In this report

Does this fryer talk turkey?

Last reviewed: November 2010

The claim

The Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Series Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer makes “the best turkey you’ve ever tasted,” the box notes, and is “great for frying, boiling and steaming all foods.” It’s designed to hold a turkey weighing up to 14 pounds. We paid $117 for the fryer, plus shipping.

The check

We deep-fried turkeys weighing almost 12 pounds. We followed instructions, filling the fryer’s porcelain-coated inner pot with about 2 gallons of peanut oil and setting the thermostat to 375º F. (The oil took about 30 minutes to reach that temperature.) We placed the turkey inside the cooking basket and used the included handle extender to lift the basket, then lower it into the hot oil. We closed the lid, set the timer (4 minutes per pound), and waited. We also deep-fried a whole chicken, chicken parts, and pizza dough. And we steamed mussels.

Bottom line

If you favor deep-fried foods, consider gobbling up the Butterball fryer. Though even a smallish turkey fit snugly in the basket, the meat was nicely browned and very juicy. Thighs were a bit oily; other parts weren’t. Chicken cooked well, and cooking proved less messy than stovetop deep-frying. Pizza fritta cooked evenly. Steaming was less of a success. The device wasn't powerful enough to steam mussels quickly: On a stove, 2 pounds steamed perfectly in about 2 minutes, but in the fryer, only about one-third of the mussels in the fryer had opened after almost 10 minutes.