With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll cook this year’s turkey. You’re sick and tired of dry, boring meat, so why not give a turkey fryer a shot? Frying is faster, helps retain the liquid in the meat, and offers a texture that you cannot achieve with the oven, as well.
Of course, a turkey fryer is useable throughout the entire year, whether you’re planning a Low Country boil for your family get-together, or you’re serving up a huge pot of soup at your next tailgate. It’s a flexible cooking solution that you can use all year long to make delicious foods of all types – you’re not limited to turkey.
You will also find that there are quite a few different options on the market. Once, propane and oil were your only choices, but today’s turkey cookers come in a bewildering range of fuel/heat sources, sizes, construction materials, and designs. It can be confusing to choose the best turkey fryer for your needs, but this guide will help to set the record straight. We’ll walk you through the best fryers for turkeys, dive into in-depth turkey fryer reviews, and then wrap it all up with a buying guide that helps ensure you’re able to choose the ideal model for your needs and budget.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Turkey Fryer in 2020
- 2 Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer
- 3 Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster
- 4 Bayou Classic 3025 30 Quart Turkey Fryer Pot
- 5 Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer Big Bird Kit
- 6 Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer, XL
- 7 King Kooker 5012 Portable Propane Outdoor Boiling and Steaming Cooker Package
- 8 Bayou Classic 1118 32-Quart Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
- 9 Cooper and Co Backyard Pro Deluxe Turkey Fryer Steamer Kit
- 10 Stark Deluxe 30 QT Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer
- 11 Finding the Best Turkey Fryer: Choosing the Right Model for You
- 12 In Conclusion
The Best Turkey Fryer in 2020
|Name||Heat Type||Material||Regulator Included||Burner Included||Volume/Capacity|
|Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Turkey Fryer||Propane||Aluminum and steel||Yes||Yes||Up to 16 pounds||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|N/A||Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster||Electric||Aluminum||N/A||N/A||Up to 18 pounds|
|Bayou Classic 3025 Turkey Fryer Pot||Propane||Raw aluminum||No||No||30 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Bayou Classic Big Bird Kit||Propane||Stainless Steel||Yes||Yes||44 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|N/A||Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer, XL||Electric||Stainless steel and aluminum||N/A||N/A||Up to 20 pounds|
|King Kooker 5012 Boiling and Steaming Cooker||Propane||Aluminum||Yes||Yes||50 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Bayou Classic 1118 Turkey Fryer||Propane||Polished stainless steel||No||No||32 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Cooper and Co Backyard Pro Deluxe Turkey Fryer||Propane||Cast aluminum||Yes||Yes||30 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Stark Deluxe Turkey Deep Fryer||Propane||Aluminum||Yes||Yes||30 quarts||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
As you can see, there’s a turkey fryer model for just about any need, whether you’re after a medium-sized bird roasted with an electric element or a massive one deep fried in oil. However, the table above doesn’t really tell the whole story. For that, we’ll turn to a deeper dive with a turkey fryer review of each model to make our best-of list.
Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer
The name might be a mouthful, but the Char-Broil Big Easy is our top-rated turkey fryer for several reasons. First, there’s no oil. Yes, oil gives you that delicious crisp skin and locks in the moisture, but it is also very dangerous. You have no worries about that with this propane cooker.
It uses a unique burner arrangement to roast the turkey at just the right temperature, helping you crisp the skin and cook it all the way through without drying out the meat. The lack of oil also means that you get to save money, as you don’t have to buy another container every time you go to cook out. Plus, because it’s a propane grill in turkey fryer form, you can use it for other things that you wouldn’t ordinarily want to fry.
This turkey cooker comes with TRU-Infrared technology for fully cooked but still juicy meat. It also includes the propane regulator, a thermometer, a turkey stand, a screen lid, and a turkey hook to make adding or removing the bird a simple, easy matter. The only downside is that it’s a little on the small side. It maxes out at 16 pounds, but you can cook turkeys, chickens, and even whole roasts or racks of ribs here. It’s also possible to add wood chips and transform this into a smoker in a pinch. Cooking time takes roughly eight to 10 minutes per pound of meat.
