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Heats up quickly
Easy to clean
Can only fry small batches
At one time, Cuisinart was most known for food processors, but since then it's branched out, making a wide variety of high-quality kitchen products. This deep fryer checks all the boxes for a deep fryer, including a removable 1800-watt immersion heating element that can heat the oil quickly and recover the temperature just as quickly after food is added. Because of its compact size, many reviewers are happy with how easy it is to store away, and how little oil it requires, because this means easier cleanup. However, they do note that this is not for cooking large batches of food for big gatherings or big families.
The temperature is adjustable from 175 to 375 degrees with a simple dial, and lights indicate that the cooker is on and when the temperature is reached. A second dial lets you set the cooking time up to 30 minutes.
The basket is made from stainless steel and has a handle that will stay cool while you’re cooking, so it will be easy to remove the basket, shake the food, or empty it when cooking is done. The removable lid has a small window so you can check the food as it fries. The cooking container has an enamel coating for easy cleaning and a pouring spout so you won’t make a mess when emptying the oil when cooking is done. Then, the basket, oil container, and lid are dishwasher safe, so cleaning is effortless.
Doesn't need much oil
Quick to heat up
Easy to use and store
Lid is made of plastic
No splatter guard
This wallet-friendly deep fryer saves you money when you buy it, and it saves you money on oil costs since it’s designed to cook the food in just 4 cups of oil. Along with the lower cost comes less flexibility, since this has no temperature control, but it’s designed to maintain a proper frying temperature. Many customers love how easy it is to use: just turn it on, let it heat up, and start cooking. Another feature customers often highlight is how the oil container has a nonstick coating, so it’s easy to clean—even if you happen to burn something.
Since this doesn’t have a basket to contain the food, it includes a scoop for removing the food from the oil and allowing the oil to drain. If your oil is still usable, there’s a snap-on lid, so you can keep the oil right in the fryer to use the next day.
Includes presets and a twice-fried option
Highly accurate temperature control
Easy to clean and store
There may be sharp edges to watch out for when handwashing
This high-end deep fryer comes with features you won’t find elsewhere, including a dial control with digital readout with presets for a variety of foods from calamari to donuts to fries, along with a custom option to set your own preferred frying temperature and time for your favorite egg rolls or cracklins. It also has a twice-fried option for French fries and is able to make adjustments for cooking either fresh or frozen foods. Several customers gave the fryer high marks for how accurate its temperature control was when they checked the oil with a separate thermometer.
The proprietary cool zone technology prevents excessive burning, so your oil can be used longer, while a mesh filter reduces odors from frying. When you’re done cooking, the frying basket and cooking pot are both dishwasher safe, so cleanup is fast and easy.
Heats up quickly
Frying basket can lift high and stay in place
Lid and oil container are removable
Actual frying space is not very deep
One of the least-liked tasks, when it comes to deep fryers, is handling the used oil. While it can be used several times if it’s strained well and stored properly, that process can be messy. This fryer practically does the work for you: many reviewers gave the fryer points for how the oil strains and drains into an integrated container below the fryer, and that the container can be removed for easy clean-up and storage until the next use.
This fryer can hold up to 3 1/3 liters of oil, and it can cook over 2 1/2 pounds of food in one batch—though some customers note that the actual cooking space is not very deep, meaning they had to turn over most of the items they fried halfway through. The fryer basket can lift high and stay in place for draining excess oil from the just-fried food. The immersed heating element rapidly heats the oil, so it’s ready quickly and the temperature rebounds fast after food is added. When frying is done and the oil has drained, the removable parts are all dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Very easy to drain and clean
Cool zone helps preserve oil
Heats up quickly
This fryer is designed with a cool zone under the heating element that prevents fallen food and errant bits of batter from burning and contaminating the oil, so that oil will stay cleaner—and reusable—for much longer. The temperature can be set from 300 to 370 degrees, and an indicator light shows when the temperature has been reached. This holds up to 3 quarts of oil and can handle up to 3 pounds of food in one batch.
There's also a magnetic power cord that pulls out of the appliance with a tug for safety, so the fryer won’t tumble to the floor if someone pulls on the cord. This fryer received its most positive reviews for how easy it is to clean: when cooking is done, a hose in front of the fryer pulls out to drain the oil into another container. The frying bowl, basket, and lid are all dishwasher for easy cleaning when cooking is done.
