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Ditch the drive-thru lane with your own deep fryer
What is a deep fryer?
A deep fryer is a small kitchen appliance that lets you make fried foods right from the comfort of your own home. Food is submerged in oil at a very high temperature, usually anywhere from 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then cooked until it’s crispy. Usually, though not always, they include a basket that you can use to lower items into the oil then pull up once the food is fully cooked.
Often used in professional kitchens, the best deep fryers for home use range from a mini deep fryer that’s about 1.5L in size up to a much larger 5L fryer that can make big batches of food. A 3L deep fryer, for example, can hold up to about 12 cups of liquid, making up to 15 chicken tenders or 12 servings of French fries.
Usually made of stainless steel, they can be used to fry everything from chicken to donuts, fish, tempura vegetables, onion rings, egg rolls, corn dogs, and more.
What are the different types of deep fryers and are they safe?
Larger deep fryers tend to come with a basket (or two) for dropping the food inside, while others simply have a large open space in which you drop foods like donuts, egg rolls, or corn dogs, and let them cook, then scoop them out.
They are safe to use, with features on many models like grounded cords, timers so you don’t leave items cooking too long, and automatic shut-off. There are also safety features like metallic lids to prevent burns (and minimize smells) and handles that remain cool to the touch.
What to look for in a deep fryer?
When selecting a deep fryer, look for the safety-related features noted above. Check the power and temperature range to ensure it meets the recipes you want to experiment with. An adjustable thermostat lets you tailor the cook temperature based on whether you’re frying up some chicken breasts or making some homemade donuts.
Look for one that heats up quickly – some have immersed elements that make direct contact with the oil, thus heating rapidly and efficiently.
A ready indicator light is handy so you know exactly when to put the food inside for optimal cooking.
A viewing window or transparent lid is ideal so you can see the cooking status inside, and dishwasher-safe and removable parts can make clean-up a breeze. And find out how the oil can be drained to ensure it’s a simple and safe process.
Deep fryers with baskets make it easy to cook things like French fries and onion rings, then pull them out easily once done. The best deep fryers have filtering systems that can separate food particles from the oil, leaving clean oil to use for the next cooking session.