The best turkey fryers will help you to pull out all the stops for your next Thanksgiving or special occasion. Turkey often takes the top spot on the table, and rightly so. That’s why an electric turkey fryer or turkey deep fryer that can deliver your prime meat in less time than a traditional oven (opens in new tab) is a sure way to turn up the heat. At around $200 on average, the best turkey cookers aren’t just about turkey though, some will help you to continue surprising your dinner guests in the future, as they can deal with dishes such as seafood and stews.
If you’re looking to part with fewer pennies, don’t worry, because some of the best turkey fryers cost as little as $30. Regardless of whether you choose a propane or electric turkey fryer, look out for models that come with accessories such as lifting hooks and gloves.
With one of the best turkey fryers, it really comes down to whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just a few guests. Those of you who often go all out on a spread for the extended family might prefer to get your mitts on an outdoor turkey cooker, as their bigger capacities can handle a lot more meat than an indoor turkey fryer. Of course, you’ll need the space to store the appliance somewhere outside, so if you don’t have much room going, a more compact indoor turkey deep fryer has its benefits. These cost less and call for less oil, and in some cases, no oil at all, good news for those health freaks among you.
1. Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer: Best oil-less turkey fryer
The Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer is a great pick if you want an option that is a bit lighter and doesn’t require you to submerge your turkey in masses of hot oil. Its powerful TRU Infrared technology generates infrared heat that circles the cylindrical chamber and ensures juicy and crisp results each time. Best of all, there is no hot oil to burn, splash or spill making this a much safer and hassle-free turkey fryer.
Features include a lifter to safely drop and remove your food, and meat thermometer to give you precise temperatures. It also comes with a handy front-access grease tray to collect any meat drippings. This makes it much easier to clean with a simple wipe down.
It’s more compact than other fryers though, with a capacity of up to 16lbs. So, this fryer is probably more suited for smaller households or those frequently cooking quick dishes like fish or chicken wings.
Another thing to note is the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer does come at a premium price, considering there are much cheaper fryers on the market. However, this offers the health benefits that the others cannot, which makes it well worth your money.
- Read our Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer review (opens in new tab)
2. Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer and Steamer: Best electric turkey fryer
If you’re looking for a multi-functional, turkey fryer that offers more than you need, the Cuisinart CDF-500 is the ideal choice. Not only can it perfectly fry a 14lb turkey in an hour but it can also steam other culinary delights. What’s more, the rotisserie function uses less oil than a traditional turkey fryer, meaning you’ll end up with crisp results without all the fat and high calories.
The fryer is equipped with a 20-minute timer, adjustable temperature control, and a convenient large stainless mesh basket with cool-touch handle. It’s super easy to use with just two cooking settings of fry and steam, and its stainless steel design looks attractive. Designed to be compact and user-friendly, this fryer can fit into any space or countertop without the hassle.
Compared with other turkey fryers, it has a smaller capacity, which may not be ideal for large-sized poultry or quantities. However, its combined high cooking performance and multi-function cooking settings make this one of the best turkey fryers for the home.
- Read our Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer and Steamer review (opens in new tab)
3. King Kooker 1265BF3 Turkey Fryer: Best outdoor turkey fryer
If you are a serious outdoor cook and enjoy frying up a feast, you would certainly benefit from the King Kooker 1265BF3 Turkey Fryer. Equipped with a 29-qt capacity, it can handle turkeys up to 20lbs, and even comes with another 11-qt fry pan and basket.
With 33,000BTU of power, it provides evenly-cooked and golden-brown results in less time, keeping its high temperature inside. It also has a handy fill line inside the pot to prevent any oil overspills, a thermometer and a safety timer with automatic shut-off function.
One downside to this is the timer needs to be activated every 15 minutes, meaning you’ll be unable to leave the fryer unattended for long periods. However, the timer is optional to use and many users had decided not to. Other drawbacks include the aluminum being prone to wear and tear if not maintained correctly, and its expensive price.
But if you’re simply looking for power, capacity, and great results, the King Kooker Turkey Fryer has everything you would need to do the job.
- Read our King Kooker 1265BF3 Turkey Fryer review (opens in new tab)
4. Barton 99905-H Turkey Fryer: Best turkey fryer
The Barton 99905-H Turkey Fryer is the best propane turkey fryer around. The Barton 99905-H Turkey Fryer kit comes with a powerful 100,000 BTU gas stove, burner stand, and an extra large 52-qt. pot. This turkey fryer is also equipped with a regulator, temperature thermometer, hanger, and marinade sauce syringe.
