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Jun 4, 2010 04:59 PM

deep fryers

i have an old(ish) DeLonghi deep fryer, which works fine, but i pretty much never use. Why? because there is no easy way to drain the oil. So i'm thinking about retiring it to the country house and getting a new unit for home. I want a good unit, not too small, not ridonkulously big either (NYC apartment dweller), that has an easy way to drain and/or store the oil. Maybe a smell filter too.

OK a quick bit of amazon and google showed me a newer DeLonghi Unit, and a t-fal, but neither had stellar reviews. I liked the drain into a storage unit feature of the t-fal, but several reviewers mentioned spilled oil (although one said he had the same problem until he stopped overfilling it)

Any thoughts? any recommendations?

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  1. I recommend a nice large pot and a thermometer. Comes with additional features, the pot you can use to make soup, stock and chili when it's not full of hot fat, and the thermometer can be used for everything from custards to candy. Not to mention, the pot takes up less counter space, and has fewer parts that can break. Score!

    1. I would have to agree with Indirect Heat. I have not seen a home deep fryer that comes close to a heavy pot and a thermometer.

      20 Replies
      1. re: jennaroo

        i really liked the one i have, except for the lack of easy oil draining. and it's nice having it hold temp automatically, which a heavy pot does not do

        1. re: thew

          I sold my deep fryer at a garage sale and just went with a heavy cast iron pot and thermometer as well. Much better idea IMHO.


          1. re: Davwud

            Returning to this old thread rather than start a new one, to ask: what's the best kind of pot to get for this method of deep frying? I have a smooth-top electric range.

            1. re: 16crab

              I have a deep fryer but lately I've been using my CI DO. That way there's lots of space in the pot so the oil can't bubble over. I think that was an alanbarnes tip.

              1. re: c oliver

                CI DO.


                Seriously! Who in the hell do you think we are? How can people be expected to know what the hell you are talking about?

                1. re: sarge

                  Well, CI and DO are VERY commonly used terms in both HC and Cookware. CI = cast iron and DO + Dutch oven. Deep breaths, okay? :)

              2. re: 16crab

                The best pot for this is an enameled cast iron one but I'd check with the manufacturer before putting one of those on your stove top.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Why specifically enameled? I use whichever is the right size for the job. I have induction and use all my cast-iron pieces on it.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Weight mostly. Once it gets to temp, it'll hold it better. It's harder to move around so on the off chance you happen to jolt it, it won't spill oil.
                    It's also less porous and easier to clean up.
                    It looks nicer as well.
                    As has been stated below, any heavy bottomed pot will do. Crab asked for the best.


                2. re: 16crab

                  Anything deep with a thick bottom. Make sure you have a good thermometer. Deep-frying you want to aim for 360-375. Cooler and you soak the oil into whatever you're frying. Hotter and you set your house on fire.

                  1. re: Indirect Heat

                    I wanted to get an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven, but I don't know about it on the smooth-top stove. Was hoping someone would have the quick answer on that, so I didn't have to shift through the box of instruction manuals. I was given a set of copper-bottomed stainless steel pots, as the original owner moved to smooth-top and said she could no longer use them as they didn't sit flat. Then we got smooth-top too and boxed them back up again. Don't want to buy something I can't use.

                    1. re: 16crab

                      Did you check the cookware board for what can and can't be used on a flat cook top??


                      1. re: 16crab

                        I have induction and that's "glass-topped" and I use regular and enameled CI on it all the time. But I advise you to always "shift through the box of instruction manuals." Did you actually try the copper-bottomed pans? I can't imagine that they're not useable on a regular electric cooktop.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Okay, c oliver, before I offer my comment I just need to say "whew!"

                          So, I thought about the induction thing. I LOVE to fry, but since I now have a gas cooktop and I'm a real spaz, I hesitate to use a big pot of oil. I thought I might buy one of those small induction cooktops (which can be used for other things) and then just use my 4 qt A/C (that's All Clad) with a fryer basket. My thinking is that I can plug in the temp I want and don't have to worry about burning my kitchen down. Does that sound practical? Esp since I'm only buying the multi-use cooktop, and not a whole fryer thingy that's murderous to wash and is one-use.

