Best deep fat fryer 2022: ditch the chip shop with our top five fryers

Buy the best deep fat fryer for delicious treats from churros to chips, we’ve reviewed five of the best including De’Longhi, Lakeland, Swan, and more
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  • Deep fat fryers might have fallen out of favour over the last few years, giving way to the ever-popular air fryer, but air fryers can’t recreate everything you can make in a deep fat fryer. Whether you’re looking to perfect your homemade doughnut recipe or make scotch eggs from scratch, a deep fat fryer is still an essential bit of kit. Anything with a wet batter like beer-battered fish or tempura vegetables needs to be deep-fried, and a deep fat fryer is much easier and safer than doing this in a saucepan on the hob, and takes a role that even the best air fryer can’t fill.

    Controlling the temperature of the oil is crucial when deep frying and has a massive impact on the colour and crispness of the foods you’re cooking. It’s difficult to maintain steady oil temperatures if you attempt to deep fry on the hob, however, deep fat fryers have inbuilt thermostats, so you can set the temperature dial and then forget about it.

    Most deep fat fryers have clearly defined maximum lines for oil, so there’s no danger you’ll add too much. They come with frying baskets for easy food removal and draining. And with filters in the lids, they’re usually designed to minimise that dreaded, lingering, deep fried aroma that can be so off-putting. All the fryers we reviewed had viewing windows, but they all fogged up with condensation when cooking chips.

    What’s the best deep fat fryer?

    best deep fat fryer

    We liked the De’Longhi Traditional Deep Fryer, it’s the easiest to empty and clean and the lid locks in smells. It also has the largest capacity of all the fryers in this guide, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly fryer, the Russell Hobbs 2.5 Litre Deep Fryer is a great choice, it’s compact and inexpensive, but it’s much trickier to empty.

    1. De’Longhi Traditional Deep Fryer

    Best premium deep fat fryer

    best deep fat fryer

    Oil capacity: 2.4 litres
    Food capacity: 1.5kg
    Temperature range: 150oC – 190oC
    Filter in lid: yes

    Reasons to buy:
    · Easy clean system
    · Dishwasher safe lid
    · Large capacity
    · Handle folds down during frying

    Reasons to avoid:
    · Expensive
    · Narrow range of temperatures available

    This De’Longhi deep fat fryer is a pricey option, but with a neat, streamlined appearance and lots of useful features, it’s a great choice. The easy-clean system makes draining the oil a doddle, and the lid can be removed and washed in the dishwasher along with the frying basket. So the only cleaning you really need to do is wipe out the inside with kitchen roll, it’s easy.

    The lid clicks shut, and the large filter helps contain the frying smells. It opens at the touch of a button, but we noticed the fryer rocked slightly as the lid swung back.

    There’s enough space in the basket to fry four portions of chips and although our chips took a couple of minutes longer to fry than in some of the others, the results were still delicious. If your budget can stretch to it, this is a good all-rounder.

    Ideal Home rated 5 out of 5 stars

    2. Lakeland 3 Litre Electric Deep Fat Fryer

    Best deep fat fryer with a timer

    best deep fat fryer

    Oil capacity: 3 litres
    Food capacity: 700g
    Temperature range: 130oC – 190oC
    Filter in lid: yes

    Reasons to buy:
    · Timer with auto shut-off function
    · Control panel and element removable for cleaning

    Reasons to avoid:
    · Temperatures on dial shown in 20oC increments
    · Small food capacity
    · Lid isn’t hinged

    This traditional rectangular shaped commercial-style fryer doesn’t take up too much space on the worktop. We love the timer which can be set for up to 30 minutes and at the end, it’ll automatically switch the fryer off, a great safety feature for the forgetful cook. Alternatively, you can flick the timer to the ‘stay on’ position if you’d rather not use it.

    We would have preferred temperature markings on the dial to be every 10oC to take out the guesswork when setting it. Having said that, it was fast to preheat, and our chips fried nicely. The lid clicks into place but doesn’t completely seal the fryer, so some steam and smells can escape, meaning it’s best used near an extractor fan.

    For cleaning, the control panel that’s attached to the element can be removed and then everything else can be washed in warm soapy water. But to drain the oil, you’ll have to lift the container and tip it out, which can be messy.

