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 Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker?

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  • Total Posts: 1286
  • Joined: 11/29/2005
  • Location: South FL
Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Thu, 03/25/10 7:03 PM (permalink)
My reference standard for deep frying is my cast iron pot on a single gas burner in my carport. That's as close to a commercial fryer that I can get without springing for a foodservice product. There are often times that I just need a small volume fryer without going through the hassel of setting up outside.  I've been pretty disappointed with home models. I've used everything from my mom's 50's vintage Wonderfry to two fryers that are supposed to be highly recommended in tests by Cook's Illustrated. My inital results had been less then stellar with significant temp sag and both returned. Now the darling honey seems to be the T-fal or it's digital controlled Emiril twin. Even with 20% off, they appear to be really flimsy and take up more space and oil then I'd rather b4 making it an afternoon outside. I bought the little Cuisanart that wasn't to bad with recovery if you let the meat come to room temp. Unfortunately the small,rectangular design limits you to very small pieces and a single breast is out of the question as you can't completely immerse it. It's not an immersion element, but this one wasn't too bad with recovery. It self destructed within a year.  I picked up a brand new Fry Daddy at a yard sale for $10. It was so new, that it had a recent wedding shower card still inside the box with the packing. I've seen these, but never really paid any attention due to no adjustable thermostat or any other convenience features and they looked impractical. After using it, boy I was wrong. These are hidden values for the price. No basket lets you have more useable oil coverage. And heat? These units can pump heat and recover fast with minimal sag by comparison to anything else that I've used. This flies in the face of the common wisdom that an immersable element is best. Poppycock. Fifty degree sag for a batch of frozen curly fries  isn't too bad. Using a chinese skim instead of basket works very well.
The bad? No thermostat. These have a mind of their own and use a simple thermal contact switch that settles anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees. Great heat and unusually good recovery, but not very controllable. Then there's the issue with the Teflon coating which is starting to flake off at the oil line. Food that touches the bottom b4 floating may get burned. Easily solved by the useless,tiny circular rack that came with my rice steamer.
 For what these do for $25, they seem to do very well. Looking at Presto's other products, it's more of the same, but larger. Hidden away in another product line is their multi cookers that you don't see in any of the local stores. Pretty much the very same idea as the Fryers, but with a plug-in thermostat/controller. Most reviews center around multi purpose cooking and steaming, but little in the way of comparative or objective information on frying characteristics. Some reviews claim that the manual specifically says not to fry in them although ad copy says you can as well. What looks interesting is one is available in Stainless in what appears to be the modified base of their table top pressure cooker with integral heat element at 1500W. If these can maintain the heat of the Frydaddy's/pappy's and have thermostatic control, they sound like a winner with even higher wattage ased on my experience with the Frydaddy. Look beautiful too. For a 6Q unit, that's about 2Q - 21/2 Q of usable oil in about a 9" surface area which seems to be a reasonable comprimise between the small 1L tabletops and the larger 3-5 Q rectangular, quasi-commercial fryers that are built like tin cans.
Anyone have any experience with these?

    • Total Posts: 1
    • Joined: 3/26/2010
    • Location: Bellevu, WA
    Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Fri, 03/26/10 12:17 AM (permalink)
    NO I don't have nay experience with that presto multi cooker ...Can you tell me the features of this cooker ??? and whts the difference between this and normal pressure cookers ???

    <message edited by Sloane22 on Fri, 03/26/10 12:19 AM>

      • Total Posts: 9583
      • Joined: 9/1/2006
      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
      Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Fri, 03/26/10 4:02 AM (permalink)

        • Total Posts: 942
        • Joined: 4/1/2008
        • Location: Syracuse, NY
        Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Fri, 03/26/10 1:33 PM (permalink)
        I had an older style cooker of the same brand, teflon coated with a heavy glass top. I never used it for anything other than deep frying, and never had a problem keeping temperature (unless I was in a hurry and dumped a load of frozen wings into it). I didn't like using the basket however, and used a Chinese-style skimmer or tongs to get stuff in and out instead.

          • Total Posts: 343
          • Joined: 12/2/2006
          • Location: renton, WA
          Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Fri, 03/26/10 5:05 PM (permalink)
          i also have a presto multi-cooker, i think it was $20 on sale at wal-mart or k-mart, i don't remember which one.. i've used it as a fryer as well as a slow cooker and it can do both jobs very well. the teflon coating is holding up well, although i threw away the fry basket right at the beginning and never use metal utensils in it.
           as a fryer, it will heat up really close to 300F if you really need it that hot, and the recovery is really fast. as a cooker, heat distribution is decent since the heating element is cast into decently-thick aluminum. no hot spots.

            • Total Posts: 1286
            • Joined: 11/29/2005
            • Location: South FL
            Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Fri, 03/26/10 8:21 PM (permalink)
            Three hundred is a bit low for deep frying and low oil saturation. I had some concerns on the stainless model. Unlike aluminum, stainless doesn't conduct heat too well. Turns out the bottom is all aluminum on these units similar to a "clad" type pot without the second sandwich of stainless on the bottom. The other concern was the old, wand-probe type thermostat used. I've had bad luck with those in the past.  Most all the reviews have been on the aluminum models and are pretty stellar. Many of the reviewers migrated to these from the Frydaddy/Grandpappy friers for the same reasons that I'm interested in them and seem to be very happy with them. I'm hoping that the stainless models have the same characteristics. I looked at that Euro Pro. I didn't realize they made a small volume model. Still the size is pretty big and in past I've had several bad experiences with this company's customer service. The chinese skim is the way to go. That has to be one of the most wonderful kitchen widgets made that's so useful for many things besides frying. I haven't used a collander since for the portions that I cook .

              • Total Posts: 343
              • Joined: 12/2/2006
              • Location: renton, WA
              Re:Kitchen Top Deep Fryers / Presto Multi Cooker? Sat, 03/27/10 11:56 PM (permalink)
              my bad... i meat to type 400, not 300 :(
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