1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Derrick Riches

Infrared Turkey Fryer

By October 1, 2007

Follow me on:

Char-Broil has introduced (and just in time for the Holidays) an new cooking device. This unique unit is labeled an infrared turkey fryer. No oil needed. It looks like a large deep fryer but there the similarities end. This is a propane powered infrared roaster, black steel on the outside and stainless steel on the inside. It doesn't cook as fast as a deep fryer would. Typically a fryer cooks at 4 minutes a pound while this unit is closer to 9 minutes. This means you can get a 16-pound turkey (largest recommended size) in about 2 1/2 hours. Still much faster than you would get out of your oven. One of the advantages is that you can load up this bird with injections, rubs and even stuffing before it goes into cook.

I haven't had a chance to look at this unit yet but several bloggers have been talking about it including my friend Barry Martin (who blogs for Char-Broil). The question that pops into my mind is: Are people so afraid of frying turkeys that they will go to any length to avoid it? I regularly deep fry turkey and have never had a minutes trouble with them, but I've certainly heard all the horror stories associated with this. Would you be more comfortable with something like this versus a turkey fryer?

I hope to get a chance to try some turkey out of this unit soon and will let you know what I think the first chance I get.


October 2, 2007 at 2:04 pm
(1) adam says:

I think a good question is this: Why fry? Seriously. Sit down and ask what, exactly, do you get out of frying? If it’s just a matter of time, then I’m not sure the risk and cost are worth it.

October 11, 2007 at 11:31 pm
(2) Larry says:

I have just gotten my Big Easy Infrared fryer and it is awesome. I live in south Louisiana where we have been frying turkeys for many years. I will never use oil again. Even though it takes a little longer, there is no expense of the oil, much easier to clean up, better for you and a great taste. I inject the turkey with a marinade, and put a rub on it. It was absolutely delicious.

October 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm
(3) Mike says:

How’s the taste compare..deep fried vs infrared? Deep fried is damn yummy. Infrared … Please let me kn

October 28, 2011 at 8:03 am
(4) Larry says:

Mike, we do quite a few of these each Thanksgiving and Christmas. Inject with marinade, season with either Seasoned salt or salt, pepper and garlic powder and they come out amazing. If you ever do one like this, you will never buy peanut oil again (put that money on buying a Big Easy).

November 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm
(5) Megan Gibson says:

What kind of marinade do you use? I am using my Big Easy this Thanksgiving and Im looking for a good recipe. Also, what do you inject it with? I grew up in Mississipi so Im sure we’ll like the same thing! :)

November 17, 2007 at 6:50 pm
(6) Darren says:

I’ve never had an interest in frying a turkey, but this maybe just what I need for char sui (Chinese bbq). Ideally, the pork should be hung while cooking and charred. Infrared heat should work great for that and the basket may be good for hanging…

November 19, 2007 at 2:43 pm
(7) SweetEd says:

Did a test run on a chicken last night – it came out fabulous. Took about 1 hour for a 5 lb whole chicken to finish. I’ll adjust my time estimates for the turkey to 12 or 13 minutes per pound. The whole concept seems too easy to be real, but it is. In response to Adam, I have to assume you’ve never had deep fried turkey. Hands down, fried turkey is the best bird I’ve ever had. The fact that this unit will eliminate the oil and danger means that there is no downside.

November 25, 2007 at 4:23 pm
(8) Don Miller says:

I’ve been frying turkeys for years and would never use the oven again. I decided to purchase the Big Easy and give it a try. This is an outstanding value. Takes a little longer than frying but, you don’t need oil so, clean up is extremely easy. Of the 15 persons we had over for Thanksgiving, none could tell the difference between a peanut oil fried bird and this one. Char Broil needs to manuf. a cover for it.

October 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm
(9) Stella says:

My husband and I just bought one. Not sure what is going on but it took nearly 2.5 hours to cook a 4 pound chicken. We took the chicken out after 2 hours and read through the manual hoping to trouble shoot the issue. We loosen and tighten everything, and then it took another half an hour before the chicken is ready to eat. Luckily we did not have any guest or were on a tight schedule. We will try a turkey this weekend and see how it goes.

November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm
(10) Joe says:

Peanut oil for my fryer will cost about $60.00 this year. Then again, I reckon not.

November 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm
(11) J. Eason says:

Don’t waste your money on this cooker.
I have tried it three times cooking turkey each time. I went by the cooking directions that came with the cooker. Each time the turkey was black chared when the cooking time had ended. I will never use it again.

November 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm
(12) richard says:

Not sure what went wrong. We have cooked 3 turkeys since summer and another one today. I probably prefer the taste of oil fried but this is much easier and taste great.

