Deep fried turkey, the meal that is synonymous with Thanksgiving, can be easily achieved at home with the right home turkey fryer kit indoors or outdoors.
For the health conscious or those into low fat meals, the oil less turkey fryer is a good alternative. It is also safer to use, minus the hot oil.
Whether done indoors or outdoors, deep frying a turkey needs your full attention.
It’s also a great time to bond with family and friends.
What is the best turkey fryer for home use?
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is the best turkey fryer for home use?
- 2 Indoor Turkey Fryer vs Outdoor Turkey Fryer
- 3 Top 3 Indoor Electric Turkey Fryers
- 4 Top 3 Outdoor Propane Turkey Fryers
- 5 Conclusion
Well, actually it depends on a number of things, more accurately, your preferences and needs, not so much on the fryer itself.
Indoor or outdoor turkey fryers?
Do you have kitchen space for indoor use? The Butterball indoor extra large turkey cooker measures 18.3″ L x 16.14″ W x 14.8″ H.
Do you mind the lingering smell of fried turkey everywhere in your house?
Or you prefer doing it outdoors? Can you handle a large pot of boiling oil without feeling stress out? Do you have kids or pets running around? Do you have someone to help you?
You prefer oil less frying? This is great if you do not like to handle a pot of boiling oil. It is also great if you are into low fat meals.
Indoor Turkey Fryer vs Outdoor Turkey Fryer
(Electric turkey fryers vs propane turkey fryers)
Electric turkey fryers for indoor use
- The indoor electric turkey fryer sits nicely on your kitchen countertop. It is convenient and easy to use. There is no heavy propane cylinder tank and burner to carry around.
- The turkey fryer for indoor use comes with safety features such as thermostat control and auto shut off when temperature of oil gets too hot. Its temperature control feature helps to maintain the temperature at a maximum of 375 degrees F.
- A lighted green light indicates the oil is ready for frying. A timer will alert you when turkey is ready.
- Some indoor units such as the Masterbuilt Butterball electric indoor turkey cooker uses 33% less oil than the traditional outdoor fryers.
- Drain valve feature allows for easy draining of oil.
- It takes a longer time to heat up compared to propane fryers. A pot filled with 2 gallons of oil takes about 30 minutes to heat up.
- You can fry your turkey, chicken, fish fillets etc. any time of the year. The weather has no control over your frying plans.
Propane turkey fryers for outdoor use
- The outdoor propane turkey fryer kit normally consists of a burner, a deep stainless steel or aluminum pot to hold the oil and turkey, a deep frying thermometer to clip onto the side of the pot, a rack for the turkey to sit on and a metal hook to raise or lower the turkey. Some sets come with asauce injector and a frying basket. You would still need to buy your tank of propane.
- Heating up the oil is faster compared to the indoor electric turkey cookers.
- Some of these fryers such as the Brinkman turkey fryer, have temperature sensor and it will auto shut off the propane gas once temperature of pot gets too high.
- If you intend to cook a turkey that is heavier than 20 pounds, then you will need to use the outdoor propane fryer. Indoor models are for smaller birds.
Oil free turkey fryer
- There are 2 types of oil less turkey cooker. One type is heated up using an electric element and the other type uses a propane tank.
- The electric oil free fryer can be used indoors under covered porch or garage /outdoors (preferably outdoors) whereas the propane oil free cooker has to be used outdoors.
- The oil free fryer for turkey takes a longer time to cook your turkey. It needs about 10 minutes per pound of turkey compared to 3.5 – 4 minutes per pound by the propane or electric fryer that needs oil.
- Some come with a built-in wood chip box for your special wood smoke flavor. When using smoker, you have to cook outdoors as burning wood chips release the poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Good ventilation is essential.
- With the oil free cooker for turkey, you get to save the drippings to be used as sauce or gravy. You can also stuff the bird with your favorite stuffing such as wild rice, carrots, onions, herbs etc.
- You can marinade the outside skin of the bird with seasonings.
- You get to save on oil using the oil free turkey cooker.
- It is easier to clean up and no messy oil to store or dispose of.
