They say balance is the key to a happy life. Whoever “they” are obviously never owned a deep fryer. There’s just something so satisfying about moseying into the kitchen and knowing you have the tools to whip up gooey mozzarella sticks, ballpark-style onion rings and restaurant-quality pizza crust at your disposal. Sure, moms have a responsibility to keep their families healthy, and nourish their bodies with fresh fruits and vegetables. But everyone knows the way to a kid’s heart is through fried food, and who couldn’t use a flaky, dough-encrusted Oreo every once in awhile?
Granted, deep fryers are by no means a bare necessity, nor are they on the list of big ticket items you’d add to your wedding registry. They are, however, a splurge item you’d buy once all the essentials have been accounted for. If you’ve never used a deep fryer, or have never seen a deep fryer in action, it’s a clunky appliance that can take up a good chunk of counter space. But rest assured, playing cabinet Tetris in order to find a place for the thing when it’s not in use is well worth the struggle because everything — and we mean everything — tastes better when it’s been submerged in oil.
From deep friend margaritas (yes, it’s a thing) to crisped-to-perfection chicken wings and everything in between, if you can eat it, you can fry it. So if you’re ready to experience the most finger-lickin’ good indulgences life has to offer, these are the best deep fryers to curb your wildest, greasiest craving.
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1. Hamilton Beach Cool-Touch Deep Fryer
The Hamilton Beach Cool-Touch Deep Fryer is the perfect choice for anyone new to the ways of deep-frying. The appliance isn’t overly large, so it can fit nicely on countertops or stored away in your pantry. It features an easily adjustable temperature dial from 265 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and a ready light that glows to let you know as soon as it’s reached optimal heat for your food. Cleaning is also made easy with removable parts, plus the device features a vented lid with a window that prevents splatter and lets you keep a close eye on your meal.
2. T-Fal EZ Clean Deep Fryer
We probably don’t have to tell you that anything that involves a ton of burning, popping oil is probably going to make a mess of your kitchen, but just in case, consider this a forewarning. Deep fryers can be a project to clean, which is why we especially love T-Fal’s appliance. This 1700 watt–powered fryer is heavy duty: It can hold 2.65 pounds of food, making it a great tool when you’re cooking for an entire family or massive parties (Super Bowl Sunday, anyone?). What also stands out about T-fal’s deep fryer is that its removable parts are dishwasher safe, so clean up is nice and EZ.
3. Presto FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer
Limited counter space is a non-issue with the Presto FryDaddy. The one-size fryer can hold up to four cups of oil, equating to four large servings worth of food — enough to serve the whole family and then some. It also features a snap-on lid to keep oil contained (therefore preventing spills and drippings on your counter). Plus, the petite fryer also features a non-stick coating both inside and out, so clean up is a breeze.
4. Cuisinart Deep Fryer
Cuisinart’s Deep Fryer is another great option for home chefs working with limited counter space. Though it’s definitely more compact compared to other deep fryers on the market, this model still makes up to 2.3 pounds of food, which is impressive. The large stainless steel appliance features a mesh basket with a cool-touch handle to prevent burns. It’s also equipped with a one-gallon removable oil container with a pour spot for easy disposal. How’s that for clean cooking?
5. Secura Triple-Basket Electric Deep Fryer
If you’re looking for a state of the art, flawless machine to produce fried delicacies that taste as though you had just ordered them from your favorite dive bar, look no further than Secura’s deep fryer. Yes, it’s massive, but when you want serious results, you have to invest in serious hardware. This appliance comes with not one, not two, but three dry baskets — one jumbo basket and two side-by-side baskets for smaller batches of noms. It features an adjustable heat controller, odor filter and see-through window lid, plus a timer that can be set up to 60 minutes and automatically shuts down the heating element when time’s up.