Deep fryers are not the only tools that can help you get all the flavor of fried food. But having a reliable one will be the most efficient way to get the job done. Unlike air fryers, which work without requiring too much added oil, electric deep fryers have to be filled with a vast amount of oil for its entire cooking process. If everything goes right, however, the results will be crispier with more golden-brown finishes.
Plus, compared to other traditional methods like stovetop frying, deep fryers are a better choice to satisfy your French fries craving. Featuring an advanced oil temperature heating system and built-in thermostat, they’re able to provide an ideal frying temperature to help seal the food's exterior for minimal oil absorption. Thanks to these properties, there’s also less chance you’ll overcook your food.
Even if you don’t consume more than one serving of fried-food a week, a deep fryer is likely to do little more than take some of your money and counter space. The large-capacity oil container and powerful heating elements make it an obvious choice for commercial application. So, if you’re going to buy an electric deep fryer for residential use, make sure this standalone machine is conducive to your needs and lifestyle.
How to Buy the Best Deep Fryer
Here’s some of the most important features that need to be thoroughly considered when buying a quality deep fryer:
Most deep fryers come with an adjustable heat control. Because a majority of frying recipes call for oil heated to anywhere from 350°F to 375°F, we recommend you find a machine that’s able to reach at least 375°F.
Be advised, not all deep fryers can maintain the correct temperature throughout the cook. So, make sure your tool comes with a built-in thermometer. If not, buying an external thermometer is necessary.
For those who usually prepare multiple servings at once, choose a deep fryer with a 4-quart oil capacity. A generous capacity also ensures enough room to accommodate two small baskets, allowing you to fry two different dishes at the same time. (Most deep fryers come with a full-sized basket, but you can purchase additional ones for smaller batches.)
Smaller fryers with a 1½-quart capacity save you a little counter space. But they can accommodate only about one serving at a time. Considering the amount of time you will spend on the cleaning and oil filtering process after each use, we think you’re better off using a pot on the stove.
Most deep fryers are designed with dial controls. But there are also a few models that come with digital controls to offer you greater convenience. Featuring built-in presets, digital control machines give you the best settings in terms of time and temperature. Still, the presets are not accurate on all models.
Dial machines require you to rotate the knob manually to set the temperature. As they can't provide a fully automated cooking process, you’ll need to rely on guesswork to hit the right temperature levels. Plus, unlike touch controls whose flat surfaces help prevent grease and grime build-up, a knob is a germy spot in your kitchen.
Beside the temperature control dial, your machine can also have a built-in timer knob to give you optimal cooking control. This is a nice addition for those who worry about forgetting the food being cooked.
Reviews of the Best Deep Fryers 2021
- Cuisinart CDF-170 - Best to Buyin 2021
- De'Longhi Livenza - Best Value Deep Fryer
- Cuisinart CDF-500 - Best Turkey Deep Fryer
- WeChef - Best Commercial Deep Fryer
- Presto 05420 - Best Electric Deep Fryer
- Costway - Best Small Deep Fryer
- Elite Gourmet - Best Large Deep Fryer
Here’s our picks for the Best Deep Fryers in 2021:
1. Cuisinart CDF-170 - Best to Buyin 2021
We chose the Cuisinart CDF-170 as the best electric deep fryer since there are almost no models on the market that can beat its exceptional performance, incredible power, and sleek, space-saving design. Still, with a 1.7-pound food capacity, you can't fry that much in a single batch. The maximum oil fill line is only 2 inches from the bottom to the basket. You’ll need to make at least two batches of French fries if your family is four or more.
Efficient and powerful
Fast heat-up and recovery time
Precise timer and temperature control
Medium family size capacity
Dishwasher safe basket
Useless viewing window
The Cuisinart CDF-170 is among the few deep fryers that have a quick recovery time. This means that as soon as the temperature drops after you add food to the oil, the machine will quickly reheat to the set temperature to prevent the food from absorbing the oil and tasting overly greasy.
Powering the machine is a 1800-watt motor, which is impressively strong. So, it takes just a few minutes for the cooking oil to reach the ideal frying temperature. The control panel is simple to use, with only a thermostat knob, 60-minute digital timer, and indicator lights.
