Find The Best Outdoor Deep Fryer For Turkey, Fish, and More...
Everybody loves the taste of deep-fried food. We know we shouldn’t, but it just tastes so good. Those golden pieces of southern fried chicken, the crispy french fries or battered strips of catfish. MMMM! Isn’t it time you invested in the best outdoor deep fryer for your next outdoor gathering?
Tailgating, family reunions, camping site or community cookout - an outdoor propane deep fryer can serve as many as 30 hungry guests an hour! Some are even portable enough to take on your next road trip. For smaller gatherings, there are a few great dual fryer basket options as well.
Our cooking ware experts at Fire Food Chef researched hundreds of products to find the best option for every budget. The results of our search are all compiled in this buying guide. You can read the 8 best outdoor deep fryer reviews in detail below, or jump straight to our chart of the top picks.
Bayou Classic 4-Gallon Outdoor Deep Fryer
Why is it better?
Last Updated: April 23, 2020
By William Clay: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding outdoor deep fryers available for those who want to cook some delicious deep-fried food and enjoy nature. The best 8 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best outdoor deep fryers currently available on the market.
There’s really only one way to properly deep fry a whole 20 pound turkey - an outdoor deep fryer.
Whether you’re serving golden, crispy fried chicken for an outdoor gathering or deep frying the fish you caught at your cabin, there’s an outdoor fryer out there for you!
The top 8 picks below include the best outdoor deep fryer and deep fryer packages.
Featuring an all stainless steel construction, the Bayou Classic 700-701 stands 38.5 inches tall with a large 4-gallon capacity. A V-shaped bottom to the tank ensures the base oil temperature is kept lower than the top frying temperature. This results in oil that stays cleaner for longer and batters that don’t burn to the bottom.
This latest model of Weber’s iconic grill features a 22-inch diameter porcelain-enameled bowl with a cooking area of 363 square inches. All Weber kettles include a one-touch cleaning system which removes the charcoal and debris out of the bottom of the grill. The Bayou Classic 4-gallon Fryer adds a high-capacity ash catcher that can be removed for easy cleaning, rather than the usual steel plate.
Also included in the package are two stainless steel fry baskets, a front integrated temperature control and 10-PSI regulator kit. A stainless steel braided hose attaches to a 20-pound propane tank, which then flows through the rear tube of the fryer.
Overall, if you’re somebody who needs to fry large amounts of food on a regular basis, the Bayou Classic 700-701 is an ideal choice. This outdoor propane deep fryer holds and maintains high temperatures better than most, thanks to its thick stainless steel construction.
Check Out: BEST MEAT THERMOMETER REVIEWS OF 2020
What makes the King Kooker 1265BF3 stand out from other outdoor propane deep fryers? Besides its sub $100 price, the King Kooker offers incredible versatility for either boiling or deep-frying large batches of food. Whether it’s a whole fried turkey for Thanksgiving, twenty pounds of potato fries for an outdoor gathering, or the mash for craft beer, this outdoor deep fryer boiling package has all you need.
Standing over 18 inches tall, this portable outdoor fryer is large enough to fit a whole turkey. A large 29-quart turkey pot with cover is included, along with an 11-quart frying pan, also made from aluminum. The pressure cast burner provides 33,000 BTUs of power.
Not only can you fry a whole turkey with this kit, but you can also use the perforated basket for boiling up potatoes too. You can even use the King Kooker 1265BF3 to boil up the mash for their craft beers.
A separate fry basket with heat-resistant handles makes it just as suitable for frying smaller batches of food, like fish or wings. Weighing under 20 pounds, it’s ideal for taking along on picnics or camping trips.
The King Kooker 1265BF3 really comes into its own when frying a whole turkey. For added convenience, a turkey rack and lifting hook are included with this kit. To prevent the food from burning, a thermometer is included, and a regulator with a cut-off timer.
The King Kooker 1618 is the ideal outdoor deep fryer for cooking two foods at once! Crafted from sturdy material and fitted with a powerful cast burner, it has a smaller capacity than the Bayou Classic 4 gallon Fryer, but it’s still large enough for most outdoor gatherings.
With its large 15Qt rectangular aluminum fry pan, the King Kooker 1618 is an outdoor propane deep fryer equipped with 2 perforated aluminum baskets. A powerful 54,000BTU cast burner heats the oil to the perfect frying temperature, which you can monitor using the Fry Thermometer that’s included.
Easy to assemble, the King Kooker 1618 has a recessed top and four legs designed for safety and stability. Each of the two fry baskets have handles that remain cool to the touch even after the oil is boiling hot. You can safely remove them without gloves, but we should note that a lid isn’t included to prevent splatter. To avoid getting burnt by oil, it’s best to turn off the gas and allow the oil to cool slightly before attempting to remove the baskets.
