92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
9/28/12 UPDATE: I am still loving this fryer! We used it last night to do chicken tenders, French fries and tater tots, and then put the lid on it, left it on the counter, and used it again tonight to fry fish sticks for the kids. Everything is so much crunchier and tastier because of the baskets; the food never rests on the bottom. I'm upgrading it to 5 stars (from 4)!
ORIGINAL REVIEW, 5/26/12:
We periodically deep fry chicken tenders for dinner, but we almost never have French fries at the same time because it would take forever with our little Fry Daddy. When I saw that the Aroma 4-quart fryer with two sizes of baskets was available, I grabbed it! We just tried it tonight, and I am already looking forward to using it again.
To keep this from getting too wordy, I'm going to give you the pros and cons in bullet format:
~ Easy to figure out how to use (simple manual)
~ Heats up quickly enough and you can set the temperature (vs. the Fry Daddy's single temperature that is never displayed)
~ Has a digital temperature display with built-in timer (but...see con)
~ You can cook two different items at once if they use the same temp
~ It has three baskets: one full-sized one and two half-sized ones
~ It has a lid to keep oil from splattering, and you can see your food through it. It releases steam so be careful!
~ After it's done cooking, you rest the baskets on the clips on the edge so the oil can drain...LOVE that!!! Feel like a real fry cook! LOL.
~ The BIGGEST pro: The baskets keep the food from resting on the bottom and sticking to bits and pieces of other foods. Your food will taste FRESH!
~ The built-in timer shuts off the heating element once it goes off, so it's useless for multiple batches
~ You can only fill the baskets halfway so that the food items are fully submerged in oil. With the half basket I could make enough fries for 5 people but only 3-4 tenders at a time.
~ The lid is not easy to take off and on during cooking, because it clips under the digital readout but also has to align with the basket handles, and they move. I ended up leaving it off half the time, until the oil got really hot.
~ You can either keep the oil in it for next time or clean it out and store it with either the full basket or both half baskets, but not both. You would not want the baskets sitting in oil all the time.
~ BUT: The lid has holes in it for the basket handles, so if you want to store it with the oil in it, you need to tightly cover it with plastic wrap and then put the lid on it, to keep it from spilling and to keep it from spoiling. We haven't put it away yet but likely will pour the oil into a container for future use. So every time we use it, we'll need to clean it. I kinda get the feeling you aren't supposed to store it with the oil in it.
~ It's not huge, but you do need some decent cabinet space to store it.
~ It doesn't come with a skimmer to get food particles off the bottom, which would be nice if you're going to keep the oil in it for another use.
Another reviewer noted that the temperature doesn't stay consistent, but that's partly because you're putting FROZEN items in. I was surprised to see it drop from 350 to 280 degrees, but eventually it didn't fluctuate as much and kept the temp closer to 330. It's nice to know it does that (I'd imagine most do), so you know to cook your food a bit longer. Or maybe ensure it's defrosted first! As discussed in the comments on this review, the maximum temperature for this fryer is 375 degrees, which is plenty hot.
All in all, I was very impressed with the Aroma 4-quart deep fryer and strongly preferred the taste of the food we cooked in it to what we usually get with the Fry Daddy, which doesn't have a basket and which mingles your food with the food particles on the bottom of the fryer. Our chicken tenders always come out with dark particles on them in the Fry Daddy; so do my meatballs when I flash fry them before adding them to the sauce. My husband initially thought the tenders tonight were underdone because they were so much lighter. But they were DELICIOUS, hot, crunchy and particle-free. I can't wait to do 3 pounds of meatballs in this thing! Even if you don't buy this fryer, get one with baskets! It's worth the extra clean-up.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I am in deep fried heaven. I have owned several fryers over the years, from the simple fry daddy's to Emeril's flash fryer to T Fal digital top-of-the-line models. Dollar for dollar, this fryer works way better than any other I've used, hands down. Heat retention and temp control are key to crispy, light, and non-greasy food.
The oil heats to the proper temp in about 20 minutes. After food is dropped, it only takes about 2 minutes to get the temp back up. The see-though lid is notched so that the fry basket can be raised and lowered or "jiggled" around with the lid on. The well is large enough to hold 2 small baskets or the one large basket but uses only a gallon of oil. It lifts out to pour out the used oil for straining or disposing and for easy cleaning ( once cooled of course.)
