If you love eating turkey but are tired of the traditional oven-baked bird, you might want to look into using a turkey fryer. Making a turkey with a turkey fryer is quick, easy, and adds a whole new twist to a conventional dinner.
But what’s all the rage about a turkey fryer, you might wonder? Well, it allows you to deep fry a turkey in minutes! It’s safer and much more convenient than attempting to fry one on the stove which is next to impossible. There are many fryers on the market these days, and most do the same job, which is frying a turkey, but models, features, performance, and price can vary greatly.
So, how do you find the best turkey fryer for your specific needs and preferences? Well, our honest reviews are here to help you out. We’ve done the research and found some of the best turkey fryers available on the market today. Keep reading to find out which product is the right match for you. And, don’t forget to check out our essential buying guide at the end of this article, where we share the most important tips when shopping for a turkey fryer.
The Best Turkey Fryers
Best Overall: Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Turkey FryerOverall, we believe the Char-Broil Big Easy is the best turkey fryer for most people. It’s a propane-powered device meant to be used for outdoor cooking activities. The unit itself is large, fast, and cooks without oil, which is a big plus in the health department.
One of the best higher-end features of this model is the TRU-Infrared technology that ensures a tender, yet crispy turkey each time. The fryer features 16,000 BTU propane burners, so you can expect evenly cooked meat every time.
The capacity of the unit goes up to 16 lbs of meat. You can cook a whole 16 lbs turkey, or combine smaller meats. It’s especially beneficial if versatility is important for you. Aside from turkey, you can cook chicken, pork tenderloin, beef roast, and most large cuts of meat, plus boneless and bone-in ribs.
We especially loved that the unit doesn’t need oil to fry, which automatically means healthier meals without the added calories.
Since the Char-Broil Big Easy is electric and oil-free, there’s no need to fear burns. Plus, it comes with all the essential gadgets needed for safe cooking, like a cooking thermometer, a cooking basket with a lifter, secure lid, and a quick start cooking guide, which also makes the unit beginner-friendly.
Since it uses propane, the Char-Broil Big Easy can only be used outdoors. This means that weather and other external factors can affect your ability to cook turkey exactly when you need it.
Additionally, some customers have noted that the turkey isn’t as crispy as with some traditional oil-based devices.
The Char-Broil Big Easy is a great choice for most people as it’s a propane-powered fryer that’s also user-friendly and safe. The unit is large and can satisfy the needs of every family. It’s also fast and healthy as it fries without oil. Whether you’re a turkey-master or an amateur who wants to learn how to easily prepare the perfect turkey dinner, the Char-Broil Big Easy won’t disappoint you.
Best Quality: Bayou Classic 44-Quart 'Big Bird' KitWhen you have to feed a large family with high standards, the Bayou Classic “Big Bird” turkey fryer is the way to go. This mode is one of the largest in the industry, which makes it suitable for commercial use. Therefore, if you’re a professional cook, have a large family, or you own a restaurant, buying the Bayou Classic “Big Bird” fryer would be a smart choice.
Aside from its quality, the biggest advantage of this model is its capacity. The unit has a 44-qt. body and can easily fry up to 25 lbs of turkey. It’s definitely one of the largest devices available on the market today.
The Bayou Classic “Big Bird” model is made of high-quality aluminum and stainless steel which make the device very durable and powerful. Best of all, it distributes the temperature evenly and without a mistake – something that’s very important for large-scale devices.
The unit is very well-built, so it’s effortless to maintain and clean. The design allows you to easily disassemble it in order to clean it thoroughly. It also features two very well-designed handles and a stainless steel vented lid, so it’s easy to transport it and use it.
Just like our best overall recommendation, the unit comes with a lifter, a meat thermometer, and an insulated glove.
The unit itself might be hard to figure out, as you need to put it together once it arrives. This might not be the best option for complete beginners as you can easily make a mistake.
The Bayou Classic “Big Bird” is an amazing high-end turkey fryer that delivers outstanding performance when it comes to cooking large quantities of meat. The unit is graded for commercial-use and it would be a brilliant choice for large families.
Best on a Budget: Bayou Classic 3025 30Qt Turkey FryerWhen you’re on a budget, the Bayou Classic 3025 has your back. It’s lightweight, yet constructed with high-quality and safety standards in mind. The unit offers some amazing features for a very low price, which is why it deserves the title as the best turkey fryer on a budget.
The unit is incredibly lightweight and fast. The Bayou Classic 3025 can fry a whole turkey in just 45 minutes, which is quite impressive. After that, it’s very easy to transport it and store it.
Fast doesn’t mean less efficient. What we love about the Bayou Classic 3025 is that it’s made from high-quality aluminum that ensures proper circulation around all of the tank, without leaving your turkey half-burned, half-alive – even when the turkey weighs up to 20 lbs.
