As thought questions go, this one is right up there. We all want to live healthily. Too much oil in your diet will put additional stress on your body and can cause distress, diseases, and more.
But there are times when using a deep fryer is not only worth it but necessary. Like when your aunty wants to cook her famous chicken! I have been there, and believe me, and there is nothing worst than trying to make deep-fried chicken in a cooking pot.
It is fiddly, messy, and never works as you would have hoped.
So straight and quick answer is to the question:
Are deep fryers worth it?
Is that they are worth it, even if you are going to use them just from time to time.
Deep fryers come in a variety of sizes, so they are an excellent fit for the kitchen of any size, are simple to use, and easy to clean. Not only that, but you also save yourself a struggle with using pot, thermometer, and fiddling with temperatures. Most models allow you to set the temp you are looking for in your recipe directly, which puts guessing out of the game.
Are deep fryers worth the money?
You are most likely saying to yourself that this sounds all nice, but what about some hard facts.
So let’s break them down. In thinking about the cost and worth of running the deep fryer, we have to think about a few things. Electricity is one oil to deep fryer in second and general maintenance as the third.
So electricity wise the current average cost of kWh (kilowatt-hour) in the US today is 13.31 cents per one kWh.
The deep fryer that I have has wattage (w) 1700, which translates to 1.7 kWh.
This means that every hour of running this deep fryer electricity wise costs 22.627 cents.
That doesn’t sound all that bad. But we have to include the price of oil that we are using. For this little calculation, I have chosen something standard, that being a vegetable oil. I am not saying that this is the only one, there are cheaper and also more expensive options, but I am trying to stay in the average zone.
So the price of the gallon of this baby is 9.99 dollars per gallon.
Since I have chosen quite a sizeable deep fryer, I am using the whole gallon to deep fry anything. Then again I am using it only on special occasions, so that is reducing its costs quite a bit.
So now we are at 10 dollars and 22 cents per hour of usage of the deep fryer, which is not bad at all. Let’s round that to 10 dollars as an average, so it is easier to think about and deal with.
Let’s sum it up in a table below.
1 kWh (kilowatt per hour)
1.7 kWh (kilowatt per hour)
Standard 128 0z frying oil
10 dollars and 22 cents
Filtering oil of a deep fryer
Not all deep fryers have it. Mine that I have mentioned above has it, so let’s include it in the equation.
With the oil filtration, You are thinking in terms of batches. How many of them can I get from one gallon of oil? It is hard to say. In general, I would say about 7 of them, but this estimate is counting on cooking food that doesn’t produce many crumbs.
For example, in making the deep-fried ice-cream for my wife’s grandfather, I have been able to use 1 gallon for ten batches of 15 balls of ice-cream each. So 150 deep-fried ice-cream balls went it before I felt like I should not use the oil anymore.
But you should always trust your instincts and common sense. If you are planning on deep frying chicken or fish, which will leave a lot of crumbs behind, that will be cooked to deep black bits; you should change the oil sooner as the bits will spoil it faster. In that case, you should change the oil after around three batches.
With the filtration in mind, we are dropping the price of running the deep fryer from 3.33 dollars to 1 dollar per hour of usage.
Let’s put it into a table for more clarity.
Base with electricity and oil included
10 dollars and 22 cents
3 batches - lots of crumbs
3 dollars and 40 cents
7 batches - standard amount of crumbs
1 dollar and 46 cents
10 batches - just a few bits here and there
1 dollar and 2 cents
That is quite a bit of a money saver right there.
I am not counting in the time you will spend on ingredients, prep, and cleaning. But all and all, it looks quite good in my books (oh wow, what a poet I am).
One more factor that is important to include in this is the comfort of having one when the Super Bowl is coming, or your auntie is visiting over the weekend. She wants to make her famous onion rings…
Smiles on the faces of your friends and loved ones and definitely worth it!
And if you are still not sure about getting one deep fryer for yourself, join me in a little story from my family life.
A couple of years back, we had a big family gathering. The occasion? Grandfather from my wife’s side was celebrating his 70s birthday.
It is also worth saying that whatever we do, we try to make it epic, so everyone remembers the great time we had together.
So we have set the date, expected around fifty guests, had to plan party meals. Everything was going smooth, but (there is always one, right?) just a week before the party my wife had asked me:
,,Honey, will we have grandpa’s favorite deep-fried ice-cream?” she always sounds super innocent when she says something in a voice that tries to throw the blame on me.
,,Deep-fried ice-cream? What? You have not told me that he likes that!” I usually try to sound calm, but her question stunned me, and I came up with a bit rougher than I should have.
,,Sure, I did. You have to remember it. Last year when we were at that dinner party with your parents. We were talking about the special foods, and I have mentioned that my grandfather loves deep-fried ice-cream.” She said it with the cutest smile.
To give you a bit more background on the whole thing. Her grandfather has not traveled much. He is more one place guy. He was born in a city in which he found his wife and raised three daughters. He has there a favorite pub and beloved fishing spots.
But one time, his daughters bought him a trip to Asia. When he got back, he could not stop talking about it with his friends, while being seen as a big traveler in his small village. The point is that one of his fondest memories about the trip was eating deep-fried chocolate ice-cream in a little pub in China on borders with Hong Kong.
Without a doubt, in my mind, I knew that this would be a great addition to our party meal selection. And would inevitably bring a smile to grandad’s face.
But how to execute it?
To make a killer chocolate ice-cream is easy enough. Especially if you have the right tools at your disposal and enough of skill to do so. I was not worried about ice-cream, but the notion of frying it, with the equipment that my mother-in-law has in her house, looked quite daunting.
But I am not the man who backs down from a challenge. To the grindstone, I went and quickly found out that the quickest and easiest way how to do it, would be getting one medium-size deep fryer. I have found one beautiful in my local store that seemed to fit the purpose perfectly.
I don’t want to make this longer than is necessary, so long story short; I was able to fulfill this last-minute request. Yes, it was last minute one – how can I remember something that was said in humor over a year ago?). Ice-cream came out perfect, and grandfather was super happy.
When we brought up the tower of deep-fried chocolate ice-cream balls to him, he was speechless. With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and said:
,,Thank you for bringing my memories back to life.”
Him saying that almost cracked me up. You have to bear in mind that this guy does not show emotions. Ever. He sees it as a sign of weakness. Yep, he is old-school and hardcore in his approach to life.
So the whole point of this little story was the fact that you are not going to know if are the deep fryers worth it until you need one in your life.
I got mine on last-minute notice and having it was worth it.
If not for daily family usage, deep frying everything I can lay my eyes on or having fun experimenting with recipes I have seen on the internet.
The deep fryer was worth bringing the head of my wife’s family closer to me. Helping him to remember, relive his experiences in Asia and bringing our family closer.
We have spent the rest of the day sitting around grandfather and listening to the stories from his trip. The same stories we almost remember by heart. The ones he has been telling us for the past 20 years.
So in my book, the deep fryers are worth it!
Until next time I wish you happy and more tranquil cooking.