Best deep fat fryer 2018: The best deep fat fryers from £25

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Whether it’s triple-cooked chips, authentic fried fish, crispy chicken or cinnamon-dusted churros, a deep fat fryer is the answer. As well as providing the irresistible crisping that comes from sizzling submersion, a deep fat fryer beats a pan full of oil every time. Not only can you safely set and regulate the temperature rather than guess and end up with frazzled food, but you can bypass most of the spitting and splashing that comes from deep-frying on the hob. You also won’t have the worry of a chip-pan fire to deal with.

And while a deep fat fryer will require more oil than a pan, you can reuse that oil. In fact, with light use, it will last up to three weeks, though a weekly change is recommended if you’re frying more often. Below, you’ll find advice on buying your ideal fryer, plus our reviews of the best models on the market.

How to buy the best deep fat fryer for you

What features should I look for in a deep fat fryer?

The basics of how a deep fat fryer works – as a heated bath of oil with a basket that’s dipped into it – don’t really vary from machine to machine. That said, additional features can make all the difference between perfectly crisp fries and soggy, oily chips.

All deep fat fryers should have a thermostat, so that you can set the temperature you want to cook at (most range from 150-190C), as well as a frying basket for submerging small items of food, such as chips and nuggets. Battered food, such as onion rings, and larger pieces can often be fried directly in the oil.

However, for more control over the results, a timer will come in handy, especially as food tends to cook faster than in an oven, with frozen fries and fish taking as little as seven or eight minutes. If you’re frying several different items at once, different compartments or baskets can also be useful, although this is something you’re more likely to find on professional models. A viewing window may also be useful to keep an eye on progress, though these can steam up quickly – and watch out for condensation that runs down into the oil when the lid is opened. Look also for models that make changing the oil quick and spill-free, and foldable baskets or removable handles for storage.

Do they come in different sizes?

Deep fat fryers vary in size, so check their capacity; it’s usually listed as how much oil they can accommodate, but note the volume of the frying basket, too. Compact models are ideal for small kitchens and occasional frying (1-1.5 litre models, with baskets up to around 500g), while larger appliances will suit family-sized feasts (up to around 3.5 litres of oil).

Are there any safety features to consider?

It’s also a good idea to look for safety features, such as cool-touch handles, insulated walls and power cut out functions if they overheat. Be aware that deep fat fryers tend to leave behind cooking smells even if they have odour filters, while many have vented lids to release steam. It’s a good idea to run your kitchen extractor at the same time to minimise moisture and odour.

How much should I spend?

The good news is that most deep fat fryers are pretty affordable, with basic models costing as little as £25 and premium models around the £100 mark. Spend more and your fryer will usually be easier to clean or change the oil, with a greater array of features and more control over the results. Price tends not to affect capacity drastically, with even larger fryers costing less than £50 – great if you’re cooking family-sized batches of chips.

What kind of maintenance does a deep fat fryer need?

Deep fat fryers need to be cleaned regularly. On some models, though, this isn’t easy, so look for any features that will make cleaning speedy and simple. These might include detachable lids (although if you have young children you may also want to look for lids that lock in place) or enamelled or stainless-steel bowls. While you’re at it, check for leak prevention if the fryer is tipped or moved; it’s a small safety feature that can avoid a lot of misery.

The best deep fat fryers to buy 

1. Tefal Oleoclean Pro 3.5L with digital timer: The best deep fat fryer design

Price: £130 | 

If you’ve ever had a deep fat fryer and remember how it meant using gallons of oil and was a chore to clean afterwards, the 2300W Oleoclean Pro is the model that will change your mind. Not only does it filter used oil into a removable plastic box below, so you can store it to be used again, the appliance dismantles so nearly all of it can be popped into the dishwasher to come out sparkling – the only cleaning you need to do is wipe the heating element. It’ll cook at a temperature range of 150-190C and has a timer that counts down in minutes for precisely fried food. In testing, it heated up quickly and fried beautifully browned soft doughnuts and crisp tempura battered veg. Homemade chips were easily overcooked, though this could easily be rectified with a reduction of cooking time.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 3.5 litres; Max food capacity: 1.2kg; Features: Digital timer, immersed heating element, viewing window, overheat function with reset; Easy cleaning: All parts dishwasher safe, except heating element; Size: H37.5 x W34.8 x D46.4cm

