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On Thanksgiving, there's no greater offense to dinner guests than a dry, dusty turkey at the center of the table. While gravy can help dress up parched poultry in a pinch, a moist, succulent turkey is the foundation of a successful Thanksgiving spread. Over the years, Thanksgiving menu planners have put forth numerous tips to prevent turkey from drying out, from vigilant basting schedules to dousing birds in butter baths.
Everyone's favorite way to keep their Thanksgiving turkey juicy varies, but one popular cooking method that persists is deep frying. Deep frying is a fantastic way to keep your turkey's flesh tender — plus, it creates a crisp, delicious skin. Yet deep frying can prove challenging for many home cooks, and cooking a large, bulky bird is an even greater feat.
If you're thinking of serving deep-fried turkey this November, choosing a deep fryer that's large, safe, and durable enough for the task is imperative. But don't worry about adding another chore to your Thanksgiving checklist. To help take some of the stress off your shoulders this holiday season, Tasting Table has compiled a guide to the best deep fryers for Thanksgiving turkey.
Read more: 8 Absolute Best Cuts Of Meat To Deep Fry
How We Selected Products
When searching for a deep fryer for your Thanksgiving turkey, it's helpful to consider a few factors. First, take a look at the size of the bird (and keep in mind the size limit you should never cross). Are you cooking a free store turkey the size of a truck? Or does your turkey more closely resemble a Cornish game hen? Most deep fryers can withstand a turkey of up to 20 pounds, but some models are more suited to frying smaller birds. We've included a variety of fryer sizes in our guide so you can achieve a crisp, juicy turkey whether you're cooking for a couple or a crowd. After categorizing our fryers by size, we carefully researched each device on our list to ensure that your fryer of choice will withstand anything you throw at (or into) it.
Beyond that, you don't want to choose an overly complicated deep fryer — after all, you'll be busy tending to Thanksgiving side dishes and appetizers throughout the big day. Some deep fryers require significantly more attention, so we've highlighted devices that are easy to use and Thanksgiving-approved.
Safety should be the top priority, especially if you're a deep-frying newbie. To protect yourself and your space, it's always advisable to deep fry your turkey outdoors. As you'll soon see, several of our top fryer picks are outdoor models. However, you can safely work inside the kitchen with oil-free or air fryers.
Best Overall Outdoor Turkey Fryer: CreoleFeast TFS3010 30 Qt. Turkey Fryer Set
If you're looking for a quality deep fryer to prepare Thanksgiving turkey and other delights throughout the year, the CreoleFeast TFS3010 30 Qt. Turkey Fryer Set is your best bet. This jam-packed set comes with everything you need to fry, steam, and boil to your heart's content. With over 1,500 5-star reviews from satisfied customers, it's a safe pick for just about any deep-fried adventure.
According to CreoleFeast, this turkey fryer can hold up to 15 pounds of poultry. Although some reviewers have reported good results with birds weighing 2-5 pounds more than the maximum suggested amount, we wouldn't advise testing its limits. As with any high-heat device of this size, be sure to test that the pot, burner, and regulator are functioning smoothly before adding oil and deep-frying your turkey.
Purchase the CreoleFeast TFS3010 30 Qt. Turkey Fryer Set from Amazon for $119.99.
Best Overall Indoor Turkey Fryer: Masterbuilt 10L Electric Fryer
Perhaps you'd rather keep an eye on your turkey as you prep the rest of your Thanksgiving meal. When it comes to indoor turkey fryers, the Masterbuilt 10L Electric Fryer is at the top of its class. Impressively, this countertop device can fry up to a 20-pound turkey, which is more than some outdoor deep fryers are capable of.
The Masterbuilt Electric Fryer has amassed thousands of positive reviews from verified customers, who say it's surpassed their expectations. If you've never tried frying your Thanksgiving turkey before, it's an ideal option to ease you into the process. Best of all, you can kick back and relax after dinner since this indoor turkey fryer is super easy to clean.
Purchase the Masterbuilt 10L Electric Fryer from Amazon for $129.99.
Best Large Capacity Outdoor Turkey Fryer: High Performance 60 Qt Dual Turkey Fryer Pot
For times when smaller deep fryers just won't do, the High Performance 60 Qt Dual Turkey Fryer Pot is our go-to. You won't ever have to worry about having enough turkey leftovers again — you can cook up to two 20-pound turkeys at once inside its massive cooking pot.
