The best turkey deep fryers will cook perfectly golden-brown and succulent turkeys in less time than oven roasting. Considering that cooking a turkey is no easy task, the best turkey fryers will be powerful, durable and, alongside the best meat thermometers, will ensure the meat is cooked thoroughly.
In addition, they have exceptional capacity to handle extra large poultry or two at once, which is ideal for those festive feasts. Before you decide to host Thanksgiving, you’ll need to know how to season a turkey for tasty results. More importantly, whether you are hosting or simply prefer outdoor cooking, you should always know how to use a turkey fryer safely to protect your family and home.
While the best turkey deep fryers are ideal for large-sized poultry, you can always try out these best air fryer Thanksgiving recipes for small-portioned dinners. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up the best turkey deep fryers right now for the perfect festive feast this holiday.
What are the best turkey fryers?
The best propane turkey fryers usually come with a high-capacity cylinder, and are designed for outdoor use only. These fryers completely submerge the turkey in a vat of oil, and with its higher temperature, gives an evenly crisp skin while keeping the meat tender and succulent on the inside.
Oil-less turkey fryers are still connected to a propane tank but use very little oil, making a healthier alternative. Similar to the best air fryers, it works by infrared technology that circulates hot air around the fryer to create crispier results.
Finally, electric turkey fryers are more suited for the home, and ideal for cooking a smaller turkey or batches. They also tend to be more safe in comparison to propane turkey fryers, with less risk of hot oil spillages or potential hazards.
So whether you want a turkey fryer to handle large birds or an electric model for small frys, we’ve rounded up the best turkey deep fryers to help you decide.
The best turkey fryers you can buy today
As our best overall turkey fryer, the Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer is great for cooking up a feast or hosting a gathering. Known as the Grand Gobbler, this turkey fryer is specifically designed to cook extra-large turkeys of up to 25 pounds. And with a capacity of up to 44 quarts, can even fit two turkeys to cook at once.
The Bayou is well-built with thick, stainless steel legs, offering much-needed stability, and has a 4-inch, 58,000 BTU burner.
As well as producing tender and crispy poultry results, the Bayou is versatile to use all year. In fact, by simply removing the rack and hook, you have the option to use it as a stockpot for dishes like soup, stews, chili or seafood.
It also comes with some handy features including a fry thermometer, seasoning Injector with stainless needle to infuse your meats, and a heat-resistant glove to protect from hot oil. In addition, it comes with a poultry rack, lift hook, vented lid and heavy-duty handles for extra safety.
Perhaps the only downside is it uses a lot of oil, so you would need to factor in the costs for buying gallons in the long-term. However, the sheer capacity and roasting results makes it an ideal fryer all year around.
If you don’t want the hassle of a large, outdoor turkey fryer, the Cuisinart CDF-500 is a great choice for indoor cooking.
As our runner up, it’s impressive features offer a lot more than just frying a tasty turkey, as it can also steam cook a family meal and roast. What’s more, its rotisserie function uses less oil than a traditional turkey fryer, meaning you’ll end up with healthier results and less calories.
In addition, the turkey fryer is equipped with a 20-minute timer, adjustable temperature control and convenient large stainless mesh basket with cool-touch handle.
The Cuisinart is very easy to use with just two cooking settings (fry and steam), making it a hassle-free fryer option. It’s worthwhile noting that while it has a 5-liter capacity, it may not be ideal for large-sized poultry. However, for those lacking space, its relatively compact size is suitable to use and store.
If you’re after a healthier alternative to deep frying, the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer is a great pick. Instead of submerging your turkey in a vat of hot oil, this model uses infrared heat that circulates around the cylinder to give a more crisp and even-roast.
It can accommodate turkeys up to 16 pounds, so it's not best for larger gatherings, but should be fine for most other turkeys. It can reach temperatures of up to 600F, and can cook an average-sized turkey in just over an hour, according to the company.
Handy features include a lifter to safely drop and remove your food, and a meat thermometer to give you precise temperatures. It is also equipped with a front-access grease tray to collect any meat drippings. This makes it much easier to clean with a simple wipe down.
