Deep fryers are popular home essentials, designed to take the hard work out of frying and cook foods more safely and in less time. The quick heating element reaches optimum, precise temperatures to achieve the ideal crisp finish to your food. Whether you need a deep fryer for chicken or you want to cook fries, tasty churros, or donuts, you can fry just about anything. We’ve rounded up the best deep fryers for your home.
Auto drains oil
The T-Fal Ultimate EZ Clean Fryer holds up to 3.5 liters of oil, which gives you plenty of space to cook large family dinners and big portions. The more impressive feature of this fryer is the oil filtration system that automatically drains leftover oil into a plastic container for reuse.
- Large capacity
- Auto-oil drainage system
- No digital display
- Temperatures not always accurate
This deep fryer doesn't have digital controls, which means there isn't a timer and you have to turn it off manually. We also got mixed results when cooking homemade French fries and breaded chicken strips. We set the fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 15 minutes later it should have reached the correct temperature. However, we found that the oil's temperature fluctuated around 5 degrees below the target temperature. Out taste testers noticed a distinct difference in the taste, moisture, and crispness of the food cooked in the T-Fal and those cooked in other fryers that reach the correct temperature.
Lots of safety features
The Hamilton Beach Cool Touch deep fryer doesn't need much room on your counter, but it can still cook more than 3 pounds of food at a time. It has a unique design that lets you close the windowed lid before your immer or remove food from the hot oil. This is a nice for both safety and cleanup.
- Safety lid
- Magnetic cord
- Non-skid feet
- No timer
This deep fryer is easy to use with a turn dial. One light on the machine's exterior lets you know the power is one, while another comes on when the oil is hot enough to cook your food. It doesn't have a timer, though. The Hamilton Beach fryer comes with a magnetic electrical cord that breaks away fast in case you need to cut the power to the machine. It also has non-skid feet to help prevent this fryer from sliding across the counter if someone bumps it accidentally. The plastic exterior maintains a moderate temperature - the maximum we recorded was 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When we tested it, this fryer took 15 minutes to come to temperature, which is a bit longer than average. However, after we put the food in it, it heated the oil back to the required temperature quickly, taking just two and a half minutes. We fried fresh-cut potatoes and breaded chicken strips, and it took little effort or know-how. The food turned out nice, and our taste testing panel gave Hamilton Beach’s French fries and breaded chicken strips above-average ratings.
Crispiest and tastiest foods
The Krups Triple Basket Deep Fryer is one of the best we tested. In addition to its convenient features, such as a lid with vents and a viewing window, it has a generous capacity that allow you to quickly cook for a crowd.
- Quickly heats oil
- Perfect cooking results
- Dual frying baskets for simultaneous cooking
- No oil storage
We listed Krups at the top of our deep fryer lists because of its cooking performance, convenience, and ease of use. When we made French fries and breaded chicken, it received the highest marks for taste, crispness, and consistency. It can handle 2.6 pounds of food and 4.5 liters of oil at one time. It doesn't take long to heat up the large vat of oil taking only 11 minutes in our tests. This Krups deep fry comes with three baskets: a big one for an entree and two half-size baskets that let you cook two types of food simultaneously. The only thing really missing is an oil storage compartment.
For the smaller crowd
If you cook for a small household or have limited kitchen counter space, the Presto GranPappy Deep Fryer is ideal. It has sufficient power to evenly fry all your favorite fried foods within just 15 minutes. It has a six-cup capacity which is great for a small family and comes with a handy scoop, rather than a fry basket.
- Copmact design
- Easy to clean
- No manual temperature control
- Plastic lid can get hot
The Presto GranPappy Deep Fryer is incredibly easy to use and maintain. It features a good size opening at the top to easily get food in and out, cool-touch handles, and non-stick surfaces for easy cleaning. Another impressive feature is the magnetic safety connection, which automatically turns the fryer off if it’s accidentally knocked. However, a downside is the plastic lid can often get too hot, so you’d need to handle with care. The Presto GranPappy Deep Fryer only has an inner automatic thermostat which is quick heating, but the lack of a manual temperature control could be disappointing for some.
Ready light indicator
If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful deep fryer, this is our top pick. The Cuisinart CDF-200P1 deep fryer features a powerful heating system that delivers evenly crisp foods. It reaches peak temperature quickly and maintains heat very well.
