Pros / This deep fryer made some of the crispiest and most flavorful fried foods.
Cons / There isn’t a built-in drain for used oil.
Verdict / The KRUPS KJ502D51 is one of the best deep fryers we tested. In addition to convenient features, such as a lid with vents and a viewing window, its generous capacity allows you to quickly cook for a crowd.
The KRUPS KJ502D51 is a powerful large-capacity deep fryer that will allow you to fry plenty of food for a large family. This deep fryer also has nice convenience and safety features, and its detachable parts make cleanup quick and easy. The KRUPS fryer uses an immersion-style heating element that keeps the oil hot and maintains a high temperature so French fries and fried chicken are consistently flavorful with a crisp texture and minimal grease. This KRUPS model was easily one of the best deep fryers we tested and deserving of the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
- Frying Quality
- Time to Heat
- Heat Recovery
- Ease of Use
- External Temperature
The most important function of a deep fryer is to fry foods consistently. You want a unit that can heat oil to the proper temperature for frying and then maintain that heat. Of course, once you submerge cold or raw food into a vat of hot oil, the temperature drops slightly, so it's important that it quickly returns to the original temperature.
The KRUPS deep fryer worked well in this regard and kept a consistent temperature during testing. It fried up juicy, moist chicken with a contrastingly crispy coating. After draining the chicken and transferring it to paper towels to allow the grease to be absorbed, we found the chicken was crisp all around and crunchy in some places. The meat was tender, moist and full of flavor. A few of the people who tasted the chicken felt the breading was a little too crunchy, but the majority felt it was just about right. Most of our testers agreed that it was tasty and locked in flavor inside and out.
As for the French fries, a long bath in the hot oil crisped them up and cooked them through. When we pulled the baskets out, we found that the French fries were golden brown and perfect. Onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet they went and were sprinkled with salt. The fries were just as you'd want them: crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. This fryer has a nice selection of presets that you can use to cook donuts, fries and meat. On our second fry test, we used presets and it seemed to cook fries to the right consistency.
It took about four minutes for the oil to return to proper temperature after adding food to the fryer, but it stayed at a high enough temperature to cook the meat and fries consistently without retaining excessive amounts of grease. The KRUPS deep fryer uses 1,800 watts of power, so it can heat up the large vat of oil as quickly as possible.
Set up was easy with this fryer. When you take it out of the box the pieces go together intuitively. We did need to consult the manual to figure out how to fit the handles into the baskets so they were sturdy and stayed stationary during cooking, draining and emptying the food onto the cookie sheet. This fryer is both convenient and versatile. There are three baskets, one big one for cooking main entries and other bulky items and two half-sized baskets that allow you to cook two different types of food at the same time. You can cook veggies or sweet potato fries in one and regular fries in the other.
The KRUPS has a nice easy-to-read digital display that includes a built-in timer. A green light illuminates to let you know that it has preheated the proper temperature for frying. Like assembly, using the device is intuitive for the most part. You pour the oil onto the heating coil and the basket sits on top of that. It felt a little strange at first to pour liquid directly onto a heating coil and then set the submerged basket on top of the coil, but nothing about it felt unsafe during the cooking process.
Cleaning the unit is easy enough. It took slightly more time than some of the fryers because of the extra pieces. While we cleaned the unit in a sink, it’s parts, aside from the heating coil of course, were machine washable. We had to thoroughly wipe down the coil, which is attached to the digital display, with paper towels, but it cleaned up nicely.
It doesn’t include a mess-free way to drain the oil, such as a built-in drain like some of the units have. We let the oil cool overnight to make sure it was the right temperature to dispose of. We emptied the oil into double trash bags we held over the sink, which we then triple and quadruple bagged to avoid leaking when we disposed of it. Containing a gallon of used oil proved to be a little tricky, but not a huge problem.
This fryer has a conveniently large window to check on the food while it is cooking. The window has a tendency of fogging up to the point where you have get at the correct angle to see the food. A lot of the time we found we could cook without the lid on, since the oil was low enough in the container that it didn’t create a safety hazard with the splatter. When the food finishes cooking there is a convenient hook on the basket that allows it to sit and drain over the oil before you take it out to empty the food, to minimize the grease on the paper towel. Its combination of convenience features gave this fryer a perfect score in this category.
Safety comes first when you’re frying food. Hot oil can cause severe burns that could result in blisters, swelling and possibly a trip to the emergency room. Deep fryers that include features to keep you safer are ranked high in our lineup, and the KRUPS deep fryer tested well in this area.
There is enough space between the oil reservoir and the exterior walls of the unit to not significantly heat up the metal sides, so we didn’t burn our hands on the exterior siding. The outside temperature stayed at around 130 degrees Fahrenheit. We were able to tap the exterior of the device when it was cooking and even touch it in some areas.
The potential for severe burns is minimal, barring some kind of accident. The fryer’s lid is vented, so it allows steam to escape, while keeping the oil safely inside. The lid will help prevent burns and stains from hot oil sputtering out of the unit. The temperatures around the lid, however, are at their highest, measuring more than 140 degrees during much of testing, so you’ll want to be careful when handling the lid, though it does increase its overall safety.
Should you have to deal with a grease fire or some other emergency, you can quickly pull the plug from the back of the unit to remove the power source – the magnetic connection pulls away easily and safely. And the skid-resistant feet help prevent an accidental nudge or bump causing the unit to slide and spill.
Warranty & Support
Although KRUPS doesn't provide the longest warranty compared to other deep fryer manufacturers in our lineup, the company can repair or replace defective units, if necessary, within one year of the date of purchase. And it's helpful to have a customer care team you can turn to if you need answers about your product; you can contact KRUPS by phone or email, via a form on the manufacturer's website.
When we clicked on the contact link on the website we got an error message saying there was a technical problem they were trying to fix. Hopefully this was a temporary problem but it impaired our ability to reach customer service.
You can find a digital copy of the user manual, which will help you find answers to most questions you may have since the fryer is pretty straightforward to use. The manual also comes with recipes for things like ginger beer glazed donuts and buttermilk onion rings.
The KRUPS KJ502D51 is among the best deep fryers we tested. It kept an accurate and steady temperature as we fried potatoes and breaded chicken strips, and it produced moist chicken and crisp, tasty breading. It has a generous capacity to fry extra-large batches for a big crowd, and you can stay relatively safe while doing so, thanks to the lid and breakaway cord, should you need it.