The KRUPS KJ502D51 topped the list of the many deep fryers we tested because of its cooking performance, convenience and ease of use. When we made French fries and breaded chicken, our taste testing panel gave the highest marks to the food cooked in this KRUPS model. It can handle 2.6 pounds of food and 4.5 liters of oil at one time – the largest oil capacity of the fryers we tested.
This KRUPS deep fryer uses 1,800 watts of power, so it doesn’t take too long to heat up the large vat of oil. It took 11 minutes to come to the temperature we wanted for our cooking tests, and the oil stayed a consistent temperature. Adding food to a vat of hot oil temporarily drops the temperature, but the KJ502D51 brought the oil back to the correct temperature in four minutes.
When we tested it, this KRUPS model fried up juicy, moist chicken with a contrastingly crispy coating. The meat was tender, moist and full of flavor. A few of our taste testers said the breading was a little too crunchy, but the majority said it was just about right. As for the French fries we made, they turned out golden brown and just the way we wanted them: crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.
The KJ502D51 comes with three baskets: a big one for an entrée and two half-size baskets that let you to cook two types of food simultaneously. However, you don’t get an oil storage compartment. If you want a fryer with a compartment, check out the T-Fal Ultimate EZ Clean.
To start, you pour the oil onto the heating coil, then place the basket on top of that. At first, it felt a little strange to pour liquid directly onto a heating coil and then set the submerged basket on top of the coil, but nothing about this setup felt unsafe while we cooked. You get an easy-to-read digital display that includes a built-in timer and a green light that tells you when the oil is hot enough to use. Overall, the fryer is intuitive to use.
It took slightly more time to clean the KJ502D51 than some of the other fryers we tested because it has more parts than some other models. We washed it by hand, although all the removable parts can go in the dishwasher. We had to thoroughly wipe down the coil, which is attached to the digital display, with paper towels, but it cleaned up nicely. You don’t get a mess-free way to empty the oil such as a built-in drain like some of the other models we tested have.
This fryer has a conveniently large window you can look through to check on food while it cooks. The window tends to fog, so you must peer in at an angle to see inside. We often 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.
There is enough space between the oil reservoir and the fryer’s exterior walls that the metal sides don’t get very hot. The appliance stayed at 131 degrees Fahrenheit on the outside, so we didn’t burn our hands on the exterior siding. The outside temperature stayed at 131 degrees Fahrenheit. – we could tap the fryer’s exterior as it cooked and even touch it in some areas without getting burned.
The fryer’s lid is vented, so it allows steam to escape while keeping the oil safely inside. The lid prevents burns and stains from hot oil that sputters out. However, the temperature around the lid, is at its highest, measuring more than 140 degrees during much of testing. As such, you need to be careful when handling the lid, though it does increase its overall safety.
The plug’s magnetic connection lets you disconnect the fryer quickly and easily, and the skid-resistant feet keep accidental nudges or bumps from causing the unit to slide and spill. KRUPS backs this deep fryer with a two-year warranty, which is a year longer than the industry standard.