Customer Reviews: Lodge 2-1/2-Quart Cast Iron Deep Fryer Kit
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on March 7, 2002
This pan is great if you are single (or maybe a couple) but its too small for a family. (Get either the chicken fryer or the combo pan (my personal favorite) if you feed more people.
On the plus side, its nice and deep. Don't need to fill it to the top, as the food will displace some of the oil and yet it won't splatter as much as a shallower pan. So for a small fry job you'll save a lot of oil.
Cast iron is the material of choice for fat frying. Holds the heat, cleans easily, etc. The basket is handy as is the thermometer. As has been noted you can do the food in batches, keeping it warm in the oven until its all done. But you'll lose some of the cripness while you are waiting.
And you could use it as a plain old sauce pan. This is a handy size for heating soup etc. (No lid though, but I bet a good hardware store would carry a glass one that will fit. You might even find one elsewhere on this site.)
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on July 12, 2001
The thermometer and basket are a good deal. And cast iron is the recommended material. This set is very good and I've used it a lot. But if I had to choose again, I would just get a larger cast iron pot, a separate skimmer and a thermometer. Here's why:
1. the pot is small and it takes many "loads" to make enough food for 2 or 3 people
2. the food can stick to the basket
3. the small pot could overflow when you add food to the hot oil, which could create a grease fire (this has not happened to me, but almost)
If you don't mind keeping your batches of food and volume of oil small, it's great.
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on July 5, 2000
I ordered this for my husband, whom is an avid fisherman. He loves to deep fry his catch. He has used it several times and has never made better fish! The basket and thermometer were very useful additions, and an extra bonus--to be sure.
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on October 12, 2003
For those chefs among us who either can't afford to have a built-in countertop deep-fryer, or for whom it would be impractical, the Lodge cast-iron deep fryer is a worthy and effective substitute. This is a great device, provided you use it properly. There are three essential rules to follow to achieve successful deep-frying. Though they are not complex, they are incredibly important, and failure to follow them will lead to less than satisfactory results:
1. USE THE RIGHT OIL - For deep-frying, I prefer canola oil, which has a lower fat content and higher burn point than other oils, although some chefs sometimes use peanut or safflower. Leave at least three inches of room at the top when filling the pot with oil, because it will foam up when you drop food in to fry.
2. FRY AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE - This means using a thermometer, which Lodge has conveniently included with the frying kit. You cannot fry successfully without a thermometer. It is obviously impossible to know what the oil temperature is without one, and for great deep-frying results, you want the oil to be in the 350-375 F range.
3. GET THE BATTER RIGHT - If you're making fish & chips, fritters or other goodies that involve batters, it becomes key to make the batter properly - not too watery, but not too thick, either. This sometimes involves some trial and error, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able make fish & chips as good as in the restaurants.
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on October 24, 2000
We thought our "George Foreman " grill was a good find, but this iron deep fryer is equally well worth the price. French fries, and fish remain crunchy on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside. No problem with getting the temperature hot enough to cook these items quickly. Your deep fried chicken and tempura vegetables will melt in your mouth. We sent back another brand "fryer" promoted by another company which shall remain nameless because it never got hotter than tepid and trying to cook with it was a joke. But both this cast iron deep fryer and the George Forman grill are excellent kitchen aids. We have a large family. These cooking items make the "meal preparation hour" a lot easier.
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on March 6, 2004
A solid product & an excellent value. I was using an all clad pan for deep frying until I got the lodge pan and the basket. There's a huge improvement in the quality of fries & fritters I make now. The cast iron pan keeps the oil at a more constant temperature, the heating is uniform and the frying is even. I highly recommend this product. For larger families, the size may be a problem as others have mentioned.
This one also comes with the thermometer even though the product description does not mention it.
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2002
I didn't get much enjoyment out of this kit despite its pretty good quality. Because it's so heavy, it maintains temperature well (very important for frying), but wow it takes a really long time to heat up. And if you put in a frying thermometer (very important), it gets in the way of the frying basket. And if you want to store the oil to fry more a bit later, there's no cover for storing it right in the pot.
In addition, you may be concerned about the safety issues about frying in an open-topped pot with no thermostat -- in which case, get an electric fryer.
Lodge cast iron products are wonderful, but this just isn't the best way to handle the relatively touchy task of deep frying. If you want to do a lot of frying, seriously consider an electric fryer instead of this kit. And if you want to do just a little, use a regular heavy pan or a wok, with a strainer-on-a-handle tool to pull things out and drain them.
In addition I should note that the "Good Eats" program on the Food Network (a cable television network) specifically recommends against frying in cast iron -- they say it tends to make the oil go bad sooner.
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on March 23, 2003
This pot is another quality Lodge product and works well if it is seasoned correctly. It is easy to clean and works as heavy cast iron should. It is a bit small and would get 5 stars if it were 3.5 quarts. Well-worth the money, however and useful.
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on September 30, 2008
Can't go wrong with Lodge and this fryer is no exception. 2 1/2 quarts is small enough to store with your other pans, but large enough to fry for 2-4 people. Would be nice if it came with a lid so you could store the oil inside.
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on February 2, 2015
Fine quality, although small capacity. Follow the instructions for safety!
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