A festive turkey dinner is a longtime staple of American family life. It's almost mandatory on Thanksgiving, immensely popular at Christmas, and a great option for a family dinner at any other time of year too.
However, many ovens simply aren't big enough to handle a full-size turkey, and sometimes time constraints mean you don't have the three-plus hours it can take to oven-cook a large turkey.
That's the reason a lot of people go for turkey fryers. These can fit much larger turkeys and can also cook the centerpiece of your family feast much faster than an oven would.
We researched a host of turkey fryers to find the best ones, and in the end, our favorite was the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less (Liquid Propane) TRU-Infrared Turkey Fryer. This handy model is designed to be used indoors so you can cook whatever the weather, and it uses a simple electrical outlet for energy instead of the propane gas and flames of most outdoor turkey fryers.
It can easily cook a 16-pound bird, and this countertop turkey fryer won't take up much space in your kitchen.
The best turkey fryer on the market right now
Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 24.5 inches | Weight: 30 pounds | Price: $99.99 - $176.17 depending on model | Max turkey size: up to 16lb | Warranty: 90 Days | Reccomended Location : Outdoors
The Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer is the stress-free way to fry your turkey, roast, or other cut of meat.
No cooking oil to purchase, splatter, or dispose of, the Char-Broil Big Easy gives you a delicious, safe, and simple alternative to frying with oil. The Big Easy utilizes Char-Broil’s TRU Infrared technology, which eliminates hot and cold spots, and delivers juicy, crisp, and flavorful results every time. The fully-enclosed 16,000 BTU propane burners sit inside of a double-wall cylindrical cooking chamber, which generates infrared heat that circles the cooker to penetrate and cook the meat evenly, sealing in juices. The result is a turkey or meat that is moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, without the hassle or added fat and calories of oil.
And because your food is cooked with infrared heat, not heated oil like others, you can prepare your bird or meat with seasoned rubs or injectable marinades – both of which are not an option with traditional fryers.
Cooking on the Big Easy is very simple with only two knobs to control: One to turn on, and one to light the burner. When you're done, its compact size allows for easy storage. A removable drip tray catches flavorful juices, allowing cooks to retain the essential ingredients for homemade gravy – to be further prepared on the stovetop.
There is also a thermometer, making it easy to know when your food is done, having reached the target internal temperature. Comes with the cooker, cooking basket, basket lifting tool, meat thermometer, quick start cooking guide, cool touch handles, rotary ignition and removable drip tray, (propane tank required for operation- not included).
2. Bayou Classic 4225 42Qt Alum Turkey Fryer
The best value for money we found
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 15 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Price: $57.99 | Max turkey size: up to 25lb | Warranty: 1 Year | Reccomended Location : Indoors
For 30 years Bayou Classic has been an industry innovator providing outdoor cooking equipment catering to events in every region and season.
The new Bayou Classic 42-qt grand gobbler is specifically designed to fry your larger Thanksgiving Turkey, up to 25 lbs and features: 42-qt aluminum stockpot with lid, riveted handles, patented poultry rack & lift hook, stainless 12" fry thermometer, 2-oz. seasoning Injector, protective leather glove.
Inside the pot is a patented poultry rack & lift hook designed to create a circular flow of oil up through & around the cavity during the frying process. The final result is cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey golden brown.
The select-grain leather glove (right hand only) protects from hot oil as you lift the turkey, to slowly insert & later remove, from the pot. The stainless 12-in. fry thermometer enables you to monitor and maintain optimal frying temperatures. The 2 oz. seasoning Injector with stainless needle is ideal for infusing your favorite seasonings into the turkey prior to cooking.
Remove the rack & hook to use this versatile stockpot year round for cooking soup, shrimp, crabs, corn, peanuts, jambalaya, low country boil or gumbo.
The one for indoor cooks
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 21 inches | Weight: 24.9 pounds | Price: $231.11 | Max turkey size: up to 22lb | Warranty: 1 Year | Reccomended Location : Indoors
Thanksgiving dinner just got a whole lot easier thanks to the Butterball Digital XXL 22-lb Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer. Equipped with a built-in digital timer and variable temperature control, this convenient countertop fryer takes the guesswork out of preparing your bird.
