Best-Turkey-Fryers

The 10 Best Turkey Fryers in 2020

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The turkey fryer is not just for Thanksgiving! If you regularly want to cook large roasts, or even boil or steam larger quantities of food, then the turkey fryer makes an ideal addition to your kitchen appliances. There are two main types of turkey fryer, a typical outdoor fryer which can be propane or electrical powered, or an indoor electrical fryer.

Nowadays there are also oil-less models, which may be designed for indoor or outdoor use and are ideal if you need to cut back on fat. This review not only looks at a range of the best turkey fryer but also looks at the pros and cons of the different types of fryers and offers tips on cooking your turkey safely.

​Best Pick

Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer

For oil free outdoor cooking, the Char-Broil Big Easy turkey fryer is our best pick for being able to cook up a 16lb turkey.

​Budget Pick

Masterbuilt Butterball XL Electric Turkey Fryer

The Masterbuilt Butterball XL electric turkey fryer is our indoor budget pick for its ability to not just fry XL turkeys, but to also boil or steam.


1. ​Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer  

Highlighted Features

  • Propane powered oil-less infrared turkey fryer
  • Infrared heat from 16,000 BTU propane burners cooks meat evenly for a moist inner and crispy outer
  • Takes up to a 16lb turkey or other cuts of meat
  • Comes with a thermometer and some accessories. You can buy other accessories from the manufacturer

The Char-Broil Big Easy turkey fryer uses infrared heat to cook turkey and other cuts of meat such as pork tenderloin and bone-in or boneless ribs. The 16,000 BTU (British thermal unit) propane burners sit inside a cylindrical double-walled cooking chamber which allow the generated infrared heat to cook meat evenly and keep it moist inside and crispy on the outside. Some users have struggled when cooking larger turkeys and may either flip the bird or cut it partway through cooking to ensure the middle of the bird cooks to the minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F.

This does not require any oil which makes a safer and healthier alternative to cooking meat with added fat. This fryer can take up to 16lb turkey and will cook this or chicken in around 8 to ten minutes per lb. Other meats will take longer. It comes with a meat thermometer to allow you to check that it has reached a safe internal temperature.

​Pros

  • Infrared turkey fryer
  • 16,000 BTU propane burners
  • Takes up to a 16lb turkey or other meats
  • Does not use oil for cooking
  • Comes with cooking thermometer

​Cons

  • Propane powered so must be used outdoors and cooking times can vary depending on weather conditions
  • May need to buy extra accessories such as rib hooks or a fryer cover
  • May take practice to cook large whole turkeys through – you may need to flip it or cut it partway through until you get used to how it cooks
  • Turkey is not as crispy as a traditional oil fryer

2. Masterbuilt Butterball XL Electric Turkey Fryer 

Highlighted Features

  • XL electric turkey fryer which can cook a 20lb turkey
  • Certified for indoor use, it has safety features such as a ceramic coated inner pot to keep the oil inside
  • Uses up to 33% less oil and is suitable for boiling, steaming and frying foods
  • Extra cooking accessories can be bought from the manufacturer

The Masterbuilt Butterball XL electric turkey fryer cooks up to a 20lb turkey. This is safety certified for indoor cooking and has a porcelain coated inner pot to keep the oil inside. It also uses up to a third less oil than similar fryers and can also be used to steam, boil and fry foods. Like any oil fryer, clean up after use can be time consuming and messy.

The oil needs heating to 375°F for peanut oil, which can take up to an hour and once the oil is at the correct temperature and the turkey is added, it then takes time for the temperature to return to the correct cooking temperature.

This comes with a three month limited warranty. You can also buy additional accessories, marinades and spices from the manufacturer.

​Pros

  • Electric turkey fryer
  • Safety certified for indoor use
  • XL size for 20lb turkey
  • Uses less oil than similar fryers
  • Also suitable for boiling, steaming or frying foods

​Cons

  • Takes time to heat up to cooking temperature – can be around an hour
  • Clean up after frying can take time and be a little messy
  • If this unit trips during use it can be awkward as the reset button is on the inside of the element
  • The power cord is short for safety reasons, but you may struggle to find a suitable countertop space near a power outlet
  • Only has a three month warranty

3. Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Oil Free Turkey Roaster and Fryer

Highlighted Features

  • Electric oil free turkey roaster and fryer for outdoor use
  • Is a double walled unit that uses radiant heat
  • Can cook up to an 18lb turkey and you can also use the wood chip box for smoking
  • You can easily monitor cooking as it has a tempered glass lid

The Masterbuilt Butterball electric oil free turkey roaster and fryer is a double-walled radiant heat outdoor cooker with a tempered glass lid that allows you to monitor your cooking. If wood chips are added to included wood chip box it can also be used as a smoker.

