Best Deep Fryers of 2018

Linda Thomson ·
Writer/Reviewer
Updated
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Since 2015 we've spent more than 60 hours researching and testing deep fryers. Based on our analysis, the KRUPS KJ502D51 is the best all-around home fryer. It excelled in our laboratory tests and outshone its competitors in nearly every category we evaluated. Our taste testing panel loved the crispy, moist chicken and the just-right French fries we made with this KRUPS model. This fryer's large capacity and multiple baskets let you feed plenty of hungry people. It also is easy to operate, with preset cooking options for specific foods, and its design includes several worthwhile safety features.  

Best Overall
KRUPS KJ502D51
The sizeable KRUPS KJ502D51 deep fryer holds 2.6 pounds of food and gives you three frying baskets so you can keep various foods separate while cooking. The results are tasty and cooked just right.
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Best Value
Hamilton Beach 35021
The budget-friendly Hamilton Beach 35021 deep fryer can handle more than 3 pounds of food, but is not super-large so it won't hog valuable counter space, and it is easy to use.
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Best Compact
Cuisinart Compact CDF-100
The Cuisinart Compact CDF-100 deep fryer cooks food well and costs little, while its trim design saves counter space. It also comes with a filtration system that lets you save oil.
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Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Price & Warranty
Performance
Convenience & Safety
Warranty (years)
Frying Quality
Ease of Use
Time to Heat (minutes)
Heat Recovery (minutes)
Oil Capacity (liters)
Food Capacity (pounds)
Cleaning Ease
Number of Baskets
Dishwasher Safe
Nonstick Material
Adjustable Thermostat
Power Light
Ready Light
Timer
Filtration
Oil Drain
Oil Storage
External Temperature (F)
Splatter-Free Lid
Viewing Window
Magnetic Safety Cord
Skid-Resistant Feet
Depth (inches)
Width (inches)
Height (inches)
Weight (inches)
$53 Deals Army
3.8 5 4.7
2 Years
90
90
11
4
4.5
2.6
85
3
131
17.9
13
14.6
6.7
$12.98 Bedding Trends
5 4.3 4.5
3 Years
83
90
10
2
1.1
0.75
85
1
133
11.22
8.07
7.68
6.4
$35.96 Amazon Marketplace
4.8 4.2 4.4
1 Year
68
75
6:35
3:50
1.5
0.45
85
1
100
14.5
13.2
10.5
4.55
$29.99 Amazon Warehouse
4.5 4.3 4
1 Year
82
80
15
2:30
1.9
3.1
75
1
140
8.58
11.38
13.94
8.8
$78.23 Amazon Marketplace
3.8 4.2 5
1 Year
77
90
15
6
3.5
2.7
97
1
115
18.3
13.7
14.8
12.4
$34.99 Bonanza
4.5 3.9 4.3
1 Year
85
50
14:15
3:30
3.7
1
80
1
165
16.4
8.89
10.1
7.7
$49.99 Senamin
4.3 4.2 3.7
1 Year
85
85
14
5
1
2.2
80
1
101
12.2
9.4
14.2
10.4
$118.99 Amazon Marketplace
3.2 4.4 4.5
1 Year
85
80
9
3
3.8
2.3
70
1
90
10.5
18.2
9.5
9.8
$9.73 ThePartsBiz
4.8 3.4 2.8
2 Years
80
60
15
5
1.4
3.1
100
0
360
9.5
9.25
8.38
3.89
$32.49 Target
4.8 3.2 2.4
2 Years
75
60
20
8
1.9
4.2
75
0
228
8.88
13.63
8.38
5.29
Best Overall
The KRUPS KJ502D51 deep fryer is a versatile kitchen tool that includes three frying baskets and preset options for cooking specific dishes like French fries, donuts, onion rings and chicken. We tested this device making French fries and chicken tenders, and the results were excellent.
The fries were thoroughly cooked – crispy on the outside and softer and still delicious-tasting on the inside. This 1,800-watt KRUPS fryer performed equally well in the fried chicken tests cooking up moist, tender chicken with crispy breading and great flavor, with no burned sections and no greasy taste. You position this fryer's removable heating element in the bottom of the interior and pour oil over it. This device's immersion-style heating maintains a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. There's a power light to let you know the machine is on, and after you set the thermostat, an indicator light signals that the oil is hot enough for cooking. You also get a timer. You can use preset buttons to cook certain foods or set the machine's cooking time and temperature manually. The KRUPs fryer also provides an odor filter and a good-sized viewing window to check your food as it cooks.
Pros
  • Has preset buttons to cook certain foods
  • Makes more food than many other fryers we tested
  • Cooks food thoroughly and well
Cons
  • Uses more oil than any other unit we tested
  • Takes up plenty of room on the counter
  • Has no built-in drain for oil
US$66.99Amazon
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Best Value
The Hamilton Beach 35021 doesn't need much room on your counter, but it can cook up more than 3 pounds of food at a time. It uses 1.9 liters of oil, and you can keep your countertop, and yourself, safe from oil splatter since the lid must be closed while you deep fry foods.
The fryer basket can be lowered or raised with the lid closed, which is a great feature. This fryer is easy to use and provides some convenient cooking features. One light on the machine's exterior lets you know the power is on, while another comes on when the oil is hot enough to cook your food. You get a handy adjustable thermostat, and there's a good-sized viewing window on top so you can see what's happening with your food. This deep fat fryer comes with a magnetic electrical cord that breaks away fast in case you need to cut the power to the machine quickly. You also get plastic non-skid feet to help prevent this fryer from sliding across the counter if someone bumps it accidentally. Our tests showed pouring the oil out after it cooled made a mess, and cleanup took a bit longer than with some other deep fryers.
Pros
  • Cooks more than 3 pounds of food
  • Easy to use
  • Interior container is dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Cleanup is a bit messy
  • Doesn’t have a drain
  • Has a short one-year warranty
US$49.42Amazon
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Best Compact
The Cuisinart Compact CDF-100 is an affordable deep fryer with trim dimensions that make it an ideal fit on nearly any counter space you have available.
It's a good choice for a couple or small family since it can handle only 3/4 pound of food at once. We got generally good results with our taste testing when using the Cuisinart. This fryer retains heat well so you don’t lose cooking power with consecutive batches. It 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. This fryer does not come with an internal oil storage container, so you must pour the oil out and then clean the interior and the removable parts, but that was easy and took us little time. Despite its relatively low price, this Cuisinart fryer comes with an impressive three-year warranty, which is longer than any of the other fryers we tested.
Pros
  • Is easy to use
  • Takes up little counter space
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
Cons
  • Cooks small amounts of food
  • Does not include oil storage container
  • Cooked food is tasty, but not super-crisp
US$34.49Amazon
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Best Safety Features
Safety is a major concern when you’re buying a deep fryer, and if you have small children around, it is especially important.
The DeLonghi Cool Touch D677UZ is among the safest deep fryers we tested. Its unique design allows you to submerge food into the oil with the lid safely closed. This means the risk of oil splatter during cooking is substantially reduced, which is always a great safety measure. The external temperature on this fryer stayed at around 101 degrees, which is a reasonable and touchable temperature, although every cook needs to be careful working with deep fryers. This is a small, affordable deep fryer that effectively prepared the food we tested.
Pros
  • You safely cook with the lid closed
Cons
  • The parts are not dishwasher safe
US$64.99Amazon
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Best Oil Storage
The T-Fal EZ Clean delivered generally positive results when cooking – and we were quite impressed with what happened to the oil afterwards.
The fryer boasts an automatic oil filtration system, with a built-in drain and a storage option – with all these features in the bottom of the fryer, so you don’t need a separate container to save the oil. The deep fryer is one of the easiest to use and is also easy to clean. It has a roomy vat for frying, and it performed especially well deep frying breaded chicken.
Pros
  • Machine stores the oil
Cons
  • Oil cooking temperature sometimes dropped
US$85.99Amazon
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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 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.