We also loved how versatile the unit is. Not only can you quickly fry a whole turkey, but you can also use it for cooking soup, shrimp, crabs, corn, peanuts, Low Country Boil, or gumbo.
Finally, the unit comes with all the necessary accessories for safe and comfortable cooking. It features a patented poultry rack, lift hook, thermometer, and a seasoning injector.
Unlike the models we recommended so far, the Bayou Classic 3025 isn’t suitable for smaller chunks of meat. If you also want to use the fryer for chicken, it’s better to go for another model.
If you were looking for the value for money fryer, we’re happy to tell you that you’ve found it. The most surprising aspect of the Bayou Classic 3025 turkey fryer is its price as all the other features place the device among the best of the best fryers on the market.
Best for Commercial Use: Masterbuilt Butterball 1650W XL Turkey FryerThe Masterbuilt Butterball is a very powerful and efficient fryer for both indoor and outdoor use. The unit satisfies all standards for commercial use and comes with a large capacity that makes it a perfect choice for restaurant owners or professional cooks. The Masterbuilt Butterball is very easy to use and features advanced functionalities, which make the cooking process a piece of cake.
The Masterbuilt Butterball Xl is certified for commercial and indoor use. The inner pot is coated with porcelain to keep the oil locked inside. This feature makes it a great choice for restaurants and small businesses, as well as families that enjoy cooking turkey quite often.
The unit uses at least 33% less oil than traditional models, which makes it a healthier option when compared with other oil-based fryers. Plus, it has an oil drain valve which makes cleaning the device a breeze.
When it comes to capacity, the Masterbuilt Butterball can fry up to 20 lbs of turkey.
The unit comes equipped with a digital control panel with a timer, which makes the device a lot easier to operate with, and the whole frying process a lot safer.
Like some of our other recommendations, the Masterbuilt Butterball XL is versatile and suitable for boiling and steaming, aside from frying foods.
Although turkey fryers are generally hard to clean, the Masterbuilt Butterball XL comes with dishwasher safe parts. You can disassemble and toss the pot, basket, lid, and drain valve right in the dishwasher without thinking too much about it.
One concern or frustration is that the unit needs time before it reaches the desired temperature. This can prolong the cooking process, or spend more electricity.
Unfortunately, the unit has a very small cord. It’s designed that way for safety reasons, but it can be a problem finding a place on the countertop with a power outlet right beside it.
Large, versatile, and easy to use and clean, the Masterbuilt Butterball Xl is a high-quality turkey fryer designed to satisfy every need. This unit is a safe bet for most people, but especially those owning a business. When frying turkey is a daily chore and the taste needs to be impeccable, the Masterbuilt Butterball is here to save the day.
The Char-Broil Big Easy is our overall best pick as we believe it’s one of the best turkey fryers available on the market today. The unit represents a balance between a great price, good quality, and essential features. It will give you tender and juicy meat very fast and very conveniently – you only need to push two buttons. The unit can please a lot of families gathering for a turkey dinner.
When looking for a high-quality turkey fryer that can handle a very, very big bird, you get to the Bayou Classic “Big Bird” which is one of the best ones on the market. It’s a large-scale device, great for both personal and commercial use. The unit itself is very professionally built, having in mind the maintenance and cleaning process as well, which is especially beneficial if you work in a restaurant and have to cook a turkey on a daily basis.
The best value-for-money pick is definitely the Bayou Classic 3025, which stands out from the crowd with the high-end functionalities it offers for such a low price. The unit is large, versatile, and very well-built. You’ll also get all the essential accessories to safely make a quick and delicious turkey dinner.
Finally, our pick for a high-quality commercial-grade turkey fryer is the Masterbuilt Butterball Xl model. The unit has everything a business owner can ask for – large capacity, advanced functionalities for easy usage, versatility, high safety standards, and dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleaning.
Everything You Need To Know About Turkey Fryers
Turkey fryers offer a combination of convenience and flavor. Because it’s fried, the turkey skin comes out crunchy and very tasty. Inside, the meat is tender and juicy. It’s the turkey-lovers’ dream.
A Little History
Turkey fryers got a rough and rocky start. When they began to get popular, there were some serious accidents that occurred, some of which were the manufacturers’ fault, while others took place because of the carelessness of those preparing the turkey. Furthermore, frying, in general, has had a bad rep since it was discovered that food fried in grease is very unhealthy.
Frying food has been a practice for hundreds of years. Our ancestors dominantly used frying as a method to make raw food safer – free from bacteria, tastier, and long-lasting. So, why have turkey fryers gotten the bad rep, and what have we learned so far?
