According to most people in the know, a turkey fryer is the only convenient way to make the best tasting turkey. If you have tasted a deep-fried turkey you’ll know that deep-frying is simply the best way to cook a turkey. This is due to the fact that the process has the ability to make the turkey skin crispy and crunchy while sealing the flavors and juices inside the meat, thereby, making it, well, incredibly juicy.
But, how does a turkey fryer make a turkey this juicy and tastier than other cooking methods? Basically, a turkey is placed on a holder or in a basket before being placed in a confined heat source. Since the heat is confined, the turkey is cooked faster compared to an oven. While an oven takes around 20 minutes per pound, a turkey fryer takes between 3.5 – 10 minutes a pound, depending on the type. This implies that cooking a turkey in a turkey fryer is a lot faster than when you cook it in a traditional oven.
So far, there are two main types of turkey fryers; electric and propane turkey fryers. Some electric turkey fryer models have been equipped with technological enhancements that include digital thermometers and digital timers, as well as light indicators. Also, there are some fryers that make use of radiant heat for cooking, and this eliminates the need for cooking oil.
If you already have prior knowledge on outdoor turkey fryers and are just interested in our top picks for the best Turkey Fryers available then click on the relevant menu links to read about the Individual Turkey Fryers.
What to Look for When Buying a Turkey Fryer
Choosing a premium quality turkey fryer is a personal decision. Each person has different needs and knows what is best for them. Here is what you should consider before choosing a turkey fryer:
Capacity may be the most essential consideration when purchasing a turkey fryer. If you are unfortunate not to get a deep fryer with a large capacity, enough for the number of people you cook for, you may be forced to fry multiple batches, which may consume a lot of time.
A nonstick interior
Cleaning a turkey fryer can be an arduous task, and that is why you should go for those with nonstick interiors that are much easier to clean. Moreover, you should look for those whose stainless steel baskets resist pitting and rusting.
Frying basket hooks
Frying basket hooks are for draining food, and your fryer should have it. With these hooks, you will be able to lift the food out of the oil and hang it on the side of the fryer, over the oil cavity, to drain.
An adjustable temperature
If you are going for an electric turkey fryer, then you should check if its temperature is adjustable. Although the recommended frying temperature for turkey is somewhere around 375 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable temperature controls featured on an electric turkey fryer offers versatility for perfect cooking.
Electric turkey fryers featuring higher wattage ratings provide more powerful heating elements than the ones without high power. This helps heat the oil to the desired temperature more quickly. Then, after adding the turkey, the oil comes back up to temperature more quickly. With such kind of cooking, your turkey skin will be crispy and its inside will stay moist, yet without absorbing much oil.
Safety and Cooking Techniques for Outdoor Propane Turkey Fryers
If you love extreme sports, you’ll love cooking a turkey outdoors using oil and propane!
While I’m kind of joking about this there are hundreds of hospital visits over Thanksgiving because of Turkey fryer Accident involving hot oil.
How to Deep Fry a Turkey without Killing Yourself
This video shows a few epic fails and a few reasons go for an Oil Less Fryer
If you do decide to stick with a propane fryer then take a look at this video below it not only shows you how to cook your bird safely he also shows you a few other great tips to get the best from your Turkey.
Best Oils to Use
You need to cook with an oil that has a high smoke point – Peanut Oil is one of the most common oils used as it has a smoke point of 410°F other oils you could use are safflower, canola oil, soya and corn oil.
Propane Outdoor Turkey Kit Reviews
Bayou Classic 3066A 30 Quart Outdoor Turkey Fryer Kit
In this cooking system you get everything you need for cooking turkey in your backyard. It comes with a big 30 quart stockpot, a poultry rack, and thermometer and grab hook. You also get the gas burner to cook it all on. The only other accessory we would recommend is a decent pair of barbecue gloves – see our Turkey Frying accessories list further down the page.
This is an excellent starter kit and can easily be used for boiling up seafood or as many of the reviewers at Amazon has been doing, brewing beer.
It is made from aluminum though, so if you have health concerns regarding aluminum or are not convinced about its longevity you might want to check out the one below.
Best Stainless-Steel Turkey Fryer Kit
Bayou Classic 1195
While the 3066A is a nice starter kit for those on a budget, this is a heavy duty turkey frying kit for those of you who are a bit more serious about your outdoor cooking and have a more flexible budget.
This kit includes both a burner and 32 quart stockpot both made from stainless steel. You get everything else that you need to start cooking on including a thermometer and grab hook.
With the Bayou Classic 1195 you should be able to cook a 18lb turkey in an hour for this thanksgiving and years to come.
