Best fryers to buy for a juicy turkey this Thanksgiving

Freddie Prinze, Jr turkey recipe using Butterball Turkey, photo provided by Butterball
Freddie Prinze, Jr turkey recipe using Butterball Turkey, photo provided by Butterball /

Deep frying turkeys may become your new favorite prep for the star of the meal

Eating turkey for dinner is synonymous with Thanksgiving and it is the main entree of choice for most families. Even in 2020, turkey is sure to still be a hot item on Thanksgiving Day. There’s a debate on which method is the best for preparing your turkey as some people prepare to roast, some prepare smoking a turkey, and others prefer to deep fry their turkey.

Frying often produces a moister turkey breast than the roasting method, and despite what you may think, the difference in calories can be minimal. The added bonus of crispy skin makes deep-frying my preferred method of turkey preparation. There is more of a risk for fire or burning when using a deep fryer to prepare your turkey, but the danger is not what it used to be.

Since 2020 is likely to alter the way many of us celebrate Thanksgiving and the number of people we celebrate it with, you may want to consider taking a chance and deep-frying your turkey or turkey breast.

If you are willing to take the chance, you probably will not regret it. It not only dramatically speeds up the cooking process (generally less than an hour to fry) but it could help you make the juiciest turkey you have ever eaten.

At this point, there are a variety of different types of turkey fryers. Most of them require using the fryers outdoors which can be difficult this time of year depending on where you live. Most require the use of oil and peanut oil is usually the oil of choice. This is due to its high smoke point which will keep your turkey from getting a burnt flavor and keep your fryer from turning into a smokestack.

Here are some of the best turkey fryer options currently available on the market. Trying one of these options will help you not to regret your choice of frying your Thanksgiving turkey.

Cuisinart Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer and Steamer: This fryer can fry up to a 14-pound turkey to completion in an hour and it uses less oil than traditional turkey fryers. One of the things I love most about this fryer is that it also has the ability to steam up to a full meal so you can steam a whole clam bake in the machine. You can also use it for frying appetizers such as french fries, onion rings, and tater tots. It also contains a removable oil container for easier cleanup. It is a bit more expensive at a SRP of $249.95.

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-Less Turkey Fryer: This turkey fryer is an oil-less propane model that can hold up to a 16-pound turkey. It features what Char-Broil calls TRU-Infrared technology which gives even heat for an even fried turkey resulting in juicier meat. You can also use it for chicken and roasts but for not much more. It does have an easy light rotary ignition and the lack of oil will save a very good amount of money on the frying day. The SRP for The Big Easy is $119.99.

Masterbuilt Butterball 10 Liter XL Electric Fryer, Boiler, Steamer: This model allows for the ability to fry, steam, and boil so it does not have to go to storage during the rest of the year. The Masterbuilt holds up to a 20-pound turkey and is made to be for countertop use. It does well for clam boils along with frying your turkey on Thanksgiving and you can also do other big steam meals or jobs. Masterbuilt touts that this fryer uses ⅓ less oil than traditional fryers while still testing to commercial standards. The SRP for this fryer is $99.99.

Bayou Classic 30-qt Aluminum Turkey Fryer Kit: This is the classic style of turkey fryer when I think about frying turkeys. This fryer uses a 30-quart aluminum stockpot that holds up to an 18-pound turkey. Cooking time can be as fast as 45 minutes which is a huge plus. Propane is used as the energy source and the fryer kit comes with a stand for safer placement outdoors.

Along with the stand you also receiver a fry thermometer, seasoning injector, and a lift hook and rack. This is the type of fryer that requires more care when in use, but it also makes you think of fall days waiting outside with your frying turkey while having a warm drink. You can also use the stockpot for other meals such as chilis, soups, and stews for a bit of extra use. The SRP for the fryer is $105.00.

There are plenty of turkey fryer options for those looking to fry large turkeys

King Kooker 29 Qt Stainless Steel Turkey Frying Cooker Package: This is similar to the Bayou Classic model but instead you get a stainless steel stockpot as opposed to aluminum. The added benefit to the King Kooker model is it will hold a 20-pound turkey rather than 18. This package also includes a lift hook and a deep-fry thermometer. The SRP for the King Kooker is $127.80.

Masterbuilt Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer: This Masterbuilt fryer is made for outdoor use, but you have the advantage of using it without propane or oil. One of the best things about this fryer is that it includes a tempered glass lid which will allow you to keep an eye on your turkey without taking the lid off and losing heat.

It holds up to an 18-pound turkey and it has a removable drip pan for easier cleanup. It is made for outdoor use, but one of the things I really like about this fryer is that it also has a woodchip box option so you can use the device as a smoker. The SRP for this fryer is a reasonable $99.99.

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No matter what turkey fryer you choose, make sure to read the manual and be careful of the high temperatures and oil if the fryer is using the oil.

Make sure to keep your skin covered in case of splashing oil and if you do not get a thermometer with your fryer, make sure to get both an oil and meat thermometer for proper gauging of heat. After that, enjoy your juicy turkey with the crispy skin.