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10 best deep fat fryers for home use

While the tasty treats it cooks sit firmly at the peak of the food triangle, there’s no disputing a deep fat fryer’s ability to produce delectable delights, from crispy chips and Spam fritters to delicious doughnuts and deep-fried Mars bars. We dish the skinny on this naughty-but-nice device and round up the best ones for your home.

By Louise Cole | Last updated Nov 17, 2021

Deep fat fryer containing chips on kitchen worktop

The deep fat fryer has come a long way from the hazardous chip pan full of lard that your granny once used. And although you’d be forgiven for thinking that any kitchen appliance with the word ‘fat’ in its title has no place in today’s health-conscious society, a devoted band of Mumsnetters say otherwise. 

There’s no disputing this cooking method’s calorific consequences and the likely effect on one’s waistline – nor arteries – and we’re certainly not recommending that every day is fry-day. But when comfort food is required or it’s time for a treat, the deep fat fryer delivers the guilty pleasures we crave.

Risking the wrath of nutritionists the world over, we’ve researched the best devices on the market with the help of countless consumer reviews and savvy Mumsnetters to bring you 10 deep fat fryers for cooking all manner of delicious delights, from gastropub-worthy chips to chicken, calamari and camembert.

Here are the best deep fat fryers for home use for 2021.

1. Best overall deep fat fryer: VonShef 2.5L Deep Fat Fryer

VonShef deep fat fryer

Price: £41.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I wouldn’t be without our deep fat fryer. We don’t use it every day, perhaps about once a fortnight, but we never get takeaways. So if we fancy fish and chips we make it. It makes great onion bhajis too." frenchfancy

This unobtrusive deep fat fryer is compact enough to sit on a countertop but large enough to cater for a couple or small family, serving up golden, crispy chips in around 15 minutes.

With smart looks and impressive performance, it makes a reliable kitchen assistant that only needs an oil change every 20 uses.

While it’s no friend of the dishwasher, buyers report that its non-stick pan is easy to clean and that it cooks for three or four people, despite the manufacturer suggesting that it’s suitable for just one or two portions.

Safety features include a lock that’s activated when the lid is closed and a cool-touch handle on the basket, which can be folded down when the machine is in use to prevent it being knocked or pulled by children, pets or careless adults.

Mid-range in terms of price, it’s a simple-to-use device that excels at its job.

Pros

  • Smart-looking
  • Foldable handle

Cons

  • Could be easier to clean
  • Electrical lead rather short

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 2.5L
  • Food capacity: Not specified
  • Power: 1800W
  • Dishwasher-safe? No

2. Best budget deep fat fryer: Cookworks 1.5L Deep Fat Fryer

Cookworks deep fat fryer

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Argos

“DH came home with a £20 deep fat fryer the other week. I was dead against it as I thought our house would smell like a chip shop. But it doesn’t and I’m converted now – fried chips are the best!” Afternooninthepark

This affordable Cookworks fryer is a great option when money’s tight and will cost you little more than a visit to the local chippy – plus you won’t even have to leave the house to fetch your food.

It may be fairly basic and lack the quality feel of its pricier counterparts, but it boasts thousands of positive reviews from contented customers.

While it can’t go in the dishwasher, it has a non-stick coating to save you some elbow grease and comes with a one-year guarantee. At this price, this deep fat fryer is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Pros

  • Takes up little room
  • Safe-lock lid

Cons

  • Fits only a small amount of food
  • Temperature dial hard to read

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 1.5L
  • Food capacity: 400g
  • Power: 1000W
  • Dishwasher-safe? No

3. Best deep fat fryer for professional performance: Russell Hobbs Stainless Steel Professional Deep Fat Fryer 19771

Russell Hobbs deep fat fryer

Price: £47.99 | Buy now from Argos

“I have the Russell Hobbs 19771 Professional Deep Fat Fryer.” Hill1991

“I love my DFF. It’s a Russell Hobbs one.” Soubriquet

Deep-fry like a pro with this rectangular Russell Hobbs deep fat fryer, which boasts both style and substance. Its sleek looks and clean lines mean it’ll suit any kitchen – ideally in smaller-family households.