Like any large fryer or cooker, it can be worth doing a test cook before Thanksgiving as cooking times will vary, especially if you have been used to an oil fryer. When the roaster arrives, do check the parcel carefully as some users received it without the hardware to assemble it properly. This roaster will take up to an 18lb turkey.

​Pros

  • Outdoor oil free turkey roaster
  • Electric powered
  • Uses radiant heat
  • Will cook an 18lb turkey
  • Comes with a wood chip box for smoked flavor
  • Tempered glass lid

​Cons

  • ​As an oil free cooker, it does not give the traditional deep fried taste that you may prefer
  • ​There is no temperature gauge
  • ​There is a chance you may receive the fryer without the necessary hardware for its assembly

4. Masterbuilt Butterball XXL Electric Fryer (Cinnamon) 

Highlighted Features

  • XXL cinnamon red electric fryer will cook up to a 22lb turkey and can boil and steam foods
  • Stainless steel outer, built-in drain valve and dishwasher safe components for easier cleaning
  • Uses up to a third less oil than other fryers and is designed and tested for commercial standards
  • Has a timer function and a digital control panel

The Masterbuilt XXL electric fryer (cinnamon) is suitable for cooking up to a 22lb turkey and can be used for steaming or boiling foods. It has a built-in drain valve and dishwasher safe components. This model has a stainless steel outer and a digital control panel with a timer function. Like other fryers this has a magnetic power cable as a safety feature, but the slightest knock to the fryer when using can cause the cable to disconnect - affecting cooking - so the fryer does need very gentle handling when in use.

This fryer is intended for indoor use, it uses up to 33% less oil than traditional fryers and has been tested up to commercial standards. Some users report trouble with raising the temperature of the oil back up once the turkey has been added, so you may want to monitor temperature closely to ensure adequate cooking time at the correct temperature.

​Pros

  • XXL electric fryer for 22lb turkey
  • Cinnamon red color
  • Uses less oil than other fryers
  • Also boils and steams foods
  • ​Dishwasher safe components
  • ​Digital control panel and timer

​Cons

  • Like any oil fryer, clean up can take some time
  • Will take time to get oil back up to temperature once the meat is added to the fryer
  • The meat basket can be imbalanced in the fryer
  • Magnetic power cable comes unplugged with slight knock to fryer

5. Bayou Classic 32 Quart Turkey Fryer 

Highlighted Features

  • An outdoor turkey fryer that can cook a turkey up to 20 lbs. in weight
  • 32 quart pot with perforated steamer basket
  • Made from 22 gauge polished stainless steel
  • Also includes a 12" thermometer and steel grab hook
  • Heavy duty handles for easy moving

The Bayou Classic 32 quart turkey fryer is made from 22 gauge polished stainless steel for easy cleaning and is ideal for frying, boiling or steaming, poultry, seafood, vegetables and more. Suitable for using with an outdoor propane burner, this has a perforated basket for easy steaming and the poultry rack is also perforated. This fryer also includes a stainless steel grab hook and 12" thermometer.

For easier transport, it has heavy duty handles and will cook a turkey weighing up to 20 lbs. You may want to check this fryer thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear before every time you use it as there can be a risk of small holes developing in the stainless steel over time. This may not last as long as you may expect for a mid-range budget fryer as some buyers have commented that the stainless steel appears to be thin.

​Pros

  • Will cook a turkey up to 20 lbs.
  • 32 quart outdoor fryer
  • 22 gauge stainless steel
  • Includes steamer basket
  • Comes with thermometer and grab hook

​Cons

  • The lifespan of this fryer may not be as long as expected
  • You may want to check this for any pinholes before each use

6. Eastman Outdoors 37069 Cooking Set 

Highlighted Features

  • 65,000 BTU propane outdoor cooking set
  • Suitable for frying turkey and other foods
  • The heavy duty stainless steel stockpot is 30 quart
  • CSA certified for its safety standards
  • Comes with poultry stand, hook and a 12″ thermometer

The Eastman Outdoors 37069 cooking set has a 65,000 BTU burner and a 30 quart heavy duty stainless steel stockpot. It is suitable for frying turkeys and other foods; an 18lb turkey should fit comfortably in this pot.

It comes with various accessories such as a poultry stand, lift hook and a 12″ thermometer but will need connecting to a standard 20lb propane tank. This is a very hot cooking set, so you will need to monitor it carefully to ensure that the oil does not overheat. It is tested to the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA) standards and is certified.