You'll make turkey so juicy with perfect crispy skin, everyone will gobble it up! And, since no oven is needed, you can place all your sides and desserts in the oven earlier, and finish your whole meal in less time--perfect when cooking for a crowd. Spending all day in the kitchen doesn't need to be your tradition any longer.
This top-of-the-line XXL fryer is able to cook up to a 22-lb turkey in less than an hour, so you can enjoy more time with your nearest and dearest. It also uses one-third less cooking oil than a conventional turkey fryer. Not only does this help make your meal more cost-effective and lighter tasting, it makes cleanup a breeze. A built-in drain valve empties the oil, and the removable inner pot has a porcelain coating for easy washing.
Plus, it’s not just for the holidays. Because this is an indoor fryer, you can use it in any weather, any time of year.
Includes indoor electric turkey fryer; aluminum cooking basket with drain clip; a DVD with 44 recipes; and a $5 mail-in rebate offer when you also purchase one Butterball frozen or fresh whole turkey.
4. Cuisinart CDF-500 Extra-Large Rotisserie Deep Fryer
This is the all-rounder extraordinaire
Dimensions: 20.2 x 16 x 16.4 inches | Weight : 26.5 pounds | Price: $159.97 | Max turkey size: up to 14lb | Warranty: 1 Year | Reccomended Location : Indoors
The Cuisinart extra-large Rotisserie fryer is a multitasking marvel that not only fries a whole turkey in an hour using less oil than a traditional fryer, it also fries up big portions of delicious appetizers, entrées, side dishes, breakfast treats and much more.
You can also use it without oil to steam all your favorites, like vegetables and desserts. Or why not steam cook a whole meal – dumplings, shrimp – or an entire clambake.
Having a rotisserie function means that you can fry up to an entire 14 lb. turkey in an hour using less oil than traditional fryer.
Great for frying potatoes, onion rings, seafood, chicken, vegetables, donuts... the list is endless! 20-Minute timer and adjustable temperature control, and large stainless mesh basket with cool-touch handle.
5. King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package with 2 Aluminum Pots
Pure portable camping convenience
Dimensions: 14 x 18.2 x 14 inches | Weight: 18.8 pounds | Price: $97.73 | Max turkey size: up to 20lb | Warranty: 1 Year | Reccomended Location : Outdoors
Fry up to a 20 pound turkey outdoors, or fry fresh filets to a crispy golden brown with this welded King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker Package with two aluminum pots.
The 12" portable propane outdoor cooker has a high pressure 33,000 BTU cast burner and the package includes a large 29 quart aluminum turkey pot with lid, and punched aluminum basket for boiling. Also includes turkey rack and lifting hook, and an 11 quart aluminum fry pan with basket and heat resistant handle.
You can use the deep fry thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil and adjust the flame with the adjustable regulator on a battery operated timer. Fry the perfect turkey at your next feast, boil corn and potatoes or fry the fresh catch of the day.
12" portable propane outdoor cooker has a high pressure 33,000 BTU cast burner and the package includes:
6. Masterbuilt Butterball XL MB23010618
The best turkey fryer overall
Dimensions (L x W x H): 17.9 x 20.9 x 17.8in | Assembled weight: 25.7lb | Max turkey size: 20lb | Warranty: 1 year | Color: Silver, black | Recommended location: Indoor
The Masterbuilt Butterball XL Fryer MB23010618 is a great indoor turkey fryer. The fryer does most of the work for you – including keeping time. This Masterbuilt model also uses less oil than most turkey fryers, so even if you reuse oil, you’ll spend less over time.
Because this turkey fryer is electric, it has only a 5,630 BTU capacity (1,650 watts) – much lower than outdoor propane turkey fryers. Still, that’s high for an electric indoor model. You can fry a 20-pound turkey in the MB23010618, which is plenty big enough for a crowd.
Unfortunately, this fryer doesn't have a vented lid, which would allow steam to escape so the appliance doesn’t overheat. It would also reduce the risk of steam burns when you open the lid.
