Hot-fat cooking is also known as deep frying. The hot oil temperatures average 350oF and 375oF. The advantage of deep frying food over pan frying is that the food is cooked evenly (all sides are cooked simultaneously) and cooks quickly. The term “deep fry” was not really used until the 19th century but the cooking method has been around for centuries. Deep frying pans have been around since Mesopotamia. The Egyptians were the first known culture to use a deep fry method of cooking. Greeks were also known to fry foods in olive oil. It is believed that the Portuguese actually introduced deep frying to the Japanese where they adapted it to make foods like tempura. Tempura introduced adding multiple layers of batter. The batter is a necessity for most foods but foods high in starch content such as noodles and potatoes do not because the starch forms a shell locking the moisture in while cooking. Meat may need to be partially pre-cooked in an oven or pan to ensure a full cook before adding it to a deep fryer.
Fried foods tend to get a reputation of being greasy, loaded with fat and nutritionally inferior. When food is fried properly, the food is no more fatty or greasy then food that is pan fried. One of the main considerations is the temperature of the oil. The oil needs to be at the ideal temperature between 350oF and 375oF (above 375oF the danger of fire is too risky). Some oils have a higher “smoke point” (temperature where the oil breaks down causing it to reach its “flash point” or the point at which it will ignite). If the oil is hot enough it sears the outside of whatever is being cooked immediately. This does two things, it keeps excess oil from penetrating and secondly it keeps moisture in. Cooking food in oil that is too hot will cause the outside to cook before the inside. Foods fried in different oils can have different cooking temperatures.
Table of Contents
- 1 Fried Foods Around The World
- 2 Deep Fryer Brands
- 3 Reviews of The Best Deep Fryers
- 3.1 1. Masterbuilt 23011014 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Large Capacity
- 3.2 2. T-fal FR8000 Oil Filtration Ultimate EZ Clean Easy to clean 3.5-Liter Fry Basket Stainless Steel Immersion Deep Fryer, 2.6-Pound
- 3.3 3. Presto 05420 FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer
- 3.4 4. Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Cool-touch Deep Fryer
- 3.5 5. Waring DF250B 1800-Watt Deep Fryer, Brushed Stainless
- 4 Honorable Mentions
- 5 Fryer Buyers Guide
- 6 Conclusion
Fried Foods Around The World
In America, deep frying grew in popularity in the 19th century with the growing popularity of the cast iron pan. Around the same time, French fries were invented and became popular in Western Europe. The secret of fried food was out and soon to follow was the invention of delicacies like donuts, onion rings, deep fried turkeys and corn dogs.
Foods around the world are now deep fried. At markets around the world, you can find food being sold that was deep fried, giving it the reputation as “street” food. In America, county fairs have loads of vendors selling fried foods of all sorts. Americans have been said to “fry anything”. Someone in the south once said, “If it is edible, you can bet someone south of the Mason-Dixon line has tried to cook it in oil.” Different continents are becoming known globally for their fried foods.
While Africa is as diverse as North America is to South America, so is their food. In the north of Africa “fritters”, batter filled with bits of meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit, are the fried food of choice. In the south of Africa are more indicative of food to Europe, such as fish and chips.
Tempura, a Japanese staple, generally consists of batter and seafood or vegetables. The Japanese have several other fried dishes such as; Karaage (marinated meat coated in potato starch), Korokke (similar to a French croquette), Kushikatsu (skewered meat and vegetables), and Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet). In southeast Asia, insects are often deep fried. In Vietnam, fish, tofu, cha gio (minced pork egg roll) as well rice balls, sesame balls, hollow donuts, sweet potato pancakes, banana fritters, shrimp fritters and pillow cake are very common. In Hong Kong deep fried pig intestine is a delicacy. Like most nations, the continent of Asia is very fond of Western-style fast food. It is very common to see American fast food chains throughout medium and larger cities in Asia.
While the Americans are known to fry anything, the Scottish were the first to deep fry a mars bar, 1990, and still find it a popular treat today. Since the early 19th century England has been proud to serve fish and chips as a common food for the working class.
North America is full of immigrants from around the world who bring their traditional food recipes with them. While you can find all the fried foods from around the world, North America has been proud to introduce some of their own creations. At several state fairs, there are even fried food competitions. Some of the strangest fried foods that have been known to appear at these fairs are fried beer, butter and bubble gum and numerous confections like Twinkies and Oreos.
Again another continent invaded by many other countries, you can find a world mix of fried foods. Australians though are fond of visiting “milk bars” to get their fried food fix. A “milk bar” is also known as a corner store, general store, or delicatessen.
Popular in both Central America and Greece a bunuelo (fried dough ball) is a very popular and street food. Peru and Chile are known for fried cakes made of pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
As you see and can guess fried foods are very popular around the world and are embraced when immigrants bring their favorite recipes to their new homes.
Deep Fryer Brands
GoWISE – Out of Phoenix, AZ, GoWISE USA specializes in products to make your life better. Their mission is to build eco-friendly products and save the earth while saving you money, and improving your lifestyle
Masterbuilt – founded in 1973 and is based in Columbus, GA, Masterbuilt Manufacturing, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets, indoor and outdoor cooking equipment. In addition to cookware, they offer apparel and cookbooks
Presto – founded in 1905 and based in Eau Clair, WI, National Presto Industries was in business selling small kitchen appliances. It went public in 1969. The company then divided into 3 business segments, Housewares/Small Appliances; Defense; and Absorbent Products.
T-fal – owned by Groupe, SEB, this French cookware and small appliance company is named after a combination of TEFlon and ALuminium, Tefal was renamed to T-fal to not be confused with its product Teflon. It is most famous for creating the non-stick cookware.