                          I hate buying one-use appliances and then have to store the darn thing.

                          1. re: breadchick

                            You're talking about the one-burner induction thingy? I have no info about them but they sound great. You can program in a temp? Now that's very cool. I do have a deep fryer and it's actually super easy to clean. Everything comes apart for washing except the heating element, thermostat dial. And it's got a cover and a basket. But I have to use more oil (or so it seems) because the basket sits somewhat above the bottom of the oil holder (techy word). When I use my DO for let's say fries, the oil isn't more than a fourth or a third up the DO. *I* am a clutz and if I feel safe I'd think you would. It seems far more forgiving than anything else. Just one person's opinion. FWIW.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Yes, thanks, the one burner kind. I understand you can program a temp, but I haven't of course had experience so I'm assuming it may be a good solution for my jangled nerves re: flame + oil = crispy me.

                              Oil holder - lol. So, you don't add that much oil really. I could use my L/C DO and probably get good results. Thanks for your info, and glad to know you have a good sense of humor!

                              I am doing some beignets this weekend!

                              1. re: breadchick

                                Beignets? Oh wow! Do you have a recipe you'd share?

                                Oh yeah. I have a sense of humor --- which gets me in plenty of trouble here on CH :)

                          2. re: c oliver

                            I did not try the copper-bottomed pans as I took MIL's word for it that they weren't useable on the smoothtop. I think it was about the fact that the bottoms weren't flat, not the material they were made of.

                          3. re: 16crab

                            We have piles of enameled cast iron and use it all on our flat surface KitchenAid - not so much as a tiny scratch in years of not terribly careful use.

                            1. re: BobB

                              Yes I did finally consult the manual, and it said enameled was fine, just check the bottom to make sure its smooth to avoid scratches. It said that non-enameled cast iron was not recommended.

                3. This is what I have and like although it's not very big. I just lift out the liner that holds the oil, put a funnel and sieve over the oil receptacle. Everthing except the electrical part is washable. And I seem to remember it cost about $30.


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    I have just thrown out my deep fryer. Too difficult to clean. I am going for the pot and thermometer with a fish basket (comes in various sizes).

                      1. re: thew

                        Oh and I put the grease container in the sink in case of spills.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          I would prefer the container on the counter or the floor...much easier to clean oil off a surface than to worry about it lurking down in my plumbing.

                          Different strokes.......

                          1. re: JayL

                            Ever since I found out that soap actually binds with oil and makes it less noxious, I've relaxed a smidge. But I recycle tons of the stuff. And have been lucky so far to not spill more than a drop or so after deep frying.

                    1. I use a cast iron dutch oven with a thermometer and either a stainless steel spider or stainless steel tongs.

                      My next deep frying purchase will be a cone type oil filter with paper filters. It's commercial and large but if you miss the target you really shouldn't be in a kitchen. I've tried mesh strainers, cheesecloth and coffee filters but haven't been satisfied with the results either with length of time to filter or quality of filtered oil.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SanityRemoved

                        Where can you buy the paper filters for the cone?

                        1. re: sarge

                          I have found them at my local restaurant supply but if you don't have one nearby they are available online. I did a search on paper cone filters oil and lots popped up. I didn't provide a link because I haven't researched the online prices and wouldn't want to send you to an overpriced link.

                      2. Here in the UK, the local fire brigages are very big on getting people to deep fry using proper deep fryers, due to the fire risk of using an open pan and a basket. You can even swap your old chip pan (big saucepan with basket made for deep frying on a stove) for vouchers to buy a proper plug in electric deep fryer with lid.

                        Safety concerns are part of the reason I really don't like/do deep frying - and if I did buy a proper electric deep fryer, I couldn't resist and I'd deep fry everything!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: serah

                          That's interesting. I can sympathize with the scary part after watching my daughter fry chicken in a teflon coated aluminum saute pan and hearing a ping noise which was the pan warping. I subsequently got a Lodge cast iron chicken fryer.

                          The home electric fryers cause me more worry that something may go wrong. I have more faith in cast iron with higher temperatures, but I'm also very attentive when deep frying, if I can't ignore a distraction then off goes the heat and the dutch oven to an unused burner.