● No oil needed
● Comes with a regulator to connect to your regular propane tank
● Versatile and can be used with more than turkey
● Max volume is a little low compared to some units
Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster
Another turkey fryer that’s not really a fryer, the Masterbuilt model delivers powerful electric cooking capabilities that allow you to just plug it into a wall outlet. That’s right – you can roast your turkey (or chicken, if you prefer) without having to worry about oil or gas. Just plug it in, set your temp, and off you go.
There are other unique benefits to this turkey fryer. For one, it features a double-wall construction to help retain heat inside where it belongs. The cooking element delivers up to 1,650 watts of power to cook your meat fast without drying it out. There’s a wood chip box built in, too, so you can add the smoke flavor that you love. And, when it’s time to clean it out, the drip tray makes things simple and easy.
Finally, the Masterbuilt turkey cooker comes with the accessories you’ll need. There’s a turkey stand, and a perforated aluminum basket to make getting your bird in and out simple and easy. It includes a four-foot electric cord, as well. Note that it does not come with a meat thermometer or a baster/injector.
● Electric heat means no need for propane or oil
● Cooks birds up to 18 pounds
● Built-in wood chip box
● 1,650 watts of power
● Cord is only 4 feet
● Does not deliver the crisp skin that oil fryers do
Bayou Classic 3025 30 Quart Turkey Fryer Pot
Looking for something basic with no frills? Already have your own cooker stand and just looking for a turkey fryer pot to put on top of it? If that sounds like you, then the Bayou Classic 3025 could be just the ticket. It delivers good capacity (30 quarts), is made from durable aluminum for reduced weight and good strength, and comes with the accessories you need to make traditional frying simpler, safer, and easier.
With this turkey fryer pot, you get a patented poultry rack and lift hook found with no other brand. You also get a 12-inch frying thermometer specially designed for use with oil-based cooking, and a seasoning injector (one-ounce) that allows you to easily get your seasoning into the meat and under the skin.
Of course, you don’t have to use this fryer pot for turkeys. It works just as well for any number of other applications – cook up a huge pot of soup or gumbo, boil corn, cook peanuts, and any number of other things with ease.
● Good capacity (30 quarts)
● Comes with all the accessories needed for turkey frying (excluding the cooker)
● Lightweight but durable construction
● Does not include burner or regulator
● Raw aluminum is not suitable for some tasks, such as brewing beer
Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer Big Bird Kit
Looking for something a bit larger than our previous turkey fryer? In that case, we present you with the Bayou Classic Big Bird Kit. It’s capable of handling up to 44 quarts, and it comes with both the burner and the regulator that you’ll need. It is manufactured from 20-gauge stainless steel for outstanding durability, as well.
This turkey fryer comes with a wide range of accessories. You get the patented turkey stand, as well as a hook to lower and raise the bird. There’s a deep fryer thermometer, the burner, the regulator, and an injector with two needles – it measures a full 12 inches, as well. Finally, there’s a perforated basket, a vented stainless steel lid, and rubber gloves to help protect yourself from burning oil or boiling water.
This is really one of the best starter turkey fryers on the market, because it comes with everything you need to get started except the propane tank, turkey, and seasonings.
● Durable stainless steel construction
● 44 quart capacity
● Comes with everything needed to start cooking
● Stainless steel is heavier than aluminum
● More expensive than some options
Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer, XL
The second Masterbuilt turkey fryer to make our list is just as unique as the first. This is the only model we’ve reviewed that is rated for cooking your turkey indoors. It also offers a very good size, and can handle turkeys up to 20 pounds. This version is made from stainless steel and aluminum for durability and ease of transport.
This extra-large turkey fryer comes with a cooking basket, a drain clip, a temperature control feature, a drain valve to allow you to easily remove cooking oil, and more. Note that unlike the other Masterbuilt model, which works on a similar concept to an oven, this is an electric oil fryer, similar to countertop deep fryers.
