With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I was debating my options for cooking my turkey. My husband said he wanted to fry a turkey this year, but I didn’t want to endanger my family to the explosion of a traditional turkey fryer. I am also not typically one for a bird that is dripping in oil. Even around the holidays, I like to think I keep an eye on my calories. I looked around for other options before settling on the Char Broil Oil Less Fryer (a.k.a The Big Easy/TBE). This oil-less fryer was a little pricier than a traditional oil fryer, but not too excessive if you ask me. It claimed it could prepare a full turkey up to 16 pounds with perfection using infrared cooking technology.
Does TBE Live up to its Promises?
We decided to cook a test turkey before Thanksgiving to ensure that nothing could go wrong on the big day. The bird we cooked was a 12 pound turkey in 2 hours and 15 minutes. It took a little longer than estimated, but it was well worth the wait. The turkey’s skin was crispy and the meat inside was moist. I do recommend using injectable spices along with rubs. I think the turkey skin keeps the rubs from penetrating the skin which leaves the turkey meat relatively flavorless. I really like TBE because of the variations in how you can season the turkey and still have a similar flavor to deep fried. Traditional turkey fryers don’t allow for injectables and dry rubs and whatnot. You can even use the “beer can” style method of cooking.
Ease of Use
The Char-Broil Big Easy oil-less turkey fryer does take some assembly to put together, but from the box, I had it put together in about twenty minutes. However, if you aren’t good at assembling things, I would recommend that you allot yourself at least an hour to get it put together. Meaning, don’t wait until the last minute before you cook to assemble it.
It is very easy to use and allows for cooking a variety of meats like whole chicken and parts, duck, lamb, and even various cuts of pork and beef. I made a really good roast in it. It was delicious. The oil-less fryer comes with a thermometer, but I would recommend getting your own as this one isn’t accurate as I would like it to be.
While this thing is easy to use, it’s meant for outdoor use only. Don’t attempt to do this in the garage and especially in the house. If you’d like to enjoy some oil-less fried foods in the house, you’ll have to cook it outdoors or better yet, get yourself a home air fryer such as the Philips, Big Boss, or even the T-fal.
Easy Clean Up
After cooking your meat to perfection at an amazing average time of 8-10 minutes per pound, cooking faster than any traditional turkey fryer. I cleaned up from our delicious bird in less than 20 minutes. Cleaning entirely and no need for disposing of a giant vat of oil. The only thing that made clean up hard is the weight. I would say this thing weighs a whopping 20 pounds or more, but I guess it would have to weigh a lot in order to hold such a big turkey and have great results every time.
Upgrades to Consider When Purchasing
The basket that comes with this Char Broil oil less turkey fryer isn’t what they call an “Easy-Out” basket. Which means that it won’t be as easy to remove this hot turkey that is dripping in juices onto a plate for carving without dropping it. It takes a very careful hand. You can buy the “Easy-Out” basket for around $20 and I would highly recommend it. It gets rid of the hassle of removing the hot meat from a hot basket.
Tips for Getting The Best Use
I think that with any large appliance that reaches high temperatures, you need to oil it up and fire it up a couple of times to sort of prime it before you use it for the first time. Check the temperature when doing this. A common problem consumers have seemed to run into is the oil-less fryer not cooking their meats within a reasonable time frame. I didn’t have this problem, but I did have a small issue seating the propane valve properly inside the burner tube. It took some attention, but this ensured proper gas flow from the tank to the fryer. This would be something to check if you are having this issue.
Other Things You Need To Use
The Char Broil oil less turkey fryer cooks using a propane tank and it doesn’t come with it. You will have to purchase your own. If your BBQ uses propane for cooking, you can use the same tank as you use for that. Cooking this way allows you to cook in different ways that you normally wouldn’t be able to. You can put savories in the cavity of the birds or use fine wood chips to add a light smoke flavor to your meats. You can also continue to baste your bird while cooking.
Is It Worth It?
In my opinion, the Char Broil oil less fryer is well worth your money if you’d really like to give deep fried turkey a try (minus the calories, and dangers of fire). It’s not priced so high that it will put a big dent on your wallet. It also delivers a deliciously crisped skin, and moist meat for your Thanksgiving dinner. It frees up the oven for other sides to be. I enjoy the oil-less fryer very much and will be cooking with it more often!