Top 5 Best Turkey Fryers


A festive turkey dinner is a longtime staple of American family life. It's almost mandatory on Thanksgiving, immensely popular at Christmas, and a great option for a family dinner at any other time of year too.

However, many ovens simply aren't big enough to handle a full-size turkey, and sometimes time constraints mean you don't have the three-plus hours it can take to oven-cook a large turkey.

That's the reason a lot of people go for turkey fryers. These can fit much larger turkeys and can also cook the centerpiece of your family feast much faster than an oven would.

We researched a host of turkey fryers to find the best ones, and in the end, our favorite was the Masterbuilt Butterball MB23010618. This handy model is designed to be used indoors so you can cook whatever the weather, and it uses a simple electrical outlet for energy instead of the propane gas and flames of most outdoor turkey fryers.

It can easily cook a 20-pound bird, and this countertop turkey fryer won't take up much space in your kitchen.

Top 5 Best Turkey Fryers

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Masterbuilt Butterball XL MB23010618


The Masterbuilt Butterball XL Fryer MB23010618 is a great indoor turkey fryer. The fryer does most of the work for you – including keeping time. This Masterbuilt model also uses less oil than most turkey fryers, so even if you reuse oil, you’ll spend less over time.

Because this turkey fryer is electric, it has only a 5,630 BTU capacity (1,650 watts) – much lower than outdoor propane turkey fryers. Still, that’s high for an electric indoor model. You can fry a 20-pound turkey in the MB23010618, which is plenty big enough for a crowd.

Unfortunately, this fryer doesn't have a vented lid, which would allow steam to escape so the appliance doesn’t overheat. It would also reduce the risk of steam burns when you open the lid.

However, this model includes several excellent safety features, chief among them an auto shut-off, a lifter and a cooking basket. The auto shut-off ensures the machine doesn’t get too hot, while the lifter helps you safely remove the turkey from the basin and oil when it finishes cooking. Similarly, the cooking basket allows you to safely lower the turkey into the basin and keeps the bird securely in place.

In addition, the Masterbuilt Butterball XL Fryer MB23010618 includes a lot of features that make it convenient to use. There's a built-in timer and a thermostat as well as an orange indicator light that shows when the electrical power is on and a green light to signal when the oil is hot enough to begin cooking.

When you use the lifter to pull the cooked turkey up, you can simply hook it onto the interior rim of the pot so excess oil can drain off the turkey before you take the bird out completely.

It’s easy to clean this turkey fryer. You can remove cooled oil through a drain valve instead of having to tip the pot to pour oil into another container, which can make a greasy mess if you spill. The machine also comes with a removable spout to help guide the oil as it comes out, and there’s a place to store the spout inside the fryer so you don’t lose it. In addition, you can lift the porcelain-coated pot out of the machine to clean it.

Masterbuilt includes a one-year warranty on this electric turkey fryer, which is standard for the industry.

Bayou Classic 32 Qt


The Bayou Classic 32-Quart Stainless Steel Fryer Pot turkey fryer has a powerful burner with a high heating capacity, and it can cook a turkey up to 18 pounds in under an hour. This fryer also includes a handful of safety features, although it lacks a vital one.

The burner has a heat capacity of 55,000 Btu, so it can heat the oil and pot very quickly. It uses a maximum of 3 gallons of oil, which is slightly less than most outdoor propane turkey fryers can handle.

This turkey fryer doesn’t have an auto shut-off, which would automatically turn it off if it were to overheat. However, it includes a few other safety features. For instance, it has a vented lid, a poultry rack and a lifting hook. The lifter and poultry rack work similarly to a cooking basket, helping you place the turkey into the pot and remove it after cooking.

This outdoor turkey fryer doesn’t include many convenience features, but it does have a thermometer. The thermometer helps you ensure the oil doesn’t get too hot and that the turkey is cooked throughout.

