Customer Reviews: Masterbuilt 20010109 Butterball Professional Series Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer
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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.

Some limitations:

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.
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on November 13, 2009
I started using this Indoor Fryer 2 days ago. Best catfish ever! I also fried turkey wings and a whole chicken the same day. I had no trouble at all with a 4 lb chicken and bought some small turkeys to fry later. Imagine frying a whole chicken in 17 minutes! No need to imagine it, you can do it!

Easy to use even for a beginner. Cleanup is a breeze! The oil drains perfectly clean if you want to use it again. I was able to drain it all back into the bottles without using a strainer.

The Masterbuilt company has answered every question in a very timely fashion. I would recommend this Indoor Fryer to anyone looking to have fun frying foods.
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on November 15, 2009
Successor to company's earlier kettle-style units.
Worked very well first time out of the gate.
Cooked a 13.7lb turkey in the minium time.
Seems well built and thought out.
I prefer an electric fryer to a gas one for reasons of safety and that it can be used inside.
I owned an earlier Masterbuilt that worked well but failed after only a few Thanksgivings.
The main reason I gave this one a 4 instead of 5 star is that, to me, the jury's out on the reliability.
Still, the first one worked well enough to give them a second chance.
Right now, this one's working great.
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on May 30, 2010
Received this as Xmas gift and finally got around to using it today (took me awhile to get all the oil, marinades, and accessories, and to find an excuse to fry a Turkey, and to get over my "fear of frying"). Overall I have to say it's a great piece of equipment, and now that I have taken the plunge, I will likely be using it for frying other foods.

It heated up quickly and my oil thermometer confirmed the temp was spot on, (although my green ready light did not light up as I thought it should). It cooked a 10.5oz Turkey to perfection in exactly 45 minutes. It is recommended to cook 3.5 minutes/pound which would have been 36.75 minutes. I decided I'd rather slightly over than under cook so I set timer for 40 mins. At 40 I checked internal temp and it wasn't quite there so I gave it another 5 and then it was definitely done. Clean up was no worse than the usual Turkey roasting pan, et al, The drainer worked perfectly and I was surprised to get back nearly as much oil as I had started with, thinking that certainly the turkey would "drink" some of the oil..not so apparently. The turkey was juicy, not greasy at all. It did not heat up the kitchen, nor smell up house, and the greasy mess was confined to the internal washable parts. The only problem I had was getting the bird out of the basket, and that might be because I had a bird from a local farm, not as refined as say a Butterball, and the skin was looser in places, and it stuck to the basket. So it didn't come out as "pretty" as in the advertising, but we don't eat the skin anyway. I wish it had a longer cord, although I understand why it's so short, it made it a little harder for me since I have a very small kitchen and had to use it on a separate cart pulled up to the counter, so it just barely was long enough. I took the manual at face value and did not use an extension cord, although I may try that in the future when a turkey isn't at stake. One last comment: Since I had not used it and wanted to test it before buying an expensive bird, I plugged it in empty for about 1 minute a few days ago only long enough to see that it came on and started to heated up. Apparently that was long enough to "overheat" and shut off the unit, which I did not realize until I plugged it in today and the power light did not light. After a few frantic moments I discovered the reset "button" on the control panel. If I had read the entire manual first I would have known about it. So...lesson #1-don't turn it on empty lesson #2, read your manual and be aware of "reset" before you have a near heart attack.
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on November 28, 2010
Purchasing the Butterball/Masterbuilt turkey fryer was a last minute decision. It arrived the day before Thanksgiving so there was no time to try it out first. Not to worry, the turkey was excellent - crispy skin, moist, juicy meat that wasn't greasy, and it was done in 35 minutes. Immediately prior to putting in the turkey (and at a slightly lower temperature of 325 vs. 375 for the turkey) 2 lbs of beer battered mushrooms were fried for appetizers which were also excellent.

I have read some reviews that were negative saying an electric fryer will not properly fry a turkey. To those I say "cow pies". Regardless of the means the oil is heated, it is important that once the food (turkey or anything else being fried) is placed in the oil, the oil must be brought back to the correct temperature quickly. This fryer was able to accomplish that and I verified it using a KINTREX IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting.