Remember just because it is labelled a turkey fryer doesn’t mean that is all it does this kit can be used for all sorts of other outdoor cooking including boiling or frying.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Turkey Fryers
Electric turkey fryers are popularly known as indoor turkey fryers, while propane turkey fryers are sometimes referred to as outdoor turkey fryers. Here are differences between the two:
Indoor turkey fryers are convenient because you do not have to lug around a propane cylinder. Instead, all you need to do is to plug it in.
Have you ever fried a turkey inside? You feel like you are wearing the grease for days. The smell seems like it will never go away. This is opposed to outdoor fryer that will leave you with no deep fried turkey smell or feeling.
Indoor deep fryers do not heat up as fast as outdoor deep fryers. The temperature decreases dramatically upon adding your bird to the grease, and this makes it hard to bring your oil temperature back up. On the contrary, outdoor turkey fryers take less time to heat up. Moreover, they take less time to bring your oil back to the desired temperature.
Most indoor fryers have a safety feature that automatically shuts off when the oil gets too hot. The fryer also lets the user know if the oil is at the right temperature (through the light at the top). On the contrary, a propane outdoor turkey fryer neither has a safety feature nor an automatic shut off.
What is Best an Oil Free or Propane Outdoor Turkey Fryer?
Some folks like to cook with traditional propane Turkey Fryer, they understand that it is more risky but they prefer the taste of a deep fried Turkey over the taste of one cooked with no oil. If you haven’t taken a look at No Oil Outdoor Turkey Fryers then you can read about them next……..
Benefits of Oil Free Turkey Fryers
- Value for money
Gas cookers are nice, but buying oil and gas tanks can be very expensive. Oil free turkey fryers require no oil to operate and this makes them relatively cheaper. Also, you don’t have to buy gas tanks, and this makes cooking a breeze.
- Ease of use
These fryers are also incredibly easy to use. Setting them up is extremely easy and doesn’t require a lot of time like other turkey fryers. Despite their ease of use, these fryers deliver the best results. They are also easy to cleanup.
- Well made
Most of oil free turkey fryers feature a smoker tray that allows you to add the smoke flavor to a fried turkey. Well, this makes your turkey really different in terms of taste. Because of the quality, these fryers make the outside crunchy and golden and leave the meat tender and juicy on the inside.
Most users have never experienced any problems with these oil free turkey fryers. In fact, most of them maintain that these turkey fryers have remained as good as new since the day of purchasing.
- Dishwasher safe
Most of the parts that get dirty are dishwasher safe. This enhances convenience and makes everything a breeze. You cook with confidence knowing that everything is clean and safe.
Outdoor Oil Free Turkey Fryer Reviews
You have two choices if you want quality oil less turkey fryer you can either choose from Char-Broil’s The Big Easy or Masterbuilt’s oil free fryer and roaster.
If you want to save costs on oil and don’t want to worry about the potential danger of an oil fryer then this is the way to go.
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-Less Turkey Fryer
This model cooks up to a 16lb Turkey with no fuss; it has amazing feedback from users online.
It comes with everything you need to start apart from the turkey the package includes the cooking basket, grab hook and a thermometer and also comes with a quick start guide book to set you on your way.
You can buy other accessories as well such as a cover and a 22 piece accessory set – this is really useful at it allows you to cook lots of different cut of meat at the same time and adds much more versatility to your oil less fryer.
No costs for oil
Very safe compared to oil fryers
Drip pan included that catches the dripping for tasty gravy
It probably won’t last as long as a regular propane oil fryer
It can only cook turkeys up to 16lbs
Char-Broil Oil Free Turkey Fryer Video
Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Turkey Fryer and Roaster
This is an electric turkey fryer so this should be taken into account comparing it against the Char-Broil which is a propane fryer.
It comes with everything you need including the roasting basket and a lifting hook. It also comes with a removable drip pan.
Cooks a turkey up to 18lbs
Includes a wood chip Box for added flavor
Save costs on Oil
Safer than an outdoor oil fryer
Powered by electric so lacks the portability of Propane
Best Turkey Fryer Accessories
If you are using oil make sure that you get yourself some gloves we recommend the Grill Beast BBQ Cooking Gloves these are made from heat resistant Kevlar and can be used for any outdoor cooking uses they are about the best you can buy and worth every penny.
Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand if you haven’t go one I’d say this is an essential for anyone who cooks outdoors and also handy to have about the house.
Get yourself a Meat Injector for adding some flavor to your bird before cooking it. We rate Grill Beast’s Products and recommend their 304 stainless steel meat injector kit.
Some guys swear by using oil, they say that you don’t get the same deep fried taste when you don’t use oil. Also deep frying a turkey is a rite of passage for many a young man and they relish the associated danger and the kudos it gives them.
Others see the benefits of oil free turkey fryers. For instance saving on paying out for large quantities of oil and the safety aspects, especially if they have young family members.
Whatever you choice, make safety your number one priority and enjoy tasty outdoor cooked turkey using the fryer that best suits you.