How We Tested
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.

How Much Do Deep Fryers Cost?
The deep fryers we examined ranged in price from just $29.99 up to $129.99, with the average cost coming in at approximately $63. A well-designed deep fryer that cooks well and gives you helpful safety features doesn't have to be expensive. We had good results with mid-priced fryers in our testing.

Further Information
Tammi, author of the blog My Organized Chaos, wrote that she often thought about getting a deep fryer for entertaining and making occasional treats but was put off by the idea of extra fat in her family's diet and the memory of stale oil in her home growing up 20 years earlier. However, when she bought a DeLonghi deep fryer, she was happily surprised to find the fryer's design eliminated the things she didn't like:

"What I love most about this particular deep fryer are the things that disproved all my previous assumptions, and made using a deep fryer easier:

  • Takes 50% less oil than traditional deep fryers
  • No stinking up the house thanks to replaceable filters located on the lid
  • Angled rotating basket for even cooking, cycling food in and out of the oil
  • Cool touch exterior, great safety feature for those that have kids
  • Adjustable thermostat and digital timer
  • Fast cooking, who doesn’t love a time saver?"

In another blog, Ginny's Recipes & Tips, you'll find some great advice for frying foods in general as well as sound advice for using a countertop deep fat fryer: "We recommend using an actual deep fryer, especially for beginners. They come with min/max lines, temperature controls, and often come with wire frying baskets."

What Else Is Important in Choosing a Deep Fryer?

Convenience
It's always helpful to work with a deep fryer that lets you know with an indicator light when the oil is hot enough to start adding food, or one that signals when your food is done, since these extra features can make the cooking process easier. Another important factor is how much work you need to do to maintain the machine. Once you're done cooking, the used oil has to go somewhere – and you need to clean up the mess. We gave better scores to fryers that didn't fling oil and that were easy and quick to clean.

Safety
As innocuous as the exterior of a deep fryer may look, it could be hot enough to burn your hand. We gave deep fryers with lower exterior temperatures better scores. The lowest exterior temperature we registered was 90 degrees Fahrenheit on the Breville Smart Fryer and the highest was 360 degrees F on the Presto GranPappy.

The best deep fryers have lids that cover the hot oil and food while cooking, preventing grease splattering all over your kitchen – and you. We found that these machines allowed enough steam to escape through vents on the top while also containing the oil in the vat. Magnetic breakaway cords offer a quick way to remove the heating source should things go awry and you need to deal with a grease fire, so we considered this safety feature in the final score. And rubber feet can mean the difference between a vessel of hot oil firmly staying on the countertop or being knocked off the counter and onto your feet.