Best Turkey Fryer in 2021 - Backyard Boss
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Best Turkey Fryer in 2021

One of the greatest challenges of entertaining during the holiday season is cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. This festive meal has earned a reputation over the years of often being dry and overcooked, taking away from the otherwise delicious flavor. If you’re on the search for a better solution, we may just have the answer.

Turkey fryers are a fun way to bring a new twist to your traditional holiday dinner. They allow you to cook your turkey in a fraction of the time, resulting in a juicy, tender turkey with crispy skin that you can’t replicate with any other cooking method.

In this guide, we’re going to look at how to find the best turkey fryer for your needs. Try something new this season, and you may never go back to the traditional roasted turkey again!

The Backyard Boss Top Turkey Fryer in 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package - Best Turkey Fryer in 2021King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package
  • Propane
  • Up to 20 Lb Turkey
  • Includes Lifting Hook, Rack, Fry Thermometer, Fry Pan and Basket with Heat Resistant Handle
Check The Price!
Masterbuilt MB20012420 Electric Fryer, Boiler and Steamer - Best Turkey Fryer in 2021Masterbuilt MB20012420 Electric Fryer, Boiler and Steamer
  • Electric
  • Up to 20 Lb Turkey
  • Includes Cooking Basket and Lifting Hook
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Bayou Classic Oversized Turkey Deep Fryer Kit - Best Turkey Fryer in 2021Bayou Classic Oversized Turkey Deep Fryer Kit
  • Propane
  • Turkeys in Excess of 25+ Lbs
  • Includes Poultry Rack, Grab Hook, Seasoning Injector, Thermometer, and Insulated Glove
Check The Price!
Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer - Best Turkey Fryer in 2021Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer
  • Propane
  • Up to 16 Lb Turkey
  • Includes Cooking Basket, Lifter, and Meat Thermometer
Check The Price!
GasOne B-5155 Propane Burner with Steamer Pot  - Best Turkey Fryer in 2021GasOne B-5155 Propane Burner with Steamer Pot
  • Propane
  • Up to 14 Lb Turkey
  • Includes Steamer/Cooking Tray
Check The Price!

Why You Can Trust Us

As avid campers and hikers, my husband and I always explore new ways to cook our meals free from the traditional oven. While this often involves cooking over an open fire or using a barbeque, we never back down from a new experience. Each year, we head out for some cold weather camping with the family and enjoy our holiday dinner surrounded by fresh air, but this had us thinking. What options do we have for cooking a turkey without access to a kitchen?

After a lot of research, we found ourselves intrigued by the idea of deep-frying the bird with a propane-powered fryer.

The research phase introduced us to a whole world of turkey fryers that we weren’t, at the time, aware even existed. However, the more we learned, the more excited we were. After trying a turkey fryer for the first time, we were hooked. Since that initial experience, we have experimented with multiple fryers in our use and while cooking with friends and family.

I have combined my personal experiences with the opinions of the Backyard Boss team and researched the many products currently available to create this guide for anyone interested in trying a deep fryer this holiday season.

Best for Outdoor Frying

King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package
    This deep-frying package includes everything you need to fry a turkey up to 20lbs for your next holiday gathering.

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Why We Like It: This aluminum turkey fryer from King Kooker includes everything you will need to deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey or even cook your crawfish boil to enjoy with family and friends. 

The 29 qt. aluminum pot is large enough to fry a turkey up to 20 lbs. In addition, this package includes an aluminum basket and lid, aluminum fry pan and basket with a cool-touch handle, deep-fry thermometer, and battery-operated timer. These additional accessories allow you to monitor the oil temperature and cook time, using the adjustable temperature control on the regulator to make the perfect holiday feast.

The King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package is designed specifically for outdoor cooking and is not safe to use indoors. It is propane-powered, easily connecting to a standard 20 lb tank. Aluminum pots are lighter weight than the stainless-steel varieties. However, some users have reported that aluminum dents easily from regular use.

Who Should Buy It: If you are searching for a reliable outdoor turkey fryer with all the necessary tools and features, the King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package is a great choice.

Best for Indoor Frying

Masterbuilt MB20012420 Electric Fryer, Boiler and Steamer
    Allowing for safe indoor frying of your favorite foods, this electric fryer, boiler, and steamer is a great solution for your day-to-day cooking needs.

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Why We Like It: The Masterbuilt MB20012420 Electric Fryer, Boiler, and Steamer is a reliable XL electric fryer capable of frying a turkey weighing up to 20 lbs. 

It features a removable hinged lid, built-in drain valve, and dishwasher-safe components to make clean-up quick and easy. Its 3-in-1 design will replace multiple kitchen appliances by allowing you to fry, steam, or boil all your favorite foods with a single piece of cooking equipment.

Indoor turkey fryers from Masterbuilt heat the oil enough to cook your turkey to a safe internal temperature, but they maintain a lower temperature than the outdoor models. Some customers advise that this prevents the deep-fried turkey from having the same crisp skin that is achieved with outdoor propane models. However, it allows you to safely cook in your kitchen, on your back patio, or anywhere else where a power connection is available.

