Published May 28, 2021.
The best turkey fryers are durable and powerful and make great turkey. We prefer outdoor cookers to countertop models, which can be used inside. Our favorite is the Bayou Classic Stainless Steel 32-Quart Turkey Fryer and Gas One High Pressure Burner. This kit produced great crispy-skinned turkey in its large stainless-steel pot, thanks to a powerful burner that heated oil quickly and maintained temperatures well. It comes with a large steamer basket for boiling seafood and steaming tamales.
There are three good reasons to fry your turkey. First: the results. At its best, a fried turkey is spectacular, with bronzed, crackling-like skin and tender, juicy meat. Second: It frees up your oven. Without the turkey hogging the oven for hours, you can rotate in your sides and desserts more efficiently. Finally, it’s fast. Budgeting 3 to 4 minutes per pound, a 12-pound bird will be done in 48 minutes, tops. You could fry two turkeys—some folks do—in the time it takes you to finish making your sides. There are two types of fryers: outdoor and countertop. Outdoor cookers are pretty simple—just a large stockpot and a burner that you hook up to a propane tank. Countertop fryers are powered by electricity and are essentially extra-large deep fryers.
Regardless of type, turkey fryers usually come with a steamer basket so that you can also do seafood boils or steam tamales. Most outdoor cookers also include a rack for holding the turkey, a hook for lowering the rack, and a thermometer for monitoring oil temperature.
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.