CSA certified, the King Kooker also comes with a LP hose and regulator with type 1 connection, as well as an Instruction/Recipe booklet.
For newbies to outdoor frying the Bayou Classic 2212 is one of the simplest outdoor fish fryers to learn on. The Bayou Classic 2212 is easy to assemble, with just the legs needing screwing on the solid round frame. Once the propane gas cylinder is attached, you could be frying fish in minutes.
This heavy duty outdoor fish fryer includes a cooking pot 12.5 inches by 5 inches deep, although the legs are strong enough to support a 34-quart pot. A steel basket fits inside the pot, which has a long steel handle to safely lower or lift foods from the oil in the pan.
A round frame stands 19.5 inches tall, with a single gas burner stove that attaches to a 10 PSI regulator and valve. The sturdy frame features tripod legs with wide feet to make it more stable and less likely to be blown over by an unexpected wind change.
The aluminum pot, which holds 10 quarts of oils, sits comfortably on top of a frame with a single burner underneath. An adjustable valve makes it easy to control the temperature with greater accuracy. A thermometer clips into the pot when heating up the oil and can be attached to the fryer basket when frying your foods.
With its 10-quart aluminum deep-fry pot, this outdoor fryer can easily accommodate about 10 half catfish fillets. The long handle that attaches to the frying basket makes for less chance of any splashback when lowering or lifting your fish from the oil.
For a simple outdoor fish fryer, the Bayou Classic 2212 Outdoor Fish Cooker Set is hard to beat.
Best suited for camping and hiking grounds, the King Kooker 24” inch is another great outdoor deep fryer that’s portable and high capacity. This portable propane outdoor fryer actually comes with a cooking wok for stir frying in the great outdoors!
To use the 18-inch steel wok, the King Kooker 24” inch comes with a recessed top ring that attaches to the burner and fryer stand. A tripod design with a round base supports the wok, but you can also use a cast iron skillet, or a large aluminum steel fry pot just as easily.
The 54,000-BTU CSA-certified cast burner matches the offering of other outdoor fryers, as well as the LP hose and regulator with type-1 connector. A flame-protective wind guard is also included, and the fryer stand is designed to prevent being tipped over by strong wind gusts.
One drawback of note, however, is the free space between the burner shield and the bottom of where the wok sits. This area isn’t adequately shielded, especially if the conditions are windy. The frame also feels a bit flimsy, but stands up nonetheless.
Considering its relatively lower price, the King Kooker 24” inch is still a great bargain. If portability and power are your top priority, this propane outdoor deep fryer is just what you need. The wok is a nice addition, but may not be as valuable if you don’t stir fry.
The Bayou Classic 700-725 is pretty much the same fryer as the first Bayou Classic we reviewed earlier for our top pick, the 700-701, just with a smaller capacity. It offers all the same quality features of a quick heat up and better temperature recovery. Food will be cooked to the same degree of perfection, just less of it.
This smaller Bayou Classic deep fryer also features the same V-shaped bottom design as the larger 4 and 9-gallon models of the Bayou range. However, only having a smaller 2.5 gallon capacity, it requires much less oil and is more suited to smaller gatherings or a single family use.
Standing 33 inches tall with the full length legs attached, it also features shorter legs which allow it to be used as a tabletop fryer as well. It features the same heavy-duty aluminum construction of the larger Bayou Classic fryers, which retains the heat longer at an optimum frying temperature.
A basket size of 7.5 inches by 11 inches by 3.5 inches deep offers a comparable cooking capacity to the dedicated fish fryers. Back-mounted burner jets on the Bayou models blast hot air through a tube in the oil rather than from the bottom with other burner models. This ensures heat transfers into the center of the oil and prevents the batter from scorching when the fryer is in use.
Another bonus is the oil stays cleaner and can be reused many times, cutting down the operating costs. If you prefer something more portable, consider a burner-style stand with a separate frying pot, which is typically more lightweight.
Most of the outdoor fryers in this review are suited for serving large gatherings. If your deep-frying needs are more modest, however, you can opt for a dual basket deep fryer instead of a large capacity outdoor fryer.
Less costly and smaller in size, the CHARD TBAPF-18 is perfectly equipped for serving as many as 20 people. You can quickly serve up deep-fried chicken wings, french fries, onion rings
and other delicious deep-fry dishes using the 2 nine quart fry strainer baskets. Together, you can fry two different foods simultaneously, allowing for more rapid service to your guests.
A regulator, hose and fry stand are included along with the 2 9-qt fry baskets and an 18-qt pot with handles for easily carrying your finished food. The cast-iron burner boasts 50,000 BTU’s of heat, which is slightly less than other top picks but still incredibly powerful. It will easily exceed your gas grill or stovetop.
