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Published Sep. 23, 2021

The best turkey fryers have evolved into efficient, safe cooking devices. So if you love the taste of turkey that has taken a swim in hot oil, there are some new considerations for deep-frying a bird.

A turkey fryer creates the perfect storm in a pot. The hot oil will not let moisture escape from the bird, and the internal juices of the bird won’t let the oil penetrate. The result is a golden, crispy-skinned bird with succulent, moist meat cooked to perfection.

Turkey fryers have evolved to run on propane, electricity, and even infrared technology. There are also models of turkey fryers that you can safely use indoors. There are many considerations when looking for the best turkey fryer. Here are my picks and tips for finding the right one for your needs.

Best Electric Turkey Fryer: 23011615 Butterball XL Electric Fryer

Best Electric Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Weight: 19.75 pounds
  • Materials: Stainless steel unit, aluminum basket
  • Dimensions: 18.3 x 16.14 x 14.76 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 20-pound turkey
  • Heat Source:1,650-watt electric heating element

Why it Made the Cut

The Butterball XL is the best electric turkey fryer that can be used indoors or out. The stainless-steel unit is easy to clean, heats quickly, and can accommodate turkeys up to 20 pounds. Safety features include a magnetic break-away power cord. The unit was built to commercial standards for home use.

Pros

  • Oil drain valve for quick cleanup
  • Designed and tested to meet commercial standards
  • Fries turkeys up to 20 pounds
  • Electric heating elements heat oil fast

Cons

  • It needs electricity to power
  • At close to 20 pounds, the unit is not portable for all situations

The Butterball XL Electric Fryer can handle turkeys as big as 20 pounds. The stainless unit features an aluminum basket to hold the bird and allow oil to drain after cooking. A magnetic break-free power cord reduces the chances of accidents. The electric element will heat oil fast and regulate temperature during the frying process.

Adding safety, reducing smell and cleanup, and cooking at the correct temperatures will make turkey better for most people using this electric fryer.

Best Propane Turkey Fryer: King Kooker Propane Outdoor Fry Boil Package with 2 Pots, Silver, one Size

Best Propane Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Product Dimension: Aluminum 29 Qt.
  • Accessories: Turkey pot with turkey rack, lifting hook and lid, and deep-fry thermometer
  • Heat Source: 33,000 BTU cast burner
  • Weight Capacity: 20-pound turkey

Why it Made the Cut

Backyard and tailgate chefs will key in on the traditional look of this King Kooker Turkey Fryer. The 33,000 BTU cast burner will heat the 29-quart aluminum pot of oil fast and help maintain and regulate the heat throughout the frying process. The welded base provides safety and stability.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with additional boiling baskets and a pot· 
  • Fries whole turkeys to 20 pounds

Cons

  • Use caution with oil over a gas flame to ensure safety and read the instructions and warnings
  • Unit needs to be set up on level ground before using

King Kooker, the best propane turkey fryer unit is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. The traditional aluminum pot is versatile and will accommodate everything from big birds to lobster and other fried or boiled foods. A solid steel frame is used to hold and stabilize the frying pot for heating and cooking. The high BTU burner will heat oil fast, and the hose has a regulator to help maintain correct temperatures.

Best Indoor Turkey Fryer: Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Deep Fryer, Silver

Best Indoor Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Weight: 19.75 pounds
  • Materials: Stainless steel unit, aluminum basket
  • Dimensions: 20.18 x 15.96 x 16.44 inches
  • Weight Capacity:14-pound turkey
  • Heat Source: electric heating element, rotisserie fryer

Why it Made the Cut

The rotisserie fryer is the best indoor turkey fryer standout for health-conscious people looking to reduce the amount of oil needed to fry a turkey. This deep fryer is adaptable to steam or fry an entire meal. The enclosed cooking chamber reduces smell, grease splatter and maintains safe and consistent heat. An oil drain makes for easy cleanup.

Pros

  • Uses less oil than traditional fryers
  • Drain valve for quick cleanup
  • Large stainless mesh basket with a cool-touch handle
  • Fries turkeys in under an hour

Cons

  • Only accommodates turkeys to 14 pounds
  • Requires electricity

The Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer uses electric elements to fry food with less oil. The electric fryer can handle turkeys to 14 pounds that cook in under an hour. The stainless unit is easy to clean and has an oil drain. The unit is compact and easy to store—or you can find permanent cupboard space for more-regular use.

With the ability to fry and steam, this electric fryer adds adaptability to cook a wide range of foods more healthily.

