Best For Fried Chicken or Fish: Bayou Classic 700-701 4-Gallon Bayou Fryer Stainless Steel

Let’s talk propane deep fryers!

Great for tailgating or as a side hustle at fairs or festivals, propane deep fryers can also be used to deep fry a turkey. In this article, we’ll look at which fryers might be best for different uses.

When it comes to fried chicken or fish, you want a fryer that is designed with a v-shaped bottom. Why?

Debris from the batter will drop to the bottom of the v-shaped fryer, enabling it to be drained and removed. That’s important because if the fryer basket doesn’t have that v-shape, the debris will float to the top of the oil and burn. That requires you to skim the oil frequently, which is quite the hassle.

For the best fryer for fried chicken or fish, we think Bayou Classic 700-704 fryer is the best bet for folks who want to use it as a side hustle. It is excellent for church fish fryers, as it is easy to use and set up. Plus it holds the oil at a constant temperature, unlike others we tried.

What We Liked

• V-shaped design keeps stray flour or batter at the bottom.

• Oil drains from valve at the base.

• Sets up in about 15 minutes.

• Keeps oil at constant temperature.

• Covers for fryer basket.

What Needs Work

• Temperature gauge can fog up.

• Baskets are on the small side.

• Oil isn’t separated. This is true for most of fryers we researched for this article, however. Since the oil isn’t separated, if you are frying fish on one side and french fries on the other, the fish taste will migrant to the other basket.

Best for Tailgating: Outdoor 50,000 BTU 18 Qt Propane Gas Dual Basket Tailgate Party Fun Deep Fryer

If you are looking for an affordable fryer for tailgating, this one would be our top choice. We liked the quality here—it is fast to heat up, which is important for tailgating! 

What We Liked

 Easy to set up.

• Includes dual aluminum strainer baskets.

• Powerful 50,000 BTU burner is impressive.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• No drain valve. You have to wait until the oil is cool before it can be poured off for disposal.

• Main pot isn’t separated.  That means whatever you are cooking on one side will bleed over to the other basket. 

Best For Turkeys: King Kooker Propane Outdoor Fry Boil Package

Let’s talk frying turkeys!

Some turkey fryers come as a complete package (fryer pot with accessories plus burner), while others are just the pot (assuming you already have a heat source).

To find the best bets, we did it the old fashioned way: we fried up some turkeys, using several popular brands of turkey fryers. Which produced the best results? Easiest to use?

For the best turkey fryer package (pot plus burner), we thought the King Kooker did the best job overall. And it is more than a one-hit wonder: you can also use this outdoor pot and burner for a seafood boil, fish fry and more.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Comes with everything you need: 33,000 BTU propane burner, turkey pot with lid and basket, timer, thermometer, and more.

• Works on turkeys up to 20 pounds.

• Rack and lifting hook is easy to use.

• Portable.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Timer shuts off the propane every 15 minutes. We realize this is a safety feature, but that means you have to babysit the unit and press the button every 15 minutes to keep the propane burning. It would be nice if there was a beep to warn you the 15 minutes is up.

• Boil basket could be bigger. 

• Packing could be better. The unit we tried was fine, but we see some reports that the pot arrived dented—perhaps better packaging for the unit could prevent dents.

• Works well on concrete, not so good on grass or dirt. We thought the base was stable, but we see some folks found it not as sturdy on grass or dirt.

Best For Seafood: GasOne B-5155 Propane Burner with Steamer Pot-Turkey Fry & Tamale

This smaller turkey fryer (24 quarts) works well for small turkeys (10 lbs. or less)—we also liked it for frying seafood or doing a seafood boil. We loved the quality of the burner with this package.

What We Liked

• Easy to set up.

• Affordable.

• Includes stockpot.

• Steel braided hose is nice upgrade over other fryers we researched.

• Good for small turkeys (under 10 lbs.).

• Good brand reputation for quality and durability.

What Needs Work

• No temperature gauge.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!