One of the best ways to emulate restaurant deep frying, without buying a full on commercial deep fryer, is to just get a stainless steel deep frying pan or pot that comes with a fry basket.
It won’t quite be as good, or as clean, as a commercial deep fryer, but it’ll offer you a great way to easily pull off delicious fried foods with the added bonus of being easy to clean.
Stainless steel pots present a number of attributes that are perfect for deep frying. First of all, stainless steel is quite good at heat retention. This basically means that when you drop food into the oil, the stainless steel pot will be able to maintain the correct temperature and not lose too much heat, which would extend the cooking time required and perhaps even lead to soggy instead of crispy food.
While shopping, you may run across a lot of aluminum pots that come with fry baskets. The price will be more attractive than many stainless steel pot and basket sets. But don’t give in to the marketing.
Best Material for Your Deep Fryer
Aluminum is not the right metal for this kind of cooking. Aluminum tends to be thin and on top of that is a not as heat conductive as stainless steel. That means that it’ll get hot fast, but it will also struggle to maintain that temperature. That’s not a trait you want in a deep frying pot, instead, you need a pot that can maintain temperature more consistently, like stainless steel or cast iron.
Stainless steel is also very easy to clean. Unlike cast iron, for example, which needs its own extensive seasoning and care regime, stainless steel deep fryer pots are much easier to maintain. They won’t rust or tarnish, and can easily be put through the washing machine or left soaking in the sink with little to no worries about damage to the pot.
One of the big bonuses of cast iron, and specifically cast iron Dutch Ovens, is that because they are so thick, they are great at heat retention. They take a while to heat up, but once they do they hold that heat quite well. Dropping a fully battered chicken thigh into the oil in one of those pots won’t affect the overall temperature enough to really mess with the cooking process.
Stainless steel is much the same way. Once it’s hot, it stays hot. It can handle large batch deep frying much better than aluminum, for example, does.
Those facts, plus having a fry basket, make home deep frying that much easier.
A pot that is easy to clean and that also maintains temperature well is a godsend. Combined with a fry basket for easy manipulation and movement of the food gets you as close as possible to a commercial deep fryer as possible at home.
So without further ado, here are some of the Top Stainless Deep Frying Pans with Baskets available today.
Best Stove Top Steel Deep Frying Pot
Bayou Classic 14 quart Stainless Steel Deep Fryer with Perforated Basket
This is it. The do it all fryer. Definitely more clearing designed for seafood and poultry frying because of it’s perforated style basket, but still overall a very utilitarian option due to its different size option.
The real benefit in these pot and basket sets is that they have the “cool touch” straight handles. These are more similar to commercial fry basket handles and are easier to use in general than the style of basket that has the metal loop handle on top.
Also comes in a smaller 10 quart version with the same features. And if you’re really going for king sized frying, it also comes in a massive 32 quart version (which includes some poultry specific extra goodies).
In my opinion, perforated baskets are not the ideal deep fryer basket. Mostly because the wire mesh baskets allow for better drainage. It’s not a huge issue though, you might just need to let the food you’re frying drain a bit longer after you pull it out of the oil.
It’s small addition for your convenience, but I think you’ll notice the difference.
If you’re looking to fry whole, or parted, poultry and especially seafood like crawfish or shrimp, this is both a classic and excellent option.
Best Counter-Top Deep Fryer with Basket
All Clad Stainless Steel 3.5L Deep Fryer
It’s great. It does work as advertised. It’s as close to a deep fryer as you can get for home cooking. A bit slower to heat up than a full blown 4 foot tall commercial fryer with dual baskets, but that’s a bit irrelevant when it comes to setting up your home kitchen, anyways.
It’s got a ton of bells and whistles, and works well, but it’s in its own category. It’s worth considering, though, if you’re all about making high quality chicken wings and beignets. If you’re super serious about home cooking (and have the counter space), this is a great option.
This is what you go for if you really want the full fry cook (or friturier, if we’re being fancy here) experience.
Easy to clean and easy to use. Most importantly, it’s durable.
I’ve had both the pleasure and displeasure of using one in a professional, commercial environment. It’s also a pain in the butt to clean…and not cheap.
It works as advertised, no doubt. All Clad is a well respected brand and this product is no exception in quality. But like I said, dealing with cleaning the electric heating element and oil box plus the high price point makes it hard to list as number one.
The precise temperature controls plus the built in oil filtration system really count for a lot here. In the long run, it could just save you a lot of money on oil if you’re deep frying a lot.
Topkitch 10 Liter Electric Deep fryer Stainless Steel
Does light-commercial grade equipment excite you as much as it excites me!?
This one is built to last. High quality construction. Compact size is designed for small shops and delis, and hosts that go that extra mile.
You can see they put thought into the design. Thicker basket rim. Handles on the oil pan. Durable knobs and switches. Thicker handle.
This is the real deal. It’s no ordinary pot. It’s a full on home deep fryer. It can fully submerge 10 chicken thighs, and cook them evenly.
The heating elements are all along the sides, so the oil stays evenly heated for that perfect frying temperature.
Not as many bells and whistles as the All Clad Deep Fryer, but it’s almost three times the size. It’s ready to fry up meal after meal. Easier to clean and performs great in a light professional kitchen like a deli.