One big plus of this model is that all its parts are removable, so you can pop the body, lid, basket and bowl in the dishwasher once you’ve finished frying.

We love that its user manual is chock-full of suggestions as to what to cook and for how long, with delights including Wiener schnitzel, banana fritters and even deep-fried Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Pros

  • Fairly priced
  • Two-year guarantee

Cons

  • Basket may not sit level 
  • Lid may not fit tightly 

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 3L
  • Food capacity: 1kg
  • Power: 1800W
  • Dishwasher-safe? Yes

4. Best compact deep fat fryer: Tefal MiniFryer FF220040

Tefal MiniFryer deep fat fryer

Price: £36.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Why not buy a deep fat fryer? I use one for chips and they are lovely. Deep fryers are much safer to use than a chip pan.” Phyllidakettle

Small in size but big on performance is this lightweight MiniFryer from Tefal, which also unofficially wins our accolade for the best deep fat fryer for single or two-person households, holding just enough for one generous or two smaller portions. Although its limited capacity will put off some shoppers, it does mean that less oil is required – just one litre, in fact.

There’ll be an element of guesswork with the heat, however, with only two temperatures labelled on the dial, and it’s not the easiest fryer to clean with only the lid and basket being dishwasher-friendly.

That said, the MiniFryer has a convenient viewing window as well as dual handles for easy carrying.

Pros

  • Space-saving design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May be awkward to clean
  • Power switch on rear may be inconvenient

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 1L
  • Food capacity: 600g
  • Power: 840W to 1000W
  • Dishwasher-safe? Yes (lid and basket)

5. Best deep fat fryer for larger families: De’Longhi Traditional Deep Fryer FS6055

DeLonghi deep fat fryer

Price: £75.31 | Buy now from Amazon

“I’ve got a De’Longhi one as you can drain the oil easily and put it all in the dishwasher.” flaime

When you’re feeding a family or entertaining friends, you’ll need a sizeable deep fat fryer that’ll dish up larger servings – and preferably one that drains the oil quickly and easily afterwards.

Able to accommodate a hefty 1.5kg of food, this De’Longhi model is ideal for larger households and its convenient drainage tube makes it simple to decant the oil with no mess. Plus there’s no tipping or lifting involved.

It’s a doddle to use and is virtually idiot-proof, despite its instructions being somewhat vague, with its only real downside being that the inner bowl can’t be removed. Its replaceable anti-odour filter is a redeeming feature, however.  

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Generously sized

Cons

  • Unclear instructions
  • Pricey

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 2.4L
  • Food capacity: 1.5kg
  • Power: 1800W
  • Dishwasher-safe? Yes

6. Best deep fat fryer for chips: Swan 3L Stainless Steel Deep Fat Fryer with Viewing Window

Swan deep fat fryer

Price: £38.34 | Buy now from Amazon

“You cannot beat deep-fried chips! No air fryer will make chips taste like they are deep-fat-fried.” TomorrowsPrincess

“Oven chips. I hated them in 1979. I hate them now. I have a little deep-fat fryer – and my favourite tea is still egg and chips.” Kaathesnake

“I got rid of our deep fat fryer about a year ago and we went onto oven chips. Vile things. Last week I bought a new DFF and there was much rejoicing. We only have chips once a week anyway!” tyzer2001

Those who believe that oven chips are a crime against potatoes should get slicing those spuds because this appliance from Swan will produce the heavenliest of homemade snacks for all the family and – let’s face it – there are no better chips than those that are deep-fried.

With seven temperature settings and a handy viewing window to check on progress, the Swan 3L Stainless Steel Deep Fat Fryer makes an ideal kitchen companion that’ll ensure that chip butties are never the same again. Its stylish stainless steel design makes it easy on the eye too.

