Useful for everything from making homemade onion rings and fried chicken to cooking whole turkeys for the holidays, small deep fryers are fully self-contained countertop appliances. Making far less of a mess than trying to fry foods on the stovetop, small deep fryers make deep-fried cooking hassle free. Turkey cookers from brands like Bayou Classic are better if used outdoors or on a porch, as they are bigger yet still compact. Other brands include Waring, Presto, Rival and T-Fal. Costs start around $50 and can reach up to around $250 for the most comprehensive home units.
Deep Fryer Design
Small deep fryers typically feature a stainless steel outer shell, while larger outdoor fryers for turkeys and other foods may feature a cast-iron design. Indoor units are electrically powered and feature a fully adjustable thermostat to control the output. An oil-ready indicator light tells the operator when it's time to submerge the frying basket(s). Small units may feature either a splatter guard or lid with viewing window to prevent big messes.
The immersible heating element as well as the enamel-coated frying reservoir are removable, allowing for quick cleanup after use. Frying capacity varies with the unit. Most small models can accommodate up to 12 cups of oil. Other common features include a digital time, auto shutoff mechanism and/or breakaway cord and safety indicator lights.