We appreciate the thermostat’s precision, allowing you to customize the temperature from 295°F to 374°F so you can easily create different heat zones according to your needs. Thanks to the timer, the machine will shut off automatically when the food is done. You won’t need to stay close by, to avoid overcooking,
The machine’s basket is made of stainless steel, featuring a handle reinforced with a silicone layer. Because the handle stays cool to the touch even when the machine is working at high temperatures, you can comfortably hold it to shake or remove the basket to empty the food when it’s finished. As with other removable parts, such as the lid and oil bin, the basket is top-rack dishwasher safe.
The transparent lid is designed to let you follow the cooking process easier. That being said, we don’t think this is helpful since condensation quickly appears on the lid’s surface, preventing you from seeing anything. Plus, while the lid helps prevent the boiling oil from splashing, it can cause the condensation to drip back into the oil and partially steam the food.Check Latest Price On Amazon
2. De'Longhi Livenza - Best Value Deep Fryer
Compared to our top pick, the De’Longhi Livenza has a more compact design. But it has the same powerful motor, allowing you to enjoy hassle-free deep frying without having to sacrifice too much counter space. At 10.8 pounds, it’s also lighter. This is something to consider if you want to take the machine on camping trips.
Capable of tracking how long oil is used
Useful oil drain system
Large cool zone area
Dishwasher removable parts
Intuitive to use
Despite the small size, however, this deep fryer is perfect for a family meal or entertaining thanks to its large 1-gallon oil capacity. Indeed, if space and weight are your major considerations, you can’t go wrong with the De’Longhi Livenza.
We like that the machine has a simple control panel with basic push buttons for modifying the time and cooking temperature. It also has an easy-to-read LCD screen that indicates when the power is on and when the machine will finish according to the countdown of the remaining cooking time.
The LCD display also shows symbols that indicate the need to change the oil, which is a big advantage of this model. Thanks to its ability to monitor the length of time the oil has been in use, the De’Longhi Livenza can let you know when the oil needs to be replaced, thus preventing the risk of countless quarts of good oil being wasted over the years. More conveniently, after each use, if you want to remove cool oil from the deep fryer, simply open the oil drain tap by turning it counterclockwise.
On the control panel, there’s also a setting for melting lard. This especially comes in handy for when you want to use lard instead of oil. Not many deep fryers have this function, so for many users, it’s definitely a bonus.Check Latest Price On Amazon
3. Cuisinart CDF-500 - Best Turkey Deep Fryer
Because the Cuisinart CDF-500 is pricey and comes with a capacity up to 5 liters, we only recommend this fryer for people who want to cook fried foods often and in large batches.
Requires little cooking oil
Excels at deep frying a whole turkey
Short cord length
Like our top pick, this machine has an adjustable temperature control from 175°F to 375°F. It also has an easy-to-rotate timer that can be set in 10-minute increments up to 2 hours. Many users consider this timer incredibly helpful since it prevents overcooking food by enabling the fryer to turn off automatically after the set duration of time.
Featuring a large stainless mesh basket with a cool-touch handle, the Cuisinart CDF-500 is particularly suitable for turkey frying. If you’ve ever used a propane burner to fry an entire turkey, you already know how dangerous it would be if improper frying techniques were applied. Severe burns, house fires, or even casualties can occur if cooking food is left unattended.
With the Cuisinart CDF-500, on the other hand, preparing a turkey for your Thanksgiving holiday is no longer an inherently dangerous undertaking. Plus, because this machine uses infrared heat rather than oil, you have a cooking method that requires just a thin layer of oil to cook food. This makes it a healthier choice to prepare your fried favorites while still being able to reduce the intake of bad fats.
Apart from the ability to cook all your favorite fried foods perfectly, the Cuisinart CDF-500 can also serve as a steamer, allowing you to cook a larger variety of food in different ways. Given its multifunctionality and extra-large capacity, this unit is definitely worth your investment.
