Thanksgiving Turkey Fryer Review
Well the washing up has barely been finished from the Halloween party and I’m already working out who I’m going to invite to my Thanksgiving celebrations. You know over here in the UK the weather this year has been just amazing. As I write on the 1st November the sun is out, I’ve still got tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse and the leaves have hardly changed colour. It really doesn’t feel too much like Thanksgiving season, more like high summer only with shorter days.
Now most of us over here haven’t even heard of Thanksgiving let alone celebrate it but not me. Ever since living in Santa Barbara in the 80’s I’ve always tried to put on some kind of celebration just because it’s a bit different and it reminds me of the wonderful time I had living in the US. So unlike most folk over here I’ve been the proud owner of a turkey fryer for many years. I can tell you, when I get it out for the party, it raises some eyebrows. However, my turkey fryer has come to the end of its useful life. Being store in the outhouse has taken its toll, along with using it in the summer to fry all sorts of other delights and of course boil the seafood I catch from my boat. So I decided the other day to treat myself to a new one!
Having spent many hours on the Internet weighing up the pros and cons of the latest machines on the market, I finally decided upon the right one for me. Having done all that hard work though I thought it might be nice to share my findings with you all, in case like me you’re looking to replace your machine this year. So what I’ve done is listed below the top five, in my opinion, along with the reasons why, which I hope will make it a bit easier for you to make your mind up, and save you the hassle of reading endless reviews. I’ve set it up so that if one really grabs you then just click on the picture and you’ll be half way to your new turkey fryer.
Turkey Fryer Review – Top 5
This machine is pretty much the daddy of them all. It will hold any turkey up to 22 pounds in weight. The entire kit is made from stainless steel. The fryer itself can also act as an awesomely large boiler for seafood or large numbers of corn cobs. With this particular turkey fryer the burner is also very versatile as the extra wide welded surface can take any stew pot up to a diameter of 20 inches and 120 quarts in volume. For frying turkeys you’ll be hard pressed to find a unit that will take a bigger one – but a word of caution! This machine has no safety features and needs to be used with extreme care when frying a big bird. Having said that you’ll have no issues with reheat of the oil when you put the turkey in, which can really spoil the bird if it takes too long. All in all if you have no worries about space, both to use it and store it and your happy with operating a full on bare knuckle fryer then this is the kit for you.
OK, so we’ve seen the bare knuckle fryer in the Bayou 32, and here is the result of giving the problem to a bunch of safety engineers! What you have here is as safe an outdoor oil turkey fryer as you are going to get. Firstly, the base is designed to make it almost impossible to push over when loaded. The frying pot is held in a cradle so it can’t fall off the burner. The burner has a themal cut out at 450 degrees F and even relights when the temperature drops below 400 F. Finally the flared top to the pot makes it almost impossible for the oil to boil over. At 35 quarts this will also hold a 22 pound bird but because of all its safety features this machine can only be used with the pot it comes with and is therefore less versatile than the Bayou 32. You will probably not be surprised to here that this is the model I have gone for. Although I have to say the wife is not too impressed with the space it takes up and what’s more as a vegetarian she can’t even enjoy the end product! Still I think its well worth finding the space as those extra safety features mean you don’t have to spend the entire Thanksgiving with your heart in your mouth wondering where the kids are!
Well here is your answer to turkey frying if you want a hazard free experience. This electric fryer can hold up to a 14 pound bird in a chamber unbelievably shaped like a turkey! There is a lid to prevent oil splashes and to eliminate at least some of the odours. There is a timer and of course a thermostat that takes you up to 375 degrees F. This unit is billed as being safe enough for your counter top and small enough to fit on it too. That however is where the disadvantage lies. Because it is small it only has a little oil round the turkey when you put it in. This means it takes a long time for the oil to get back up to temperature and so the bird is sat in warm oil until the frying temperature returns. This can affect the flavour of the bird. That having been said it shouldn’t notice too much especially with a good Cajun marinade and for the convenience and safety this unit should be given due consideration.
If safety is of the utmost importance to you both for the boiling fat and the naked flame then this is a good compromise for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey. It would be a stretch of the imagination to call it a fryer as it involves no oil at all and is in reality a small electric oven that can be placed outside to cook your turkey in the traditional way without the hassle or hazards. Of course you are not going to get that traditional fried flavour but with the addition of a few wood chips and a liberal marinade this little unit will produce a very passable Thanksgiving centrepiece. It is really only capable of cooking a 12 pound bird, though the instructions say 18, but try it and you’ll end up with a burned outside. All in all though it’s a good little unit that does what it says on the can!
Finally here is your bargain basement model. But there’s nothing wong with that! This is the Bayou 32’s baby brother. This unit is simplicity itself. It wont hold as large a turkey as the 32 model and lacks the versatile burner and so can only really be used for frying turkeys or as a boiler for seafood. Having said that though with a price tag of nearly half all the other models featured here, if your after something cheap that is going to do the job all be it with no safety features then this is the model for you.
So I hope that’s helped you in your decision making of which turkey fryer to buy for this Thanksgiving. All I can say is which ever one it is I wish I was over there with you enjoying the holiday celebration rather than here with all these Brits who don’t understand! Still I’m sure with my new turkey fryer to play with I’ll make the most of it.
I’ve also put a few bits and pieces below that I find useful when I’m “drinking ‘n’ frying” so have a great Thanksgiving party and remember to stay safe with all that hot oil about!