The Bottom Line
- Quick Heating
- Safe Alternative to Deep Frying Turkey (UL approved)
- Easy to Use
- Cooks Quickly
- Limited Versatility for Food Sizes
- Non-Food Safe Drip Pan
- One 18,000 BTU circular burner heating a closed chamber to generate radiant (infrared) heat
- Turn knob piezoelectric igniter
- Operates on a standard 20-pound LP tank
- Removable aluminum (non-food safe) drip tray
- Large capacity removable food basket
- Made in China by Char-Broil and available at a number of retail outlets
Guide Review - Char-Broil's The Big Easy Oil-less Infrared Turkey Fryer
The Char-Broil Big Easy uses an 18,000 BTU circular propane burner in an enclosed chamber to heat a large metal pot. This pot then radiates infrared heat at your food with a great deal of power. Actually the efficiency of this unit is pretty amazing. You would be hard pressed to cook this hot and this fast on any gas grill with only 18,000 BTUs.
This unit uses no oil so it costs very little to operate. It is considerably safer than turkey fryers and you can use sauces, rubs and seasonings that you wouldn't be able to with a normal turkey fryer. You can cook a 16-pound turkey in a little over 2 hours.
I do find the food basket a little restrictive, or maybe not restrictive enough. Above the 16-pound turkey there are a lot you can do with this unit (like big kebabs of Brazilian beef) but you will need to be creative to get foods to sit properly so they can cook evenly. Char-Broil is apparently looking at some accessories that will make this unit more versatile in the future.
On the cookouts I've done with this unit the drippings in the drip tray were clear and unburned. Unfortunately the included tray is not food safe and Char-Broil clearly states that drippings in the tray should not be used (like to make gravy). You can fit a small standard disposable aluminum pan into this drip tray and catch the drippings this way for use later.
This cooker sells for about $100USD.