​Pros

  • Outdoor cooking set suitable for frying turkey and other foods
  • 65,000 BTU burner
  • 30 quart stainless steel stockpot
  • CSA certified
  • Comes with thermometer, poultry stand and hook

​Cons

  • As a very hot burner, you will need to closely monitor cooking temperature to make sure the oil does not get over hot and burn
  • You will need to buy the propane tank before you can use it
  • When you receive this item, it is worth checking that it has all the components, as there is a chance of some hardware being missing

7. Butterball MB23010118 Large Electric Fryer

Highlighted Features

  • Indoor electric large fryer for a 14lb turkey and is also suitable for boiling and steaming
  • It has easier cleaning with a stainless steel exterior, drain valve and dishwasher safe components
  • Comes with thermostat control and basket drain clips for safety

Suitable for cooking a turkey up to 14lb, this can also be used for boiling or as a steamer. Some of the components are dishwasher safe and it has a drain valve to make cleaning easier. It has basket drain clips and thermostat controls for safety.

This in an indoor electric fryer with a stainless steel outer. Although it is suitable for birds up to 14lb, some users report they have struggled fitting slightly smaller birds into the frying basket.

​Pros

  • Indoor electric fryer suitable for a 14lb turkey
  • Can be used for boiling and steaming food
  • Dishwasher safe components
  • Easy drain valve

​Cons

  • May struggle to fit larger birds in the frying basket
  • This model may be more suitable for smaller batch frying than a whole bird as it can take some time for the oil to get back up to temperature

8. Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra Large Rotisserie Fryer

Highlighted Features

  • An extra large rotisserie fryer that can fry a 14lbs. turkey in an hour
  • Can be used without oil to steam foods
  • The temperature is adjustable
  • Has a 120 minute timer and magnetic power cord
  • The stainless steel fry basket has a cool-touch handle
  • Has a three year limited warranty

Able to fry a 14 lbs. turkey in an hour, the Cuisinart CDF-500 extra large rotisserie fryer also uses less oil than a traditional fryer. Also ideal for frying potatoes, donuts, seafood, potatoes and more, you can also use it without any oil to steam vegetables and seafood.

This fryer has an adjustable temperature control and a 120 minute timer, and its stainless steel mesh basket has a cool-touch handle. This utilizes a magnetic power cord for safety and comes with a three year limited warranty from the manufacturer. Some buyers have been disappointed with the size of this fryer and consider that the quality of this is not as expected from the manufacturer. A small number of buyers have also experienced thermostatic problems with this fryer.

​Pros

  • Able to cook a 14 lbs. turkey
  • Can also be used as a steamer
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • 120 minute timer
  • Cool-touch basket handle
  • Magnetic power cord

​Cons

  • Some buyers consider this a small electric fryer
  • The quality may not be as good as you would expect
  • Some owners have experienced thermostat problems soon after purchase

9. King Kooker 1265BF3 Outdoor Frying Package

Highlighted Features

  • Outdoor frying packaged include burner, outdoor cooker and 29 quart turkey pot
  • Can cook a turkey up to 20 lbs. in weight
  • The cast burner has a 33,000 BTU output
  • The steamer basket has a heat-resistant handle
  • Also includes an 11 quart fry pan, thermometer, other accessories and a recipe booklet

The King Kooker 1265BF3 outdoor frying package includes everything you need to fry, steam or boil outdoors. This package includes a 29 quart turkey pot with basket, lid, rack and lifting hook, along with an 11 quart fry pan and basket with a heat-resistant handle.

Constructed from aluminum, the pots also come with a deep fry thermometer, a 33,000 BTU cast burner with a type 1 connection and a heavy duty welded 12" outdoor cooker . The turkey pot will hold up to a 20 lbs. turkey and this package also includes instructions and a recipe booklet.

This comes with a Prop 65 warning for residents of California and if you choose this pot then do take the time to inspect if fully on arrival as there is a chance that you may receive it with some cosmetic damage.

​Pros

  • Outdoor aluminum frying package
  • 29 quart turkey fryer
  • Will cook a 20 lbs. turkey
  • 33,000 BTU burner
  • 12" welded outdoor cooker
  • Includes accessories

​Cons

  • The turkey cooker and fry pan are aluminum
  • Has a Prop 65 warning if you are a California resident
  • High risk of receiving the pots with cosmetic damage

10. Stark Deluxe 30 QT Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer

Highlighted Features

  • A 30 quart turkey fryer set
  • Includes an aluminum turkey fryer and 10 quart steamer basket
  • Also comes with burner, burner stand and other accessories
  • Has a long probe thermometer which can be clipped to the turkey fryer

Coming with a 30 quart aluminum turkey fryer, poultry rack and 10 quart steamer basket, the Stark 30 quart turkey fryer set also includes a burner, burner stand, LP hose and regulator, hanger and marinade injector. Ideal for frying poultry or for steaming or boiling seafood, stews, vegetables and more this set also includes a long probe thermometer that can be clipped to the side of the pot.

This does not come with any instructions, so if you are new to outdoor burners you may need to do a little research before using and the odd buyer has received a set with some missing parts.

