As long as you understand that you can’t really have fried turkey without cooking the bird in oil, you’ll get along fine with an oil-free turkey fryer. The best models are great machines that make moist and juicy turkey and many other dishes — and my favorite even has a wood chip compartment to help layer on the flavor.
Really, layers of flavor are the secret to great tasting meats.
But don’t misunderstand what an oil-free turkey fryer is: It’s really just a fancy roaster, not a fryer at all. Since the point is to come up with great turkey that tastes better than turkey done in a pan in the oven, however, all that really matters is how the meat comes out.
And the model I discuss in this oil-free turkey fryer review does exactly what it should.
My Oil-Free Turkey Fryer Review
If you’re looking to make a flavorful turkey for your holiday dinner as well as tasty, juicy meats and vegetables all year long, you can’t go wrong with the Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster — available from Amazon.
Masterbuilt, an established and reputable appliance maker, has teamed up with Butterball, the company that knows more about turkey than any other, for a line of appliances aimed at making special dinners easier to get on the table than ever before.
The thing that first attracted me to this unit was the wood chip tray that allows for smoking meats. For great tasting turkey that isn’t cooked in oil, smoking is a great alternative. You still get an unusual and compelling flavor without the added calories and hassles of frying.
But understand this: Although the company calls this an oil-free turkey fryer, it’s more of a specialty roaster. Skin doesn’t get quite as crisp as it does in a fryer, and the flavor isn’t exactly the same as fried turkey. But it’s possible to make really good roasted and smoked meats in this unit, especially if you apply seasonings liberally.
The Masterbuilt oil-free turkey fryer cooks birds up to 18 pounds and does indeed create a fairly crispy skin and a moist interior. Cooking time is about 10 minutes per pound, so that means it takes around three hours to cook a large turkey. (The company’s electric turkey fryer can do the job in about a third as long, but you still have the mess and calories from the oil with that unit.)
I especially like the included basket that makes getting the turkey in and out of the unit simple and safe. A turkey stand also lifts up the meat to allow the skin to crisp and the juices to go to all the right places.
An adjustable thermostat keeps the temperature in check, making the unit safer than outdoor fryers and ensuring that the temperatures stays just where it should throughout the cooking process.
If you like homemade gravy made from drippings, the removable drip pan is a great plus for you. It catches all the juices for you to use for a natural gravy or to thicken for a rich and luscious companion to your turkey.
A Nice Alternative
Whether you’ve tried those dangerous outdoor turkey fryers or have been afraid to buy one, you can be sure those steel pots with open flames aren’t the only way to get flavorful, moist turkey for your family’s special occasions and everyday meals.
While the best way to get deep-fried turkey taste without having to stand outside for hours is with an electric turkey fryer you can safely use in you kitchen, an oil-free turkey fryer like the Masterbuilt 20100809 Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer and Roaster creates a tasty and healthy bird you’ll be happy to serve to every kind of guest.
And since it can be used every week for other meats and dishes, it’s a good investment too. You can have roasted meats and other savory treats without heating your oven anytime you want.
With an oil-free turkey fryer in your kitchen, you’ll be the hit of the holidays and every other day too. And there’s no better place to get one than Amazon, where shipping is free in many cases.