Measuring a little less than 2 feet long, the machine’s power cord is noticeably short and does not allow for an extension cord (as it states in bold print). Likely, the manufacturers kept the length short to limit the chances of the appliance being dragged off the countertop, but in doing so, the fryer is forced to sit at the counter’s edge, creating a significant falling hazard. As an additional headache, the cord “sticks” to the machine via weak magnets that have been known to fall off after a slight bump.Check Latest Price On Amazon
4. WeChef - Best Commercial Deep Fryer
The large capacity dual tanks, exceptionally powerful motor, and built-to-last construction make the WeChef an exceptional tool for commercial application. Despite the lack of a timer and an LCD display that allows users to keep track of the cooking process easily, this appliance promises to make the task of deep frying enjoyable more than any model within this price range. Still, at nearly 22 pounds, it’s big and heavy. So, make sure you find an open spot for it to live full time. Or it will weigh on your wrist if you relocate it often.
Dual frying tanks
Two different temperature controls
Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
Easy to clean
Doesn’t include standard temperature scale for the US
With two separate temperature knobs, the WeChef allows you to apply different temperatures to each frying zone. In other words, with this fryer, you can prepare crispy mozzarella sticks and golden brown chicken wings at once without them sticking together. As the temperature controls use the Celsius scale instead of Fahrenheit, you’ll need to convert one temperature to another using the temperature converting chart on the control panel.
The maximum oil capacity of each stainless steel tank is 12 liters. While the machine doesn’t have a drain spout, it’s still particularly easy to drain oil since the tanks are removable, allowing you to pour it out at an angle. The hook-on baskets are made from food-safe stainless steel and reinforced with a layer of plastic. This makes it easier and safer to take sizzling food out of the oil without causing a hot mess.Check Latest Price On Amazon
5. Presto 05420 - Best Electric Deep Fryer
The Presto 05420 is inexpensive, practical, and easy to use. It works well even without an indicator light or temperature control. Since the machine itself is preset to reach the proper frying temperature (between 350°F and 374°F) within 8-10 minutes, all you need to do is plug it in and wait for it to preheat.
Able to maintain the frying temperature automatically
Snap-on lid for easy storage
Includes a handy scooper
Exterior will get hot during cooking
More impressively, as long as you avoid overcrowding the tank, this fryer can maintain the proper frying temperature automatically to prevent the food from absorbing the oil.
According to the manufacturers, this fryer’s able to make four generous servings of French fries with just four cups of oil. So, apart from allowing you to prepare multiple batches of crispy French fries, shrimp, chicken, or onion rings quickly, this gadget also helps save you from wasting a vast amount of oil.
The Presto 05420 measures about 3 pounds with a footprint of 7.5 by 8.5 inches. It’s comparable in size to a residential rice cooker. Since the machine is small and compact, you can make the most of your counter space or even pack it along for an enjoyable picnic in the park. Still, the maximum oil frying capacity is 4 cups. You can only fry a small serving of food at one time.
Be aware that if you buy the Presto 05420, you should additionally buy an optional splatter screen, such as the BergKoch. Or it’ll be hot oil splatters all over your kitchen. Since the machine’s exterior can get extremely hot during the cooking process, you also should avoid touching it. Only the plastic grip in the center portion of the handle is cool to the touch and may be grasped.Check Latest Price On Amazon
6. Costway - Best Small Deep Fryer
Frankly speaking, the Costway can’t compete with a full-sized deep fryer that can make up to ten chicken wings at once. But it may be a great option for anyone with a restricted kitchen or who is on a budget.
Small and lightweight
Unique lid design for fewer splatters
Large viewing window
Heats up quickly
No indicator light for when the oil is ready to cook
With a 3.2-liter oil capacity, this little workhorse is a nice deep fryer for small batches, cooking up to 6 cups of French fries or chicken tenders without costing you a fortune. It’s also among the fastest deep fryers on the market, taking just 5-8 minutes to reach 375°F. So, if you want bigger batches, the machine cooks quickly enough to make two to four small batches of fried food before the first batch gets cold.