​Pros

  • Aluminum turkey fryer set
  • 30 quart fryer pot
  • 10 quart steamer basket
  • Long probe thermometer with clip
  • Also includes burner and stand

​Cons

  • Does not come with any instructions for use
  • The fryer pot is aluminum which not all buyers will be keen on using
  • You may receive the set with some missing parts

Things to Consider Before Buying a Turkey Fryer

Cooking Turkey Safely

When buying a new turkey fryer, you may find it useful to buy it well in advance of when it is needed so that you have time to do some test cooks. Not only does this mean you become familiar with how it works, but more importantly, how it cooks.

This can help reduce the risk of plugging the fryer in on Thanksgiving and finding it is not working properly which means you must then turn the oven on to try and salvage the turkey for a late night dinner.

Wearing safety gear such as heatproof gloves and suitable footwear is a must, even for indoor fryers and a turkey fryer or cooker should never be left unattended. It is also sensible to keep a fire extinguisher rated for flammable liquids to hand.

Peanut oil is favored for use in turkey fryers due to its high flash point which makes it less likely to catch fire. It also has a higher smoking point which gives a good flavor and it can be re-used a few times before it needs disposing of, which is good as it is more expensive than other types of oil. Peanut oil is also cholesterol-free.

You can deep fry turkey in any cooking oil that has a smoke point above 425°F. Corn oil is above this, but canola oil only has a smoke point of 400°F so it unsuitable.

The oil should stay at 350°F for efficient cooking. If your fryer does not come with a thermometer, or it does, but you would like extra reassurance, then a deep fat clip on oil thermometer is a sensible investment, as well as a good quality and long probed meat thermometer.

The amount of oil needed in the fryer will vary, but as a rule of thumb, a 9lb bird will need between 3 to 4 gallons of oil, a 14lb bird around 5 gallons of oil and a 20lb plus up to 6 gallons. As birds get larger it is sensible to think about separating white and dark meat for frying, as there is a risk of burning the outside and leaving the inside of large turkeys undercooked.

Turkey must always cook to a safe internal temperature of 165°F to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. If you use a turkey fryer it should be a fresh and dry non-frozen turkey as the USDA recommends that for food safety, frozen turkeys should always be cooked from frozen. You must never fry a frozen turkey as it will explode and cause a fire.

Once your turkey has been cooked to a safe internal temperature, and you have enjoyed your dinner, you can divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze in shallow containers.

If you refrigerate cooked turkey, it needs eating within three to four days, or if you freeze it, then it is best enjoyed within two to six months. If you reheat your leftover turkey, then it also needs to reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F before serving.

Using a Propane Fryer

A propane fryer must always be used outdoors and because it is propane powered, it can be positioned away from the house, which will also keep the cooking smell outdoors. It also needs positioning well away from any decking, trees, roofs or other flammables. As an outdoor fryer though, poor weather conditions will affect it.

If you have a propane turkey fryer that uses oil, then the propane tank should be upright and as far away from the fryer as possible. You may want to invest in a propane gauge if you do not already have one as a way of making sure you have enough fuel to finish your cooking.

If you use an oil-less propane turkey fryer, then you may want to leave the lid off when cooking as the lid can cause the oil to over heat and dry out your meat. If you want a crispy finish, you can cover the fryer for the last 15 minutes or so of cooking.

The Electric Fryer

Choosing an electric fryer can remove some of the fear factor that some of us may experience around propane burners! Mainly designed for indoor use, it can be a real advantage if the weather is bad at Thanksgiving, or you do not have suitable outdoor space for cooking.

Oil fryers have a thermostat to help keep the temperature stable and an auto shut off function if the oil temperature gets too high. Many also have in-built timer features.

Oil fryers often double as boilers and steamers, so you can use them to cook a variety of foods throughout the year.

The Difference Between Oil and Oil-Less Turkey Cooking

The main disadvantage of oil-less cooking is that it does not give the traditional fried and crispy turkey that many of us love. This can also be an advantage though, especially for those of us who need to cut out some fat in our diet as oil-less cooking needs at the most, a little grease on the bird.

The oil-less fryer also allows us to use the drippings for gravy and we can season the meat exactly as we like it. It saves costs on oil and unlike the oil fryer, it does not take long to warm up, although it will often take longer to cook than an oil-based fryer. Some oil-less fryers are also suitable for use indoors.

Conclusion

We trust that this review has helped you to weigh up the advantages of indoor or outdoor fryers and decide whether you want to invest in a traditional oil fryer, or one of the newer designs of oil-less cookers, as well as offering some useful tips around the safe use of a turkey fryer.

If you are preparing for a large family Thanksgiving, want to fry 8lb of chicken wings for a neighborhood barbeque, or even boil up some lobster or corn on the cob, then using the best turkey fryer is the perfect way to ensure that these and more are cooked properly with minimal fuss and mess.

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