The Breville Smart Fryer is one of the best deep fryers we tested. However, it comes at a relatively high price. This model holds nearly 4 liters of oil, but the basket is on the small side. You can only fry up to 2.3 pounds of food at once, which is the equivalent of five servings of chicken.
It cooked some of the best fried chicken of the deep fryers we tested. With a bit of experimentation with the temperatures and times, we managed to find a sweet spot with this fryer. Following the same testing methodology we used for the other electric deep fryers we reviewed, the Breville’s chicken came out crispy and flavorful, and it was near-perfectly moist.
However, our taste testing panel was split on its French fries. Though the fries weren’t nearly as crunchy as those made in other deep fryers, they were more thoroughly cooked. So, the inside of each fry was slightly creamy and fluffy, and the outside was golden brown and crispy. Using the presets "1st Fry" and "2nd Fry," we found that the temperature on the second fry wasn't high enough to really crisp the fries – although not everyone likes crispy fries. This Breville model also has a manual setting, so you can adjust the temperature and timer however you'd like, up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
We turned the Breville Smart Fryer on and began prepping food, and just nine minutes later, it was heated and ready to cook – we had barely finished drying our cut potatoes. In addition to having one of the fastest initial heating times, this fryer took only three minutes to recover its temperature after we added food, which is two minutes faster than the average.
Of all the deep fryers we tested, this one registered the lowest external temperature – only 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s thanks to its immersion-style heating element, which is an excellent safety feature. Also, its vented lid prevents oil from splatting around your kitchen and on you.
The Breville Smart Fryer isn't difficult to use, but it does have a learning curve. The presets are meant to make frying easier, but you need to get used to the controls. You use the knob to scroll through and select from the menu of presets and set the timer and thermostat. This model includes an on light and an indicator that lets you know when the fryer is ready to use. Unfortunately, the fryer’s viewing windows fogged up immediately, so we couldn’t see the food inside.
It was more difficult to clean the Breville Smart Fryer than other models. It doesn’t have an oil drain, filtration system or a container to store used oil in. All its parts, except the power cord and the heating element, can be tossed into a dishwasher, which is convenient. We washed everything by hand and had to clean each piece twice to get rid of the oil slick. Also, the basket's weave seemed to be rougher than others, so our sponges and other materials snagged on the metal often. In our tests, we found that the Presto GranPappy was one of the easiest deep fryers to clean.