The controls are simple to use. There are even some pre-programmed settings but I prefer to set my own temps and times. There are only a couple of recipes included and there's nothing to speak of on the web site. I'm glad I bought the cookbook "The Best Fryer Cookbook Ever" by Phyllis Kohn on Amazon. Awesome recipes!
The only thing I DO NOT like about this fryer is the stupid magnetic cord that detaches from the back if you move it in the slightest. I understand the safety aspect, especially if there are children in the house, but it drives me crazy.
62 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
This is a great large fryer.
Very simple to put together.
An outer case made of stainless steel with handles.
A main compartment that holds the oil, I am guessing it is steel that has been enamel coated.
A heating element that slides into the main compartment, this contains the heating coils, control unit that sits on top and outside of the main compartment and a power cord that attaches via magnets (A safety precaution, so you don't tip it over with cord).
A lid, that just lifts up and off, have a viewing window and some vents with filters built in.
Unit comes with three baskets, One large basket that takes up most of the main compartment, and two half sized baskets in case you want separate baskets for frying separate items.
The unit goes together easy and once you figure out how to use it, it really does a great job, my first fryer and I am pretty happy with it.
But there are some drawbacks:
The power cord is probably less than 2 feet long. I know this is a safety issue, but if you don't have power outlets nearby, it can be an issue.
The control panel, is not in any way intuitive and is difficult to figure out, in fact the instructions in the manual doesn't even seem to correspond exactly to how the unit operates. I am pretty sure you can figure it out, but it takes some guessing. They could have really benefited form adding a few more buttons to simplify things. They built in some preset temperature and timers for certain foods, but you have to look them up in the manual any time you want to use them.
Also sometimes the control unit will just not heat to the temperature you request. I have no idea why, I typically just have to unplug the unit, plug it back in and try to program it again.
Max temp you can get is 375 degrees. No higher. Not a huge issue but I do have some recipes I would like a higher temp for, but you will not get it out of this unit.
Also this unit gets hot, the exterior gets very hot! The heat easily radiates from the main compartment to the out case, I don't think it gets so hot that water would boil off or you would instantly burn yourself, but it gets hot so you have to be careful.
Overall, again I like the unit, when it operates well, it heats up reasonably fast, there is a temperature indicator so you know what temp the oil is. It can handle a lot of food, and it reheats the oil well after you drop food in for frying. But there seems to be issue with the control unit, if you are willing to battle and figure those issues out this should be a good fryer for you.
If you have any questions about the product feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to try and answer them.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
First the negative:
The three complaints we had when putting this through it's ringer were this:
1. There was not an easy way to get the oil out. Maybe we missed something when we were reading the directions. However, there was not a pour spout, a hole to drain the oil out, a special scooper. And with the square shape of the pan that holds the oil- the makers need to consider this.
2. There was no way to leave the oil in the pan. You could probably cover it with wrap and be ok but because the lid has holes in it for the handles of the fry baskets it really doesn't work very well. Also you can not store the fry baskets and the oil in the pan at the same time.
3. It would have been nice to have had the control panel on the side because it was awkard to reach across to touch the control panel if the oil was hot and the lid was on. If the lid was off you were most likely going to get splattered.
With very little thought this would be an amazing, excellent product. However, even with these negatives it is a great little thing to have around.
Some of the Positives:
IT comes with three fry baskets. One large one that fits in the whole fryer pan or two small ones that you can use side by side. They do not go all the way to the bottom of the pan so the oil travels all around cooking the item. That is very nice. Your food will not be 'stuck in the gunk' at the bottom of the oil. They also fit over the side of the oil pan so that you can let everything drain.
It heats up very quickly. We were shocked at how quickly it heats up. We made donuts and the oil stayed hot during the complete process while we were frying our donuts.
The programable temp. unit is very handy. You can easily pick what you are frying and program this fryer with very little effort.
One of the things that we appreciated was that with a family of five we could easily fry enough food at a time to feed us. Although it wouldn't fry enough fish or enough chicken nuggets for everyone right away, there was enough for us to each get some while the second batch cooked.
This puts together very easily. It wasn't difficult to figure out the directions or how to put things together. Because it is so easy to put together we often will find ourselves pulling it out to make french fries or something fun.
Some things to watch out for if you do get this unit: the unit is fairly large. Be sure to look at the measurements prior to buying it so you know it will fit in your cabinets. Second, be warned that the outside metal part does get hot. Not super burning hot, but hot.