The cool-touch handles on the fryer’s basket and sides are welcome safety features, as are its non-slip feet and auto cut-out to protect from overheating.

Pros

  • Heats up rapidly
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • Basket may be smaller than expected
  • Viewing window could be bigger

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 3L
  • Food capacity: 1kg
  • Power: 2000W
  • Dishwasher-safe? No

7. Best deep fat fryer for healthier cooking: Tefal ActiFry Advance FZ727840 Health Air Fryer

Tefal ActiFry fryer

Price: £129 | Buy now from Currys

“We have an ActiFry. You use a tablespoon of oil, so chips are fried and therefore taste delicious. But only a spoonful of oil in all the potatoes, so not unhealthy.” Josephinebettany

Although not strictly a deep fat fryer per se, Tefal’s ActiFry Advance nevertheless produces tasty fried food – albeit in a significantly healthier way, using 99% less fat. Perfect for health-conscious folk who want to relish their nosh guilt-free, it requires just one spoonful of oil and there’s no need to shake food part way through cooking either.

Using a combo of hot air and gentle stirring, it evenly cooks up to six portions of food, whether that’s chicken and chips, a casserole or a curry. In fact, this appliance can rustle up anything from smoked salmon to scrambled eggs, with more than 240 recipes available for those in need of inspiration on a free app – though this feature is unlikely to please techno-averse chefs.

The device has an easy-peek glass lid, a digital timer that switches off the machine once food is cooked and dishwasher-safe parts to make for a quick clean-up once mealtime is over.

Pros

  • Makes healthier food
  • Stirs items while cooking

Cons

  • Shape may be inconvenient
  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 1 tbsp or less
  • Food capacity: 1.2kg
  • Power: 1520W
  • Dishwasher-safe? Yes

8. Best deep fat fryer for perfect results: Tower T17002 Deep Fat Fryer

Tower deep fat fryer

Price: £54 | Buy now from Amazon

“Once you have a DFF you can do all sorts in it – DS loves whitebait, which is delicious in the fryer, and I have made doughnuts, tempura prawns, battered fish and Scotch eggs in ours.” AndNoneForGretchenWieners

For perfectly-cooked chips, onion rings, scampi and other fried favourites every time, turn to this deceptive deep fat fryer from Tower that has a built-in timer for accurate results. The appliance’s manageable size belies the amount of food it can accommodate – and although its advertised six-portion capacity is a little unrealistic, it’ll still comfortably cater for a family of three or four.

One handy feature is its folding handle that allows you to raise the frying basket while the lid is closed. Be mindful though that items at the bottom will remain in oil and continue to cook if the device is filled to max.

Pros

  • Timer
  • Manageable size

Cons

  • Handle feels flimsy
  • Dials look slightly dated

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 3L
  • Food capacity: Not specified
  • Power: 2300W
  • Dishwasher-safe? No

9. Best deep fat fryer for peace of mind: Lakeland Three-Litre Electric Deep Fat Fryer

Lakeland deep fat fryer

Price: £54.99 | Buy now from Lakeland

We’re all aware of the potential hazards of operating a deep fat fryer, but this model from Lakeland is a good option for those with safety concerns and reservations about owning one.

It features an auto-shutoff function, a long-handled basket and a large viewing window on top so that you can safely keep an eye on snacks as they cook without the need to remove the lid and risk hot oil spitting.  

Lakeland offers a three-year guarantee on the device, which has a timer and a wide temperature range of 130°C to 190°C.

It goes without saying that it also produces fabulous fried food.

Pros

  • Auto-shutoff function
  • Large viewing window

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-friendly
  • Handle may feel a little loose

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 3L
  • Food capacity: 700g
  • Power: 1800W
  • Dishwasher-safe? No

10. Best easy-clean deep fat fryer: Tefal Oleoclean Compact Semi-Professional Deep Fryer

Tefal Oleoclean deep fat fryer

Price: £74.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have the Tefal Oleoclean – expensive, but you can filter the oil after each use, the oil gets stored in the base and the oily bits go in the dishwasher.” JustWatchMe

This ingenious deep fat fryer automatically drains, cleans and stores oil so that it can be reused up to eight times. By filtering oil after use, there’ll be no pesky crumbs in it and less odour, plus it can be dismantled so that all parts bar the heating element can be loaded into the dishwasher.

