Masterbuilt Butterball Fryer Beats The Rest
With seasonal preparations at full tilt and the weather already set to make Thanksgiving a challenge for anyone traveling to family, now seems as good a time as any to look at which is currently rated the best turkey fryer – this was another wedding present that came to the end of the line last Easter and it’s got to be replaced.
The staffroom conversation on other tables might be about teaching and learning, but the foodies – well we were discussing Christmas and I got round to asking if anyone else deep fried their turkey in a butterball deep fryer – or did they stick with a traditional oven roast.
Of course the motive was research to find what’s hot and what to leave alone – those that have one (4 out of 7) already have a Masterbuilt and wouldn’t look at anything else. Apart from them, the response was mixed.
The three younger women have never thought about using a deep fat fryer for a whole turkey and one or two just don’t think it’s safe to do – so let’s dispel the myths here and now, because if you haven’t tried turkey from a butterball turkey fryer, you really should give it a go.
Safety is always a biggie with any kind of fryer, having been badly burned with a kettle full of water you have to believe me, no one is more careful with anything hot – by the way, always buy a kettle with a safety lid, then you only get splashed – enough said?
The best deep fat fryers have plenty of safety features built in along the way, there are several thermostatic shut off points to help keep you safe – but three points are crucial.
- Don’t ever overload or overfill your fryer – that really is the cause of most fryer fires and asking for trouble – would you willingly ride in an overloaded cable car or plane?
- Never ever leave the kitchen when the fryer is in use, because that is how fires from overloading don’t get noticed until it’s too late to do anything but run and call the fire service, a sensibly loaded and well supervised deep fat butterball fryer is perfectly safe, or you wouldn’t get me near one.
- Make sure you have large poultry held firmly before you remove it from the frying basket, even after draining and resting, it will still be very hot and a twelve or fourteen lb bird takes a bit of lifting. (checkout the poultry forks below – nobody should be without these magic forks)-
Masterbuilt Butterball Fryer
Because there are so many brands and models, it seemed reasonable that there would be differing opinions on the best fryer between colleagues, but that assumption was wholly wrong – Masterbuilt 23011014 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Large Capacity, 2013 Model it seems has stolen the day – actually reviews online say more or less the same thing.
So What’s Different About Masterbuilt?
Cooking up to a 14lb turkey, Masterbuilt is certified as safe to use indoors and has a unique design using an inner pot lined with porcelain plus the outer stainless steel container, making it unlikely you’ll force boiling fat over the side – the second part of the innovative design is that the Masterbuilt uses only 32% – 33% of the oil needed by conventional fryers – again using less oil means significantly less opportunity to overfill it.
Cleaning is actually easier than you’d think – it has to be to keep me interested. There’s a drain valve and the internal pot just lifts out. Venting of steam is at the back – you’ll need to wipe it clean after each use or greasy deposits build up. Disadvantages are space and the worry of fire. Hopefully by now you’ll have been reassured to a degree on the latter, the former is more difficult to get round unless you can store it elsewhere when not in use.
Though marketed as having a space saving design which fits easily on the counter, it depends how big the counter is and what’s already on it – I don’t have room to leave mine there all the time, it only gets used every couple weeks, so gets stored in the ‘utility area’ (once on old bathroom we think, so only the size of a large cupboard).
If space isn’t an issue and you’re looking to deep fry a big bird, then try the Butterball Deep Fryer xl which one colleague has. It’s more or less identical other than it takes a noticeably larger cooking load and dare I say it, takes up more counter space – but if you’ve got the room and are cooking for a big family, the xl comes highly recommended and takes a whopping 20lb turkey.
Anything best cooked in a deep fat fryer, you can cook in this and get great results, tempura batter comes out light, puffed up and fluffy just as it should be, with virtually no traces of oil.
The exceptionally accurate thermostat is possibly the reason – food cooks at exactly the right temperature and is much more likely to be restaurant perfect as a result.
The fryer comes with everything you need, just add oil and food – but there are one or two things twenty years of cooking has indelibly imprinted on me, particularly if you intend deep frying a 12 to 14lb turkey, which is always heavier than you think when it’s hissing hot and you need to handle it!
A set of poultry forks like these Norpro Turkey and Poultry Lifters are beyond invaluable, they are a sanity saver. Inexpensive at $14 if you don’t believe me you just go ahead with manoeuvrings a just cooked 12lb turkey out of a fryer basket – hah, you’ll wish you’d listened, and that’s before you try juggling it onto a plate – with a greyhound that can cover the kitchen in about 0.003 seconds, would you risk it?
A cooking thermometer is not strictly necessary as the thermostat is so good on the Masterbuilt, but the truth is chef’s use them and they probably don’t need to, whereas home cooks rarely do and they should! For quality and price, I’d say go for the Taylor Waterproof Digital Thermometer – they last for years and you can get a spare probe – for under $20 you can’t go wrong.
Having a marinade injector isn’t anything like as important as the poultry forks, but it will change the way you marinate meat and poultry forever – you can give up wrestling a leg of lamb as you valiantly try to shove a clove of garlic where it doesn’t want to go!
You can’t stuff poultry and cook in a deep fat fryer, but injected marinate is fine, so if you want to add aromatic flavor this is a good way to go – it’s the only way I marinate big joints going into the rotisserie oven these days because this is so easy and mess free when compared to soaking meat and poultry overnight. Try the Bayou Classic Stainless-Steel Seasoning Injector pictured, or any of the others you like.
Other than that, before removing your bird from the Masterbuilt Butterball Fryer, make sure to have a large warm plate ready to transfer your beautiful, crispy skinned golden turkey onto. Once well drained, rest covered with foil for 20 minutes, then carve and enjoy – there’s no taste like it on Christmas day.
Happy Thanksgiving folks – you all have a great day now.