● Allows you to cook indoors
● Handles up to 20 pounds
● Fry other things than turkey
● Slow re-heat time for multiple rounds of cooking
● Does require oil for cooking
King Kooker 5012 Portable Propane Outdoor Boiling and Steaming Cooker Package
Looking for a large fryer to handle the needs of a big crowd or a tailgate party? If so, King Kooker delivers the capabilities you want. This extra-large pot can handle up to 50 quarts in volume, and comes with the burner and the regulator. All you need to add is the food and the propane. It also connects to a standard propane tank, so you can swap in the one from your grill to save a little money.
This is an all-aluminum model. It features a drop-in, perforated basket that allows you to cook everything from shrimp to corn. The burner is rated to product 15,000 BTUs, and the unit also comes with a thermometer and lid.
Note that this is a boil/steamer setup and is not designed for use with oil or frying turkeys. The burner does produce enough heat for oil frying.
● Up to 50 quart capacity
● Comes with the regulator and burner
● All aluminum to save weight and ensure durability
● Not designed for frying
Bayou Classic 1118 32-Quart Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
While aluminum turkey fryers offer lightweight construction, stainless steel is the better choice for long-term durability. The Bayou Classic 1118 delivers a stainless steel pot capable of holding up to 32 quarts of oil (or other liquid). It also comes with a perforated basket for holding food, an injector kit with multiple needles, a turkey stand, a turkey hook to raise and lower the bird, and an oil thermometer. It’s a complete turkey fryer kit.
The basket is designed not just for frying turkeys or other food, but for helping you get even cooking when boiling, which is important for Low Country boils, corn, peanuts, and other foods. The handles are heavy duty to ensure secure carrying, and the lid is vented, as well. The thermometer reads from 50 to 750 degrees F.
Note that this is one of the faster turkey cookers on the market when paired with the right burner. It can cook a turkey in 3.5 minutes per pound and can hold up to a 20-pound bird. However, this fryer doesn’t come with a burner or a regulator, so you’ll need to either have those already, or purchase them separately.
● Full stainless steel construction
● 32 quart capacity
● Designed for frying, boiling, or steaming
● Basket is also stainless steel
● Does not come with the burner or regulator
Cooper and Co Backyard Pro Deluxe Turkey Fryer Steamer Kit
For those who want an all-in-one starter kit to get their backyard cooking up to speed, the Cooper and Co set is exactly what you need. It comes with everything necessary to get cooking except for the propane tank and the food itself.
You’ll receive a large turkey fryer/boil pot that can hold up to 30 quarts in terms of volume. You also get a clam bake pot that can hold 20 pounds. The burner is made from cast iron and is rated for 55,000 BTUs, which is enough to cook just about anything you might need.
There are plenty of other extras here, too. You’ll get an injector kit, a turkey stand, a perforated basket, a second, smaller basket for the clam bake pot, a bird hanger, and a thermometer that can be used either in oil or in boiling water. Both pots are made from heavy-duty cast aluminum for durability, and feature heavy-duty riveted handles for a secure grip at all times.
● One of the most complete sets on our list of the best turkey fryers
● Includes two pots for cooking a wider range of foods
● Includes everything necessary to cook except propane
● No automatic shutoff timer
● Base does not come assembled
Stark Deluxe 30 QT Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer
The final item on our list is another complete turkey fryer kit for those who are starting from scratch. The Stark Deluxe set comes with a 30-quart aluminum pot capable of holding oil or water. It also includes a perforated basket that fits within the larger pot, as well as a hanger to raise and lower the bird. An injector and thermometer are also included.
The burner that comes with this kit is designed to put out 55,000 BTUs and comes with a simple-to-use valve to control temperature (flame height/intensity). The burner is taller than some, which makes it easier to lean over. It includes side brackets to help ensure stability when cooking, as well. There are tip-over prevention flanges built into the bottom of the stand, too.
● Burner is capable of maintaining oil at 500 degrees F
● 30-quart pot is large enough for most needs
● Comes with most accessories you’ll need
● Solid aluminum construction to save weight
● Tall burner design is somewhat top heavy
● The stand does not come assembled and instructions are hard to read
From our turkey fryer reviews, it should be clear that there is something out there for just about everyone. From full starter kits to large pots designed to work with your existing burner to electric models, you’ll find something that works with your budget and your goals. Of course, many people have never used a turkey fryer before, so choosing the right model can be a little tricky. We’ve included a handy buying guide below to answer your questions and help guide you along the path.
