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The 7 Best Turkey Fryers 🦃 [Oil & Electric] 2020 Reviews

Turkey doesn’t just happen on Thanksgiving or opening day of hunting season. No matter what time of year or how many people you’re cooking for, being ready with the best turkey fryer is critical for the meat-lovers among us.

There are a lot of options out there, however, and wasting your time spending days chasing research around is a drag.

I’m going to help you figure out the top considerations for locating and purchasing your next turkey fryer.

Best Turkey Fryers

 Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer Stark Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Deep FryerMasterbuilt MB23010618 Fryer
editors choice
Max Turkey:16 Pounds20 Pounds16 Pounds
Output:16,000 BTU55,000 BTU1,650 Watts
Fryer Type:Propane InfraredPropane Oil FryerElectric Infrared

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Outdoor Electric Grills, Portable Gas Grills, Smokers.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Turkey Fryers For 2020

Best Turkey Deep Fryers

  1. Stark Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer
  2. King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Fryer
  3. Backyard Pro Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Fryer Kit

Best Electric (Oil-less) Turkey Fryers

  1. Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer
  2. Masterbuilt MB23010809 Oil Free Roaster Electric Fryer
  3. Butterball XXL Digital Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer
  4. Masterbuilt MB23010618 Fryer XL Stainless Steel

Our reviews of the top rated turkey fryers with a comparison table and our buyers guide below will help you choose a fryer for you.

Best Turkey Deep Fryers

Stark Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Deep Fryer at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 20lbs
  • Output: 55,000 BTU
  • Type: Propane Oil Fryer

Back to the propane burning fryers but with a twist this time. Light up this fryer without worrying if your pot is going to tip or fall over and enjoy the added security and safety from the Stark Deluxe.

Of all the propane-powered fryers on our list, I like this one the most personally. It has an extra ring elevated above the stand which adds tons of security. This prevents the pot from being easily tipped over or knocked off.

Note: It is still possible to tip over the entire stand, but the pot itself is much less likely to fall off.

Included in this set are the stand, regulator, hose, 30qt pot, steamer basket, injector, thermometer, and a lifting hook for the bird.

If you’re looking for an outdoor propane turkey fryer with added security this is the one.


King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Fryer at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 20lbs
  • Output: 33,000 BTU
  • Type: Propane Oil Fryer

A lot like the Backyard Pro, this large cooking kit comes with practically everything you need to get started frying, boiling, and cooking.

Included is a 29-quart pot, 11-quart pot, 2 different baskets, thermometer, and hanging rack. Compared to some others I really like the beefiness of the rack on this fryer, it’s made a little more rigid and just lends a good peace of mind when hanging those big birds.

Compared to some burners I would say this one is a bit on the low side. At 33k BTU it’s not the biggest burner out there, but when do you really run a big burner at full capacity, anyways?

Maybe the most overlooked feature of the fryer that I recommend looking at is the retaining lip around the stove surface.

There’s a small positive lip that creates a little pocket for the pot to sit in so you know it’s centered and secure. Just one more thing between you and a pot of oil spilling on your legs!

Best propane fryer for slightly smaller operations and a little extra security on your pot placement.


Backyard Pro Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Fryer Kit at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 20lbs
  • Output: 55,000 BTU
  • Type: Propane Oil Fryer

This beast of a fryer is more than just a large aluminum pot and frying crock. This is an entire cooking kit that is ready to go for cooking up those big birds with hardly any work out of the box!

This is a big ol’ open flame outdoor propane burner fryer. It’s meant for some big turkeys, lobsters, or clams and it’s ready to handle some serious work! If you’re thinking about a big open house, community event, or other high volume cooking situation this is a solid option.

At 30 quarts of capacity, you’ll probably want to operate this monster outdoors. Any accidents with hot oil and open flames indoors can be a big no-no.

Included is a 30-quart pot, burner, and 2 different baskets for boiling or steaming. You’ll also find a skewer set, hanger, 12” thermometer, and injector as well.