Because the Peanut Oil is so expensive I decided against applying a poultry rub to the inside and outside of the turkey and relied on the flavor solution that Butterball injects into the turkey. I was afraid the rub might contaminate or flavor the oil and I intend to reuse the oil for other fried foods until it needs to be disposed of. I used a funnel with a strainer and some cheesecloth stuffed between the strainer and the spout to filter the oil as it was drained into plastic containers. To preserve the quality of the oil before the next use it should be refrigerated. However, this time of the year in the midwest the temperature is cold enough that containers can be placed in an unheated garage or storage building with no degradation of the product. The extension drain provided on the Masterbuilt fryer makes it very easy to drain the oil out of the fryer, through the funnel and into plastic containers. Only do this when the oil has cooled.

The fryer uses an immersion heating element inside the oil pot which can react more quickly to temperature changes than can an element imbedded in the cooking vessel. There is an analog temperature control ranging from "min" to "max". Again using the Kintrex thermometer, I was able to determine that max on mine was 385 degrees vs. the advertised 375 degrees. When cooking it is important to keep the lid closed as much as possible for a couple of reasons. First, it will help keep the oil from splashing out during the cooking process and secondly, it will help keep the heat in and allow the temperature to recover to the set temperature more quickly. The lid's unique design includes a steam vent and an aluminum mesh oil filter. On one side there is a removable panel that gives you access to the oil drain valve and also holds the power cord and oil drain extension when not in use. Also included is a seperate handle to attach to the fry basket making it easier to lower the basket into or lift it from the hot oil. Lastly, there is a small digital timer which is nothing more than a timer, it will not shut off the power when the cooking time is finished. I chose to use a better quality kitchen timer in the house. The lid, filter screen, and fry basket fit in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. Do Not put the heating element into the dishwasher, it must be hand washed and not immersed in water.

If I am so pleased with the way it worked why four stars? Here is why I found it to be less than perfect. The power cord is very short and the manufacturer states not to use an extension cord. This made it impossible for me to use in the garage although I probably could have taken it to my tool/storage shed and set it up on my work bench. I finally set it up on the patio since no rain or snow was expected. Having such a short cord severely limits it's versatility. My second reason is for semantics. This is by no means a professional or commercial fryer, it uses a "commercial style" immersion heating element but that's where the similarity stops. It is nothing more than a larger than average home fryer. Next is the word "indoor". The manual recommends that the fryer be used in the garage or on a covered patio, not in the house. I would agree unless you want your house to smell like hot oil for several weeks. Plus, there is a lot of oily steam that comes out which would settle out on cabinets, walls, and any indoor surface. Lastly, although it is sold as a fryer for up to 14 lb. turkeys, they recommend using nothing larger than 10-12 lbs.

My final comment and my reason for buying an electric fryer: Using this I don't need to worry about a huge pot of oil over an open flame on a flimsy stand. Every year there are people who have burned down their homes using a propane fryer and I'm sure countless more fires went unreported. The Masterbuilt fryer is a good and safe product that I plan to use for years to come.

Recommended accessories: cooking thermometer and leather bbq gloves (to protect your hands and arms when lowering or removing the cooking basket).

Happy Frying!
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on December 4, 2009
I used mine for the first time Thanksgiving - just bought it first of November .... I was so impressed by the reviews I quickly bought 2 as Christmas gifts and had them shipped and THEY ARRIVED before THANKSGIVING (THANKS AMAZON) ... early Christmas gift I should say

Here is what NOT to do with your turkey fryer ... we had a large crowd so I wanted 2 turkeys .... so after the first one finished ... I put the second one in ... about half way through smoke was filling the house and bad bad smell when you burn peanut oil.... the turkey was okay ...

What I should have done .... unplugged ... removed the heating element - CLEANED the heating element ... drain off the bottom part of the oil to remove sludge residue ... THEN add whatever oil I needed to add - THEN cook the second turkey .... Don't forget to remove the water that gathers in the top trap - the 2nd turkey way over filled that.

