Warranty & Support
Best Deep Fryers
How to Choose a Deep Fryer
We spent over 40 hours over the last two years testing some of the best deep fryers on the market and found the KRUPS KJ502D51 to be the best. This KRUPS fryer is a versatile tool that includes three frying baskets and preset options for cooking specific dishes like French fries, donuts, onion rings and chicken. We tested the preset for French fries and found that it cooked to a nice consistency. It performed equally well in the fried chicken tests cooking up moist, tender chicken with crispy breading. Its large capacity and multiple baskets let you feed a big crowd and cook multiple dishes at once. The KRUPS model is also more affordable than many of the best fryers in our lineup.
The Cuisinart Compact CDF-100 is one of the least expensive models in our lineup, and it comes with a generous three-year warranty. It retains heat well so you don’t lose cooking power with consecutive batches, and it filters and stores oil for later use. The Cuisinart deep fryer is compact enough to fit on just about any counterspace you have available, making it a good choice for a couple or a small family.
Best Deep Fryer for Families With Small Children
Safety is a major concern for most people buying a deep fryer, and if you have small children it is especially important. The DeLonghi Roto D677UZ is easily among the safest deep fryers we tested. Its unique design allows you to submerge food into the oil with the lid closed so oil splatter is virtually eliminated. The external temperature on this fryer stayed at around 100 degrees, which is a touchable temperature that should never endanger a curious child. This is a small, affordable deep fryer that effectively cooked the food we tested.
Best for Storing & Reusing Oil
The T-Fal EZ Clean delivered impressive results too. It has a roomy vat for frying, and it produced especially crispy, moist and delicious fried chicken strips. The features we liked the most are the automatic oil filtration system, drain and storage option – it's all in the bottom of the fryer, so you don’t need a separate container to save the oil.
Deep Fryers: What We Tested, What We Found
We tested each of the fryers in our lineup to see how quickly they could reach cooking temperature in our initial tests and how long it took to recover that heat for the next batch. We also timed how long it took to clean up after testing. Ideally, you want very hot oil to deep fry foods, and you want a deep fryer that not only reaches high temperatures but maintains those temperatures too.
Once you immerse raw or cold food into hot oil, the overall temperature of the vat of oil drops. Deep fryers that quickly boost the power back up to the proper temperature are the best and what you want for your fried chicken, doughnuts and French fries. In addition to high performance, you also want a deep fryer that's easy to clean once you're done. Some fryers include containers for storing oil, while others have drains or spouts to make maintenance quick.
We tested each deep fryer with small batches of food, such as breaded chicken strips and fresh-cut potatoes for French fries. Once we added the vegetable oil to each deep fryer, plugged in the machine and turned it on, we started a timer. The sooner you can get to frying foods, the sooner you can get to eating them, so those units that reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit the fastest received more credit in the final score. After adding food to the deep fryer, we noted how long it took to bring the oil to the proper temperature again since the more quickly it can recover its heat, the better your food will turn out. On average, the deep fryers in our lineup returned to the peak temperature setting in about five-and-a-half minutes.
Each fried food test we conducted was under similar circumstances. We used the same amount of chicken (6 ounces), the same amount of raw potato (one medium unpeeled russet potato), the same temperature and the same amount of time, unless the food was underdone and had to go back in to finish cooking. Of course, we taste-tested each batch and judged the crispiness and flavor of the food from each deep fryer. The results are reflected in the final scores in our side-by-side comparison.
An adjustable thermostat is important because if you can control the temperature, you won't have to play a guessing game and wonder whether your food will turn out soggy and greasy or burnt and overdone. It's worth noting the capacity of each deep fryer for oil and food, because the larger the frying vat is and the more food you can fit in it to cook at once, the faster the overall process.
Deep frying food isn't exactly complicated – you heat oil to a high temperature and throw food in to cook. However, there are various factors you need to keep track of as you're deep frying food, and having a deep fat fryer that lets you know when it's ready or when your food is done cooking can make the whole process easier. Those that required the least amount of effort to prepare and included easy-to-understand instructions received more credit than those units that were more difficult to get going.
Another important factor is the maintenance of the machine. Once you're done cooking, the used oil has to go somewhere – and you need to clean up the mess. Those that didn't fling oil were easy and quick to clean up, because of removable heating coils, and were scored higher than those that made cleaning a major chore.
Other features, like a basket (or two or three) for the food and a viewing window so you can see what you’re cooking, were also considered in our final scores.
What Else Is Important in Choosing a Deep Fryer?
A little common sense can go a long way when you're considering safety while frying food, but deep fryers with smart safety features are ideal. We also looked at the length of warranty and support that each manufacturer offers.
Regardless of how safe you're being as you fry foods, it might slip your mind that the machine you're working with is hot. As innocuous as the exterior siding may look, it could be hot enough to burn your hand. The deep fryers that include cool-to-the-touch sides and handles were given higher scores than those whose exterior temperatures were higher. The lowest exterior temperature we registered was 109 degrees F on the Waring Professional DF55 Mini Deep Fryer, and the highest temp was 360 degrees F on the Presto GranPappy.
The best deep fryers have lids that cover the hot oil and food while cooking, preventing grease splattering all over your kitchen – and you. We found that these machines allowed enough steam to escape through vents on the top while also containing the oil in the vat.
Magnetic breakaway cords offer a quick way to remove the heating source should things go awry and you need to deal with a grease fire, so we considered this safety feature in the final score. And rubber feet can mean the difference between a vessel of hot oil firmly staying on the countertop or being knocked off the counter and onto your feet.
Warranty & Support
Getting a lemon of a deep fryer is a possibility, so it's important that your new appliance come with a good warranty to protect you from defective parts and labor. We checked out the guarantee on each deep fryer, and those that offer the longest warranty were given more credit.
Manufacturers that offer various support – customer care and online user manuals – received higher rankings than those that only offered one or the other. And those that have instructional videos, whether it's showing you how to use your deep fryer or sharing safety tips or recipes, were ranked higher than those without.
Contributing Reviewer: Noel Case