November 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm
(13) Greg says:

For all you doubters out there, let me set the record straight. In the past I’ve had my turkey oven roasted, bbq’d, deep fried (both propane & electric). This afternoon I used my new Big Easy Infrared Oil-less fryer. My family and friends all agreed it’s the best Turkey we’ve ever had. Crisp on the outside, moist and juicy inside. Simple to prepare and set up. No messy oil to dispose of when you’re done. It’s awesome. Some people have reported blackened turkey. I recommend leaving the lid off. Mine came out perfectly after 2 1/2 hours for a 14 pound bird, injected with melted butter and seasoning, plus coated the outside with same solution.

I’ve seen it advertised for $200. I bought mine at Sam’s Club for $135. When you consider the alternative unit for about $65 plus $30 worth of oil every year… $135 is a bargain. I highly recommend it.

November 29, 2008 at 4:34 pm
(14) PJ says:

Looked at this at Lowes, still thinking about it and reading blogs such as this. They have it for about 130.00, so I did the math: I spend about 60-75.00/year on peanut oil…but I like peanut oil.

I don’t enjoy cleaning up all the mess after 2 turkeys and 3 chickens (which is on the bill for this Sunday), but I do have a nifty electric pump (with filter) for dealing with the oil, and I figure that I’ll have to wash and disinfect any pot I use, oil, infrared or otherwise.

I always cook at least two birds, usually several, and the idea of a couple of hours per bird really does throw cold water on my large dinners with 20+ people showing up.

I think Char-Broil makes great products (I have some of them), but maybe they should go back to the CAD system and try to build something that offers that gratification of quick-cooking and peanut oil flavor; perhaps a greatly improved, user-friendly, self-cleaning, low-energy deep-fryer.

How about self-propelled, so you can drive it to your next party? Multi-port electronic flavor injection? An AC Delco oil filter? Built-in CD player (comes with Eric Clapton’s latest, ‘Propane’ ["she don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie..."])? I could go on…

November 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(15) Veta says:

Does anyone make an electric infrared turkey cooker?

November 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm
(16) Djuro says:

After buying this thing over the internet from Lowe’s for 89 bucks several months ago, we finally tried it out tonight. About a 13.5 pound turkey . . . did it on deck in about, oh, 63 to 65 degree outside temperature. Seeing how several folks suggested a 16 pounder took 2 1/2 hours, I left it in for 1 hour 45 minutes . . . stuck thermometer inside and read over 180, so it appears I left it in probably about 15-20 minutes too long.

Sprayed olive oil on the outside, and sprinkled Emeril’s Essence on it. Juicy inside, skin was crispy on outside. Next time, I inject melted butter and rub some on the outside.

I think one of the problems Charbroil has is that it’s quality control is letting some “fryers” out that don’t have enough flame. Mine had plenty. That, and you probably have to adjust for conditions . . . wind . . . colder outside . . . and if your turkey is colder and not fully thawed, well, you’re hosed there.

I bought my 13.5 pound Butterball on Thursday morning, thawed it in the fridge, and cooked it today, Tuesday, at 5:00 p.m.. Some of the organs in the plastic were frozen on the edges. So I ran cold water over and through the bird for about 15 minutes. Then had it sit for about 20 minutes before I sprayed the olive oil and sprinkled the Emeril’s.

November 18, 2010 at 9:57 am
(17) DarkTari says:

I saw this on sale at Big Lots for $88.00. Never fried a turkey and was not a big turkey fan , til the 1st time I had fried turkey, I was hooked !!! Heard a lot of horror stories about frying so I never tried.
This one I may get now that I’ve read your opinions…. Would be great if it were electric !!

November 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm
(18) Chuck Nee Nee Hofer says:

Have used The Big Easy Char-Broil Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill. I have done turkey, chicken, and a ham (smoked). Every time it comes out great. I do miss my deep fryer though…….

November 26, 2010 at 9:27 am
(19) Carl Slye says:

I bought the Easy Fryer at Lowes. Great Price at $90.00,
Putting the fryer together was easy. About 10 minutes. Followed the instructions on curing the cooking surfaces with oil and preheating the fryer to burn the oil in. I cooked two turkeys in the fryer and both came out great. It takes about 10 minutes per pound. I have a oil fryer which I will only use to cook fish. A great buy.

December 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm
(20) RJ says:

J. Eason since your not going to use your fryer any longer, can you please mail out to me. I’ve been using my buddies infared frying and am tired of asking to barrow it. This is the best thing since slice bread.

June 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm
(21) Judy says:

Can you deep fry anything in here or is it just for turkeys? I would like to try buffalo wings in here but not sure if it’s possible. Also I would like to try fried chicken.

November 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm
(22) Muffin says:

I love my char broil infrared grill, ITS AWESOME!!! I’ve cooked several roasts, chickens, and turkey in it. I’m still trying to record my times and get this straight. I like to leave the lid OFF until the last 20 minutes and then I get a nice crisp golden brown crust.

mine works perfectly. and well it’s not a fear of frying, but rather the fact that you get an even tastier product that is LESS fattening!