I'm STILL cleaning the black off the heating element ..... will probably have to get a replacement heating element.

The only draw back is .... it puts out a LOT OF STEAM - ..... will quickly fog up any window it is next to.

I'm anxious to try other recipes in this. Don't bother looking - as of this review Amazon has the BEST price - Target may be a couple of dollars less - but, you can't beat Amazon service.
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on November 16, 2009
This is clearly a time saver and if you are considering buying a new turkey fryer, you should get this one and not anything else.

It is very spacious and you can have all the turkey cooked in one shot, rather than divide and cook multiple times.

I own a oil free outdoor turkey fryer, also from masterbuilt [ ], which is quite quick, but this one is even faster and can also accommodate extra space. Cleaning the fryer is also quite easy.

On the whole, I have been pleased with masterbuilt and this one is perhaps the best for indoor cooking. I also like the digital clock on the device, and also a viewing window, for ease. They really put a lot of thought before designing this fryer.
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on December 26, 2009
I have just recently used my Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer and the instructions were fine but my first turkey did not cook all the way using the instructions. Also a small black piece, that help hold the cover door attachment on, which has the compartment on it broke off. I haven't had time to see what can be done about it. My second turkey turned out much better but what I did was to use my outdoor turkey fryer temperature gauge to check the oil temperature and found out that it was only 280 degrees while cooking and it would only get up to 360 degrees when it says it's 375 degrees with no turkey in it. So I made adjustments to my cooking time and was able to get a better outcome the second time around.
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on November 29, 2009
I had been using an outdoor turkey fryer, since I do a lot of outdoor cooking. I own a Barbecue Master blog and the barbecue site Yes You Can Grill. While I liked the outdoor fryer, it is bulky and quite a chore to set up and use, so I went with the indoor turkey fryer by Masterbuilt along with ButterBall Turkey company this time.

The indoor Masterbuilt is very similar to the smaller indoor fryers used for French fries and stuff like that, but it's, of course, bigger to hold a turkey. It will hold up to a 14 pound turkey but is recommended for 10 to 12 pounders. It's also great for turkey breasts but with the temp a little lower (325 vs 375).

This is a cabinet top model, so there are not long legs and worries about tipping over a huge vat of boiling hot oil. Also, the lid closes for more safety and also helps keep the air in the house from getting all oil gunky.

You need about a gallon and a half of oil for the fryer which takes close a half hour to heat to temp.

The turkey needs to be totally thawed and also patted dry as water and oil do not mix, and water on there is going to make hot grease splatter. It's fine to add rubs on the turkey, but that goes make the oil kind of gross. Injection is a better bet esp if you want to re-use the oil later. There's a spout in the back to run that out to save.

Fried turkey in this Masterbuilt by Butter Ball turns out absolutely beautiful turkey. The color is very impressive. Looks like magazine turkey. It's the flavor that matters though, and the crisp outside is favorful (esp when I rubbed it good with Pig Pens seasoning), and then the meat inside is real moist. Just all round yummy turkey and much better than so many you get that are baked or smoked and overcooked and dry.

Frying times are 4 minutes per pound, so with the 6 pound turkey breast last night, we fried around 40 minutes.
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on December 15, 2009
We did two 13.75 lbs turkeys this past Thanksgiving. One in the old kettle type deep fryer and one in the Masterbuilt fryer. Per the instructions, it should have taken about 49 minutes cook the turkeys. At 49 minutes we checked the meat temperature of the one in the kettle 177 degrees (done) and the one in the Masterbuilt was only 140 degrees. We left the turkey in the Masterbuilt another 10 minutes and it didn't get above 145 degrees. We had to take the one out of the Masterbuilt and put it in the kettle in order to finish cooking it which took another 10 minutes to get the meat temperature above 175 degrees. I think the problem with the Masterbuilt is there is not enough hot oil (depth wise) around the whole turkey and therefore when you put the turkey in the oil temp drops and it never gets back to the 350 - 375 degrees it needs to be. I would stick with the good old kettle type deep fryer. Yes it uses twice the amount of oil but that is what cooks the turkey.
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