Best Infrared Turkey Fryer: Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Infrared Turkey Fryer

Best Infrared Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Weight: 28.9 pounds
  • Materials: Stainless steel unit, aluminum basket
  • Dimensions: 16.3 x 20.8 x 23.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 16-pound turkey or roast
  • Heat Source: 16,000 BTU propane

Why it Made the Cut

The Big Easy uses TRU-Infrared technology and can also be used to roast and grill making it the best infrared turkey fryer. The large capacity will hold up to 16 pounds of meat. Infrared technology cooks food evenly, and there are never any flare-ups. The smoker-style unit will catch the attention of health-conscious people looking to reduce the oil and grease in conventional frying.

Pros

  • Uses infrared heat rather than oil
  • A contained food basket ensures even cooking and no flare-ups
  • Can be used for grilling and roasting turkeys, too

Cons

  • Does not cook the turkey in oil like conventional fryers
  • Needs a permanent space in the backyard or on the deck

The kettle-style cooker stands three feet tall and can accommodate up to 24 pounds of meat. Infrared cooking technology cooks fast, even, and without the messy flare-ups with convention oil fryers. This unit will also be popular for cooking ribs, roasts, and other customarily roasted or grilled meats.

The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill could replace an existing smoker and conventional fryer at home and provide healthy cooking options.

Best Outdoor Turkey Fryer: Barton 95528-V Stove Turkey Bundle Set 6PC 30QT, Silver

Best Outdoor Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Weight: Lightweight burner stand and pot
  • Materials: Aluminum pot and basket
  • Dimensions: 23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 20-pound turkey, 30-quart pot
  • Heat Source: Propane burner

Why it Made the Cut

The Barton unit is the best outdoor turkey fryer with an upright stand and a large capacity pot for crisping the skin on your favorite bird. The unit is simple to put together and operate. The fryer is sold as a bundle with everything you need to cook a big bird, watch the temperature, inject with marinade, or basting. The basket and hand hook make it safe and reliable for putting food in hot oil and taking it out.

Pros

  • Easy assembly and use
  • Bundled with everything to fry a turkey and deal with the cooking procedure
  • Portable for tailgating and camping trips

Cons

  • Requires continuous monitoring to prevent overheating or flare-ups
  • Requires planning for draining and clean up after oil cools

The Barton 95528-V Stove Turkey Bundle includes the burner and stand, pot and basket, thermometer, hook, and injector. The triangular design of the stand provides stability and safety to hold 30 quarts of hot oil and bird. The propane burner and regulator are easy to use and controls the heat from 50 to 500 degrees F. The unit can accommodate a turkey up to 20 pounds.

The all-inclusive turkey bundle is ideal for trying turkey fryers and having it as a portable option.

Best Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer: King Kooker SS12RTF Outdoor Fryer, Stainless Steel

Best Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer

Key Features

  • Weight: Lightweight burner stand and pot
  • Materials: Stainless steel pot and cooking rack
  • Dimensions:14 x 14 x 16.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 20-pound turkey, 29-quart pot
  • Heat Source: 38,000 BTU cast propane burner

Why it Made the Cut

This traditional turkey fryer takes the concept to the next level with stainless steel for better heat conduction and cleanup. The 38,000 BTU burner is a beast that will heat oil quickly and allow for proper temperature regulation. The upright stand and large capacity pot are designed for a stable and safe setup. The unit is intuitive to use and is entirely portable.

Pros

  • Easy assembly and use
  • Includes everything to fry a turkey safely
  • Portable for tailgating, camping, or fishing trips
  • Stainless design holds better heat and simplifies the cleanup

Cons

  • Requires continuous monitoring to prevent overheating or oil flare-ups
  • Requires planning for draining and clean up after oil cools

The King Kooker outdoor fryer is a Cadillac design to an old tailgate favorite. The stainless adds a touch of class and improves heat transfer and cleaning. The 29-quart pot will hold a turkey to 20 pounds, and the included rack and lifting hook mean safety is always easy to maintain. The welded, square, stainless stand provides stability and safety to hold heavy, hot oil. The propane burner and regulator are easy to use and provides 38,000 BTU for fast heating.

The stainless-steel fryer kit is perfect for turkey frying aficionados hoping to up their game while staying portable.