However, this model includes several excellent safety features, chief among them an auto shut-off, a lifter and a cooking basket. The auto shut-off ensures the machine doesn’t get too hot, while the lifter helps you safely remove the turkey from the basin and oil when it finishes cooking. Similarly, the cooking basket allows you to safely lower the turkey into the basin and keeps the bird securely in place.
In addition, the Masterbuilt Butterball XL Fryer MB23010618 includes a lot of features that make it convenient to use. There's a built-in timer and a thermostat as well as an orange indicator light that shows when the electrical power is on and a green light to signal when the oil is hot enough to begin cooking.
When you use the lifter to pull the cooked turkey up, you can simply hook it onto the interior rim of the pot so excess oil can drain off the turkey before you take the bird out completely.
It’s easy to clean this turkey fryer. You can remove cooled oil through a drain valve instead of having to tip the pot to pour oil into another container, which can make a greasy mess if you spill. The machine also comes with a removable spout to help guide the oil as it comes out, and there’s a place to store the spout inside the fryer so you don’t lose it. In addition, you can lift the porcelain-coated pot out of the machine to clean it.
Masterbuilt includes a one-year warranty on this electric turkey fryer, which is standard for the industry.
- Read the full review: Masterbuilt Butterball XL MB23010618
The best outdoor turkey fryer
Dimensions (L x W x H): 16 x 16 x 31in | Max turkey size: 18lb | Warranty: 1 year | Color: Gray | Recommended location: Outdoor
The Bayou Classic 32-Quart Stainless Steel Fryer Pot turkey fryer has a powerful burner with a high heating capacity, and it can cook a turkey up to 18 pounds in under an hour. This fryer also includes a handful of safety features, although it lacks a vital one.
The burner has a heat capacity of 55,000 Btu, so it can heat the oil and pot very quickly. It uses a maximum of 3 gallons of oil, which is slightly less than most outdoor propane turkey fryers can handle.
This turkey fryer doesn’t have an auto shut-off, which would automatically turn it off if it were to overheat. However, it includes a few other safety features. For instance, it has a vented lid, a poultry rack and a lifting hook. The lifter and poultry rack work similarly to a cooking basket, helping you place the turkey into the pot and remove it after cooking.
This outdoor turkey fryer doesn’t include many convenience features, but it does have a thermometer. The thermometer helps you ensure the oil doesn’t get too hot and that the turkey is cooked throughout.
Like most manufacturers, Bayou Classic covers its turkey fryer with a one-year warranty.
- Read the full review: Bayou Classic 32 Qt
The most versatile turkey fryer
Dimensions (L x W x H): 13.25 x 13.25 x 27in | Assembled weight: 16lb | Max turkey size: 20lb | Warranty: 1 year | Color: Silver | Recommended location: Outdoor
The King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package is just that, a package. This propane turkey fryer can hold two pots: a 29-quart aluminum pot with a cooking basket and an 11-quart fry pan with its own, smaller basket. In addition, it includes a turkey rack and hook to lower the bird into and raise it from the hot oil, as well as a thermometer. The stand is steady and not inclined to tip over.
With its many accessories, you can take this fryer outside to deep-fry a holiday turkey or to boil shrimp, crab, potatoes, corn on the cob, fish and more. This King Kooker model has a 33,000 Btu heat capacity, which is considerably lower than some outdoor propane fryers, although it's still powerful enough to cook a 20-pound turkey so it's tender and moist.
This package comes with a battery-powered timer. Also, the fryer automatically shuts the propane power off at 15-minute intervals, which is an important safety feature. Some cooks might find it a chore to reset the timer so often, but deep fryers need that much attention to be used safely.
You can adjust the flame as needed, but there isn’t a built-in thermostat. Instead, the package includes a deep fryer thermometer that helps you track the oil temperature so you don't overcook your foods.
One drawback is the fryer is made of aluminum, which isn’t nearly as durable as stainless steel. This model also doesn’t have an oil-ready or a power indicator light, but that isn’t unusual for a propane fryer. This turkey fryer is covered by a one-year warranty.