The High Performance Turkey Fryer boasts special Tunnel Tube Technology, allowing its vessel to maintain heat more evenly than the average outdoor deep fryer. According to the company, this means that the High Performance Fryer cooks up crisp, crunchy skin and juicy meat without any excess grease. Judging by its stellar reviews, it's a must-have if you're looking to impress your dinner guests this Thanksgiving.
Purchase the 60 Qt Dual Turkey Fryer Pot from High Performance for $429.
Best Small Capacity Outdoor Turkey Fryer: King Kooker 29 Qt Aluminum Turkey Frying Cooker Package
When your Thanksgiving guest list isn't as lengthy, you may want to try a smaller-capacity deep fryer. We think there's no better choice than the King Kooker 29 Qt Aluminum Turkey Frying Cooker Package for preparing turkeys under 20 pounds.
The King Kooker Package comes with just about everything you need to start frying, including a burner stand, thermometer, and turkey hook. Thanks to its auto shut-off feature, it's also one of the safest cookers on our list. Still, some may see this as a flaw. In order to maintain your turkey's frying temperature, be sure to keep a close eye on your King Kooker — or set a cooking timer to check the burner around every 15 minutes.
Purchase the King Kooker 29 Qt Aluminum Turkey Frying Cooker Package from Amazon for $103.93.
Best High-End Outdoor Turkey Fryer: Bayou Classic Big Bird Oversized Turkey Fryer Pot
For the ultimate deep frying experience this Thanksgiving, check out the Bayou Classic Big Bird Oversized Turkey Fryer Pot. Its stainless steel construction is a work of art, and it's effortless to set up.
According to users, it's hard to find a better turkey fryer than the Bayou Big Bird Pot. It's absolutely massive at 44 quarts and always seems to get the job done, whether you're frying in your backyard or the actual bayou. What's more, reviewers note that Bayou's customer service is first-rate should you ever encounter any frying concerns.
Purchase the Bayou Classic Big Bird Oversized Turkey Fryer Pot from Amazon for $328.88.
Best Budget Turkey Fryer: Barton 30 Qt Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer
Want to deep fry this year's Thanksgiving turkey without breaking the bank? The Barton 30 Qt Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer is calling your name. At just under $100, it's a terrific way to get in on the fun of deep frying. The six-piece set isn't skimpy on the accessories, either. Alongside its 30-quart pot, you'll receive a burner stand, regulator, thermometer, and more.
Most Barton Fryer reviewers have given it five stars, praising its sturdy build and cooking efficiency. Plus, you can use the Barton Fryer's detachable basket to fry appetizers like crunchy chicken wings when you're not making gobble-worthy turkeys.
Purchase the Barton 30 Qt Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer from Walmart for $95.95.
Best Oil-Free Indoor Turkey Fryer: Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
It may not be a traditional deep fryer, but the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro is an excellent choice if you're not opposed to air frying your holiday feast. We've used Breville ovens for years, and the brand has consistently delivered exceptional results.
The Joule Oven is a hit with air fryer fans, who can't help but rave about its outstanding performance and versatility. The device can accommodate up to 14-pound Thanksgiving turkeys, but customers say it's such a joy to cook with that they use it daily.
Purchase the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro from Williams-Sonoma starting at $499.95.
Best Oil-Free Outdoor Turkey Fryer: Char-Broil Big Easy Oil Less Propane Turkey Fryer
There are plenty of reasons to consider an oil-free turkey fryer for your Thanksgiving festivities instead of traditional deep-fryer devices. Oil-free frying is easier to clean up, cost-effective, and can produce a Thanksgiving turkey that's lighter in calories and fat.
The Char-Broil Big Easy Oil Less Propane Turkey Fryer is the perfect vessel for those looking to air fry their birds in the great outdoors. It uses tru-infrared technology to fry turkeys weighing up to 16 pounds and can even cook up chickens, roasts, and other meats. After popping your Thanksgiving turkey into this ultra-efficient fryer, you can focus your attention on the rest of your menu.
Purchase the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil Less Propane Turkey Fryer from Wayfair for $189.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.