Deep fat fryers have been a popular way of cooking for a number of years for a number of different foods. Their benefits of good tasty food and quick cooking times make them appealing for home and commercial use.
Deep fat fryers do a great job of frying foods and the fact that they can accommodate multiple food items at a time makes it worth having. Though if you are looking to make healthy meals they are not worth buying.
In this article, I am going to talk about deep fat fryers, what they can be used for, what they cost and whether I think they are worth buying.
What Is A Deep Fat Fryer?
A deep fat fryer is a kitchen utensil used to heat cooking oils so food items can be fully submerged in them and deep frying can take place. Deep fat fryers have variants for both commercial and home use but the major difference between the variants are their size and features; the mode of operation remains the same.
Deep fat fryers used in home kitchens are smaller and the oil chambers can hold less cooking oil than commercial ones. These types of deep fat fryers are designed to fry fewer food items – usually a size equivalent to a serving for a few people – at once. Commercial deep fat fryers can fry food items for at least ten people at once.
Deep fat fryers usually consist of a deep-walled pot made from stainless steel, black steel, or cast iron. Some fryers have fry baskets that can fit in the deep-walled pot and are capable of holding the food items being put into them.
Others have nest baskets or a slotted spoon that allows one to put in and take out food items placed in the oil chamber with relative ease when cooking. There are electric deep fat fryers that make frying able to be done on a kitchen counter.
Larger versions of electric deep fryers exist for commercial use but they may have their own self-contained countertops and would have the space for two or more fry baskets.
What Can I Cook in A Deep Fat Fryer?
It is possible to prepare almost every type of food that can be fried in a pan in a deep fat fryer. Using a deep fryer means the food will get done quicker and all sides of the food item would be exposed to an equal amount of cooking oil throughout the cooking process.
A large percentage of deep-fried recipes need a layer of batter or bread crumbs to be sprinkled on them before they are sent into the deep fat fryer. The batter or bread crumbs give the deep-fried food a brown and crunchy exterior with a moist, steamed, and tender interior.
The food items that can be deep-fried are chicken, turkey, potatoes (to make either fries or chips), fish, clams, shrimp, oysters, scallops, vegetables, onions, egg rolls, samosas, tortilla chips, dough, dumplings, mushrooms, noodles, breadsticks, cheese, croquettes, pork skin, hot dogs, meat, etc.
Some unconventional foods that people have deep-fried include ice cream, pizza, chocolate bars, red meat, etc.
How Much Do Deep Fat Fryers Cost?
Before discussing how much you would need to put down to get yourself a decent deep fat fryer, it is important to note that the appliance needs a lot of cooking oil to operate. That should be factored into the amount you plan to spend on the appliance.
An average deep fat fryer has its minimum oil level about a half-litre below the maximum limit, giving little room for frying with a small amount of cooking oil. That being said, here is a few recommended deep fat fryers and their prices.
Maxima 8-litre electric fryer with faucet
This is a deep fat fryer ideally meant for commercial use but it can also double as a home appliance. Its capacity allows one to fry enough chips meant for a whole family in one go. However, its size might make it too large to be permanently placed on the kitchen counter.
This £90 piece of equipment heats the cooking oil quickly and evenly making every food item put into it come out delicious and evenly cooked.
Cookworks XJ-10302 semi-professional fryer – stainless steel
If you prefer a deep fryer with excellent heating performance and a simple design then you cannot go wrong with the Cookworks XJ-10302. It does not have the most elegant design but it can heat cooking oil up to 130ºC in just four minutes (which is excellent by any standard).
It sells for £30 which is affordable and ideal for home use. It deep-fries food evenly, making the finished product have a lovely appearance.
Swan SD6040N 3-litre stainless steel fryer
It would be hard to argue against the fact that the Swan SD6040N is a top-class deep fat fryer since it was made to perfection. The appliance has a reliable heating performance, useful features, air vents, and windows.
Every food item deep-fried in the Swan SD6040N will be thoroughly and evenly cooked which would give a balanced texture and taste. The end product here would have crunchy exteriors and a chewy, dense, and fluffy interior. This deep fat fryer costs £37 to purchase, which is affordable for home use.
Russell Hobbs 24580 digital deep fryer – stainless steel
If you want a deep-fat fryer capable of preparing portions fit for an entire family. The cooking oil can rise to a temperature as high as 190ºC quickly. This high heating capacity gets food deep-fried properly and in almost no time at all.
The appliance is easy to set up, safe to use, and is well insulated so its sides do not get heated when in use. This beauty can be picked up for £58 from Amazon and other online stores.
In general, one can get a deep fat fryer with a budget starting from £30 and up to £100. In most cases, the more expensive the deep fat fryer is, the higher its holding capacity. More expensive deep fat fryers have more than one frying compartment and in some cases, there would be wider temperature ranges.
Is There An Alternative Appliance To A Deep Fat Fryer?
The most notable alternative appliance to the deep fat fryer is the air fryer. An air fryer is an appliance that uses hot air and little cooking oil to cook food. This appliance came into the cooking scene about a decade ago and it has proven to be an effective tool for frying food.
When air frying, one needs just a tablespoon of cooking oil which they will use to lightly coat the food item instead of dipping it into an entire tub of oil. The air fryer would then pass hot air over the food item until it is fried to satisfaction.
Air fryers prepare tasty and well-cooked meals and can even be used for other cooking purposes like baking cakes. However, it costs more to buy them as opposed to deep-fat fryers. Foods prepared with air fryers have slightly similar appearances to foods that were prepared in the oven.
Is A Deep Fat Fryer Worth It?
Deep fat fryers do a great job of frying foods and the fact that they can accommodate multiple food items at a time makes it worth having. The fried food would turn out to be crispy and evenly cooked and it is hard to see why anyone would not want that.
It saves one the stress of having to flip food over in a pan and risk the one side of whatever is being fried to be exposed to hot cooking oil than another. Every kitchen enthusiast should consider owning this appliance if they do not have it already. It is affordable and can be easily found on the market.
On the flip side, deep fat fryers consume a lot of cooking oil every time it is in use which might be troublesome since you would have to commit to buying more cooking oil. It also can present a safety hazard since there would be direct exposure to so much hot oil.
If one is not careful, they could be affected by splashes on one’s skin causing a burn or an injury. Electric deep fat fryers would consume energy – as expected – and if it is an appliance you use regularly, be prepared to foot higher electricity bills each month.