They’re great accessories to have on hand. It’s worth noting that there is also a 10qt pot included for small capacity operations as well.

Best for a full setup when you need to boil or fry up to 20-pound turkeys.


Best Electric (Oil-less) Turkey Fryers

Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 16lbs
  • Output: 16,000 BTU
  • Type: Propane Infrared

The Big Easy might be an apt name for this easy-to-use infrared oil-less turkey fryer. You’ll get a little peace of mind from the trusted Char-Broil name, as well.

Let me take you through it step by step because this one is a bit different. Yes, it’s propane-powered but there is no oil. Instead, the burners sit between enclosed steel layers. The heat generated from those burners radiates through the steel walls and cooks the food with infrared power instead of direct oil contact.

Expect to spend about 8 minutes per pound cooking your turkey with this infrared fryer. Inside the fryer sits an adjustable-height rack for smaller cuts or birds up to 16 pounds.

Among the benefits of infrared is eliminating the extra calories, mess, and danger of cooking in oil fryers.

Best infrared turkey fryer for outdoor use with propane power.


Masterbuilt Oil Free Roaster Electric Fryer at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 16lbs
  • Output: 1,650-watt
  • Type: Electric Infrared

Similar to the Char-Broil Big Easy, this oil-free fryer cooks without direct contact with oil for your bird. This time, however, it’s a much smaller form-factor and electric power that get the job done on smaller meals.

With no propane, no open flame, and no hot oil this fryer makes a prime candidate for smaller outdoor areas. If you want to cook on the deck with no danger of open flame or spilling oil, this is a great alternative.

While it is a bit smaller in size than other units we’ve looked at, it still has room for birds up to 18 pounds which is impressive. Just remember that wherever you decide to use this fryer, you’ll need a nearby outlet for power!

Maybe one of the more appealing features of this unit is the built-in wood chip box and drip pan. Both make smoking the perfect flavor and clean up an easy process.

Best oil-less turkey fryer for outdoor use or cleaner outdoor living spaces.


Butterball XXL Digital Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 22lbs
  • Output: 1,650-watt
  • Type: Indoor Oil

This Butterball brand fryer is meant for big turkeys and cooking indoors. The design and features are all aimed at easy, flawless cooking and clean indoor management.

This is a nice, clean-looking indoor oil fryer. Everything is digitally controlled from the moment you plug it into the wall outlet. You can set the exact temperature for the oil and remove all the guesswork. By far my favorite feature of this fryer!

Of all the fryers on our list, this one actually has the biggest max size of any despite being a smaller indoor unit. That just goes to show how well designed it is. It’s worth noting that the recommended bird size is 14-18 pounds.

One advantage of a dedicated indoor fryer is that you can cook year-round in any weather without fighting the elements.

Best indoor turkey fryer for use any time of the day or year!


Masterbuilt MB23010618 Fryer XL Stainless Steel at a Glance:

  • Max Turkey Size: 20lbs
  • Output: Analog Controlled
  • Type: Indoor Oil

For those who want to fry birds indoors but don’t have the budget for a digital unit, here’s the answer! This analog indoor fryer is affordable, clean, and easy to use.

Maybe my favorite feature of this whole fryer is the easy to clean oil-valve which makes clean up simple. Controlled by two independent thermometers inside the cooker, the redundancies make cooking indoors safer.

Unlike some indoor fryers, this one is a bit more flexible. You can fry, boil, or steam meals inside with no problem!

When it’s time to clean up your mess at the end of the day you’ll be glad to know that the pot, basket, lid, and valve are all dishwasher safe so you can toss them in and be done after a long day.

Best analog temperature controlled indoor turkey fryer.