- Read the full review: King Kooker 1265BF3
The best big turkey fryer
Dimensions (L x W x H): 13.75 x 16.25 x 13.75in | Assembled weight: 21.5lb | Max turkey size: 20lb+ | Warranty: 1 year | Color: Multi | Recommended location: Outdoor
The King Kooker Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Turkey Frying Package is a good option if you want a turkey fryer to use outside. You can fry a very large turkey in its pot, and it has a lot of features to keep you stay safe while you cook.
This turkey cooker has a 38,000 Btu heat capacity, which is lower than some competing propane fryers. Still, it’s powerful enough to quickly heat oil. To fry a turkey in this 30-quart pot, you need a maximum of 3.75 gallons of oil, which is a lot, though pretty standard for an outdoor turkey fryer.
We were disappointed to find that this King Kooker model doesn’t have an auto shut-off. However, this turkey fryer package includes a vented lid, a lifter, a cooking basket and a stand, all of which are important safety features.
The vented lid allows steam to escape the pot, while the lifter and cooking basket work together to ensure you can raise and lower the turkey safely. The stand puts the propane burner off the ground a couple feet.
This King Kooker fryer doesn’t have power or ready indicator lights, but that’s normal for an outdoor model. However, it includes a timer, a thermostat and a drain valve, which make using it much easier. The fryer’s drain valve makes it easy to drain used oil, the thermostat helps you regulate oil temperature, and the timer tracks cooking time for you.
King Kooker covers this turkey fryer with a one-year warranty.
- Read the full review: King Kooker SS1267SBSP
The easiest turkey fryer to clean
Dimensions (L x W x H): 13 x 13 x 15.5in | Assembled weight: 19.36lb | Max turkey size: 18lb | Warranty: 1 year | Color: Silver, black | Recommended location: Outdoor
The Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer with Spigot is a durable stainless steel cooker that works outdoors and is fueled by propane. It can fry an 18-pound turkey to perfection and can also cook fish, chicken, vegetables or any other food that can be deep fried.
This 30-quart turkey fryer has a 38,000 Btu heat capacity and sits on a stable stand. There are safety brackets you can adjust to make certain the pot stays safely mounted on the base. In addition, it comes with a turkey rack and lifter hook to hoist a big bird in and out of the cooking oil.
One of this turkey fryer’s best benefits is it has a spigot to drain the cooled, used oil out of the pot. That makes cleanup far easier and tidier than tipping the pot to pour out the oil. The Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer doesn’t have a vented lid, which would be a nice touch since it would allow steam to escape.
However, it includes helpful extras like a 12-inch deep fry thermometer. The fryer also comes with a marinade injector, which many cooks love since it can heighten the flavor of a fried turkey or other meats.
There is also a handy timer that includes an automatic shut-off that kicks in every 20 minutes.
- Read the full review: Bass Pro Shops
How to buy the best turkey fryer for you
When buying a turkey fryer, the most important question you need to ask yourself is what exactly do you want from the product? Specific turkey fryers, often because of how they have been designed, have the emphasis on the main function of the product, the cooking of the turkey, while others have a focus on being the most convenient to the user of the turkey fryer, with options like being specifically easy to clean – or the best product for portable use.
For example, if you want to use your turkey fryer when you go away with friends or family on a camping trip, you will have different expectations to those who want to have their turkey fryer as an electric plug-in within the home.
Likewise, if you’re looking to watch your weight, your expectations will focus on an oil-free turkey fryer; and how to get that great taste – without the calories!
Obviously, price and convenience are also factors to consider. Here at TopTenReviews we think you should be ideally looking to spend a couple hundred dollars on a turkey fryer if you can, however that doesn’t mean you should discredit models that are cheaper or more expensive, either. Evaluate what you need and what you can spend, do your research, browse the best turkey fryers going, and then you’re set!
We’re confident that you’ll find the perfect air purifier for you based on the research we’ve collated, so that you don’t have to.
What features should I look for in a turkey fryer?
More on Fryers
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.
Which are the best Turkey Fryer Manufacturers
The maker of our all-round best turkey fryer, Char-Broil, makes the list of top makers. However, there are plenty of other great turkey fryers in business today, including: Masterbuilt, Bayou, Chard, King Kooker and Butterball. These turkey fryer makers have both pedigree and heritage, as well as a track record of reliability and quality in terms of product testing here at TopTenReviews.