Best of all, there’s no risk of hot oil to burn or spillage, making this a much safer option for a propane turkey fryer.
If you take your outdoor cook-ups seriously or enjoy frying up a feast, the King Kooker Turkey Fryer is another great option. Equipped with a generous 29-quart capacity, it can handle turkeys up to 20 pounds, and comes with another 11-quart fry pan and basket for those smaller batch frys.
And with an incredible 33,000 BTU burner, this can produce evenly-cooked and golden-brown results. What’s more, the turkey fryer is versatile enough to boil corn, potatoes or rustle up tasty seafood gumbos.
Other handy features include a deep fry thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, a convenient ‘fill’ line inside the pot to prevent any oil overspills, and a safety timer with an automatic shut-off function.
It’s worthwhile to mention that the timer needs to be activated every 15 minutes, so the fryer isn’t left unattended for long periods. However, the timer is optional to use so this will depend on your frying preferences.
While the fryer is easy to clean, one downside is the aluminum coating is prone to wear and tear, according to users, but this can be avoided if maintained correctly.
Overall, the King Kooker Turkey Fryer has the power, capacity and great performance to take on your festive feasts.
For those who want a multi-purpose, outdoor fryer kit for a great price, the Barton Turkey Deep Fryer is a strong choice. The kit comes with a powerful 37,000 BTU gas stove, burner stand and large 30-quart. pot, ideal for preparing family meals. It’s also designed to hold higher temperatures, creating better cooking results.
In addition, it comes with a regulator, temperature thermometer, hanger and marinade sauce syringe to ensure your turkeys remain tasty.
A couple of minor downsides include not having a handy timer, which means you’ll have to closely monitor your cooking. Plus, assembling the fryer kit can be a little tricky. However, these can be overlooked by its sheer power, capacity and top performance.
What to look for when buying the best turkey fryer
Before you invest in the best turkey fryer, there are some things you need to consider. First, how many people are you cooking for? If you have a smaller family, then you don't necessarily need the largest-capacity turkey fryer. If, on the other hand, you have a lot of cousins coming for dinner, you'll want a fryer that can handle the largest size turkey possible. Bear in mind, the more capacity, the more gallons of oil you’ll use. So if you only need it for small frys or will only use it a couple of times in a year, it’s best to go for a smaller fryer.
Do you want a fryer that requires oil or an oil-less fryer? For a healthier alternative, there are oil- free fryers available that use radiant or infrared heat to ‘fry’ the turkey. Typically, using oil produces more crispy and tasty cooking results, which many prefer for their turkeys. However, these options are higher in fat content.
What’s more, it’s also worth looking at what features and accessories your fryer kit comes with. These can include a vented stainless steel lid, a perforated poultry rack and grab hook for easy lifting and removing, built-in thermometers, seasoning injectors or an insulated glove for safety.
Turkey fryer safety tips
Turkey fryers require a lot of hot oil over an open flame, so always read the manual before using the best turkey fryer.
• Always place the turkey fryer outdoors on a flat, nonflammable surface away from any wooden structure.
• Make sure you don't overfill the fryer with oil; do a test run by submerging your turkey in the pot with water to make sure that it won't overflow.
• Thoroughly dry your turkey before submerging it in hot oil, and never put a frozen turkey directly into the oil.
• Make sure you wear plenty of safety equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses to avoid getting splashed with hot oil.
• Use a thermometer to ensure that the oil doesn't overheat; check out our picks for the best meat thermometers.
Most turkey fryers are equipped with safety features, and it’s worthwhile knowing what these are. The most important safety feature is an automatic timer that will shut off your fryer, and prevent any overheating or possible fire.
Other safety features include a vented lid, a lifter to help remove the cooked turkey safely, and a heat-resistant glove to prevent scalds.
For more tips, be sure to check out our guide on how to use your turkey fryer safely. And things could get messy after you've cooked your turkey, so here's how to remove common Thanksgiving Day stains quickly and easily.