Quick to heat up
Four frying presets
Integrated odor filter
This handy fryer comes with three baskets. The large basket can be used on its own for big batches of food, or the two smaller baskets can be used at the same time to cook different foods separately. This holds a maximum of 4 1/2 liters of oil and can fry up to 2.6 pounds of food in a single batch. To make frying easy, it has four presets for popular fried foods: French fries, onion rings, donuts, and chicken. Those presets automatically set the proper temperature and cooking time, so there’s no need to double-check a recipe before cooking. It also has manual settings and a digital screen that make it easy to fry anything. Many reviewers say the fryer did well crisping up a wide variety of foods—from pork chops to jalapeño poppers to fish—without them coming out oily.
For safety, this KRUPS model has a breakaway cord, so the fryer won’t tip or fall if the cord is accidentally pulled. The heating element removes easily for cleaning, as does the frying bowl, and the baskets are top-rack dishwasher safe. A large window on the top of the fryer makes it easy to safely monitor the food as it cooks, and an integrated odor filter helps reduce frying odors during cooking.
Can be used with water
Easy to use and clean
Cooks poultry well
Steams a lot when cooking
Great for folks with big families or hungry teens or for anyone who likes to host parties, this fryer holds up to 10 liters of oil and can heat up to 375 degrees. The basket can hold 5 pounds of chicken wings or a 20-pound turkey with ease—and many reviewers can attest to the latter, saying their turkey cooked more quickly and came out more flavorful than when they used traditional methods. The fryer can also be used with water instead of oil for a seafood boil or to steam a lot of vegetables. Indicator lights for power and temperature make it simple to check the fryer’s status at a glance.
A drain valve on the front of the fryer makes it easy to remove the oil, and the break-away electric cork makes sure the fryer won’t tip or fall if the cord is accidentally pulled. Drain clips on the basket hold the basket above the oil to drain neatly when the food is done. For easy cleaning, the pot, lid, basket, and drain valve are all dishwasher-safe.
The Cuisinart 4-Quart Deep Fryer because it has everything you'd want in a deep fryer: it heats up quickly, is easy to clean and store away, and is built well. Plus, it has a pouring spout for easy draining (view at Amazon). If burnt and contaminated oil is your pet peeve, try the DeLonghi Dual Zone 4-Liter Deep Fryer. It's designed with a cool zone underneath the heating element so your oil stays clean for longer (view at Amazon).
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author and writer for The Spruce Eats. She knows her way around frying—she's partial to air fryers, owning five herself. In addition to our top picks for deep fryers, Donna's also written roundups on the best turkey fryers, Instant Pots, and toaster ovens of 2020.
Safety: This factor is of utmost importance, especially if you're new to deep-frying. Electric deep fryers are typically safer than their propane counterparts, but there is still the risk that the oil can splatter or spill over while cooking (especially large portions of food), so you want to look for models that offer safety features like an automatic shutoff feature, a splatter guard, a lid, or a magnetic break-off cord. Make sure the model you choose also comes with clear safety and usage instructions.
Capacity: How much food are you looking to fry? If you're cooking a large batch of fries for a party or a turkey for Thanksgiving, look for a larger fryer with a roomy oil chamber. You might also consider more than one fry basket, not just for larger batches, but for variety. If you're cooking something like fish, or some sides for yourself or a small family, however, you can sacrifice some depth and go with a more compact fryer.
Temperature control: Ideally, deep fryers are able to reach 375 degrees Fahrenheit, but depending on what you're deep-frying, you should be able to either manually adjust the temperature or use preprogrammed settings, if the machine has them. You may want to look at models that come with a built-in thermometer, or you can buy a thermometer separately.
Oil draining and cleaning: Draining the oil from your fryer after it cools down can be tricky, but luckily some models offer features that simplify the process, like a removable oil container, a scoop to remove food debris, or a pouring spout. Many deep fryers are also designed so that their frying chamber has a non-stick coating, or their frying basket, lid, heating element, and other parts are removable so they can be hand-washed or placed in the dishwasher.