Consumer Reports Recommends Electric Turkey Fryers Rather Than Propane

Consumer Reports recommends that consumers try new, safer electric turkey fryers this Thanksgiving. Propane powered fryers have this nasty habit of setting themselves on fire—a feature that tends to annoy Consumer Reports, the fire department and the burn unit at your local hospital.

This year they’ve reviewed the Masterbuilt Turk & Surf electric fryer and say that it’s not only safer (it includes a feature that turns the heat off if the oil gets too crazy hot), but that it makes some delicious turkey.

A safer way to fry a turkey [Consumer Reports]


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  1. girly says:

    I hope somebody reviews how some of those countertop appliances perform, like the nuwave or flavor wave.

    I’m curious.

  2. girly says:

    I hope they compare a bunch of these on price, power consumption, ease of use, safety…

  3. esqdork says:

    Every year for the last five years, I’ve asked for permission from the girlfriend to buy a turkey fryolater and she always says no. When will she realize that tasty turkey can go hand-in-hand with danger and excitement?

  4. Starfury says:

    The biggest problem with the propane ones is that people put too much oil into the pot and they also don’t monitor the oil temperature.

    But we all understand that stupidity is an excuse to blame someone else for your screw up.

  5. Hedgy2136 says:

    The problem with electric fryers is that it’s nearly impossible to regulate the temp. That’s much easier with the gas ones. Char-Broil has a new gadget out called the Big Easy (I think) that uses propane and infra red technology and no oil. They say it cooks in 8-10 minutes per pound versus oil’s 3 minutes a pound plus 5 minutes. I was going to pick one up this past weekend to try, but the store was out.

  6. woodenturkey says:


    Hank Hill, Is that you?

  7. MercuryPDX says:

    @girly: I love Deep fried turkey as much as the next guy, but doing T-day solo prevents me from frying up 13+ lbs. of goodness for myself.

    Laugh if you must, but I use the Popeil Showtime Rotisserie to do a 5-7 lb boneless breast (in under 2 hours), using a turkey/chicken/pork rub, and it comes out just fine.

  8. vanilla-fro says:

    @MercuryPDX: Showtime Rotisserie is the bomb. The only infomercial thing I have ever owned or even wanted. That thing rocks.

    Do you still watch it cook sometimes?

  9. KJones says:

    I’ve got a better idea.

    Instead of buying a 20 pound turkey and trying to figure out how to cook it, why not buy a pair of 3 pound chickens that will fit into your oven? Or how about a legs or two of turkey if only one or two people are eating?

    Benjamin Franklin said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Expecting an oversized bird to make every Thanksgiving perfect fits that definition perfectly.

    “Tradition” is doing something because you’ve always done it. It’s not a reason to keep doing it.

  10. Bladefist says:

    ya but it atleast kills any germs.

  11. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @esqdork: that’s a dealbreaker!

  12. freshyill says:

    Anybody stupid enough to use a turkey deep fryer indoors fails at life.

    Anybody who is in a position to be cooking a turkey, deep-fried or otherwise, should also be smart enough to know beforehand what happens when you put a wet, possibly partially frozen turkey into a fryer with too much oil.

  13. MercuryPDX says:

    @vanilla-fro: My dad got it for Christmas one year and hated it. He re-gifted it to me and I use the hell out of it. Once a month it’s either turkey breasts, chickens, or fish. The only thing that doesn’t work in it (for me anyway) is beef.

    I don’t watch it cook. Kinda goes against the “Set it and forget it”. ;)

  14. girly says:

    @MercuryPDX: I was reminded of these rotisseries, too.

    I would love to know the results of a 16 pound turkey in one of those countertop IR cookers, though.

    I would guess it would come out very similar to baking, but maybe use less power? (which of course wouldn’t make of for the price of it)

  15. Myron says:

    Consumer Reports says the electric fryer is strictly for indoor use. Doing the frying indoors would seem to introduce a new set of hazards.

  16. humphrmi says:

    @Myron: Yeah, because there’s still the problem with people putting the wet, still-frozen turkey into a vat of hot oil and not knowing what inevitably will happen next.

  17. royal72 says:

    can i use it for safer meth cooking as well?

  18. Munsoned says:

    We’ve always done two fairly small turkeys rather than one large one. Much easier to cook/control.

  19. lostalaska says:

    16lb Turkey… check
    Super Hot Oil… check
    Planning for displacement and the fizzle fry… wha?