- Compact design
- Heats quickly
- Small food batches
- Small basket
- Cord is short
The Cuisinart deep fryer is easy to use and offers helpful extras such as an adjustable thermostat, a light that lets you know when the oil is heated to the correct temperature to begin cooking, a light that tells you when the food is done, and an odor-absorbing filter on top that you can wash and reuse. The fryer is pretty compact, so it won't take up too much room on your counter, but that means the cord is shorter than other fryers we tested, the basket is small, and it can only cook 3/4 pounds of food at a time. During testing, we found that Cuisinart's fried chicken and French fries just didn't get as crispy. They were still a hit, though, because they tasted great and were properly moist and thoroughly cooked – just the exterior was a bit wanting. Essentially, the Cuisinart compact fryer gets oil hot enough that food isn’t greasy, but it doesn’t get hot enough to create an absolutely perfect crust.
Choosing the best deep fryer
Before you buy a deep fryer though, there are some things you need to consider. Firstly, what size and capacity do you need for your home? The best deep fryers come in different sizes and can start from a 1.4-liter oil capacity ranging up to around 3.5-liters. You can easily cook more portions for a big family in a large fryer, however, if you have a compact kitchen or rarely use one, you’ll be better off with a small deep fryer.
Next up, look at what features each deep fryer comes with. Most deep fryers have adjustable thermostats and timers that you can set or digital controls. Others come with removable or slide-out baskets, viewing windows, or convenient oil drainage systems to safely collect leftover oil for you to store and reuse. In addition, take note of how easy it is to clean. Many deep fryers have detachable parts that can be quickly washed or placed in the dishwasher for hassle-free cleaning.
It’s also worthwhile looking at the safety features, especially if you have children. Most quality fryers come with cool-touch handles or auto power-off functions. Finally, the cost is important as you want to make sure you get the top value for money.
How to safely use a deep fryer
Countertop deep fryers make delicious, crispy foods, but it’s best to take a few precautions when using them since they can cause serious burns or even start a kitchen fire – hot oil can reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit and is quite flammable.
You should avoid getting water in the hot oil since it instantly creates dangerously hot steam. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if a fire breaks out, you should use a fire extinguisher designed for kitchen fires, not water.
The USDA also recommends the following:
* Read the owner’s manual first.
* Use the correct type of oil.
* Leave at least two inches of space at the top of the container.
* Heat to the recommended temperature for specific foods.
* Don’t overcrowd food in the fryer.
* Unplug the machine and let it cool completely before cleaning.
In addition, some deep fryers get hot enough on the outside to burn your hands. During our testing, we gave deep fryers with lower exterior temperatures higher scores than models that run hot.
It’s also a good idea to buy a deep fryer with a lid since it cuts down on grease splatter. Even better, vented lids allow steam to escape. The best fryers have breakaway magnetic electrical cords you can disconnect quickly if anything goes wrong. In addition, we preferred fryers with sturdy, heavy-traction rubber feet since they help keep the machine safely in place on your counter, even when jostled.
How we tested deep fryers
We tested each deep fryer with small batches of breaded chicken strips and 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 the units that reached 375 degrees Fahrenheit the fastest received more credit in the final score. Adding food to a deep fryer temporarily lowers the oil temperature, so 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 we examined returned to our chosen temperature setting in about 4 minutes and 21 seconds.
Each fried food test we conducted was under similar circumstances. We used the same amount of chicken (6 ounces) and the same amount of potato strips for French fries. We also used the same temperature and amount of cooking time with each machine, unless the user manual required something different. Naturally, we taste-tested each batch and judged the food from each deep fryer, scoring the fries and chicken for moisture, texture, crispiness and flavor. The results are reflected in the final scores for frying quality.
We also measured the temperature of each machine on the outside to see how hot it got since a too-hot exterior can be a safety hazard. We timed how long it took to hand-wash each fryer's interior, exterior and removable parts. We also scored each machine for subjective features such as how easy each fryer was to use.
Why trust us
We have been researching, testing and grading deep fryers since 2015 to find the best for your kitchen. In that time, we've invested over 60 hours conducting hands-on tests for the fryers we choose from the many popular deep fryers on the market. We made sure the conditions were the same for each fryer so we could make fair comparisons. We weighed food, measured oil, took the temperature repeatedly, timed many activities, and graded each fryer based on the standards we set for excellent results and good value in a deep fryer.