- Peanut oil is the recommended oil due to its high smoke point. For those allergic to peanuts, the oil free version would eliminate this disadvantage.
- There is less risk involved since oil is not used. There is no danger of hot oil spilling and starting a fire, a safe hassle-free way to cook turkey.
Top 3 Indoor Electric Turkey Fryers
Judging from customers feedback and consumer reports, these are the 3 best turkey fryers topping the list of popular turkey fryers to buy if intending to use indoors.
- Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Extra Large Capacity
- The Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster
- Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer
Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Extra Large Capacity
With a sleek looking stainless steel body, the Masterbuilt Butterball indoor cooker has a porcelain-coated inner pot that keeps the oil safely inside.
It is designed in such a way that 33% less oil is needed compared to traditional fryers.
The large capacity fryer caters to a 14 pound bird while the xl model can easily accommodate up to a 20 pound turkey.
An aluminum cooking basket with drain clip is included. Its drain valve feature makes for easier cleaning.
Powered by a 1650 watt heating element for quick heating, it has safety features such as a thermostat control to maintain temperature at 375 degrees F. The auto shut off feature kicks in when temperature gets above the maximum of 375 degrees.
Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer
The healthy turkey fryer, just like the healthy air fryer, needs no addition of oil. Latent heat is used to seal the turkey and keeps the juices inside. The meat is slowly roasted resulting in a crispy skin and moist, juicy interior.
The machine comes with double wall construction and a 1650 watt heating element. With the oil free fryer, you can save the drippings that collect on the removable drip pan at the bottom of the appliance.
This model comes with a built-in wood chip box for creating that extra smoky flavor. When using the wood chip box feature, make sure you are cooking outdoors where ventilation is good. Poisonous carbon monoxide is released by the smoking wood.
Can cook up to an 18 pound bird which will take about 3 hours.
Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer/Steamer
This Waring Pro turkey fryer kit measuring 19.25 inches x 19.75 inches x 22.88 inches, comes with a 1800 watt heating element and a stainless steel container which requires 2.5 gallons of oil to fill up to maximum level.
The vented lid for prevention of pressure build-up is also stainless steel.
Power on and oil ready indication lights make the fryer user-friendly. A 120 minute timer with audible alert, an adjustable dial from 175 to 375 degrees and a front drain spigot for draining out your used oil makes this cooker easy to use and clean.
The lid and basket is dishwasher safe.
Safety features include stay cool grip handles for basket as well as auto switch off. When temperature reaches 450 degrees F, the machine will automatically switches off. Fryer comes with non-slip base.
It can cook up to an 18 pound bird taking about 3.5 -4 minutes per pound of bird.
An aluminum frying/rotisserie basket is included with the turkey kit. This holds 8 pounds of food. When the rotisserie is used to fry the turkey, you get to use less oil compared to traditional deep fryers, about 1/3 less oil. This is because the turkey is rotated during the cooking process thus ensuring that all parts of the turkey gets into the hot oil. It is not necessary for the turkey to be completely covered by the oil.
Top 3 Outdoor Propane Turkey Fryers
These 3 turkey fryers for outdoors with ratings of 4-4.5 stars, have a lot of positive reviews among Amazon customers.
- The Bayou Classic 1118 32-Quart Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
- Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer
- The King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package with 2 Aluminum Pots
Bayou Classic 1118 32-Quart Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
The whole set includes:
- A polished 22 gauge stainless steel 32-quart stockpot (12″ x 17.5″ ) with heavy duty handles
- Perforated stainless steel basket for boiling or steaming
- 3 piece detachable skewer set each 8″ in length
- Vented lid
- Perforated stainless steel turkey rack
- One ounce marinade disposable seasoning injector
- 12″ stainless steel thermometer 50 degrees – 750 degrees F
- 12″ stainless steel grab hook.
The whole set of turkey fryer accessories are made of commercial grade 18/8 stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.
You will need to buy a sturdy burner separately. One that comes highly recommended is the Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove with its sturdy 4 legs and heavy duty steel frame. Another good burner is the 3 legged Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker, Propane.