Turkey Fryer Comparison Table

Turkey Fryer Max Turkey SizeOutput TypeRating
Stark Deluxe Turkey Deep Fryer20 lbs55,000 BTUPropane Oil Fryer4.9 / 5.0
King Kooker Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Fryer20 lbs33,000 BTUPropane Oil Fryer3.8 / 5.0
Backyard Pro Turkey Fryer Kit20 lbs55,000 BTUPropane Oil Fryer3.7 / 5.0
Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer16 lbs16,000 BTUPropane Infrared4.4 / 5.0
Masterbuilt Oil Free Electric Turkey Fryer16 lbs1,650-wattElectric Infrared4.7 / 5.0
Butterball XXL Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer22 lbs1,650-wattIndoor Oil4.3 / 5.0
Masterbuilt Fryer XL Fryer20 lbsN/AIndoor Oil4.4 / 5.0

Considerations for Choosing a Turkey Fryer – Buyers Guide

best electric turkey fryer
Masterbuilt MB23010618 Turkey Fryer

Once you decide what’s important to you, you can rely on our list of this year’s top fryers to help you spend less time shopping and more time cooking great food!

Let’s get right into it with a roundup of the greatest turkey fryers you can get ahold of!

Heating Method

Today there are tons of ways to fry your turkey. Which one you choose is up to you, but here are a few considerations:

Oil is maybe the traditional method for most people. There are some serious drawbacks to consider tho:

Pros of Oil

  • Gives the rich flavor and juice
  • Adds a fried texture that many consider “classic”
  • Fast cooking once it’s hot

Cons of Oil

  • Lots of oil to clean up after use
  • May add a lot of calories if used improperly
  • Splatter can be dangerous
  • Spilling hot oil can be extremely dangerous
  • Can’t be used indoors

Infrared is a more recent method of cooking a turkey. Essentially infrared waves are generated electrically or through an external heat source (such as propane) that does not directly touch the turkey. These infrared waves then heat up and cook the turkey without the bird touching oil or flame.

Pros of Infrared

  • No oil to clean up or spill
  • No added calories
  • Very clean method of cooking
  • Can be used indoors

Cons of Infrared

  • Lacks that oil-fried texture and feel
  • May take longer
  • May dry out the meat if cooked improperly

As a note both oil-less and electric turkey fryers fall into one of the above categories. Oil may be heated with flames or electricity so an oil fryer may be either electric or gas. Likewise, oil-less fryers may also be powered by either flames or electricity.

best turkey deep fryer
King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Fryer

Cooking Indoors vs Outdoors

For outdoor cooking, large oil fryers powered by heavy-duty burners are the classic choice. These use open flames and lots of hot oil which are both hazards in the household. Outdoor turkey fryers are fun to cook on and most people really love the taste and smell of oil-fried turkey.

I encourage you to still be careful with where and how you set up your fryer. Make sure it’s on a stable, level surface such as concrete or asphalt. If that pot of boiling oil gets knocked off it will cause serious injuries and possibly start a fire!

If you want to cook indoors I would recommend an infrared electric turkey fryer (rare) or a small capacity electric oil fryer for the countertop. Simply set up your indoor turkey fryer in an area where kids, dogs, or guests can’t bump into or knock it off because that pile of hot oil is a major hazard for injury.

For indoor cooking, consider laying out a towel or mat under the fryer to make any oil splatter easier to clean up!

Size

Most outdoor oil fryers use 30-quart pots for frying. These huge pots are usually put in place on the burner, filled with oil, and then heated.

For smaller cooking, you may find that a 10-quart pot is perfect for steaming, frying, or cooking seafood and similar. Some of the fryers on our list do come with more than one size of pot for outdoor cooking so, if this is a priority for you, keep an eye out for that feature.

These large pots are capable of cooking birds in the 20-pound range at a maximum, usually.

For smaller indoor fryers you’ll be best served cooking birds up to about 16 pounds. Some may list a max size higher than that but most of these smaller indoor fryers just perform better if you don’t push them to their max.

Accessories

For turkey frying, there are a few common accessories you’re going to find in most kits. Of course, you can go crazy and buy tons of accessories we won’t list here. These are the ones you need to know about when buying your fryer:

Injectors often come in kits with a fryer. These are large liquid syringes with injection needles that you use to add marinades or juices to the bird before and sometimes during cooking.

