Besides its relatively mess-free operation, a cool touch deep fryer gets its name from the fact that its exterior remains cool to the touch even during use. Whereas most home deep fryers feature a metal exterior that can get exceedingly hot while frying foods, a cool touch unit includes a separate, removable frying pot that rests inside the outer shell. Some models feature a removable mesh basket with a stay-cool handle. Brands including T Fal, Waring, DeLonghi, Rival, Hamilton Beach and Presto offer specialty cool touch deep fryers.
With an immersible 1,500 to 1,800-Watt heating element, cool touch deep fryers heat up quickly and have a fast oil recovery time. Removable dishwasher-safe components usually include the cooking pot or basket and the heating element itself. Select units feature an easy-drain oil spout to empty the appliance of old cooking oil. Other optional design features include a removable control panel with a mylar surface for more cleaning convenience.
In terms of control, cool touch deep fryers may feature an adjustable thermostat, a vented lid with viewing window and an auto shutoff mechanism that trips when the unit overloads. Most units have a 1.5 to 2.5-pound capacity, a temperature ready indicator LED and a 30- to 60-minute timer. Cool touch deep fryers are usually sold at $50 or less.