Whether it's sweet or salty, there's always a time for some deep-fried goodness. The question is, what kind of deep fryer is best for your cooking needs? The possibilities of deep frying are endless. Think beyond chicken and fries -- Oreos, Snickers bars, catfish fritters, ice cream (battered of course), homemade doughnuts, vegetables, and just about anything else you can imagine. Deep fryers can be dangerous for novices and children, so be sure to read the instructions and if possible have an experienced deep-fry guru there to assist you. Remember, though, deep-fried food is not the best for you, so use your fryer in moderation.
There's really only one way to deep fry things, so the differences between the fryer models are size and features. Here are the recommended options for each size, based on Amazon's reviews (both number of stars and number of reviews).
If you're looking for variation on the fryers above, check out the below. These fryers come loaded with features including automatic oil drainage, frying baskets, temperature-ready light, adjustable thermostat and cool touch handles.
* '''Capacity: '''For home use, low capacity models can be used for small jobs that only require three cups of oil, but on average they can handle up to eight cups. However, there are also models which cater to the cook who wants to serve some serious fried goods. Certain multi-use models fry up to 11 lbs. of food. Restaurant-quality fryers can hold even more, but aren't needed unless you plan to use them for a large party.
* '''Cool Touch Exterior & Non-Stick Interior:''' Most household models come with these features, allowing you to move, touch and open the fryer from the outside without burning your hands. Certain models also have handles for easy portability. Heavy-duty fryers come with stainless steel exteriors. Interiors are standard non-stick for the most part to make for easy cleanup.
* '''Open Faced or with a View Window: '''Depending on the type of fryer you are using and for what purpose, an open faced model may be quite handy. For example, items that need to be fried briefly would be good for an open fryer, while things like french fries are better off sitting in a covered, splatter-free fryer with an easy view window.
* '''Electric Timer: '''This is a useful safety feature that will automatically shut off the fryer, but it also adds to the cost.
* '''Adjustable Thermostat: '''When frying certain items, temperature may affect the outcome of the finished product. Some are digital, others are simple dials. Either way, they are helpful to even the most experienced cooks.
* '''Filtration System and Cleaning: '''With a carbon-filtration system, cleaning your new fryer is a breeze. Don't be dismayed though if you don't want to spend the extra money for this added feature, as most fryers have non-stick surfaces to keep cleaning time to a minimum. A filtration system does keep the oil cleaner, which in turn allows you to reuse the oil without affecting the flavor.