The Barton 99905-H Turkey Fryer’s most impressive feature is its versatility for cooking just about anything. Not only does it cook a crisp and succulent turkey, it can be used as a steamer, burner barbecue or boiler. It’s also designed to hold high temperatures, resulting in even better cooking results.
Minor drawbacks include not having a timer or any additional useful accessories. However, these can easily be overlooked by its power, capacity and top performance, which are all you need from a propane turkey fryer.
- Read our Barton 99905-H Turkey Fryer review (opens in new tab)
5. Bayou Classic 4225 42Qt Turkey Fryer: Best large turkey fryer
When you’re cooking for a crowd, the Bayou Classic 4225 is the best large turkey fryer around. Otherwise known as the ‘Grand Gobbler’, this turkey fryer can cook extra-large turkeys of up to 25lbs. With a capacity of up to 42-quart, this is adequate space to even fit two turkeys at once.
What’s more, it’s versatile to use all year, by simply removing the rack and hook to use as a stockpot for dishes like soup, stews or seafood.
For safe handling, it comes with a patented poultry rack, lift hook, vented lid and heavy-duty handles. It also has some impressive features including a fry thermometer, Seasoning Injector with stainless needle to infuse your meats, and a handy leather glove to protect from hot oil.
Perhaps the only downside is it uses up a lot of oil, so can be costly to buy gallons in the long-run. Also, it can take a little longer to wait for the oil to heat up. But for those who regularly cook up a turkey feast or enjoy big family meals, this makes an ideal versatile fryer.
- Read our Bayou Classic 4225 42Qt Turkey Fryer review (opens in new tab)
What features should I look for in a turkey fryer?
In our research, we checked the overall capacity of each fryer, which is measured in quarts, along with the maximum turkey size, in pounds, that each fryer could handle. We also looked at the amount of oil needed each time you use the fryer and the heating ability, measured in British Thermal Units.
Turkey frying can be quite dangerous because you’re working with a lot of hot oil, but many turkey fryers are equipped with safety features. We looked to see whether each unit had an auto shutoff, a vented lid, a lifter to help remove the turkey after cooking it, a cooking basket and a stand. Most turkey fryers will have some of these features, while the best will have all of them. The most significant safety feature you should seek in a turkey fryer is an auto shutoff function, which keeps it from overheating and potentially causing a fire and injuries.
Many turkey fryers come with some useful features that make cooking a lot easier. Some fryers have built-in extras such as a timer, a thermostat, indicator lights or a drain valve, all of which help either during the cooking process or, in the case of the drain valve, with cleanup.
Why trust us?
When we researched turkey fryers, we read manufacturer websites, along with cookbooks, cooking blogs, and a variety of articles related to frying turkeys to see what characteristics fine cooks appreciate in a fryer.
We also watched user videos to see how real people work with these devices, which requires a measure of care to avoid accidental burns or fires.
How much does a turkey fryer cost?
A good turkey fryer will cost you between $50 and $200 depending on its capacity, as well as the number of extra features and accessories that come with it. There isn’t much price difference between propane and electric turkey fryers, though if you choose a propane model you’ll need to continually refill the propane. The price of a propane tank varies depending on where you live, but it’s usually between $5 and $10 and holds enough gas to fry four turkeys.
Can I mix different oils in a turkey fryer?
It is possible to mix different oils together – like peanut oil and vegetable oil – for deep frying any foods, including turkeys. However, you will need to set your turkey fryer to a lower cooking temperature to avoid burning the oil, which will also affect the overall cook time.
It all has to do with the smoke point of each oil, or how hot the oil has to get before it starts to smoke, or burn, and become dangerous. Vegetable oil has a smoke point of 428 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius); peanut oil, however, has a smoke point of 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Because of the higher smoke point, you cook your turkey at a higher temperature in vegetable oil, which also cuts down on the overall cook time.
If you do combine vegetable and peanut oils, you’ll need to set the fryer at a lower temperature to avoid reaching the peanut oil’s smoke point. You will also want to adjust the cook time a little since it will take longer to fry – about 5 minutes more per pound – at the lower temperature. Most recipes recommend frying your turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound and assume you are using vegetable oil.