It uses only 2-1/2 gallons of oil, while propane fryers can use upwards of 4 gallons or more. Surprisingly, after cooking an 11-pound turkey, I found no discernable change in the oil level which leads me to the conclusion that the turkey absorbed very little oil. There is a convenient drain spigot at the bottom of the oil reservoir when it's time to change the oil.
Large capacity fryer basket is included for traditional deep-frying. 3 levels for basket frying.
A whole turkey takes about 3-1/2 minutes per pound on the rotisserie. My 11-pound bird took only 35 minutes.
Large capacity. It can handle a turkey up to 18 pounds. I recommend buying no larger than a 15-pound turkey, not due to any drawbacks on the part of the fryer, but because larger birds are naturally older and tougher.
Rotisserie works well to rotate the turkey through the oil so it is not constantly sitting in oil.
The oil may be re-used up to 10 times, depending on how dirty it gets from prior usage. Simply drain through the convenient drain-spount at the bottom of the unit, filter through several layers of cheesecloth, and refrigerate.
The unit also functions as a steamer, perfect for indoor clambakes or other large-capacity steaming duties.
375 F. maximum temperature; 175 F. minimum; 120-minute timer.
Instant-read thermometer is included. Maximum recommended interior temperature of the flesh, not touching the bone, should be 160 for poultry. Turkey will continue to cook a bit during the 15-minute resting period.
Surprisingly easy to clean in hot soapy water.
A full reservoir of room temperature oil will take 35 to 40 minutes to heat to 375 F. Be patient.
The unit has a green light that comes on when the oil reaches the set temperature. There is no beep or signal to let you know when the desired temperature has been reached, so you'll need to babysit the unit and watch for the light to come on. A beep or tone would be nice.
On the other hand, the timer does sound when the set cooking time has expired. However, it will not turn off the rotisserie nor the heat. This is by intentional design, I'm sure. You wouldn't want your food to sit in oil as it cools. In a dream world, the unit would stop the rotisserie, raise the food out of the oil, and turn itself off. Perhaps that's not practical.
When using the rotisserie, proper balancing and trussing of the meat/poultry is essential. The rotisserie must rotate freely without touching the sides of the basket and should not list to one side. I strongly recommend you watch this video before beginning. It's not rocket science, but there is a bit of a learning curve.
There are slots in the lid on either side to accomodate the basket handles. Oil can and does splatter out those side slots, so beware when you are cooking anything with a reasonable moisture content or frozen foods.
We all know that water hitting hot oil will pop and sputter like crazy. If you don't know, you will find out when you remove the lid from this unit and tilt it. The condensation can easily drip into the oil. It may take a bit of trial and error to master a method of removing the lid without causing dripping condensation fireworks.
The exterior of the unit gets hot! Don't even think about trying to move it once the oil is heated. Be sure to provide ample space around it.
The parts are not dishwasher-safe. You will need to hand-wash them. The only part that is not washable is the electric unit itself, which does detach. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth. It really doesn't get that dirty. The other parts are completely submersible, including the oil reservoir. These are large parts, of course, and may take some wrangling if you have a small sink.
As a safety feature, the breakaway electrical plug-in cord is only 28 inches long. This means you need to be pretty close to an outlet.
The unit is large and bulky, but you would expect this for a turkey fryer, right? It measures 13 inches wide by 22 inches deep, by 18 inches high. You won't be able to use this on a counter-top with low cabinets. It's fine on an island with no overhead cabinets. Its size makes it difficult to store. You will probably find yourself storing it in the garage, but again, that goes with the territory of a turkey fryer. It's easy enough to use on a covered patio or in a garage if you don't have indoor space.
The Bottom Line:
I started off my trials with a turkey, of course. I cooked an 11-pound turkey in about 35 minutes. The manual includes a handful of recipes to give you some ideas. I seasoned mine inside and out with my own favorite dry rub (recipe here), let the bird come to room temperature, balanced and tied it on the rotisserie, and let 'er rip. As you can see from the photo, it turned out gorgeous to the eye and moist and tender to the mouth. Best of all was that crispy skin. Oh my! I was pleasantly surprised that there was no drop in the oil level of the reservoir after cooking a whole turkey. I can only assume it did not absorb much oil. I was also able to balance a 5-1/2-pound chicken on the rotisserie spit, which also worked well and only took 30 minutes to cook.
I must tell you that if you pre-season the food before frying, some of the seasoning will naturally go into the oil. Yet, enough does cling to the food to give good flavor. Some cooks may wish to season after frying and during the resting period.
After devouring the turkey dinner, I faced cleaning the fryer with dread. The basket and rotisserie spit looked like they would be impossible to clean. They were pretty dark with burned bits. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. It cleaned up beautifully with very little scrubbing. I used my regular non-abrasive kitchen sponge with the thin layer of plastic scrubby on the bottom, and boom! Done!
Later trials included chicken wings, frozen foods, and deep-fried pork loin. These items were fried as in a traditional deep-fryer without using the rotisserie. Nothing new there. Frozen and wet foods will splatter. There's no getting around it. The key is to lower the food very slowly into the oil. I also found a little trick to containing the splatters as you lower the food into the oil. Simply load up the basket, then cover with the lid before slowly lowering. The lid will catch any stray splatters.
Same goes for using it as a steamer. Nothing new other than the large capacity. You can steam a clambake, lobster, crab, or veggies for a crowd. Pretty straightforward.
The biggest selling points for this appliance are indoor safety, the rotisserie feature, and large capacity. If your budget can stand the bite, go for it! Recommended.