This is totally my opinion. There are affiliate links in this post.
Yesterday we fried two turkeys – one using a Butterball electric fryer (with 100% peanut oil) and one with the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Fryer.
NOTE: I didn’t see the Butterball brand fryer online but I didn’t spend a lot of time looking for it. I did see one by Masterbuilt that looks similar. The Char-Broil is on sale lots of places around here (Lowes, Academy that I’ve seen) so check local prices. These things seem to be very popular.
We started out with two almost exact same size (13 lb) organic turkeys. We normally don’t pay extra for organic but we bought these several weeks ago when we were hearing there might be turkey shortages and there were only huge turkeys in the stores except for the organic ones.
I injected them both with Tony Chachere’s Creole Style Butter Marinade and seasoned the inside and outside with a mixture of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and Cajun Redhead seasoning.
Cooking Time – With Oil:
The oil takes 35 – 45 minutes to heat up to and the instructions say 3 – 4 minutes per pound. Based on those figures, it should take about 45 minutes to cook. With the heating up time, that makes about 85 minutes.
Cooking Time – Oil-Less:
The insuranctions say 10 minutes per pound so it would be 130 minutes to cook a 13 pound turkey.
The cooking time isn’t really a consideration because once we know how long it’s going to take to cook, we plan accordingly.
What really matters is . .
I could not tell the difference! The skin was more oily on the turkey fried in oil, but we also didn’t get it as crisp as Chad wanted it so we put it in the oven with convection to crisp the skin.
The air fried turkey was plenty crisp.
Both were juicy and tender – I couldn’t tell any difference.
Ease of Cleaning/Cost:
Here’s another big win for the Char-Broil. First, the peanut oil isn’t terribly expensive but it’s an added expense. At Walmart, it’s $12/gallon and one gallon is more than enough for the electric fryer. It can be filtered, poured back into a container and refrigerated to be used again but I don’t think it lasts forever.
I’m not sure how much electricity the electric fryer used – not much. It plugs into a regular outlet.
The Char-Broil is fueled by propane. We used a 20 pound canister and fried two turkeys (one Tuesday and one Thanksgiving). Vince said it took about half a canister to fry the two turkeys. Again, I can’t tell you how that relates cost wise. We fill our small canisters from our big tank and I think we paid about $1.40 for the propane currently in our tank. I read online that a 20 pound tank holds 4.7 gallons, so, for ease of math, let’s say it took 2.5 gallons for two turkeys, which is 1.25 gallons for one turkey so at $1.40/gallon, our cost was $1.75. If propane is $4.00/gallon, which it may be now, the cost would be about $5/turkey.
The Bottom Line:
For us, the oil-less is so much easier, and there’s a drip pan so the drippings are captured and can be used for gravy or whatever other use is desired.
I will tell you that
Again, 100% my thoughts and others will have different thoughts so get several reviews/opinions before making a decision.