November 24, 2011 at 1:40 am
(23) Dale says:

After about 10 turkey fries with oil…and after numerous near-disasters
with burning oil…and after illegally disposing expensive oil after the fact…I bought a Big EZ…It does a nice job..better and easier than the oil fryers..
Shoot your bird with marinade, dab it with olive oil and salt and 9 minutes per pound later you’re good to go. Nothing fancy but very moist and tender. I’ll wear the scars of oil frying forever and so will my porch but
hereafter I’m a bbq/oilless fryer type of guy. My recommendation..buy it!

December 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(24) nick says:

Does this fryer cook french fries or wings?

February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am
(25) John Bryson says:

Wife bought me one for Christmas, easy to assemble and cooked a 4lb. chicken in about an hour. Great taste and very juicy. I only wish they would include suggested cooking times for the various meats, would make planning meals a lot easier. Do not cook with the lid on as you will probably creamate whatever you are cooking, only put the lid on for browning the last 15 minutes or so. Cooking a pork butt for the big game today, I’ll try and let you know how it turns out. Noticed they recommend a low sugar rub so mine may get a little crisp since the rub I plan to use has a high sugar content, we’ll see.

October 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(26) Darwin says:

I owned a turkey cooker that was the deep fry type. The problem I found was disposal of the oil. I now have the infrared cooker and I find that it is a lot nicer as the deep fryer can make the turkey crisp. like legs and wings. in the infrared i found that they both taste pretty much the same but with less grease in the turkey when you use the infrared. It is safer and a lot easier to clean. but it is personal preferrence I quess. Like I said I have had both and I will stay with the infrared thank you

October 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm
(27) crystal says:

Greatest appliance EVER!!! Great for turkey ribs pork and beef!!!

November 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(28) John Hutchinson says:

For the past 4yrs I have deep fryed turkeys at both Thanksgiving and Christmas, always with excellent results. This past year we purchased a Char-broil oil less Turket fryer and I was skeptical of the results. To my surprise the turkey turned out excellent. The skin doesnt crisp up like it does in the deep fryer but other than that it is great. What is even better is that you dont have to spend all that money on peanut grease for the deep fryer and you dont have the mess of spilled grease to deal with either. Overall I would recommend the oil less fryer to anyone who likes fried turkey.

November 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm
(29) Rocky says:

I highly recommend Tony Catchetorie’s cajun creole butter injection (not spicy).. You don’t even have to salt and pepper the bird.

November 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(30) Mikey says:

I absolutely love using this unit. This, from a person who has deep fried turkeys for several years. The taste is comparable to that of deep fried, but the cost of oil, cool off time of oil and ultimate oil disposal are things I don’t miss about deep frying.

I am not a serious calorie counter by any stretch, but I am sure my body also doesn’t miss extra calories from the oil itself.

November 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm
(31) Jon says:

We’ve been using one for two years now. Picked it up on an after-Christmas clearance sale at Home Depot for around $25. At that price, it was nearly risk free. We don’t use a marinade, and don’t coat it in oil. All we do is use a little dry rub on the outside of the turkey.

At 10 minutes a pound (like it says in the directions) and the cover on, it comes out perfect with crispy skin and very moist meat. I usually prefer dark meat because the white meat comes out dry — not with this cooker! My wife was surprised because the guests pretty much left only the bones by the end of the evening. The white meat that we picked off the few leftovers were still moist even after sitting out (and still yummy.)

I’ve had fried turkey before. This is better. The only problem with it is that it’s a big piece of kit to have around for essentially 2-3 meals a year. Well worth what I paid, but $100 is expensive for such specialized gear. Either look for clearance events at the end of season, or justify by planning to use it for lots of big meat cooking (we don’t cook for large numbers of people that often.)

December 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm
(32) mary says:

We love the Boston Butt Roast, but don’t seem to cook it enough. We go to 170 degrees, but closer to the bone, it seems too pink. Any suggestions? we are not fond of BBQ sauce, so the recipe in the book is not for us.

March 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(33) Bruce Good says:

I deep fry every year at Thanksgiving. For the last 3 years I have done deep fry and infrared. All 3 years everyone likes the infrared better. They don’t which is which. Looks like I have to buy another big easy as I have to make 2 turkeys every year.

November 28, 2013 at 2:09 am
(34) GmoUD311 says:

I have used this for 3 years now. Every year on a tailgate for the UD vs Villanova game, and again the next weekend for Thanksgiving. I’ve also used it for wings for various parties including the super bowl. Every time, it’s been so awesome. I love this thing better than my grill!!!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Barbecues & Grilling

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.