    Oh my god uncle Bob is engulfed in flames quick someone help him pull the turkey from the flaming cauldron of hot oil… we don’t want to lose the turkey and have uncle Bob ruin Thanksgiving again, especially since he hasn’t had a chance to get drunk and make a fool of himself yet… oh wait… check.

  20. frankieman70 says:

    I have been deep frying my turkey for the past 5 years and I never once had a problem, people just need to follow instructions, It specifically says to 1st way
    before even turning on the deep fryer to pour water and then add your turkey (still in bag of course) so you know exactly how much oil to use and not overflow and burn your dumbass, mark it, dry it up and make sure no more water is left inside, pour in oil, heat to the degree you need add turkey and enjoy! It’s that easy. “Oh yeah one more thing never stuff a turkey that will be going in a fryer.”

  21. JayXJ says:

    @KJones: Because cold turkey sandwiches for a couple of days after, and one batch of turkey stew, is part of the tradition as well. :)

  22. jbalsle says:

    The picture made me LOL.

  23. bravo says:

    The easy solution is to not use too much oil to avoid such a catastrophe.

  24. Trai_Dep says:


    So that means the Col. Kilgore Turkey Napalm Spritzer is completely out of the question?

  25. BlackBirdTA says:

    @frankieman70: I agree completely. I’ve used a propane fryer and an electric one and I’ve never had any problems. It’s also a good idea to make sure the bird is completely thawed and pat it dry.

    A couple of years ago, I got an electric fryer and we cooked 4 turkeys in one day–inside. The Charmglow has a thermostat so it keeps a constant temperature. The only problem I see with using an electric inside is the turkey smell that takes forever to go away.

  26. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @KJones: If I were doing Thanksgiving myself, instead of going to someone else’s place, I’d do Cornish game hens. They’re easy to cook, I have a great broccoli-rice stuffing recipe, and people feel kind of special when they have their own little birds.

    As it is, I bought a whole turkey today, but that’s because it was on sale for about forty cents a pound.

  27. RISwampyankee says:

    What’s Thanksgiving without a disaster–preferably something catching fire? Many years back, my brother-in-law decided to use one of those aluminium supermarket “roasting pans” for a 16-18 pound bird. When it came time to take the turkey out of the oven, the “pan” collapsed spilling turkey fat all over the bottom of the gas stove, which had not been turned off. The house filled with smoke, my neice (then a toddler) pitched a tantrum, and we were all amazed when the little kitchen extinguisher put out the flames. Good times.

  28. Bryan Price says:

    You know, it’s not like I’ve never caught something on fire on my electric stove before. (Wife hits me on the head when I mention this.) Well, yeah I guess I have had a couple of small fires on it. And then there was my daughter trying to bake something and I used to boxes of baking soda to put it out.

    Yeah, the electric one will never start a fire.

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    Is it too late to send out a mass email plea to anyone that has a youtube account that, if they decide to Go Xtreme this Turkey Day, do so with proper video documenters standing by?

    If a house goes up in flames, shirtless children fleeing in abject panic, womenfolk gnashing their teeth in sorrow and Dad looking just a bit sheepish – and it’s not on youtube – does it truly burn?

  30. RISwampyankee says:

    Quite right, TD. Still photos will no longer do. It didn’t happen if you didn’t get the video.

  31. Rusted says:

    @freshyill: But think of the entertainment value!

    Can’t help of thinking of flaming turkeys arcing across the night skies. So cool.

  32. STrRedWolf says:

    Why don’t every TV station ask Food Network to allow them (for a fee, of course) to re-air Alton Brown’s Deep Fat Fried Turkey episode of Good Eats? What he does is goes well into the back yard, puts an aluminum ladder over the fryer, lowers the bird in by rope, and has you stay there while it’s cooking.

    If you’re not willing to do all that, don’t deep fat fry a turkey.

  33. Covaluxx says:

    This whole problem started from the morons trying to cook the turkey in the garage or an enclosed porch.

  34. MrEvil says:

    Thank you Mythbusters for showing me the pitfalls of frying a frozen turkey. It was in their holiday special.

    The problem is, too many people are too stupid to handle gallons of hot oil near an open flame. The trick is to NOT overfill the pot It takes alot less oil than you’d think to fry a turkey. Oh, and to thouroughly thaw your frozen turkey. Best way I’ve found to quickly and safely thaw a frozen turkey is to keep it in the wrapper and soak it in a sink full of hot water…draining and refilling as needed. It takes the better part of a week in the fridge to thaw a turkey.