The 21 inch welded steel stand is sturdy and designed for stability even in windy conditions. Insulated handles, a five inch thermometer and adjustable thermostat control make your outdoor frying experience much safer as well.
The stand may be considered short for some, however, so you may need to find a way to adjust the height. You can also place this outdoor fryer on a picnic bench or table for added height.
Made in the USA, the R & V Works Cajun Propane Outdoor Deep Fryer is a large capacity outdoor deep fryer for serving 25 - 30 people per hour. Heavy duty construction, ease of portability, and a large 4-gallon capacity combine to make this one of the best outdoor deep fryers on the market.
While priced significantly higher than other top picks, the R & V offers superior quality overall. No other outdoor deep fryer in this review matches the construction quality. At 116 pounds, you can feel the difference in the construction and quality of engineering.
Equipped with 2 fryer baskets with insulated handles, the Cajun Fryer 4 Gallon Propane Gas Deep Fryer, the specially designed burner / flue is positioned six inches above the bottom of the oil reserve. By positioning it at a 45 degree angle, the Cajun Fryer prevents your food batter from collecting on the heating element so it drips to the bottom of the reservoir instead.
As the heat rises, the fire burning inside of the burner / flue is able to safely heat the oil for cooking, while the temperature below it never gets hotter than 120 degrees, so it won’t burn or scorch the batter. The result is cleaner oil that can be used repeatedly, with an estimated 70 percent reduction in oil use.
Each basket can hold between 8 - 10 catfish filets at a time so you can feed 25 - 30 people per hour, including fish, fries and hush puppies! A drain valve is located near the bottom of the reserve for easy cleaning. For greater ease of portability, the stand includes a pair of 8-inch wheels.
Deep frying with oil requires high temperatures, adequate ventilation, and a safe environment. Cooking outdoors with fire or propane gas especially can be dangerous. It’s important that the outdoor fryer you choose supports your cooking needs and is proven safe to operate.
That being said, distinguishing quality between different brands can be tricky. Keep these 3 factors top of mind when you’re researching your options:
2) FRYING TEMPERATURE (BTU’s)
3) CONVENIENT DESIGN FEATURES
Finally, consider the overall design. Hot oil can be dangerous—does it feature a sturdy stand and quality materials that won’t leak? How easy is it to clean, and does it feature a drain to get rid of that used oil?
#1) No More Funky Smells
One of the biggest advantages of an outdoor fryer is the smell, or rather lack of it. When you deep fry in your kitchen indoors, there’s always that lingering aroma of hot fat.
Just ask anybody who has ever worked in a fast-food restaurant about the smell. It’s not just your home, but when you deep fry in restricted spaces, your clothes can take home that smell too.
#2) If you can’t stand the heat - take it outdoors!
The other main problem with frying indoors is the heat. To deep fry, you are going to have to heat oil up to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results—that’s a lot of heat and more ambient heat. Deep frying outdoors can help you keep your cool and keep your kitchen cooler too.
#3) Serve a greater variety of fried foods.
There’s only so many times you can offer up baked potatoes or wedges. Sometimes people just want a good old fashioned portion of french fries to go with their steak. For your English cousins or any expats, what could be better than deep-fried fish and chips on a summer day?
#4) Built for Large Gatherings
You could never serve 20 - 30 people an hour with your kitchen stove. Even a large charcoal grill or gas grill can’t deep fry the amount of food an outdoor deep fryer can. 4-gallon and 18 qt are standard size offerings you’ll find among the top brands. With a dual fryer, you get two fry baskets so you can do two different fried recipes at once.
Fish is obviously a good food to fry outdoors. Fresh caught catfish fillets coated in spicy southern breadcrumbs or a batter is a favorite at many parties. Deep fried shrimp with a Chili dip, a fried fish steak or even some calmari can go down well.
If you get a burner style, outdoor gas fryer, you can replace the oil with water and have a lobster or crayfish boil pot for those special occasions.
And of course there’s Thanksgiving. Deep fried turkey is one of the things that makes a thanksgiving feast so special. Just be careful as you lower it into the pot—frying a turkey the wrong way can end up in flames .
Chicken wings or southern fried chicken can be enjoyed all year around, and with less chance of a house fire.
Finally, there’s those amazing sides you can only achieve with a deep fryer. Crispy fries, sweet potato chips, deep fried okra or cajun spiced onion rings. Many people argue that sides are what make a meal, and with an outdoor fryer the options are endless.
Hopefully, this buying guide has given you some food for thought, preferably deep fried. Purchasing an outdoor deep fryer will elevate your outdoor cooking parties to another level. Steaks, burgers and hot dogs on the grill—do you want fries with that?
 Fire Dept: Frying A Turkey Can End Up In Flames (USA Today)
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.