Electric Vs Propane Turkey Fryers

Electric Vs Propane Turkey Fryers – Finding the Perfect Turkey Fryer 

Last Updated on July 15, 2023

Turkey fryers have become a popular way to cook Thanksgiving turkeys, providing a crispy, golden-brown skin and a juicy, flavorful interior. The two most common types of turkey fryers are electric and propane. 

Both have advantages and disadvantages; choosing the right one for your needs can depend on various factors.

Electric turkey fryers operate by using electricity to heat up the oil and cook the turkey. They tend to be smaller and more compact than their propane counterparts, making them an excellent choice for individuals with limited space.

While propane fryers are often lauded for their ability to cook faster and produce crispier skin, electric fryers provide a safer and more convenient option for indoor use.

It is important to consider your specific needs and priorities when deciding whether an electric or propane turkey fryer is right for you.

This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of electric and propane turkey fryers, helping you find the perfect fryer to suit your needs and improve your turkey cooking performance.

Masterbuilt MB20012420 Butterball XL 10 Liter Electric 3-in-1 Deep Fryer Boiler Steamer Cooker with Basket for Turkey
  • 3-in-1 electric fryer lets you fry, steam, or boil your favorite foods for the entire family without…
  • Extra-large, 10.6-quart electric cooking pot capacity with the ability to fry up to a 20-pound…
  • Healthier design reduces fat with 1.3 times less oil needed than used in a traditional deep fat…
King Kooker Propane Outdoor Fry Boil Package with 2 Pots, silver, one size (12RTFBF3)
  • Heavy Duty Welded Outdoor Cooker, 33, 000 Btu Cast Burners
  • 29 Qt. Aluminum Turkey Pot With Lid And Basket, Lifting Rack & Hook
  • Aluminum Fry Pan And Basket With Heat Resistant Handle

Comparing Electric and Propane Turkey Fryers: Which One Is Right for You?

When choosing the right turkey fryer, there are various factors to consider.

The dimensions and weight of the fryer, the wattage it uses, oil capacity, functionality, and accessories are essential features to compare. 

This discussion will provide an objective and informative analysis of these features to assist in making an informed decision.

Dimensions and Weight

Electric turkey fryers are generally smaller and lighter, making them more portable and easier to store. 

They typically weigh around 10-15 pounds and have a capacity of around 14-16 pounds of turkey. 

Their compact size also makes them more suitable for smaller kitchens or outdoor spaces with limited storage space.

In contrast, propane turkey fryers are larger and heavier, with an average weight of 30-40 pounds and a capacity of 20-25 pounds of turkey. 

While this may make them less portable and more difficult to store, they are more powerful and can fry a turkey faster.

Propane fryers also offer the advantage of being able to fry other foods, such as chicken or fish, due to their larger size.


In general, electric turkey fryers have a lower wattage than propane ones. 

The wattage of an electric turkey fryer ranges from 1,200 to 1,650 watts, while propane turkey fryers have a much higher wattage, ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 BTUs. 


As a result, propane turkey fryers heat up much faster than electric ones, making them ideal for those who want to save time and fry their turkey quickly.

To provide a better understanding of the difference between the wattage of electric and propane turkey fryers, the following table highlights the wattage range of both types of fryers:

Type of FryerWattage Range
Electric Turkey Fryer1,200 to 1,650 watts
Propane Turkey Fryer30,000 to 60,000 BTUs

It is important to note that the wattage of a turkey fryer also affects the amount of oil required for frying. 

Propane turkey fryers require more oil due to their higher wattage, making them less efficient than electric fryers in terms of oil consumption. 

Conversely, electric turkey fryers consume less oil due to their lower wattage, making them a more economical option in the long run. 

Oil Capacity

Electric turkey fryers typically have a smaller oil capacity than propane turkey fryers, limiting the amount of food that can be fried at once. 

This can be a disadvantage for those who want to fry a large turkey or multiple items at once.

Oil Capacity

Alternatively, propane turkey fryers often have a larger oil capacity, allowing for the frying of larger items and more food at once. 

This can be an advantage for those who regularly cook for large groups or want to fry multiple items at once. 

However, it is important to note that a larger oil capacity also means that more oil is needed, which can be more expensive and require more storage space.


Functionality is an important aspect to consider when selecting a turkey fryer, as it determines the ease and effectiveness of the frying process. 

When comparing electric and propane turkey fryers, there are a few key differences in functionality to consider:

  • Heat control: Electric turkey fryers typically have more precise temperature control, which can be useful for achieving the perfect level of crispiness and avoiding overcooking. On the other hand, propane fryers may require more attention to ensure the temperature stays consistent.
  • Mobility: Propane fryers are typically more portable, as they don’t need to be plugged in. This can be useful for outdoor cooking or for those who like moving their fryers around. On the other hand, electric fryers are typically more stationary and may require a dedicated outlet.
  • Capacity: Electric fryers often have a smaller capacity than propane fryers, which can be a drawback for those who need to cook large turkeys or multiple items at once. However, electric fryers may be more suitable for smaller households or those without cooking large quantities.


Electric turkey fryers offer a variety of accessories ranging from digital thermometers, fryer baskets, and oil filters to oil drain valves, spouts, and safety features like automatic shut-off.

Digital thermometers are commonly used with electric fryers to ensure the turkey is cooked to the desired temperature. 

Fryer baskets are important accessories that make it easy to lower and lift the turkey in and out of the fryer. 

