Do you love perfectly crisped French fries? Are mozzarella sticks your go-to comfort food? Do your kids ask for chicken fingers every night of the week?
If you love any of these foods, but you’ve been cooking them in your oven, you’ve been missing out. While cooking these foods, which are traditionally fried, in an oven will definitely work, they just aren’t as tasty as they are when they are cooked in a deep fryer.
If you are a lover of fried foods, you don’t have to head out to a restaurant in order to satisfy your cravings. Add one of these to your appliance collection and you will be able to enjoy your favorite fried foods any time of the day, any day of the week.
In order to help you find the best deep fryer for your needs, here’s an in-depth look at the different types that are on the market and what you should consider when you are choosing one to add to your kitchen.
What is an Electric Deep Fryer?
An electric deep fryer is very similar to the commercial grade fryers that are used in restaurants; however, they are much more compact in size. They are small enough to fit on a countertop, but they feature very similar components as those larger, commercial versions. In the simplest of terms, itconsists of a vat where oil is held; a heating element, which heats up the oil; a basket, which holds the food and submerges it into the heated oil and a lid, which keeps the oil from spattering out of the fryer.
Although their function is pretty straightforward, there are many different types on the market. So, which one is the best for your needs? Here’s a more detailed look at the different types that are available and some things that you should consider when purchasing this appliance.
The Deep Fryer Explained
Traditional deep fryers are cylindrical, square or rectangular in shape. They range in size from single serving sized to several cups. What size should you purchase? Make your decision based on the amount of people you will be cooking for with this appliance.
As mentioned above, these fryers contain a vessel, which holds the oil; a heating element that heats the oil; a basket that holds the food and a lid that prevents oil from spattering out. Though all electric deep fryers are essentially the same, different ones do boast different features. For example, while all of them have temperature gauges so that you can set the oil to heat to the right temperature for the type of food you are cooking, these temperature gauges can vary. They can either be set to the generic ‘low,’ ‘medium’ or ‘high;’ however, you should steer clear of these types of fryers. If you want to perfectly fry your food, you’re going to need to know the precise temperature of the oil. Chicken wings, for example, need to be cooked at a different temperature than mozzarella sticks.
Considerations to Make When Purchasing an Electric Fryer
In addition to the temperature settings, there are other things that you should consider when purchasing an electric deep fryer. These things include:
- The Capacity – As was already mentioned, deep fryers vary in size. They can be small enough to only make a single serving cup of fried food, or they can be large enough to cook enough food for several people. The size of the oneyou pick really does depend on how you will be using your fryer. For example, if you’re a single person and you’re only cooking for yourself, pick a smaller one. However, if you intend on cooking for a large amount of people, pick oner that can accommodate larger portions.
- Signal Lights – You want to make sure that you purchase one that has a signal light that indicates when the oil has reached the proper temperature. Though this feature is not necessary, it is very helpful. When the light turns off or on, whatever your device is designed to do, you will know that the oil is heated to the proper temperature and that it is ready to be cooked in.
- The Filtration System – Emptying out the used oil from a deep fryer can be a real pain in the neck. You don’t need to empty the oil out after each use; it can actually be used several times before it needs to be changed. However, it will need to be changed more often if there are food particles floating in the oil. For that reason, choosing one that contains a filtration system is a wise idea. A filtration system will clean out any particles in the oil, which means that the life of the oil will be extended and it can be used several times before it needs to be changed.
- The Cover – Something else you want to keep in mind when purchasing one is the type of cover it comes with. Look for one that features a filter system. This filter system will reduce the odors that are put out by the deep fryer, which can be quite pungent. Additionally, you should look for a model that features a window on the lid. The window will allow you to keep a close eye on whatever it is that you are cooking.
- The Handles – It’s a wise idea to look for an electric deep fryer that is outfitted with insulated handles on the basket. Many models have baskets that can be removed from the appliance, which allows removing the food from the basket a lot easier. If you opt for this type of electric deep fryer, make sure that the handles on the basket are insulated. You’ll be glad that they are when you don’t burn your hands on the basket that has been heated with hot oil.
- Easy Cleaning – Your deep fryer will need to be cleaned. You don’t have to clean it after each use, but you should clean it whenever you change the oil. To make cleanup a lot easier, make sure you pick a fryer that has a non-stick interior that you can remove when it’s time to clean it. You’ll be really happy you have chosen this type of electric deep fryer when it’s time to clean.
When you are craving those restaurant-style French fries or you want to quickly whip up some finger foods when you are entertaining company, you will be happy that you have an electric deep fryer on hand.