It seems that the type of oil used to cook the food is a big factor when it comes to health. When a turkey, or any food, is fried in healthier oils that haven’t been reused and is fried at a temperature that doesn’t cause the turkey to oversaturate, the verdict is a much better one.
Ever since turkey fryers were invented, safety was one of the main concerns. There are a lot of dangers when deep-frying turkeys – turkey fryer fires are responsible for the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage yearly, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The good news is that units are much more safety-oriented now and consumers are more aware of the dangers associated with the device, which has positively affected the demand of turkey fryers in recent years. However, we caution you to always be careful and make sure you’re well informed before working with a turkey fryer.
Plus, when attempting to use any turkey fryer, it is of utmost importance to pay strict attention to safety measures. No matter what safety features the unit comes equipped with; it is imperative to take great caution in all phases of cooking. You will also be wise to have a back-up plan should something go wrong.
Types of Turkey Fryers
There are four types of turkey fryers. There are the ever-popular electric ones that use grease to heat. Then there are those that run on propane and also use grease to heat. And, last but not least, there are both propane and electric models that use air rather than grease to cook.
The type that will best fit you generally depends on what you are looking for in a turkey fryer.
If you are trying to eliminate oil from your diet, one of the air-operated units might be the smart choice.
Many, however, like the propane grease heated ones, so they can enjoy the smoky aroma in the air. Plus, there is no need for an electrical outlet.
Still, others swear by the convenience and quality of electrical grease-heated devices.
What Are the Advantages of a Turkey Fryer?
There are many advantages to owning a turkey fryer, but the first and most obvious one is the cooking time. For example, baking a turkey takes more than four hours, depending on the turkey’s weight. On the other hand, deep-frying the same turkey in a turkey fryer will take more or less an hour, depending on the model. Therefore, when time is a pressing matter, having a turkey fryer is essential.
The second advantage that comes with owning a turkey fryer is the incredible taste. It’s no secret that deep frying only amplifies the turkey’s juicy and tender meat with crispy skin. Thanksgiving dinners are iconic and the perfectly cooked turkey is at the center of this jolly tradition, which is what you’ll get when you buy the best turkey fryer.
Finally, if you choose a no-oil air-fryer, you’ll get a healthier turkey. Whether you bake or fry the turkey, you still need to use oil, which adds a massive amount of calories. On the other hand, many turkey fryers today are electric and can air-cook the turkey for the same time as propane fryers. If an air-fryer matches your needs, you’ll definitely get a healthier turkey for dinner.
How To Find the Best Turkey Fryer?
The best turkey fryer will fry up a great turkey each and every time. However, to do that, it needs to have some basic as well as special features that not every model out there has. This is why it’s important to compare devices and be certain which of the many models suits your needs. To that end, below are some of the things you’ll be wise to consider.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Turkey Fryer
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want an outdoor or indoor turkey fryer. This will affect the heating source, the safety standards, and the price. Typically, indoor turkey fryers are electric and you only need to plug them in to fry your turkey. They’re much more independent (you can leave them while frying) and can still be used outside.
On the other hand, outdoor turkey fryers work on propane, which is the main difference from the indoor turkey fryers. Outdoor turkey fryers can’t be used indoors, but they do have their advantages. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of both types before you make a decision.
The second consideration refers to the fryer’s capacity. Obviously, turkeys are big and you’ll need a large tank to fry the big bird comfortably. While indoor turkey fryers are designed to handle around 14 lbs, outdoor fryers can go up to 20 lbs. Consider how big the turkeys you buy or hunt are to know what tank capacity will be the right choice for your needs.
When buying a turkey fryer, it’s important to think about the lifters as one of the most essential accessories. As the name suggests, the lifter is an attachment that allows you to pick up or lift the turkey from the fryer. Turkey fryers are deep and getting your bird out of the fryer without damaging it, burning yourself, or ruining the outermost crispy shell can be tricky.
Indoor turkey fryers are safer than the outdoor ones, nonetheless, you need to set up high standards when it comes to the safety features of this device. Turkey fryers are big and can easily cause damage if you don’t handle them right. Look for a thermostat, an automatic shutoff feature, or strong lid, among other things.
Before You Go
Cooking a delicious and mouthwatering turkey dinner can be easier than ever thanks to specialized turkey fryers. If you’re a turkey meat lover, then there’s nothing more to think about – buying the right turkey fryer will make your life a lot easier.
Hopefully, our reviews helped you decide on a device that will best fit your specific needs and preferences. Our practical buying advice is also here to guide you while shopping for a turkey fryer. You can use the links we provided to find out more in-depth information about each recommended product, check out current prices, and read customer reviews.
Want to see our favorite turkey fryers one more time before you go? Here they are!
Amazon product information last updated on January 24, 2021. Images, prices and links from Amazon Product Advertising API.