Finding the Best Turkey Fryer: Choosing the Right Model for You
Interested in cooking up delicious, moist turkey that’s filled with flavor? A turkey fryer is the way to go. You’ll also find that most models can pull double or triple duty by allowing you to boil and steam food. That means you’ll have a single solution for everything from clam bakes to Low Country boils to making boiled peanuts. Of course, the right setup is necessary, and the options available are not created equal. Our buying guide will walk you through what you need to know to make an informed decision when it comes to buying a turkey fryer.
One of the most important considerations you’re going to need to make is the size of your turkey fryer. Trying to fit too big a bird into a too-small pot is going to end badly. Oil fryers can easily start fires if the hot oil spills over. It’s also likely to lead to serious injuries. Every year, people end up in the hospital with third-degree burns from hot oil and improper turkey fryer use.
So, you’ll want to make sure that the fryer you choose is large enough to handle your bird without increasing the oil level to a dangerous position or overflowing the pot. Not sure how big your bird will need to be? A 20-pound turkey should be enough to feed up to 14 people. An 18-pound bird should feed around 12 people. A 14-pound turkey can feed around 10 people.
There is also the fact that you can cook more than one turkey sequentially. This allows you to buy a smaller capacity fryer or cook smaller birds with less danger of accidents. For instance, if you need a 20-pound bird but don’t want an extra-large turkey fryer, you can cook two smaller turkeys back to back and just keep one wrapped in aluminum foil in an oven set to warm while the other cooks.
Related Post: Best Electric Smoker
Oil or Oil-Less?
If you were paying attention during our turkey fryer reviews, you noticed that our top two picks used no oil at all. That’s an important feature because it eliminates the potential for oil burns or fires. Of course, there are some tradeoffs to know about cooking with and without oil.
● With Oil – With oil, you get that crispy, deep-fried skin. Deep fried turkeys also tend to be juicier than those cooked with gas or electric power alone. However, oil is inherently dangerous. Oil cooking also increases your costs because you’ll need to repurchase oil over time. It’s tempting to go with a cheaper, bulk oil too, but that’s a mistake, as low-quality oil can leave your food soggy rather than crisp and delicious.
● Without Oil – Our top-rated turkey cooker is a gas design. The second ranked cooker is an all-electric model. They perform very well and don’t come with the same safety risks as oil cookers do. However, they do not deliver the same skin texture that you’ll find with deep frying, although it’s close. There is also the fact that oil-less cooking helps reduce fat and cholesterol content, which is an important consideration for anyone interested in improving their health.
Indoor or Outdoor?
Most of the models on our best-of list are outdoor only. However, we did include one indoor model, and there are other similar options on the market, too. Which is better for your needs? It really comes down to understanding how both of them work. Outdoor oil fryers use propane to heat the oil up quickly and evenly. Indoor oil turkey fryers use an electric burner, which does warm the oil, but takes more time and sometimes is a little less even. If you have the time, then an indoor cooker is fine, but if you’re in a hurry or just want to ensure an easier cooking time, then an outdoor model is going to be your best option.
Important Safety Features
While turkey fryers are really pretty basic, unless you go with an electric or propane-fired version, they can include important safety features. These can make it easier and less dangerous to use an oil fryer. Some that you should consider include the following:
● Auto Shutoff – Some of the top rated turkey fryers on the market come with an auto shutoff feature that turns off the burner after a specific amount of time. If you need to use the fryer for a longer period, you’ll need to either re-ignite it or adjust the timer while you’re using it.
● Vented Lids – Vented lids are important considerations as they allow pressure to blow off and some of the moisture within the pot to escape, which can reduce the chance of spatter when you remove the lid.
● Lifter – A turkey lifter/hook is an important tool, as it allows you to more easily put the turkey into and take the turkey out of the oil.
Whether you’re looking for an indoor turkey fryer, an outdoor model, an all-electric option, or a traditional oil fryer, there’s something out there for your needs and budget.