    Ideal Home rated 4 out of 5 stars

    3. Russell Hobbs 2.5 Litre Deep Fryer

    Best budget deep fat fryer

    best deep fat fryer

    Oil capacity: 2.5 litres
    Food capacity: 1kg
    Temperature range: 80oC – 190oC
    Filter in lid: yes

    Reasons to buy:
    · Wide temperature range
    · Good capacity
    · Large viewing window
    · Removable lid

    Reasons to avoid:
    · Tricky to empty

    With a wallet-friendly price tag, this Russell Hobbs deep fat fryer is also compact, but it still has space for 1kg of food. Despite the wide 80oC – 190oC temperature range, the dial only has markings for 150oC, 170oC and 190oC so setting any other temperature requires a bit of guesswork.

    The hinged lid is removable to make cleaning and emptying easier, but to empty out the oil you have to lift the whole fryer and tip it out, which is an awkward process that’s prone to spillages.

    It fried our chips nicely and the carbon odour filter helps keep frying smells at bay. We like that the basket handle folds down when the basket is lowered into the oil, this keeps it neat and avoids the risk of catching it as you walk by. Overall, for the price, you can’t go too far wrong with this fryer.

    Ideal Home rated 3.5 out of 5 stars

    4. Swan 3 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer with Viewing Window

    Best deep fryer for easy access

    best deep fat fryer

    Oil capacity: 3 litres
    Food capacity: 1kg
    Temperature range: 130oC – 190oC
    Filter in lid: yes

    Reasons to buy:
    · Can shake basket without removing lid
    · Control panel and element removable for cleaning

    Reasons to avoid:
    · Lid doesn’t contain frying smells

    This Swan deep fat fryer doesn’t have a hinged or locking lid, the metal lid simply rests on top giving quick and easy access. So if you like to watch over your food as it fries, or you fry foods that need regular turning, this one is a good option.

    Even when the lid is in position you can still give the basket a good shake. The downside is that it doesn’t seal in any of the smells, so it can leave your kitchen with a deep-fried odour in the air.

    We made chips that were pleasingly golden on the outside and fluffy in the centre. The temperature dial displays a good range of temperatures and we found it easy to use. To clean it though, you have to lift out the tank and tip the oil out, but once you’ve done that everything apart from the control panel and element can be washed in the sink with warm soapy water.

    Ideal Home rated 3.5 out of 5 stars

    5. Progress EK2969P Compact Deep Fat Fryer

    Best deep fryer for single portions

    best deep fat fryer

    Oil capacity: 0.7 litre
    Temperature range: 150oC – 190oC
    Filter in lid: yes

    Reasons to buy:
    · Space saving fryer
    · Inexpensive
    · Doesn’t require much oil

    Reasons to avoid:
    · Very small capacity
    · Awkward to empty
    · Easy to over fill
    · Not very sturdy

    This tiny fryer is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen, it only has space for 700ml of oil and you can just about fry an individual portion of chips in the little basket as long as you’re not feeling too greedy. It works like any other deep fat fryer, it’s just in miniature, perfect for single person households or for people who only want to fry very small portions, like calamari for a starter. The tiny size makes it easy to store, plus there’s not much oil to deal with every time you empty and fill it.

    As there’s just a small amount of oil, it heats up fast. Thicker chips didn’t cook as well as thinner chips and for best results, you have to be careful not to overfill it.

    Removing the oil involves lifting and tipping the whole fryer which is awkward, but considering its size and the amount of oil, it isn’t heavy. The small frying basket can be washed in warm soapy water but nothing else is removable, so can only be wiped clean.

    Ideal Home rated 3 out of 5 stars

    How we tested the best deep fat fryers

    best deep fat fryer

    What better way to try out deep fat fryers than to make home-made chips? We timed how quickly the oil pre-heated as well as how fast the chips cooked. We assessed how fluffy the chips were on the inside, as well as the colour and whether they were excessively oily.

    best deep fat fryer

    It was a tough job eating all those freshly cooked chips, but someone had to do it! Sadly, we also had to empty and clean all the fryers, which was less fun, but meant we could assess which ones were trickier to clean.

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