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The best fryers: create seaside fish and chips at home

Fryers have often been considered devices only to be used in fast food joints or restaurants, not in the home.  This is because they were often seen to use a lot of energy and require gallons of oil just to make a small serving. However, now you can get fryers that have temperature regulators and only require a fraction of the oil to quickly rustle up your favourite crispy fried items in no time at all. 

Most fryers come with a basket in which you dip the food into the oil to be cooked, it will regulate the temperature so that the food is cooked perfectly, and many will have a filter to get rid of any unappetising burnt bits and ensure the food isn’t laden with grease. This is a great way to get authentic results when trying to replicate your favourite fried treats.

If you’re super health conscious, you can also get models that don’t require as much oil so you can cut down on your fat intake and even air fryers which use only a teaspoon of oil. However, you will have to accept that they aren’t going to produce quite the same results as standard fryers, and the machines tend to be a little pricier as well.  

For the most part, these machines are easy to use and thankfully, easy to clean, but they do require a fair bit of oil, which will need great care when being disposed of. You can reuse oil several times, so it’s not completely inefficient, and a standard fryer takes around 1.5 litres of oil which is enough to make chips for the whole family. If you want to cook fish or chicken to go with your fries, there are plenty of fryers that come with two baskets for multi-tasking. 

If you have a small kitchen, or simply don’t want to have to use that much oil, compact fryers won’t take up too much room on your worktop, and are usually enough to make chips for one or two people. Choosing a fryer that has detachable parts, or fold away basket handles is also easier when it comes to storing your fryer away. 

We’ve picked some of the best fryers to suit all kitchens and budgets. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good fryer, as price doesn’t always mean it’s going to be good for you, but some cheaper ones may lack certain features that make your life easier.  

1. De’Longhi Professional Stainless Steel Coolzone Family Fryer Perfect Clean

Satisfy your craving for chip shop chips from the comfort of your own home

Best for: Frying chips | Power: 2200w | Food Capacity: 1kg | Baskets: 1

 Easy to drain 
 Adjustable temperature 
 A bit steamy 

Treat the kids to a gastro pub style dinner with this excellent fryer that cooks the best chips. It can be pretty hard to replicate restaurant quality but users say they love the taste produced by this fryer and it can hold enough to cook chips for up to 4 people. The reason this fryer hits our top spot is because of how low maintenance it is also. It has a handy tap so you can drain the oil without having to lift the pot and risk spilling it, and most of the components are dishwasher safe. One thing to keep an eye on is the steam it produces, so keep your kitchen ventilated and be careful when lifting the basket out as it can get quite hot.  

2. Tefal ActiFry Express XL AH950840

A huge air fryer for healthier treats for all the family

Best for: Large air fryer | Power: 1550w | Food Capacity: 1.7kg | Baskets: n/a

 Removable pan 
 Uses only 3% fat 

Want all the goodness of fried chicken but don’t like the idea of too much grease? Then this Tefal air fryer is ideal for a healthier way to enjoy fried food. This is a completely automatic machine that uses only a fraction of the oil you would use in a standard fryer and requires minimal supervision when cooking. The chips come out more on a par with that of oven chips, but it’s a quick way to produce healthy, tasty results and it makes barley any mess! Perfect for getting the kids’ dinners ready without any fuss.  

3. Cookworks Twin Professional Fryer

Have a fried feast with this double basket fryer

Best for: Feeding the whole family | Power: 1800w | Food Capacity: 1.8kg | Baskets: 2

 Cook multiple things 
 Variable temperature 
 A bit bulky 

Fish and chips at home have never been so easy with this double basket fryer. It has a variable temperature gauge so you can fry two different types of food at once, and ensure everything is crisped to your exact tastes. It has a handy indicator light so you’ll be able to easily keep an eye on the food while it’s cooking and the oil is kept cool afterwards so you can use it for longer without having to go to the effort of changing the oil as frequently as some fryers. It is a little bulky so it might look out of place in small kitchens, but we think its excellent value for money and is great for satisfying those crispy cravings. 

4. Quest Stainless Steel Dep Fat Fryer, 3 Litre

A basic chip fryer for smaller kitchens

Best for: Budget buy | Power: 2000w | Food Capacity: unknown | Baskets: 1

 Easy to clean 
 Simple to use 
 Long basket handle 

This single basket fryer is a great little addition to your kitchen if you just want to make chips every now and then. It’s not huge, but the handle is a little long so you must ensure it is placed safely on the worktop where it cannot be knocked by accident. Users find it cooks nicely, making especially good thin fries to go with meals, and because it’s so simple it makes it easy to clean, too. At this price, it’s a great purchase for students or those who want to experiment with making their favourite fried dishes without spending a fortune.  

5. Tower T14001 Air Fryer

A multi-purpose device for making all your favourite foods

Best for: Multi-purpose | Power: 1300w | Capacity: 1kg | Baskets: n/a

 Other cooking methods 
 Large capacity 
 Not as authentic tasting 

If you liked the sound of the Tefal ActiFry but thought it was out of your price range, then this air fryer is a great alternative that also gives you multiple other options when it comes to cooking. Not only can you fry, but you can bake, roast, grill and steam ingredients to add diversity to your dinners. Again, frying chicken in this machine probably isn’t going to produce KFC quality results, but for the health conscious, it’s a pretty good second. Some users found it a little tricky to get to grips with, but it’s a great space saver with multiple cooking functions in one.   

Check out our other kitchen appliance round ups:

Best Soup Makers

Best Bread Makers 

Best Slow Cookers