Since the 80’s the popularity of fried turkey has exploded into the American mainstream. During that time, the concept of frying a turkey has undergone many alterations and techniques but one problem remained.
That the amount of oil needed and the potential hazard of that much cooking oil plus the detrimental effect on a person’s health could not be rectified. That is, until recently with the introduction of the oil less fryer. A product long time in coming but certainly worth the wait, oil less turkey fryer look to revolutionize not only the delicious fried turkey but other fried foods as well.
Understanding Oil Less Cooking
Perhaps oil less cooking is a bit of a misnomer. There is some oil used, about a tablespoons worth in most cases, sprayed on the outside of the food. This is far, far less than bathing the food in oil to cook it. Additionally, the oil used is typically olive oil that is healthier than your normal cooking oils. Basically, the olive oil is used as part of the food itself and not an actual cooking agent as one would expect in a fryer.
Having gotten that out of the way, the discussion can proceed to how a oil less fryer works. Most oil less fryers work by using the properties of heat to their advantage, usually infrared heat. Without getting too scientific, infrared heat is energy that is transferred from a hot body to a cold body via a specific narrow spectrum. In the case of a turkey, the hot body, a halogen lamp or other source produces the heat in the infrared spectrum and the cold body, the turkey, absorbs this energy and begins to heat up.
This process is accompanied by convection heating and air circulation to eliminate any chances that the food has hot or cold spots. This same process, allows the meat to cook in its own juices thereby sealing in the juices to make the meat tender and moist. It does take a little bit of practice to get the technique right but it is well worth it. Here are five various oil less fryers for consideration.
Best Oil-Less Turkey Fryer
This cabinet top cookers, roasts, air fries, broils, boils and grills all types of foods. The Sharper Image Model #8217 Super Wave is 16 quarts, large enough to handle a small turkey. It has an adjustable temperature and it uses, halogen, convection and infrared heating to sear in the juices and cook the food.
There is no need to defrost or thaw food. It has two stainless steel cooking racks and comes with a 60 minute timer.
Top Rated Oil-Less Fryer to Buy
Currently one of the more popular of the table top, oil less fryers. The Big Boss Model #9063 Fryer has a 16 quart capacity and comes with a large ring to expand the size. It is large enough to handle a decent size turkey and the process takes less time to cook than conventional ovens. As with other models, this one does not require food to be thawed.
It uses halogen, convection and infrared heat to cook the food and it comes with two trays to cook separate foods at the same time. Overall, an excellent home, table top, oil less fryer.
Best Oil-Free Turkey Fryer and Roaster
This oil less fryer is specifically designed for frying turkeys without oil. The Masterbuilt Model #20100809 Fryer has a 1600+ electric element that provides pure infrared heat. The double walled construction seals in the heat increasing efficiency and sealing in the juices. It is large enough to handle an 18 pound turkey and can be used outdoors or cabinet top.
It also has a built in wood box for pellets to add that smoky flavor to the meat. For those considering a oil less turkey fryer, this should make the top of the list.
Best Infrared Oil-Less Turkey Fryer
There are two Big Easy TRU models in this list. This model – Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared Roaster/Fryer/Grill is can not only be used for oil less frying but will also handle other foods as well. It is uses propane for the a fuel source and thus provides a generous amount of heat. Much more than the cabinet top models.
This specific Big Easy will handle up to a 25 pound turkey plus much, much more and can double as a roaster and grill. It can handle multiple foods at the same time and wood pellets can be added for smokey flavor. Looking for an outdoor, all in one cooker this is the one to choose.
Best Infrared Grill & Smoker
This model is different from the number two in the list mainly because it is specifically designed to oil less fry turkey. Like the other model, the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Fryer uses propane as a fuel source and produces up to 18,000 BTU of infrared heat. It comes with cooking basket, lifter and a meat thermometer. It is super easy to use, only one button to adjust the heat.
While these units do not contain oil, caution should still be taken to avoid accidental burns or injuries. Be sure to read and follow all operator’s instruction and for long term use of the unit, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
Always make sure the internal temperature of the meat meets designated criteria before serving. Also keep flammable material away from a hot or cooling appliance.