There are several important factors that the consumer needs to keep in mind when shopping for, and purchasing, a deep fat fryer. What is the capacity of the fryer? What foods are you planning on cooking with the fryer? How easy is it to clean? How easy and safe is it to set up and use? How durable and long lasting is it? What accessories and tools are available for the fryer? Does its appearance complement your other appliances and utilities in your kitchen? Perhaps the most important question to ask involves what uses are you planning for this device and how many people will you be entertaining at any given time?
Size is important. Do you want a model that sits on the countertop or that sits on the floor? If you are only going to be cooking for yourself, for example, you probably should be considering a mini deep fat fryer and not a large deep fat fryer. Far too much oil would be used otherwise. On the other hand, if you are going to be cooking for large dinner parties, or perhaps preparing large amounts of food that you will put away in the freezer or refrigerator for later, you will need a fryer with a large chamber.
You also need to figure out what types of things you want to cook in your deep fat fryer, because this will determine what shape and style of fryer you need. Some of the foods you may find yourself cooking include large batches of French fries, fried chicken, fish and chips, Japanese tempura, and fried dough. You will need to examine the different shapes available and the types of foods that the different styles and shapes best accommodate.
You want to look for quality in the deep fat fryer. Have you considered getting a stainless steel deep fat fryer? If not, are you going to have a potential problem with rust? Fryers that are made with cheaper metals sometimes have problems with expansion and contraction over a period of time. To protect against rust and to maintain the integrity of the fryer, stainless steel is well worth the investment.
How easy is the fryer to clean? You want to be able to filter or discard the used cooking oil quickly and cleanly. You also do not wanting to be spending an inordinate amount of time cleaning up after use. Does the fryer have a guard or shield to reduce the amount of oil that splatters on the counter top or the walls?
What kinds of accessories and tools are available for the appliance you are considering? You will need baskets, tongs, and strainers. Again, you will want quality material here, not something that will rust or break after only a few uses. Does the fryer have a filtration system to help extend the life of the cooking oil? Does it have filters available that will help control the odor of the oil?
What safety features does the fryer have? How much temperature control does the user have? Ideally you would like a high quality electronic thermostat that can prevent the fryer from getting too hot. Does the fryer have an automatic cut-out if it does get too hot, and does it have a reset switch if the cut-out is activated?