Quick to get up to temperature, this model is ideal for two or three people, while larger households may prefer to upgrade to its big brother the Oleoclean Pro.

A word of warning, however: beware of overfilling the main compartment as the lower box can’t house as much oil, meaning that you could easily end up with a greasy spillage on your worktop while the appliance is draining.

Pros

  • Automatically drains and filters oil
  • Quick to heat up

Cons

  • May be unsuitable for large households
  • Can overflow when draining

Key specs

  • Oil volume: 2L
  • Food capacity: 800g
  • Power: 1600W
  • Dishwasher-safe? Yes

How unhealthy are deep fat fryers?

We’re gonna say it: the deep fat fryer is every nutritionist’s worst nightmare. But although it’s universally acknowledged that fried food is unhealthy, being loaded with calories and trans fats, even the most health-aware among us enjoys a toothsome treat every once in a while and that’s where the deep fat fryer comes into its own.

While we’re not advocating using one on a daily basis, there’s no denying that what deep-fried food lacks in nutrients, it makes up for in taste. It’s really a case of all things in moderation.

What size deep fat fryer do I need?

Choosing the size of a deep fat fryer will depend primarily on how many are in your household and how much room you have available on your kitchen worktop or for storing it. Be aware that the oil capacity differs from food capacity, so be sure to check how much food the device can accommodate or how many portions it can cater for before parting with your cash. Generally speaking, a 1L or 1.5L model will serve one or two people, while 2L or 3L devices will cater for small or larger families respectively.  

How do I choose the best deep fat fryer?

There are several factors to take into account when shopping for a deep fat fryer.

Capacity

This is arguably the number-one consideration and the capacity you opt for will depend on the number of people in your household. Most standard-sized deep fat fryers will have a food capacity of at least 1kg, while smaller, more compact models can hold as little as 400g.

Practicality

Is the deep fat fryer simple to use? Does it warm up and fry food quickly? How do you drain the oil? Will it fit on your kitchen worktop or in a cupboard when not in use? Read as many reviews as possible about the model you’re thinking of buying, and ask for fryer recommendations from friends and family members if possible.  

Cleaning

How easy is it to clean? A deep fat fryer that comes apart or has parts that can go in the dishwasher will obviously be simpler to clean than one that doesn’t.

Safety

A device with features such as auto shut-off, a locking lid, viewing panel, non-slip feet and a cool-touch or foldable handle have safety in mind and help to avoid any spillages or splashes of hot oil. Side handles are also useful for easy carrying.

Additional features

What other features does the appliance have? For example, some models have a handy timer, indicator lights and automatic oil drainage and filtering.

Price

Ranging in price from under £20 to over £100, choose a deep fat fryer to suit your budget.

Finish

Whether you go for a model that’s black, white or stainless steel is simply a matter of personal taste.  

What is the best deep fat fryer to buy?

The best deep fat fryer is VonShef’s 2.5L Deep Fat Fryer. Reasonably-priced, easy to use and with reassuring safety features, it’s ideal for smaller households – or possibly larger ones if you’re prepared to keep the food warm like they do down the chippy.

With a large basket that hangs onto the side to drain, a viewing panel for monitoring sizzling treats and a two-year warranty included, it’ll look smart on the countertop and will take up little room if stored away in a kitchen cupboard.

How we chose our recommendations

We first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which deep fat fryers discerning Mumsnetters recommended and had bought themselves, noting their feedback about these brands. From there, we did some research across the wider web, consulting independent review sites and taking into account what customer reviews said about the products featured. Having collated all that information, we picked the deep fat fryers we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Main image credit: Swan

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