Oil filters are also important to keep the oil clean and free from debris, which can prolong the fryer’s life and improve the turkey’s taste. 


Additionally, some electric fryers come with oil drain valves and spouts to make it easy to drain and dispose of the used oil. 

Some electric fryers also incorporate safety features like automatic shut-off to prevent overheating and oil fires.

Propane turkey fryers also come with a range of accessories, including propane tanks, fryer baskets, and thermometers. 

Propane tanks are essential accessories for propane fryers as they are the source of fuel for the fryer. 

Fryer baskets are also necessary to allow for easy lowering and lifting of the turkey in and out of the fryer. 

Thermometers are important accessories to ensure the turkey is cooked to the desired temperature.

However, it’s important to note that propane fryers do not come with oil filters, oil drain valves, or automatic shut-off features. 

Therefore, users need to be careful and take extra precautions when using propane fryers to prevent oil fires and accidents.

Power Source

The power source is a critical factor to consider when selecting a turkey fryer. Propane and electric turkey fryers each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Propane fryers are known for their high heat output, making them ideal for outdoor use. They also heat up quickly and can handle larger turkeys.  

However, propane tanks can be heavy and cumbersome to transport, and they require a steady supply of fuel to operate. 

Additionally, propane fryers can be dangerous if not used properly, as they pose a risk of fire and explosion.

On the other hand, electric fryers are generally safer to use as they do not require an open flame.

They are also more convenient to use indoors, as they do not emit harmful fumes like propane fryers. 

Electric fryers are generally smaller and lighter than propane fryers, making them easier to store and transport.

However, they have a lower heat output than propane fryers, which means they take longer to heat up and may not be able to handle larger turkeys.

Does propane cook faster than electric?

Propane-fueled turkey fryers can cook a turkey faster than electric ones, giving you more time to enjoy the meal with your loved ones. 

This is because propane has a higher heat output than electricity, which means that it can heat up the oil in the fryer much more quickly.

In fact, propane fryers can heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few minutes, while electric fryers can take up to 20 minutes to reach the same temperature.

Additionally, propane burners are more efficient than electric heating elements, so they can maintain a consistent temperature throughout cooking. 

This is important when frying a turkey, as the oil temperature needs to remain constant in order to ensure that the turkey is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

With an electric fryer, the temperature can fluctuate, resulting in an unevenly cooked turkey. 

Therefore, if you want to cook a turkey quickly and evenly, a propane-fueled turkey fryer is the way to go.

What oil is best for an Electric turkey fryer?

Picking the right oil for frying your turkey in an electric fryer is crucial to achieving a crispy and delicious result. 

While peanut oil is the go-to oil for deep frying turkey, it may not be the best option for electric fryers. 

Electric fryers operate at a lower temperature than propane fryers, making it more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature with peanut oil. 

As a result, other oils with a higher smoke point may be better suited for electric turkey fryers.

One alternative oil that is suitable for electric turkey fryers is canola oil. Canola oil has a high smoke point of around 400°F, making it ideal for frying at high temperatures. It also has a neutral flavor, which won’t interfere with the taste of the turkey.

Other options include soybean oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil, all of which have high smoke points and neutral flavors. 

To help you choose the right oil for your electric turkey fryer, the table below summarizes the smoke points and flavors of various oils commonly used for deep frying.

Oil TypeSmoke Point (°F)Flavor

Remember, when using an electric turkey fryer, it’s important to choose an oil with a high smoke point and a neutral flavor to ensure that your turkey comes out crispy and delicious.

Why use Propane instead of Electric?

When considering the environmental impact of household appliances, it is worth noting that propane-powered appliances are notably more efficient than their electric counterparts, with propane producing a smaller carbon footprint. 

Propane is a cleaner-burning fuel than electricity and is more efficient at converting energy into heat.

This means that propane appliances can perform the same task with less fuel, producing fewer emissions and reducing energy waste. 

Using propane instead of electric for turkey frying is also advantageous.

Propane turkey fryers heat up much faster than electric fryers, typically requiring longer preheat time. 

Additionally, propane fryers can reach higher temperatures than electric fryers, resulting in a faster cooking time.

Considerations and Recommendations: Electric Vs Propane Turkey Fryers

Whether you opt for an electric or propane turkey fryer, what matters most is that you find the perfect fit for your cooking needs and preferences. 

Take into account the factors that are important to you, such as safety, convenience, and cooking time. 

Consider the space you have available, the type of oil you’ll be using, and the desired outcome for your turkey.

Remember, just as in life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

So, make an informed decision, and may your turkey fryer of choice help you create a mouthwatering Thanksgiving feast.

King Kooker 1265BF3 Portable Propane Outdoor Deep Frying/Boiling Package with 2 Aluminum Pots
  • Heavy Duty Welded Outdoor Cooker
  • 33,000 BTU Cast Burner
  • 29 Qt. Aluminum Turkey Pot with Lid and Basket
Masterbuilt MB20010118 8 Liter Electric 3-in-1 Deep Fryer Boiler Steamer Cooker with Basket for Turkey
  • ELECTRIC DEEP FRYER – Extra-large capacity with the ability to fry up to a 14 lb. turkey
  • EASY TO CLEAN – Removable hinged lid and drain valve for easy cleanup
  • EASY TO USE – Cooking basket and lifting hook for safe food management

Last update on 2023-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top