Who Should Buy It: This indoor electric fryer is an ideal solution for those with limited or no outdoor space available to use a propane fryer, such as those living in apartments and condos.

Best for Frying Larger Turkeys

Bayou Classic Oversized Turkey Deep Fryer Kit
    Featuring an oversized 42 qt. aluminum pot, this deep fryer kit will allow you to easily cook a turkey large enough for your next big family gathering.

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Why We Like It: Turkey fryers are gaining popularity for gatherings and family holidays. However, most standard outdoor fryers are designed to accommodate turkeys up to approximately 20 lbs. 

This fryer includes a 42 qt aluminum turkey pot, capable of cooking a 25lb + turkey while still maintaining a light enough weight to allow you to move it as needed. However, its aluminum construction isn’t as strong as a stainless-steel pot. It means that it can be dented easier. In addition to the propane burner and oversized pot, this fryer kit also includes a perforated poultry rack, grab hook, marinade injector, and thermometer.

While the larger size is convenient when cooking for bigger groups, it also carries a higher level of risk. The included thermometer allows you to monitor the oil temperatures, taking the proper precautions needed to cook a delicious turkey while keeping everyone safe. The fryer features a high-pressure burner, an easy-to-adjust brass control valve, a strong braided connection hose, and a 360-degree windscreen protection shield.

Who Should Buy It: The large size of the Bayou Classic Oversized Turkey Deep Fryer Kit makes it an excellent choice for those cooking for a large group of people.

Best Oil-Free Turkey Fryer

Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer
    Enjoy a juicy holiday turkey with a crisp fried skin while avoiding the risks of working with hot oil in a traditional turkey fryer.

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Why We Like It: If the risk associated with traditional outdoor cookers makes you nervous, there is another option on the market. 

The Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer uses infrared cooking technology to give you a crispy exterior with juicy and tender turkey meat for your next holiday dinner. Not only does infrared heat mean that this fryer is safer than most traditional outdoor cookers, but it’s also more cost-effective by sparing you the cost of cooking oil for each meal. In addition to the fryer itself, this turkey fryer kit includes a cooking basket, basket lifting tool, meat thermometer, removable drip tray, and quick start cooking guide.

Another reason to consider switching to an infrared oil-less turkey fryer is the health benefits. Experts have warned that cooking with vegetable-based oils isn’t always as healthy as we would often like to believe. Instead, infrared technology involves the hot air circulation around the turkey, providing even and efficient cooking. The fryer is powered by fully enclosed 16,000 BTU propane burners inside a double-wall cooking chamber. It’s a great choice for turkey, chicken, beef roasts, ribs, pork, and more.

Who Should Buy It: Adventurous cooks looking to enjoy the crisp and delicious flavor of a fried turkey without the use of cooking oils should consider the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer.

Best Budget Turkey Fryer

GasOne B-5155 Propane Burner with Steamer Pot
    Fry your next holiday turkey without breaking the bank using this budget-friendly turkey fryer and steamer combo.

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Why We Like It: Weighing only 15lbs, this small yet powerful GasOne propane fryer is the perfect size for convenient travel. 

Not only is it capable of frying or boiling a wide variety of foods, but you can also use the single gas burner for other outdoor cooking needs like a propane camp stove. It makes it a favorite for camping, tailgating, and easy use in your backyard. The fryer connects to a standard 20lb propane tank with an adjustable regulator. It gives you full control of your cooking temperature.

The included 24 qt. the aluminum stockpot is small but capable of frying a 14lb turkey, enough to feed a small family. The included perforated steam tray fits directly into the stockpot, quickly and easily transforming your fryer into a fully functional steamer. However, some consumers report that the included pot is thinner than that found with other similar fryers. However, given the lower price point, you may choose to invest in a separate higher-quality stockpot in time.

Who Should Buy It: If you are looking for a budget-friendly option with the cooking power of the larger traditional fryers, the GasOne B-5155 Propane Burner with Steamer Pot is a great solution.

How to Light a Propane Turkey Fryer

man lighting a camp stove with a utility lighter
Image Credit: KatieDobies on Canva

If this is your first time using a propane turkey fryer, you may be slightly intimidated. Especially with all the warnings about their safety if used improperly. For those that have ever used a propane stove, the process is nearly identical. All you will need is a standard utility or BBQ lighter, which is longer than a BIC lighter, allowing you to keep your hand further away from the flame.

  1. Before starting, check over your connections carefully to make sure that everything is attached. It means the connection between your connector hose, the propane tank, and the connector hose to your burner.
  2. Turn the gas valve on the propane tank to the on position.
  3. Hold your utility lighter closer to the burner and turn the gas valve on the burner to the ‘on’ position. Carefully light the lighter, allowing it to catch the propane that is now coming through your burner, creating a visible flame.
  4. Adjust the height and strength of the flame as necessary.

Note: If you try to light your burner and nothing is happening, turn the burner and gas valve off and give everything a chance to air out before trying again. It will help you avoid a build-up of propane gas.