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. Although there are oil-less turkey fryers available, they are less likely to produce the crispy, crunchy exterior and tender interior of oil-fried turkey. As a result, we chose oil fryers for our recommendations, since these seem to be the most popular and preferred models on the market.
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 we researched turkey fryers
We spent 40 hours researching turkey fryers, investigating each model to find the best on the market. We wanted to find excellent machines that offer superb frying capabilities, as well as models with the best safety measures built into the design. We also looked for convenience features that are nice to have but not essential, especially when compared to the importance of safety measures.
We looked at both indoor and outdoor fryers since both types are popular with consumers, although one may be a better choice than the other, depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you live in a condo complex and have a tiny patio, an outdoor fryer might not work especially well in such a small space. But a countertop turkey fryer takes up little space and can still yield a succulent and well-cooked bird.
We found general information about turkey fryers on manufacturers’ websites and read through product reviews wherever we could find them. We also looked for specific information about different models that set them apart from others, whether that’s an automatic shutoff feature, a lifter to safely remove an already-cooked turkey or lid vents that help release steam.
Since safety is so important when it comes to turkey fryers, we checked to see what some cooking experts had to say. Daniel Gritzer, in the online publication Serious Eats, says deep frying a turkey “can deliver an incredibly juicy bird with the crispiest skin imaginable.” However, he cautions that you must keep children and pets completely away from the undertaking, read the manufacturer’s instructions first, and even if the weather’s cold, plan to stick by the fryer and enlist the help of others if you need to go indoors. “Responsible turkey fryers do not leave things unattended.”
A blog produced by Plymouth Rock Assurance has the following helpful tips:
Be sure you know how to properly use your fryer and review the safety instructions that came with it. Here’s a helpful list of what you should do:
- Completely defrost your turkey and remove excess liquids before frying it.
- Cook your bird outside, on a flat surface and in an open area away from structures or combustible items.
- Be sure the weather is ideal – no rain or snow.
- Be wary of overfilling your fryer with oil.
- Use extra caution when lowering or raising your turkey from the pot.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times.
How much does a turkey fryer cost?
A good turkey fryer will cost you between $100 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 heated 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.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Pricing||Frying||Safety||Convenience||Warranty||Capacity (quarts)||Maximum Turkey Size (pounds)||Indoor or Outdoor||Ignition Type||Maximum Oil Needed (gallons)||Watts (electric models)||Btus (propane-fueld models)||Auto Shut-Off||Temperature Control||Vented Lid||Lifter||Cooking Basket||Stand||Timer||Thermostat||Drain Valve||Indicator Lights|
|Masterbuilt Butterball XL Fryer MB23010618||View Deal||4.5/5||3.5||5||5||5||1 Year||11||20||Indoor||Electric||2.75||1650||5360||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||N/A||✓||X||✓||✓|
|Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Fryer MB23010118||View Deal||4.5/5||4||4||5||4||1 Year||8||14||Indoor||Electric||2||1650||5360||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||N/A||✖||X||✓||✓|
|Bayou Classic 32 Qt.||View Deal||4/5||5||5||2.5||2||1 Year||32||18||Outdoor||Propane||3||N/A||55000||✖||✓||✓||✓||✓||X||✖||X||✖||✖|
|Cabela’s Ultimate||4/5||5||3||5||4||1 Year||29||20||Outdoor||Propane||3.5||N/A||34000||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||X||✖||X||✓||✖|
|King Kooker 1265BF3||View Deal||4/5||5||3||5||2||1 Year||29||20||Outdoor||Propane||Three to Five||N/A||33000||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||X||✓||Thermometer||✖||✖|
|King Kooker SS1267SBSP||View Deal||4/5||4.5||3.5||2.5||5||1 Year||30||20||Outdoor||Propane||3.75||N/A||38000||✖||✓||✓||✓||✓||X||✓||X||✓||✖|
|Bass Pro Shops 1631023||View Deal||3/5||5||3.5||0||4||1 Year||30||18||Outdoor||Propane||N/A||N/A||38000||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||X||✓||Thermometer||✓||✖|