Top positive review
426 people found this helpful
A safe and convenient turkey fryer - with limitations
on December 3, 2009
I bought this fryer for my thanksgiving turkey, and have used it once successfully. I fried a 13 pound bird with 2 gallons of oil for 4 minutes a pound, and got a delicious, moist, and decidedly not greasy turkey. Set up took around 10 minutes, mainly to familiarize myself with the few parts, and clean up was fairly easy as the spigot on the bottom of the fryer made draining the oil pretty simple, and everything pretty much wiped clean.
Living in an urban area, where flaming mishaps are a really bad idea, I appreciate the safety of this fryer over an open vat of oil over an open flame. And plugging in is much easier than hauling propane tanks around. The outside of the fryer remained cool to touch at all times. It is obvious that a good amount of thought went into making it safe to use in an indoor environment.
The fryer only holds two gallons of oil. Actually, the "max fill" line is at around 1.6 or 1.7 gallons. I added the full two gallons with no problems (with a 13 pound turkey). The less oil, and the larger the turkey, the more the oil will be cooled down when the turkey is added. This is less a problem with a propane fire - which can crank out the BTUs - than it is with an electric heating element, which produces a more modest amount of heat. So a major limitation of this fryer is that once you add the turkey, the oil will not again achieve the desired 375 degree temperature. To minimize this, I would recommend using a modest size turkey, and I also recommend allowing the turkey to come as close to room temperature as safety allows before adding it into the oil.
The fryer is labeled for indoor use only, presumably due to limited weatherproofing of electric parts. Unfortunately, frying with this much oil in your house will produce a significant greasy odor. One solution might be to use a garage or other outbuilding. I used it in my back yard, on a table with a large patio umbrella covering it. Technically, this is a violation of the labeling, but it worked for me.
The fryer has a digital timer, but for some odd reason, the timer is not connected to the heating element. So while it may beep that your food is cooked, it still keeps cooking it. It seems to me that an automatic shutoff would be worthwhile for safety.
In summary, this fryer will safely fry a turkey, producing a moist and tasty (though maybe not so crispy) bird. It is useful for those people who are uncomfortable with the safety of the standard techniques of frying a turkey. I recommend keeping the size of the turkey on the smallish side, to that the oil will stay hot during frying.