Measuring about 8.5 inches tall by 21 inches wide, the Costway won’t take up too much counter space. Its solid exterior looks elegant and ensures the machine will fit well with any kitchen decor. At only 6 pounds, it’s also easy to move in and out of storage. But despite the lightweight construction, this unit is surprisingly well insulated with cool-touch sides. If you accidentally touch the fryer when it’s cooking, there’s no way that it will cause serious burns to your hand.
The cooking tank is removable and non-stick. You can easily wash it by hand or simply put it in the dishwasher to save time. On the lid, there’s a small, transparent window that offers a good look at what’s frying. But we don’t think this is helpful. Although the lid has some steam vents, the steam can build up and fog the window, preventing you from seeing anything.Check Latest Price On Amazon
7. Elite Gourmet - Best Large Deep Fryer
The Elite Gourmet is not the largest deep fryer you can find on the market. But it might be among the few large ones that allow you to fry two different foods or create an entire meal all at the same time. While each small basket can accommodate 1 pound of food, the bonus extra-large 4-quart container impressively holds up to 16.5 cups of oil.
Brushed stainless steel housing
Includes three baskets with cool-touch handles
Suitable for commercial use
Efficient immersed heating element
Has only one temperature knob
However, this flexibility also comes along with a drawback: the machine has only one temperature control; you can’t adjust the oil temperature to accommodate the appropriate frying temperatures for different foods when using the dual tanks.
We appreciate the tool’s lid improves safety by utilizing a cool-touch silicone handle, making it easier for lifting and checking the brownness. Complete with small steam vents and a see-through window, this add-on performs well in its task, ensuring your fried food comes out perfectly each time. Other advanced features include a built-in timer, reasonable cord length, anti-slip rubber feet, dishwasher-safe inner pot, and precise indicator lights.Check Latest Price On Amazon
Top-Rated Deep Fryers Comparison Chart
|Oil Drain System||Warranty (Year)|
|Cuisinart CDF-170||3.4 quarts||No||3|
The Best Oil for Deep Fryers
Oils are as crucial to cooking as the ingredients themselves. While most home cooks often use any oil they like for deep frying, choosing the wrong one can result in off-tasting, burnt food, or even a smoky kitchen.
Ideally, you should use oils that have a high smoke point and can ensure optimum oxidative stability when exposed to high heat. So, before purchasing, you’ll want to check the ingredients list. As it’s important to make sure your oils are mostly saturated and monounsaturated instead of polyunsaturated fats.
This is because polyunsaturated fats contain more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. But this chemical structure changes after reacting with oxygen. As a result, they form various toxic compounds and increase your risk of cancer when heated at high temperatures.
Oils extracted from coconuts, olives, and avocados are high in saturated fats. This provides them the ability to withstand extremely high heat without changing quality during deep frying.
With the large amounts of saturated and monounsaturated fats in their chemical structure, animal fats such as lard, ghee, tallow, and fat drippings are also good options for deep frying.
Depending on the animal’s diet, however, some varieties may have more saturated fatty acids in their fat stores than others. For example, animals that are allowed to roam and eat naturally often have more saturated and monounsaturated fats than those fed by grain.
Related post: Air Fryers vs. Deep Fryers
1. What happens if you put ice in a deep fryer?
Not only ice but all forms of water should avoid being put into hot oil. Because this will cause the oil to splatter, or even go up in flames.
Water freezes at 32°F, while deep fryers operate at temperatures between 300°F and 375°F. This means that, before the ice even touches the hot oil, it starts to melt. By the time it hits the oil, the vast difference in temperature induces the ice to change state to steam too quickly. The sudden change combined with the limited space can result in, at the least, the oil popping and bubbling over; at the most, the ice/oil could explode, depending on how much ice goes into the fryer.
2. How long can you keep oil in a deep fryer?
If your fryer has an airtight lid, you can use it to store the used oil for up to 2 months. Just make sure you remember to filter the oil properly after the first and each subsequent fry.
There’s no easier way to both beautify your kitchen and simplify your frying projects than with a good fryer. Whether you cook on occasion or are ready to tackle more challenging tasks, we hope our list of the best deep fryers will make all the difference.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.
Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.
Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.