How to Deep-Fry a Turkey Safely

person pulling a finished turkey out of a turkey fryer
Image Credit: YinYang on Canva

Before getting started, I want to take a moment to warn you that turkey fryers can cause serious injury if you are not careful. You are working with flames and hot oil, both of which can be dangerous, prompting firefighters in some areas to speak out about the dangers of deep-frying. By following the tips provided here, you can reduce the risk of injury.

Pay Attention to the Amount of Oil

Both too much oil and not enough oil in your turkey fryer can lead to problems. To ensure that your turkey is cooked and safe to eat, it needs to be submerged completely in the hot oil. Too much oil can lead to injuries as oil displacement causes the hot oil to spill over the sides of your pot.

To measure the exact amount of water needed for your turkey, you can use water with this simple trick.

  1. The pot that you are using should have a ‘fill line’. Fill the pot up to that point with plain water.
  2. Wrap your turkey in an airtight bag, preventing any water from entering. You can do it before or after adding dry rubs and other cooking steps. Lower your turkey carefully into the pot until it is fully submerged. If you need to add or remove water, do so, finding the perfect amount for your pot specifically.
  3. Carefully remove your turkey from the pot and mark the line that the water reaches when left behind. It is your new ‘fill line’.

NEVER Fry a Frozen Turkey

You may find yourself tempted to cut your cooking time by cooking your frozen turkey without taking the time to thaw it first. After all, you’re using hot enough oil that it should cook quickly, right? STOP! Before you do anything, we need to look at the reasons why placing your frozen turkey in a turkey fryer, whether it’s a propane fryer or electric turkey fryer, could be a serious mistake!

To understand the reaction that occurs when a frozen turkey meets with hot oil, you must first look at the temperature of your cooking oil vs the water in your frozen turkey and how they compare. The oil that you are using has a higher boiling point than water. When a frozen turkey is dropped into this boiling oil, the ice within the turkey instantly boils to the point of turning to steam. This steam expands, taking up room in the pot with the oil and your turkey, and rapidly causes the oil to boil over, creating an explosion known as a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE).

Not only can this cause serious damage to your home and surrounding area. Also, you or your loved ones may be hit with the boiling hot oil cause burns if you are standing near enough to the fryer at the time. If you deep fry your turkey, be sure to thoroughly defrost it to prevent serious injuries.

Proper Safety Equipment

When purchasing your supplies to deep fry your turkey, whether you are considering outdoor fryers or indoor fryers, you should also invest in the proper safety equipment to keep everyone safe. It includes both looking into the safety features offered by each fryer that you are considering and shopping for external safety supplies such as a grease-fire extinguisher and safety gloves for anyone handling the turkey or the fryer.

While these may not seem like a major purchase or concern, a small investment now may make a world of difference if something were to happen.

Set Up in a Safe Area

When cooking your turkey, make sure that you set up your turkey fryer in a safe area. Propane-based deep fryers and oil-free fryers should be kept outdoors, while some models of electric fryers can be used safely for indoor cooking. If you’re unsure, check the safety warnings and instructions included with your purchase.

Outdoor fryers should be set up at a safe distance from any structures or buildings on a level surface. Avoid areas that are heavily trafficked by pets or children, as the oil temperature can reach 400 degrees. If possible, avoid areas with heavy winds that could knock your turkey fryer over during the cooking process. When setting up propane fryers, the propane tank and the burner should be set up with at least two feet of space between them. As previously mentioned, be sure to keep a grease-fire extinguisher close by.

How Do I Clean My Turkey Fryer?

Turkey fryer on a sand
Image Credits: mgerskup on Creativecommons

If you prefer using oil fryers, you will have to remove the used cooking oil and dispose of it properly. If you use an electric fryer with a built-in pot, make sure that your fryer is powered off and unplugged. Fill the pot of your fryer with hot water and a degreasing dishwashing soap.

You can add accessories like a meat thermometer and cooking basket but be sure that they are fully covered by the soapy water. Allow all these items to soak before scrubbing with a rough sponge to remove any stuck-on grime. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

How We Picked

With so many styles and sizes of turkey fryers on the market, there was a long list of options to start with. Looking at important factors such as the size, versatility, durability, safety features, and cooking power, I narrowed that list down to the best-performing fryers available. I then sorted the options into categories, looking at different scenarios, including cooking for a large family or frying a turkey without access to a backyard or outdoor space.

In addition to using my own personal experiences and the information available about each fryer and its features, I also took the time to read through the reviews of other customers. It provided me with a clear understanding of how each performed in real-life settings, identifying common complaints or favorite features that were repeatedly mentioned. With all of this factored in, I was able to identify the five turkey fryers that stood out above the rest.

The Best Turkey Fryer for Your Thanksgiving Meal Is…

I can confidently say that you can enjoy the flavor of a delicious, deep-fried turkey from any of the five fryers included on this list. However, one fryer stood out as the best option for most situations. The King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package is a traditional outdoor turkey fryer with all the accessories you need for making that perfect holiday bird.

In addition to including an aluminum turkey pot large enough to cook a 20lb turkey, you also receive a thermometer to easily monitor the temperature and a battery-operated timer to ensure that you don’t forget about your turkey while enjoying the holiday festivities. Now that you have found the best turkey fryer to make your family meal, you are free to focus on the quality family time ahead!

 

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