The Bayou Classic stainless steel pot comes with an indentation that allows the fryer basket to sit 1.75″ above the base. You can also use it to steam or boil seafood, crawfish, lobsters, clams and vegetables.
The stainless steel pot can accommodate a big turkey up to 16 pounds.
The 3 skewers make it possible to fry 3 chickens at the same time in just 20 minutes. You attach the skewers to the turkey rack.
You can also get the turkey fryer kit which includes the burner, the Bayou Classic Propane Turkey Fryer Kit – Burner and 32qt Stainless Steel Pot
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer
Making use of Heat Wave infrared patented technology, the whole cooking process is done inside a double-wall cylindrical cooking chamber, powered by a fully enclosed propane burner in a stainless steel casing. There is no hot oil to handle.
Rotary ignition by just turning the control knob to start the propane flowing.
Stay cool handles add to the user-friendly features.
Heat is distributed evenly. Infrared cooking results in crispy skin and juicy tender meat. Rubs and seasoned flavorings on the skin is possible since no oil is used. Stuffing the bird is possible too.
A removable drip pan underneath the cooking chamber collects drippings to be made into delicious gravy. Meat thermometer and strainer basket also included with this oil free turkey fryer kit.
Measuring 21.1″L x 21.1″W x 24.5″H, the Char-Broil oil less turkey fryer is powered by propane and a 16,000 BTU burner.
The cooking chamber can accommodate up to 16 pound bird or 8 pounds of roast ribs. The normal estimation is about 10 minutes per pound of the bird. Internal temperature of meat should reach 165 degrees F.
King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package with 2 Aluminum Pots
The 12″ King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker Package consists of:
- Heavy duty welded outdoor aluminum cooker
- 33,000 BTU Cast Burner
- 29 Qt. Aluminum Turkey Pot with Lid and a punched aluminum basket for boiling
- Turkey Rack and Lifting Hook
- 11 Qt. Aluminum Fry Pan and basket with heat resistant handles
The flame can be lowered or raised using the adjustable regulator with battery operated timer.
The cooker pot can easily fits a 20 pound turkey. It takes about 3.5 minutes per pound of bird. A 20 pound bird will take about 70 minutes (slightly above an hour).
There’s a safety switch controlling the gas. This battery operated timer located on the hose and regulator will automatically shut off the propane gas after every 15 minutes. This means that you’ll have to reset the timer before the 15 minutes is up in order to get a continuous supply of the gas. The advantage is that you’ll have to keep a close watch on your fryer which you should anyway, disadvantage is that it gets a bit tedious judging from the customers comments.
If boiling seafood, crabs, crawfish etc. the pot of water takes about 15 – 20 minutes to come to a full boil.
The pot doesn’t come with oil drainage valve. You’ll have to pour out the oil when it has completely cooled down.
The King Kooker portable propane turkey fryer is a CSA Design Certified Unit
You have to take the necessary precautions if frying with a pot of boiling oil.
The turkey has to be completely thawed ( takes about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator or approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight ) and dried thoroughly ( remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature at least 45 minutes before frying) before putting into the hot oil.
When temperature of the oil has reached 375 degrees, switch off the gas before slowly lowering the bird into the hot oil. Then relight back the fire and maintain temperature at 350 degrees.
Make sure there is nothing flammable around your turkey pot and burner
Heavy duty cooking gloves are necessary.
Standby an all-purpose fire extinguisher for the unexpected.
Whether indoors or outdoors, frying your bird in the turkey fryer frees up much needed oven space for other baked goodies during the Thanksgiving feast day.
A fried turkey cooks in one third the time compared to roasting a turkey in the oven. A 15 pounds fried turkey takes about an hour compared to the roasted turkey’s 3 hours in the oven. This would make a huge difference if you are serving 3 -4 delicious turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Besides, a turkey fryer is not just about frying turkeys. You can fry, boil and steam a number of food items in the turkey pot.
Delicious fried turkey with its crispy skin and flavorful moist tender flesh is just too irresistible. You should really consider having a home turkey fryer among your list of essential cooking appliances.