Enjoy. We sure do!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
bought this about a month ago and i love it the best deep fryer i have ever bought it was fast shipping and a great price and cooks really well this is a good buy
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2014
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN USING THIS FRYER!
I started out with a 5 on this product when I first got it now I'm down to a 1. Now just to let you know it is cheap so you are going to get what you pay for. Don't expect the exterior to be heavy and solid, it is not. I think its made of aluminum rather then steel but I could be wrong as I am not an expert in metals. I was enjoying my frying needs (fyi I made sure not to go over the max line with oil) when all of a sudden I put veggies in the basket and no I did not overfill the basket either, all of a sudden oil starts spewing over the sides onto the counter!!! I was freaking out!!! I grabbed the basket out of the fryer and it died down. This has never happened to me before so I just don't understand why this happened and no, the veggies were not frozen. After that happened I cleaned up and kept moving on dinner still had to be made. As I continued on I realized that you cannot access the digital buttons with the lid on. If you do the steam will seriously burn your fingers. So you need to make sure you set that timer before you place the lid on. The down side to this is that you have to put your arm over hot oil.
Now just to let you know when you heat the fryer up to 375F and add your food it will drop to 325F the temperature will not go back up it will stay at 325F I learned this when I added my tofu to the basket and after 7 mins of it browning when I took it out the temp was 325F. Once you remove the food you will need to wait a good 5 mins before it will get back up to 375F for you to put the next batch in. If you don't then the temperature will go below 325F, how much lower I don't know I guess it would depend if you are adding frozen or not frozen.
The next day I decided to give it another go and it would not turn on at all. It was completely dead. I don't know if this is because of the oil spewing over or not but the machine worked just fine for an hour and a half after this took place. I was just done with the machine at this point. I was really hoping it would work out because it truly is a good price. but with all the issues I just rather send it back.
I went ahead and returned it to amazon. I truly do commend amazon for their prompt easy return service. The package carrier showed up at my door the next day, took the box and gave me my receipt.
Now what shocked me even more with amazon and their service is that I received an email from them that I would received my refund within 2 to 3 business days and sure enough I did! I have to say I can buy from amazon with confidence knowing how awesome they are about returns. I know this has nothing to do with the product but it was part of my experience with the whole process. I just had to give amazon that compliment because I see people all the time complaining about how their product died the next day or a few days and they just toss it because the manufacturer was not helpful and i'm here to say if its a matter of days go through amazon for your return! So 1 star for the product but 5 stars for amazon!
Anyhow if you choose to purchase this product please be careful with you fingers and the lid situation. I would hate for someone to get severely burned! And if you want your food to turn out right pay attention to the temperature situation as well. Good luck with your frying needs!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Over the years, I've owned three of four deep fryers (FryDaddy). They all fried equally well, but I usually replaced them to get a newer model or larger one. The Aroma also fries well, and it offers the added bonus of dual basket or single basket frying. The dual baskets are perfect for frying different items at the same time, and it works well provided that suitable combinations are being fried. For instance, frying fish in combination with French fries of course will impart a fishy taste to the fries. The dual baskets are great for quickly preparing different items for parties and get togethers.
I generally use the single basket to fry chicken. I buy whole chickens and cut them up before frying. Even though the fryer basket is large, it's not deep enough to fry all of the parts at the same time without crowding. I've found it best to fry in at least two batches since the temperature of the oil will drop significantly if all of the parts are crowded in the basket, and the chicken won't be as crispy.
The fryer holds at a minimum, 12 cups of oil - ¾ of a gallon and a maximum of 16 cups or 1 gallon of oil. Which brings me to the biggest complaint about this unit. First there isn't a drain spout or plug to easily remove the oil from the reservoir. Pouring and straining the oil may pose a challenge if trying to strain the oil into something else because some will slosh over the edge. This isn't necessarily a big deal, but I think the reservoir should have a spout of some type to facilitate removing the oil since the unit doesn't come with a lid to cover the oil reservoir. I suppose that's because for best use, the oil should be removed and the reservoir cleaned between each use.
The unit has preset frying times for a variety of fresh and frozen items such as fries, onion rings, and chicken. However, the cooking time may vary depending upon the quantity of food added to the fryer at one time. The manual has a cooking guide which gives the approximate cooking time for a given quantity of food. The bottom line is the cooking time may need to be adjusted. I recommend using the guide in the manual for a couple items to get a feel for how long it should take to fry something. You can look at some things like fries and know when they are ready to come out, but for chicken, either fresh or frozen, start with the cooking time and quantity provided in the guide.
