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6 Best Turkey Fryers for a Crispy and Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

Indoor and outdoor picks for a crisp and juicy bird.

Best Turkey Fryers for 2019

We updated this guide in September 2022 to remove an out-of-stock item and to ensure our other picks were in stock and reflected current pricing. The recommendations from the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab remain the same.

There's no denying the appeal of a perfectly roasted turkey, but the crispy skin and juicy meat of a deep-fried turkey are hard to beat. The size of an average turkey makes it hard to deep fry with conventional cookware or a standard deep fryer — and it can be dangerous to construct a makeshift frying rig. That's why a dedicated turkey fryer — either an outdoor or an indoor model — comes in handy and keeps everyone as safe as possible.

In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, we test everything you need to make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, from meat thermometers to cast iron skillets to pie plates and more. To find the best turkey fryers, we evaluated those with high user ratings and reasonable ease of use. We considered the temperature increments they reach, versatility, size, ease of cleaning and, critically, safety features. We included a mix of indoor and outdoor fryers at a variety of price points.

Our top picks:

Read on for more information on how we chose these turkey fryers, what to consider when shopping for one and advice on ways to stay safe when deep-frying your bird.

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      Best Overall Turkey Fryer
      Bayou Classic
      32-Quart Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer
      Bayou Classic
      Turkey capacity Up to 20 pounds
      Dimensions 14" x 14" x 18"
      Weight 12.22 lbs.
      Power source Not applicable
      XL Electric Fryer
      Turkey capacity Up to 20 pounds
      Dimensions 16.46" x 18.43" x 14.80"
      Weight 20.48 lbs.
      Power source Electric
      Best Oilless Turkey Fryer
      The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-Less Turkey Fryer
      Turkey capacity Up to 16 pounds
      Dimensions 16" x 16" x 24.5"
      Weight 30 lbs.
      Power source Propane
      Most Powerful Turkey Fryer
      Concord Cookware
      Banjo Single Burner Stove
      Turkey capacity Does not include frying vessel
      Dimensions 16.5" x 16.5" x12"
      Weight 20 lbs.
      Power source Propane
      Easiest to Clean Turkey Fryer
      King Kooker
      Turkey Pot with Lid, Rack and Hook
      King Kooker
      Turkey capacity Up to 20 pounds
      Dimensions 12.5" x 12.5" x 16.5"
      Weight 9.2 lbs
      Power source Not applicable
      Most Versatile Turkey Fryer
      Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer
      Turkey capacity Up to 14 pounds
      Dimensions 16" x 20.2" x 16.4"
      Weight Not listed
      Power source Electric
      What to consider when shopping for a turkey fryer

      ✔️ Safety is the most important consideration when purchasing a turkey fryer. These features are key for keeping yourself safe: A vented lid ensures that no steam is trapped inside during cooking, a poultry rack with a sturdy lifting hook is a must-have to move the turkey in and out of hot oil safely and prevent dangerous splattering, an oil thermometer to keep track of temperature since most oils can catch fire over 400˚F and protective cooking gear such as goggles and oven mitts.

      ✔️ Indoor vs. outdoor fryers: Indoor fryers tend to be more convenient since they do not require a propane tank and can simply be plugged into an outlet. Indoor turkey fryers aren't impacted by weather and are generally safer due to the lack of added propane which can be a fire hazard next to boiling oil. Outdoor fryers reduce the need to clean up any splatters and provide natural ventilation. They also may be available in more sizes.

      ✔️ Propane vs. electric vs. oilless fryers: The right fryer for you will depend on your needs and indoor/outdoor space. Here's what to keep in mind:

      • Propane turkey fryers function similarly to your outdoor gas grill. They're usually heavy-duty with a hose that connects to a propane tank (not included) so you can ignite the propane burner. The propane burner then heats a large pot filled with oil. Once the oil reaches the proper temperature, it can be used for frying. It's important to note that these propane turkey fryers can be used only outdoors — not on porches or in garages or on balconies where they can pose a serious risk of injury or severe property damage.
      • Electric turkey fryers are akin to deep fryers and, depending on the model and brand, may be suitable for indoor use. Electric turkey fryers tend to be safest: They often feature a built-in thermostat that manages the temperature so you don't have to, and they may include an auto shut-off feature to help prevent the oil from getting too hot.
      • Oilless turkey fryers are connected to a propane tank, but do not require oil and take a bit longer to cook. Similar to an air fryer, they rely on circulating hot air to cook a crispy and juicy turkey. While brushing the turkey with some oil is required to help brown the skin, this is considered the healthiest of the three options because it uses the least amount of oil. Some people prefer a true deep-fried turkey due to its crispy exterior and juicy interior, but an oilless fryer gets pretty close without the hassle of cleanup. Like propane turkey fryers, oilless turkey fryers also can be used only outdoors.

      ✔️ Size: When frying, it's important for the turkey to be fully submerged in oil, so consider the size of turkey you usually buy to feed your crowd. For example, if you're used to buying a 20-pounder, an outdoor cooker is probably your best bet; indoor turkey fryers tend to be a bit smaller and can usually handle 15 or fewer pounds.

      ✔️ BTUs: BTU is an acronym for British thermal unit, and it's defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by 1°F. The higher the BTU, the more powerful the fryer, which generally equates to a quicker heating time for the oil and cooking time for the turkey. Higher BTUs also usually mean better control of the oil temperature.

      ✔️ Convenience: Frying a turkey is a big job, so you want to make the process as easy as possible with handy accessories and features like a built-in timer and an auto-shut-off function. Our pros also recommend you look for a turkey fryer with an oil drain: Once the cooked turkey is out of the fryer and the oil has completely cooled, you can use the drain to empty out the tank instead of tipping the big pot over, which can be dangerous and very messy.

      How we chose the best turkey fryers

      The pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab focused on turkey fryers with high user ratings. We considered ease-of-use factors like how nuanced the temperature adjustment is, the versatility of use with other foods and overall capacity. Most importantly, we assessed how safe each is to use with features like oversized and well-labeled knobs, lids and pull-away plugs. Our favorites included features that make them easier to clean.

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?

      As director of the Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, Nicole Papantoniou has overseen the testing of deep fryers and air fryers for Good Housekeeping. She is a trained cook with a grand diplome in classic culinary arts from the former French Culinary Institute and a certificate in culinary nutrition from the former Natural Gourmet Institute, now both known as the Institute of Culinary Education.

      Fariha Ahmed was a former intern in the Kitchen Appliances Lab. She worked with Nicole to research and write this article.


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