cook is distracted with a side dish, it shuts itself down before a fire can start,” says BobVila.com.
“This turkey fryer kit makes frying a turkey easy and convenient,” adds Outdoor Life. “And with two pots, you can choose the size that works best for whatever you are cooking. ”
“If you take your outdoor cook-ups seriously or enjoy frying up a feast, the King Kooker Turkey Fryer is another great option. Equipped with a generous 29-quart capacity, it can handle turkeys up to 20 pounds, and comes with another 11-quart fry pan and basket for those smaller batch frys,” adds Toms Guide.
Safety comes to mind as well, when it comes to frying outdoors. The King Kooker fryer includes one amenity to help avoid burns: a long thermometer that allows you to avoid a potential oil burn while cooking.
Though reviewers at AllRecipes did include it in their list of best fryers, they point out one frustrating downside: “What disappointed our testers was how much this setup struggled to maintain temperature. In our tests, it took a while for the fryer to reach the desired temperature, and it dropped almost 60 degrees once we put in the 10lb bird. Then, it took 20 more minutes to come back to the desired temperature with the turkey inside.”
If using an outdoor turkey fryer isn’t an option for you, the Masterbuilt Electric is proving to be a great alternative. Reviewers praise it for its easy-to-use setup, making it a great choice for folks who may just be getting their feet wet with turkey frying or can only opt for an indoor-use product.
“Whether you live in a colder climate, don’t have a yard, or just would prefer to cook everything inside, the Masterbuilt Electric Turkey Fryer is the easiest, most convenient path to frying a delicious turkey. The appliance is quite versatile: It’s large enough to fry an 18-pound bird but also works as a steamer and boiler,” the BestProducts.com reviews says.
People who live by the outdoor-only mantra may be surprised by the finished product from this electric cooker. “When it came time to taste, we were thrilled. This fryer yielded a crispy skin, and our testers noted how juicy the meat looked when they cut into it,” says All Recipes.
“It is easy to use and boasts a draining valve and a detachable lid. It is pretty big and takes up a significant amount of counter space, but it is well worth it at a price,” adds National Today.
5. Cuisinart Extra Large Rotisserie Fryer (~$300)
For shoppers who like multi-use products that can still fry a good turkey comparable with the best turkey fryers on the market, the Cuisinart Extra Large Rotisserie Fryer might just be the best choice.
“Its impressive features offer a lot more than just frying a tasty turkey, as it can also steam cook a family meal and roast. What’s more, its rotisserie function uses less oil than a traditional turkey fryer, meaning you’ll end up with healthier results and less calories,” says Toms Guide, which dubs the model the best turkey fryer for the home.
The product also boasts a frying basket, so if you want to cook up some fries or onion rings to include with your meal, they’ve got you covered.
“The dials are easy to use, the thermostat monitors the temperature and the timer shuts off the heating element when done. Cleanup is easy, too, with a drain valve and dishwasher-safe parts,” says Good Housekeeping.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.