Like most manufacturers, Bayou Classic covers its turkey fryer with a one-year warranty.

King Kooker 1265BF3


The King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package is just that, a package. This propane turkey fryer can hold two pots: a 29-quart aluminum pot with a cooking basket and an 11-quart fry pan with its own, smaller basket. In addition, it includes a turkey rack and hook to lower the bird into and raise it from the hot oil, as well as a thermometer. The stand is steady and not inclined to tip over.

With its many accessories, you can take this fryer outside to deep-fry a holiday turkey or to boil shrimp, crab, potatoes, corn on the cob, fish and more. This King Kooker model has a 33,000 Btu heat capacity, which is considerably lower than some outdoor propane fryers, although it's still powerful enough to cook a 20-pound turkey so it's tender and moist.

This package comes with a battery-powered timer. Also, the fryer automatically shuts the propane power off at 15-minute intervals, which is an important safety feature. Some cooks might find it a chore to reset the timer so often, but deep fryers need that much attention to be used safely.

You can adjust the flame as needed, but there isn’t a built-in thermostat. Instead, the package includes a deep fryer thermometer that helps you track the oil temperature so you don't overcook your foods.

One drawback is the fryer is made of aluminum, which isn’t nearly as durable as stainless steel. This model also doesn’t have an oil-ready or a power indicator light, but that isn’t unusual for a propane fryer. This turkey fryer is covered by a one-year warranty.

King Kooker SS1267SBSP


The King Kooker Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Turkey Frying Package is a good option if you want a turkey fryer to use outside. You can fry a very large turkey in its pot, and it has a lot of features to keep you stay safe while you cook.

This turkey cooker has a 38,000 Btu heat capacity, which is lower than some competing propane fryers. Still, it’s powerful enough to quickly heat oil. To fry a turkey in this 30-quart pot, you need a maximum of 3.75 gallons of oil, which is a lot, though pretty standard for an outdoor turkey fryer.

We were disappointed to find that this King Kooker model doesn’t have an auto shut-off. However, this turkey fryer package includes a vented lid, a lifter, a cooking basket and a stand, all of which are important safety features.

The vented lid allows steam to escape the pot, while the lifter and cooking basket work together to ensure you can raise and lower the turkey safely. The stand puts the propane burner off the ground a couple feet.

This King Kooker fryer doesn’t have power or ready indicator lights, but that’s normal for an outdoor model. However, it includes a timer, a thermostat and a drain valve, which make using it much easier. The fryer’s drain valve makes it easy to drain used oil, the thermostat helps you regulate oil temperature, and the timer tracks cooking time for you.

King Kooker covers this turkey fryer with a one-year warranty.

Bass Pro Shops


The Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer with Spigot is a durable stainless steel cooker that works outdoors and is fueled by propane. It can fry an 18-pound turkey to perfection and can also cook fish, chicken, vegetables or any other food that can be deep fried.

This 30-quart turkey fryer has a 38,000 Btu heat capacity and sits on a stable stand. There are safety brackets you can adjust to make certain the pot stays safely mounted on the base. In addition, it comes with a turkey rack and lifter hook to hoist a big bird in and out of the cooking oil.

One of this turkey fryer’s best benefits is it has a spigot to drain the cooled, used oil out of the pot. That makes cleanup far easier and tidier than tipping the pot to pour out the oil. The Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer doesn’t have a vented lid, which would be a nice touch since it would allow steam to escape.

However, it includes helpful extras like a 12-inch deep fry thermometer. The fryer also comes with a marinade injector, which many cooks love since it can heighten the flavor of a fried turkey or other meats.

There is also a handy timer that includes an automatic shut-off that kicks in every 20 minutes.

How we researched turkey fryers

We spent 40 hours researching turkey fryers, investigating each model to find the best on the market. We wanted to find excellent machines that offer superb frying capabilities, as well as models with the best safety measures built into the design. We also looked for convenience features that are nice to have but not essential, especially when compared to the importance of safety measures.

