Deep fat fryers are responsible for cooking some of our most delicious meals and recipes. Most famously, they really help us to get those elusive chip-shop chips straight out of the kitchen. Oven chips simply aren’t the same!
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Regardless of the science behind them, deep fat fryers have remained popular in homes across the UK for decades. If it’s your first time in buying a fryer, what are some of the things you should be looking for when shopping around?
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Deep Fat Fryers: A Buyer’s Guide For 2021
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know before buying, and we’ll also answer a few common queries at the end of this post to clear up a few further mysteries.
Why Buy a Deep Fat Fryer?
Fryers are, as stated, a quick and tasty way to cook a variety of foods. Most famously used to recreate chip-shop chips, they are often fairly lightweight, easy to store and even easier to operate. The main appeal in deep fat frying, apart from the tasty goodies it helps to produce, is the speed at which you can get things cooking. If you love the idea of creating your own sweet treats and takeaway-quality food from home, it’s an affordable and speedy way to do so.
However, deep fat fryers have come under fire in recent years with regard to just how healthy they actually are. Therefore, a number of alternatives have popped up, with view to making this type of cooking that little bit less guilty. The jury is out, however, with regard to taste. But what are these alternatives, and are they worth considering?
Deep Fat Fryers or Air Fryers?
Air frying is an alternative to deep fat frying which has been around for over a decade, however, it is still catching on with the wider public. Instead of relying on cooking deep in oil and producing food with a high fat content, these devices use a minimal amount to coat food, relying instead on hot air circulation.
This cooking system has proven popular with many people who are concerned about the health issues associated with deep frying, but who still want access to delicious food.
What sets air fryers apart from deep fat models, however, is the cost. In many cases, you will expect to pay a little more for air fryer units than you would with deep frying systems. This is largely what’s keeping deep fat fryers on the market, as well as the promise of delicious results.
While many people adapt well to air frying, plenty are still concerned that they get less tasty chips and other food from this method of cooking. It’s safe to say that, regardless of the health data associated with deep fat frying, the food it produces is always tantalising.
Things to Consider
As always, there are going to be a few features you’ll need to bear in mind while shopping around. No one deep fat fryer is going to do everything. That is, unless, you are willing to spend hundreds of pounds in the bargain! Here are a few things we think you should be comparing and keeping in mind before putting your money behind any one fryer model.
Plenty of deep fat fryers will allow you to cook up to 2kg of food, though many will hold around half this. Do bear in mind that capacity can drive up the price of fryer units, meaning that if this is something which is important to you, you should be ready to put some cash aside.
Do also keep in mind that however much food a fryer can hold, you’ll need to use a similar amount of oil in litres. Fryer capacity will also, naturally, impact on the space taken up in your kitchen.
You may want to look for a deep fat fryer with a lid that locks easily, which means that you can be protected from oil spillages and spurts during cooking. You may also wish to buy a fryer which has a lid which can be easily removed and cleaned. Ease of cleaning is a big factor in buying deep fat fryers, particularly as oil and fat can be troublesome to clean away if left for too long.
While plenty of deep fat fryers come with handy wire baskets supplied, some cheaper models do away with this facility. It’s a useful tool to have to hand, as it helps the oil used in the cooking to drip away and avoid soaking into the food. It’s also useful to have to hand when removing food from the fryer unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, let’s take a close look at some of the more common queries people ask when shopping for deep fat fryers.
How Much Should I Pay for a Deep Fat Fryer?
This is going to depend on how often you are going to use the unit, and which features you feel are most important to your cooking. You may be able to buy a cheap deep fat fryer for as little as £10-£15. However, the more spacious and feature-rich models will retail for more than £100. Choose wisely!
Is Air Frying Better Than Deep Fat Frying?
There’s little doubt that air frying is healthier than deep fat cooking. However, the results in terms of taste and in terms of cost-effectiveness will vary. If the health factor is important to you and you still want access to tasty, fried food, air frying may be worth investing in. However, doing so can be expensive.
What Other Features Should I Look For?
Features we haven’t covered in our guide above include compartment separation for different foods, and temperature differences. Some fryers will give you greater control over the heat – but you’ll likely have to pay more.
Deep fat frying is still popular with many people. While air frying may be considered healthier, the jury is still very much out on the taste factor. Take a look online and see what other people are saying!