Best Turkey Fryer for Home Use: Hakka Commercial Stainless Steel Deep Fryers Electric Professional Restaurant Grade Turkey Fryers (8 Liter)

Best Turkey Fryer for Home Use

Key Features

  • Capacity: 3.2 gallons (8 liters) 16 pounds
  • Materials: Stainless unit and basket
  • Dimensions: Compact enough to use on a cupboard
  • Weight Capacity: 16 pounds
  • Heat Source: 1600-watt electric elements

Why it Made the Cut

The stainless-steel traditional fryer with electric elements will heat oil from the bottom of the cooking chamber. The stainless unit and basket are easy to clean and maintain. This fryer is a professional-grade unit available for home use. With a 15-amp design, the unit heats quickly to temperatures for proper frying.

Pros

  • Can be used indoors and heats quickly
  • Stainless design makes it easy to clean and maintain
  • Only heats to 392 degrees F to increase safety
  • Ideal for those wanting to fry regularly

Cons

  • Cannot accommodate large turkeys
  • No carbon filters to reduce odor indoors

The commercial-grade deep fryer is quick and easy to use and the best turkey fryer for home use. The unit utilizes heating elements directly in the oil to heat up fast. The unit is regulated to safe temperatures to prevent hot oil from becoming combustible. The temperature settings are easy to use. The food basket can be hung above hot oil to drain adequately before serving.

The professional-grade turkey fryer is ideal for those who want to cook indoors, with quick and efficient temperatures for consistent food preparation.

Methodology

There are many different reasons to fry a turkey. From getting a particular texture and taste to saving room in the oven. But the biggest benefit of frying a turkey may be the time saved compared to other methods like roasting. These benefits are why so many people are turning to fryers and getting tasty, juicy birds. 

As with any cooking equipment, there are pros and cons to each model. Some of the features are more important than others like capacity and versatility, but it’s important to have baseline criteria when judging fryers. The following guidelines are what I considered when making my selections above: 

  • Heat source: How is the fryer powered and what temperature can it get to?
  • Capacity: How much can the fryer hold while cooking?
  • Portability: Can the fry be taken on camping trips and tailgates or is it stationary?
  • Versatility: Is the fryer multi-functional and useful for cooking other meals?
  • Materials & Accessories: What is the fryer made from and what does it come with?
  • Brand & Price: Is the brand reputable and is it worth the money?

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Turkey Fryer

Before making any purchase in equipment whether it be for hunting or cooking—you need to factor in some important considerations. When it comes to turkey fryers there are a few key components in particular that you should think about before making a selection.

Versatility

If you enjoy tailgating or like to take cooking gear in the field, weight and heat source are essential considerations for a turkey fryer. Propane is versatile and can be set up anywhere. Electric units are great indoors and often have a maximum temperature to improve safety.

Safety

Safety is always a consideration, and mixing hot oil and open flames requires planning and an appropriate area for proper setup. Indoor units can have odor-reducing features that will make the entire experience more enjoyable.

Capacity

Determine the maximum size of turkey you would ever cook to help determine which turkey fryer is most versatile and useful for your overall needs. Nothing is worse than ending up with a fryer that won’t fit your bird, or a setup that takes up way too much room because you overcompensated. 

FAQs

Q: What is the best turkey fryer on the market?

The best turkey fryer on the market is the one that fits your needs to a tee. Now, it’s not easy to find a fryer that will check every box, but the best turkey fryer is relative to what you want to get out of it. If you are looking for one to take on a trip or to a tailgate then a portable fryer like the King Kooker may be your choice. But if you are looking for something more permanent than the Char-Broil may be the way to go.

Q: What else can you use a turkey fryer for?

Turkey fryers can be used for a variety of cooking methods such as flash cooking vegetables, prime rib roasts, boiling lobsters, and shrimp boils. There are plenty of ways to be creative with a turkey fryer, you just need to think outside the box. But always make sure to take the proper safety precautions when dealing with hot oil.

Q: Are turkey fryers worth it?

Yes, turkey fryers are worth it. That said, they are also only worth it if you use them. A perfectly cooked turkey in the fryer will come out crispy, juicy, and tastier than ever. Don’t limit yourself to only frying turkeys and think outside the box with other possible meals like a shrimp boil. 

Final Thoughts

There is a wide range of options for the best turkey fryer, as technology and engineering provide new, unique, and upgraded choices for home cooks. Depending on cooking situations, there is a perfect turkey fryer for everyone, whether you’re deep-frying indoors or outdoors.

Just as no two smokers have a one-size-fits-all application, there are a host of turkey fryers and options to customize your next cooking experience. It is essential to assess your needs and expectations to find the best turkey fryer to cover all future needs.

Lastly, I defined the term “turkey fryer” broadly to include different heat sources and use indoors and out. Safety and convenience were primary goals when assessing fryers. Portability, weight, and type of heat are essential considerations to pay attention to before buying.

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