We looked at both indoor and outdoor fryers since both types are popular with consumers, although one may be a better choice than the other, depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you live in a condo complex and have a tiny patio, an outdoor fryer might not work especially well in such a small space. But a countertop turkey fryer takes up little space and can still yield a succulent and well-cooked bird.

We found general information about turkey fryers on manufacturers’ websites and read through product reviews wherever we could find them. We also looked for specific information about different models that set them apart from others, whether that’s an automatic shutoff feature, a lifter to safely remove an already-cooked turkey or lid vents that help release steam.

Since safety is so important when it comes to turkey fryers, we checked to see what some cooking experts had to say. Daniel Gritzer, in the online publication Serious Eats, says deep frying a turkey “can deliver an incredibly juicy bird with the crispiest skin imaginable.” However, he cautions that you must keep children and pets completely away from the undertaking, read the manufacturer’s instructions first, and even if the weather’s cold, plan to stick by the fryer and enlist the help of others if you need to go indoors. “Responsible turkey fryers do not leave things unattended.”

A blog produced by Plymouth Rock Assurance has the following helpful tips:

Be sure you know how to properly use your fryer and review the safety instructions that came with it. Here’s a helpful list of what you should do:

  • Completely defrost your turkey and remove excess liquids before frying it.
  • Cook your bird outside, on a flat surface and in an open area away from structures or combustible items.
  • Be sure the weather is ideal – no rain or snow.
  • Be wary of overfilling your fryer with oil.
  • Use extra caution when lowering or raising your turkey from the pot.
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times.

How much does a turkey fryer cost?

A good turkey fryer will cost you between $100 and $200 depending on its capacity, as well as the number of extra features and accessories that come with it. There isn’t much price difference between propane and electric heated fryers, though if you choose a propane model you’ll need to continually refill the propane. The price of a propane tank varies depending on where you live, but it’s usually between $5 and $10 and holds enough gas to fry four turkeys.

Can I mix different oils in a turkey fryer?

It is possible to mix different oils together – like peanut oil and vegetable oil – for deep frying any foods, including turkeys. However, you will need to set your turkey fryer to a lower cooking temperature to avoid burning the oil, which will also affect the overall cook time.

It all has to do with the smoke point of each oil, or how hot the oil has to get before it starts to smoke, or burn, and become dangerous. Vegetable oil has a smoke point of 428 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius); peanut oil, however, has a smoke point of 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius).  Because of the higher smoke point, you cook your turkey at a higher temperature in vegetable oil, which also cuts down on the overall cook time.

If you do combine vegetable and peanut oils, you’ll need to set the fryer at a lower temperature to avoid reaching the peanut oil’s smoke point. You will also want to adjust the cook time a little since it will take longer to fry – about 5 minutes more per pound – at the lower temperature. Most recipes recommend frying your turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound and assuming you are using vegetable oil.

What features should I look for in a turkey fryer?

Frying capabilities:
In our research, we checked the overall capacity of each fryer, which is measured in quarts, along with the maximum turkey size, in pounds, that each fryer could handle. We also looked at the amount of oil needed each time you use the fryer and the heating ability, measured in British thermal units.

Safety features:
Turkey frying can be quite dangerous because you’re working with a lot of hot oil, but many turkey fryers are equipped with safety features. We looked to see whether each unit had an auto-shutoff, a vented lid, a lifter to help remove the turkey after cooking it, a cooking basket and a stand. Most turkey fryers will have some of these features, while the best will have all of them. The most significant safety feature you should seek in a turkey fryer is an auto-shutoff function, which keeps it from overheating and potentially causing a fire and injuries.

Convenience:
Many turkey fryers come with some useful features that make cooking a lot easier. Some fryers have built-in extras such as a timer, a thermostat, indicator lights, or a drain valve, all of which help either during the cooking process or, in the case of the drain valve, with cleanup.

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