We’re going deep fry crazy over here at The Online Grill - we’ve been making our own falafel, fritters and fries for weeks now, and you can do the same with a deep fryer.
These wondrous devices range in price from under £20 to almost £200. However, obviously this price range reflects a real range in quality and features.
You don’t want to be stuck with an item with irritating flaws, so here’s our guide to the 5 best deep fryers to help you get the most bang for your buck.
Heading our list is this model from T-fal. It’s a single basket fryer, but the 3.5 liters of volume that it offers gives you plenty of room to play with. It’s also a powerful beast, giving you a quick heat-up time.
Not only this, but it has an immersion heating system that retains heat for longer, making it far more power-efficient than other models.
Us lazy folks here at The Online Grill love anything that takes the hassle out of cooking, so we’re relieved to hear that everything besides the power cord and control unit is dishwasher washable. It also has a brilliant oil filtration system that makes cleanup simple.
This impressive deep fryer from Secura offers enough cooking capacity for two side-by-side baskets, or one large one. Not only this, but it boasts an incredible 1700 watts of power and 4.2 liters of cooking volume.
On top of this, it comes with an oil tank for easy clean-up, and an automatic shut-off feature to help you avoid overcooking your food.
Ever present when it comes to kitchen appliances, Hamilton have yet again delivered a top of the range product that ranks among the very best.
This deep fryer offers the choice of either 2 or 3 basket capacity, and hosts a respectable 3 liters of volume. It features easy-to-use temperature and timer controls, and is simple to take apart for easy cleaning. What more could you want?
It should come of no surprise that Hamilton has two products in our list, and it’s with good reason: They consistently make the best kitchen appliances.
Unlike the 3-liter version above, this one has a more modest 2 liters of volume, allowing one simple basket to be placed inside it. While this might seem to dwarfed by its brother in terms of capacity, it is by no means inferior in performance. Make no mistake, this is a powerful cooker!
The perfect option if you cooking for single people or small groups.
Rounding off our top 5 is this compact version from Proctor Silex. It’s the smallest in our list at 1.5 liters, making it ideal for preparing individual portions of food.
Despite its modest size, it has a great temperature control gauge, and comes easy to assemble and therefore take apart for cleaning. It might be compact, but it’s a sturdy appliance and completely safe to use. Great for first timers
Here’s what to look out for when looking for your new deep fryer...
How much a fryer can hold is probably the most important thing to establish before you buy. Some are compact models, designed for single use by individuals, and some are models boasting two baskets, allowing you to cook food in batch.
Single person models tend to have a cooking volume of about three cups, which is enough for a small batch of chicken or onion rings, whereas larger models have a capacity of at least eight cups.
Top of the line fryers can be expensive, so establishing which end of this scale your needs fall on should take you a long way in finding the right size for you.
It’s not often at The Online Grill that we feel we need to address safety - all kitchen appliances needed to be used sensibly - but with deep fryers it’s especially important to be careful.
The best fryers will feature a ‘cool wall’ body. These act as a breaker, stopping the red-hot heat from the appliance’s interior burning you. Likewise, the best models will have a viewing window, allowing you to keep an eye on the progress of your food without having to open it up and risk exposing you to boiling oil.
Other key safety features are an auto-switch-off, to prevent the fryer overheating, and a locking lid to prevent any excruciatingly hot oil or steam harming you. Perhaps most importantly though is a breakaway power cord, which will detach from the fryer if anyone trips on or catches the cord. We can’t emphasize enough just how important this feature is.
Now for the least fun part of deep frying: Cleaning up. It’s important to keep ease of cleaning at the forefront of your mind when shopping around simply because a clean fryer won’t allow your food to be flavored by left-over and old grease.
The easiest appliances to clean will be the ones with removable and dishwasher-safe parts. Not only this, but we recommend looking for fryers that have drainage tubes or oil compartments, which will help you drain any residual oil away.
Temperature ControlIt goes without saying that different foods need different cooking temperatures, and the best air fryers will be able to accommodate this.
Cheap models will only have an on/off switch, or low-medium-high settings, which can be quite frustrating to use. However, high quality appliances will allow you much wider scale to operate within, giving you much greater control over the precise temperature within your food cooks. Usually this comes in the form of an adjustable thermostat with a digital display, offering you far greater versatility.
Also to consider…
Here are a few other things to look out for when choosing your new air fryer:
Timer: A digital timer will go a long way in helping you track cooking time, and some fryers will even have an auto shut-off feature to help you avoid overcooking your food.
Power: The higher the wattage on your fryer, the quicker your oil will heat up and be ready for use.
Basket hooks: These allow you to hang your food once it’s been fried, helping you to drain it over the oil compartment easily.Non-stick interior: Anything that helps make kitchen tools easier to clean is good in our book, so look out for fryers with non-stick interiors.