After much research into several different styles and models of Turkey Fryer, we settled on the Butterball unit by Masterbuilt. We went with an indoor unit as we figured we’d get much more utility out of it during the rough Midwestern winters. Also this brand has a vaunted reputation from consumers online, real average folks who will put appliances through real-world conditions, not some manufacturer-sponsored lab environment.
The fryer was already pretty well set up and with a quick wash of all the major parts and a gander through the instruction manual to ensure safety, I filled it with oil and fired it up. I’ve never used anything larger than a fry daddy or large pot so this thing seemed gargantuan by comparison. Nonetheless, thanks to the numerous Youtube videos watched, I had a good idea about a few things. For my maiden fryer voyage I did a 7 pound whole chicken. For seasoning I simply used the same as I always do except I made a rub and put it all over the chicken. Also, I injected the breasts and thighs for flavor. Using 2 gallons of oil for my 7 pound bird it took the fyer about 40 minutes to heat up. I cooked the chicken for 40 minutes using the 5 minutes/pound + 5 minutes formula, in vegetable oil. The internal temp was a scorching 185 degrees upon lifting the bird out. The chicken was absolutely beautiful and tasted as good as it looked. The entire skin of the chicken was a crispy golden brown and accented by the seasoning adorned upon the entire outside of the chicken. The legs and wings came right off the chicken by hand and the breast meat was juicy and flavorful through and through. Huge surprise for me was that the chicken was just as juicy the next day when heated up in the….Microwave! That never happens with fried food. We let the unit cool down overnight and then drained the oil out the next day. The tub that cooks the chicken is coated with a non-stick material and it lifts completely out of the unit. This allowed me to close the drain valve and fill the tub with soapy water and clean. The small amount of grease and sediments on the bottom came right out. No ‘elbow grease’ needed to scrub! I was extremely satisfied with this experience.
A few thoughts to consider: First, if you plan to do fried turkey for thanksgiving and are planning to get an inside unit, this one is hard to beat. However, consider the size of this unit. It can fry up to an 18-20l pound bird so it will need plenty of counter space. If all of your counters are covered by your cabinets this means you will have to find something like a small table or other surface as you won’t be able to open the lid on this. As well, you will need a place to store it when not in use and again, if you have very limited storage space you might be mindful of this going in. They do make smaller units by the same manufacturer and many people can get by with the smaller one as it can still fry up 10-plus pond birds. Also, the technology employed in this is sufficient that you can use any type of cooking oil, not just the highly expensive peanut oil. Another reason we went with this unit is that it steams and boils as well. My wife, mother and mother-in-law are big fans of steamed crab legs and we all love steam pots with vegetables and potatoes. We have family gatherings at least once every couple of months and we can do fish fries, wing parties and not have to worry with going outside if the weather isn’t permissible. Online reviews drove our purchase and please avail yourself of all the wonderful ‘how-to’ vidoes on youtube; it has given us so MANY ideas! All told, we are pleased with this fryer’s performance, and promises of many delicious meals to come.