There isn't anything complicated about the unit, but it's a good idea to look over the instruction manual before proceeding to use it.
All of the non-electrical parts can be placed in the dishwasher. I wash mine by hand and find it easy to clean up.
The fryer comes with a carbon filter that's supposed to assist with eliminating odors. I don't think it's very effective.
I like the deep fryer and recommend it with the only reservation being that it's a large unit that needs plenty of storage space. I made a space for it on one of my shelves in the garage. I store the large basket inside the unit and keep the other two on top of it in a plastic bag.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
We have used this fryer to make several things and have really enjoyed using it. A larger capacity unit, it is wonderful for making quantities of fried food for a larger family. It is very close to an excellent product, but has a few issues that you should be aware of before purchasing.
First, the construction is interesting. The outer case is separate from the oil containment pot which is separate from the heating element and controls which is separate from the lid. Much like a commercial fryer, this makes the unit very easy to handle (when cool) and very easy to clean.
The heating elements heat fast and the controls, which include a temperature control and timer, are excellent. There is plenty of power to heat the oil quickly and maintain temperature when cooking. The baskets are of good quality and having a total of three baskets (two that use half the space, plus a large on that occupies the whole cooker unit) are really great. Like a commercial product, you can lift the baskets from the oil and let them drain- a great feature.
On the negative, some of the metal edges are not well finished- I actually cut myself unpacking it. The oil bath doesn't quite fit into the case- a little more attention to detail would have helped. To operate the controls, you have to reach across the hot oil. The case itself get hot in use- and it seems some kind of insulation might have been a nice addition.
The biggest complaint, however, is the lid. When you take it off the unit while in use to reach for food, you are holding a hot metal lid covered with hot oil splatters. What are you supposed to do with it? Since you are holding it by a handle in the middle of the large lid, it is hard to sit down on a counter greasy side up, but putting it greasy side down makes a real mess. A simple modification so that the lid could have been hinged or temporarily hung to drip back into the oil without burning anyone would have been a real improvement. Sometimes the position of the baskets keeps it from going on correctly, requiring a bit of English if your hands are full, but this was never a problem.
All in all this is a really good, inexpensive fryer. It does the job and does it well. With a bit more thought it could be better.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2014
I didn't realize how big this is, there are only two of us, but it comes in handy when the grand kids visit. It is not particularly pretty so we hide it in a cabinet when not in use. However, it does a good job and cleans up easily (most everything goes in the dishwasher). I particularly like that the cover lifts off completely and allows easy access. Now if they would develop a simple way to drain it without having to lift the entire container of oil up and out I would give it a 5.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
So you've got the grill outside for burgers but you just have to fry up some potatoes to go along with them? Baked chicken just isn't doing it for you? Well then, the Aroma Smart Fry XL is a good mid-sized option to complete your line-up. It's just big enough to accommodate most of a full-sized chicken or enough Freedom Fries for 3-4 people -- you can even cook up bananas, donuts, shrimp, Twinkies, anything you can imagine in this thing. It heats up fast (about 6-8 mins.) and will get the job done.
Just to be clear -- this is an old-fashioned fryer -- nothing too fancy here other then the built-in thermometer and heat settings. And while it is not too large, bear in mind that it takes over 1/2 gallon of oil to fill up to the minimum line (that's about $12 of Canola Oil at a regular grocery store) and you'll then want to reuse it after filtration and storage in a cool / dry place (unless you fry fish!). The unit makes loud crackly frying noises, vapors pour out from the lid, and your kitchen will smell like a fast food joint. One word of advice: pay close attention to the instructions to avoid splattering and be very careful not to jostle around the food too much or plunk it in the oil. The oil can hiss and pop like crazy and you will get splattered... which hurts like the Dickens.
So yes, this is a fun thing to have, and boneless / skinless chicken breasts I fried up turned out great. Remember to season well and if you want to get that big bumpy texture on your chicken you are going to have to use buttermilk. Cleaning up is a pain; everything gets covered in oil (the heating element, enamel pot, fry baskets, utensils, the lid, etc.). Probably best just to use on special occasions or for entertaining because of this (not to mention saving yourself an eventual ambulance ride to the hospital due to hardening of the arteries).