Hangers come in all sorts of sizes and designs but they all work the same way – they hold the bird in the oil while it cooks without making contact with the bottom. Even infrared fryers have hangers.

Baskets are often included so you can cook up different types of food. Clam bakes, vegetables, fish, and just about anything else you can think of can be fried or steamed in a basket.

Thermometers are critical for getting true internal temperature readings on bigger birds. These usually should have about a 12” probe so you can get deep enough to get an accurate temp reading.

FAQs About Turkey Fryers

Q: What is best turkey fryer oil?

A: You can use a few different kinds of oil but the best one out there is peanut oil. For several reasons, this oil makes the top pick for most frying enthusiasts.

Note: Make sure the oil you choose has a smoke point of greater than 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peanut oil has a high temperature of ignition so it’s less likely than some oils to catch on fire in case of drips or spills. It also resists burning and smoking at high temps which helps preserve an accurate flavor when cooking.

On top of that, it’s cholesterol free and can be used several times before disposal.

Q: How long does it take to fry?

A: For small birds under 10 pounds, you can get away with frying for 30 minutes or less.

Of course, as the size of your turkey increases, so does the cooking time.

In general, most people find that about 4 minutes per pound of meat is a good rule of thumb when frying up the turkey. So, if you have a 20-pound bird you’ll want to fry it for about an hour.

Note: When cooking birds above 15 pounds most experts recommend that you fry the dark and white meat separately.

Q: How hot should my oil be?

A: Use your thermometer to check that your oil is up to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit before you fry.

Electric fryers are nice because they allow you to select a temperature and the fryer does the work of keeping the oil at that exact temperature. This is ideal because if you get your oil too hot it can burn or smoke which ruins the oil and the flavor of the cooking.

With propane fryers, you’ll want to be extra careful not to overheat. Check often when heating and adjust the flame once at temperature to avoid overheating. Additionally, running a powerful propane burner at max heat may scorch the oil on the bottom of your pot so beware.

Q: What temperature does my turkey have to reach?

A: Turkey is done cooking when the internal temperature has reached approximately 165 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

To check, pull your turkey out of the fryer and insert the thermometer into the meat. Be sure to avoid touching the bone with the thermometer or it can throw off your temperature reading.

Use an apron and long gloves when removing your turkey and checking temperature to avoid any grease splashes or burns!

Q: How long can I keep reusing the oil in my fryer?

A: Most experts suggest that you not store the used oil in your fryer. Transfer the oil to an airtight storage container and store in a cool, dark place. When stored this way the oil will be reusable 3-5 times and only over the course of about 4-6 weeks.

Old oil or overused, overheated oil is no good. It can go rancid and will spoil the taste and health of your fried foods.

Clean out your fryer after each use once you’ve stored the used oil in a cool dark place.

Q: Are turkey fryers safe?

A: Yes, they are – provided you use them properly. Throughout this article, I’ve given tips on how to safely use a turkey fryer. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Never use open flames indoors
  • Use oil with a high flash point
  • Use electric fryers indoors
  • Keep fryers away from people and animals
  • Set up a safety zone around the area you’re cooking in
  • Understand how your fryer works
  • Have a shut-off switch or valve in place
  • Wear long sleeves, closed toed shoes, long pants, an apron, glasses, and protective gloves

Outside Pursuits Overview

There is no end to the amount of information and wisdom out there about frying turkey. It’s an art and a science that many have put their own spin on.

Choosing the right fryer is just the first step in your new hobby. You’ll need accessories, videos to show you how it’s done, and lots of practice (maybe a few failed attempts).

Hopefully, our article today should have given you the first pieces of the puzzle so you can begin putting together your own turkey frying setup to enjoy! Remember to read through the buyer’s guide for some tips before you scan through our recommendations on this year’s top turkey fryers!

Performance
Features
Quality

The Stark Deluxe is our Editor's Choice for the best turkey tryer with its combination of performance, features and quality.

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Casey Fiedler

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.

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