2. Wilko Deep Fat Fryer Robust Stainless Steel 3L: A good budget deep fat fryer

Price: £25 | Buy now from Wilko

Planning on cooking battered food and sweet treats rather than piles of golden chips? This good-value 2180W stainless-steel fryer is the one for you. While its enamel-coated oil tank has a generous three-litre capacity and can be removed for easy cleaning, its frying basket with foldable cool-touch handle can only squeeze in a disappointing 800g, making it more suitable for solo households and couples. It’s also a little slow to heat up. On the plus side, there’s an adjustable thermostat with indicator light, a two-year guarantee and it’s light enough to store in a cupboard. The reminder of average cooking times of different foods on the front is a thoughtful touch, while the boxy shape fits neatly at the back of a worktop.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 3 litres; Max food capacity: 800g; Features: viewing window; Easy cleaning: removable enamelled oil tank; Size: H26 x W41.9 x D24.1cm

3. Swan SD6060N 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer: The best compact deep fat fryer

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Large appliances can be worktop hogs, so if space is limited, this compact 900W model could be your ideal route to deep-fried deliciousness. It’s small but perfectly formed, with a thermostat dial that ranges from 150-190C (plus lower temperatures) and a detachable basket handle that makes storage simple. Cleaning can be more of an issue – the 1.5-litre pan is fixed, although it does have a non-stick coating to make life easier. The hinged lid is also not removable, though the frying basket can be popped in the dishwasher for a thorough clean. In testing it heated up to its maximum 190C in just under eight minutes and was easy to open and close thanks to a small lip on the edge of the lid. Decanting the used oil was a bit messy, but otherwise this is an easy-to-manage, trouble-free fryer.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 1.5 litres; Max food capacity: 500g; Features: viewing window, overheat protection; Easy cleaning: non-stick pan; Size: H20.5 x W21.5 x D24cm

4. Delonghi Traditional Deep Fat Fryer FS6055: The most stylish deep fat fryer

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

Fryers can end up looking a bit too professional, so if the thought of a stainless-steel fryer in your classic cream kitchen sends a shiver down your spine, this more traditional model is for you. Finished in chic white and grey, it’s equipped with some smart features, too, including an innovative way to empty the oil out of its fixed bowl after use. Rather than having to lift the appliance and pour, you drain the oil through a flexible tube, hidden neatly under a flap at the front. Simply uncap it and let the oil flow out. There’s also a lid-release button and an adjustable thermostat, covering temperatures from 150-190C, not to mention a removable anti-odour filter that can be taken out and washed from time to time. On the downside, you’d really expect to find a timer at this price, and it can be fiddly to clean the fixed bowl in-situ. Still, it’ll look great when out on your worktop.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 2.4 litres; Max food capacity: 1.5kg; Features: Lid-release button, viewing window, cool-touch walls; Easy cleaning: Teflon-coated bowl, dishwasher-safe lid and basket; Size: H26 x W41.5 x D29cm

5. Breville Easy Clean Digital Deep Fat Fryer: The best deep fat fryer for beginners

Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’ve never cooked with a deep fat fryer before, the thought of accidentally charring your food can be off-putting. Fortunately, the Easy Clean fryer is the perfect companion to creating crispy, crunchy dishes. As well as a digital timer with an audible alert, a temperature range from 130-190C and a large viewing window to help you keep an eye on progress, it has a rise and fall basket mechanism, so oil drains away easily from food once it’s cooked. It’s also incredibly family friendly, with a cool-touch body, 1kg frying capacity and locking lid to keep curious fingers away from hot oil. Clean-up is simple, too, as its enamel bowl and lid with built-in filter are both removable, plus the bowl is dishwasher-safe. A final plus is the stainless-steel trim, which makes the gloss white exterior extra-stylish.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 2 litres; Max food capacity: 1kg; Features: cord storage, safety locking lid, digital timer, viewing window, foldable handle; Easy cleaning: removable dishwasher-safe enamel bowl, removable lid; Size: H28 x W26 x D36.5cm

6. VonShef 2.5L Deep Fat Fryer: The best affordable deep fat fryer

Price when reviewed: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

You might not be able to cater for a big family in this compact 1800W machine but what it lacks in size it makes up for in ease of use and storage. Designed to keep the frying process as simple as possible, the control panel features lights to show it’s on and ready, and a dial marked from 150-190C. You’ll still be able to cook at temperatures below and within that – however, the dial only shows the three most common frying heats. Inside, there’s a 2.5-litre oil pot and basket with a foldable handle. Cleaning out the pot is a little awkward as it’s not removable, but it is at least non-stick, while the lid detaches for more straightforward maintenance. There’s also a metal filter in the lid to minimise smells spreading through the kitchen. The lid locks safely when it’s closed and there’s a release button on the front of the machine so you can pop it open without your hands coming into contact with steam.

Key specs – Oil capacity: 2.5 litres; Max food capacity: one-two portions; Features:  viewing window, foldable basket handle, safety lock; Easy cleaning: removable lid, non-stick pot; Size: H23 x W31.5 x D33.5cm

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