Waring Pro – Introduced in the 1930’s by Fred Waring, the “Miracle Mixer” was the first blender in recorded history. He presented it at the National Restaurant show. Waring is now one of today’s leading manufacturers of appliances for the home and foodservice and laboratory industries. Waring prides itself in providing the most professional products for professional results.
Reviews of The Best Deep Fryers
1. Masterbuilt 23011014 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Large Capacity
Best Deep Fryer for Turkey $$$
Masterbuilt has developed an excellent Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer. This fryer is so safe it has been certified to use indoors on your kitchen counter. It also uses 33% less oil than conventional fryers. This version can fry a turkey up to 14 pounds and if that is not big enough there is an XL version that will accommodate up to a 20-pound turkey.
2. T-fal FR8000 Oil Filtration Ultimate EZ Clean Easy to clean 3.5-Liter Fry Basket Stainless Steel Immersion Deep Fryer, 2.6-Pound
Best Deep Fryer for Easy Clean-Up $$
Featuring a unique oil filtration system, T-fal deep Fryer will automatically drain and filter oil for future use. The advanced oil temperature heating system will provide ideal frying temperatures.
3. Presto 05420 FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer
Best Deep Fryer for Smaller Spaces $
Don’t let the size of this FryDaddy fool you. It packs a punch and will give you crispy food every time. It maintains the perfect temperature automatically. While it looks small, it will cook up four good sized servings using only 4 cups of oil. There is no messy basket but a handy scoop to lift, drain and serve your fried delight.
4. Presto 05442 CoolDaddy Cool-touch Deep Fryer
Best Deep Fryer for Safety $$
Presto’s CoolDaddy Cool-touch Deep Fryer will fry up a big six servings at once while maintaining a cool exterior. The adjustable thermostat will let you adjust the oil temperature between 250oF to 375oF. The food is safely lowered into the oil with the cover closed, preventing spattering and accidental burns. There is a removable charcoal air filter to absorb odors and keep your house from smelling like a fast food restaurant. There is an extra-large window to view your food without opening the cover.
5. Waring DF250B 1800-Watt Deep Fryer, Brushed Stainless
Best Deep Fryer for Larger Quantities $$
Produce up to 2.2 pounds of food crisped and crunchy at one time. The domed lid catches condensation. For safety, there is an overload auto-shutoff, a 3-foot breakaway cord, and safety interlock system preventing operation until the control panel is mounted correctly.
- Big Boss 9063 1300-watt Oil-Less Fryer, 16-Quart, Red
- Presto 05466 Stainless Steel Dual Basket Pro Fry Immersion Element Deep Fryer
- Presto 05462 Digital ProFry Immersion-Element 9-Cup Deep Fryer
- Presto 05411 GranPappy Electric Deep Fryer
- Presto 06003 Options Electric Multi-Cooker/Steamer
- GoWISE USA GW22621 4th Generation Electric Air Fryer w/ Touch Screen Technology, Button Guard & Detachable Basket – Black 3.7 QT, 1400W + Recipe Book
Fryer Buyers Guide
When considering investing in a deep fryer for your home you should really consider how likely you are to use it regularly. You may not know but you can make so many different foods with it. If you take the American approach, anything you think of that is edible can be deep fried. Here are some of the most popular foods that are often fried:
- Fried okra
- French fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Fried pickles
- Fried mushrooms
- Fried zucchini
- Fried green beans
- Onion rings
- Fried green tomatoes
- Deep-fried catfish
- Deep-fried turkey
- Deep-fried chicken
- Deep-fried shrimp
- Deep-fried crab
- Funnel Cakes
- Hush puppies
- French Toast
- Mozzarella sticks
- Fried cheese curds
- Deep fried mac and cheese
- Cream cheese wontons
If you weren’t convinced you would use one before, certainly after reading the list above you will find a place in your life for a home deep fryer. So now it is time to assess what makes each of these different.
Size – Depending on how many servings you need to cook and what you are cooking, you may not need the biggest deep fryer on the market. If you are looking to fry a lot of poultry or for larger groups, there is sure to be a deep fryer on the market to meet your demands.
Safety – Most people are afraid of deep fryers because they have a potential for fire and causing bodily harm, burns. Many deep fryers on the market today are designed for safety. Many have lids to prevent spatter and accidental burns when adding food to the hot oil. They are all much more stable than models in the past. Many have auto shutoff to prevent overheating and fire hazards. While many deep fryers have all these safety features, it really comes down to use for remaining safe. Do not overload your fryer. Pay attention to the temperature of the oil. Remember the machines can only protect you so much.
Cost – While size does drive most of the cost. Don’t compromise and buy a machine that is too small for your needs. It will lead to safety hazards as you try to cook too much food at one time. On the other hand, don’t buy a machine that is too large for your needs. It will not be cost effective even if it is a good deal at the time. The amount of oil and energy you use will greatly outweigh any savings you may get.
Ease of Use and Cleaning – Cleaning is NOT fun. There are now machines that drain and filter the oil after use so you can safely store it for future use. Make sure you read about cleaning instructions. Some machines are hand wash only while others have some dishwasher safe components.
Bells and Whistles – Extra features that may make your cooking experience much more enjoyable:
- Built in thermostat
- Oil change notification
- Cool touch exterior
- Easy drainage system
- Automatic shutoff
- Break-off cord
- Multiple baskets
- Cooking oil pump
Deep fryer machines today are much safer and affordable. There is one out there for every capacity needed as well as some that are food specific. Be the life of the party or holiday meal with fresh fried appetizers or even a whole turkey. Fried foods don’t have to be enjoyed just at restaurants any more.