It is football season and there is nothing that goes as well with football as fried food. Chicken wings, calamari, mozzarella sticks, fresh cut french fries – put any of those in front of me, while I am watching a game, and you have one happy man! I have used many fryers over the years and have even done deep frying right on the stove with a large stock pot. A good deep fryer is a great small appliance to have in your kitchen. It can cook food in ways that no other appliance can.
Breville has recently released the Smart Fryer. This deep fryer is built with the goal of making deep frying more user friendly. What temperature do you cook calamari at? How long should you cook chicken wings? The Smart Fryer has built in settings for many of the common foods that are deep fried providing precise temperatures and times for each. On top of that, the Smart Fryer is the first deep fryer to have a specific setting for twice fried french fries, with two different temperatures and times. Breville sent me the Smart Fryer to test out and I was very eager to put it through the paces with a number of different foods that I regularly deep fry.
The Breville Smart Fryer has a slick design and the majority of the unit is made of brushed stainless steel. There are two handles on the side of the fryer for easy lifting. This is good considering that most deep fryers do not have permanent counter top space. The basket is quite large and it can hold a lot of french fries, wings, etc. The control panel and LCD screen are on the back of the fryer and is attached to the heating element and thermostat. This can all be lifted from the base for easy cleaning.
The heating element and thermostat are at the bottom of the oil reservoir.
The Smart Fryer has a deep oil reservoir, providing an oil capacity of 4 quarts. There is a min and max line on the side. Make sure that you fill the fryer with oil to that it is within that range.
There are 6 presets and 1 custom cooking function. These presets include the necessary temperature and time for frying some of the more common foods. These include french fries (both twice fried and single fried), chicken wings, calamari and more. There is even the option to select frozen or fresh which would adjust time and temperature as necessary. The presets can easily be modified in case you want to slightly adjust the temperature or time. The custom setting allows you to choose the temperature and time for exact cooking precision.
After you hit the start button, the LCD screen turns reddish orange. This indicates that the Smart Fryer is in operation and it is heating the oil. Once the oil is at the set temperature the Smart Fryer will beep, indicating it is ready to cook.
The lid can be placed on the Smart Fryer while in use. There is a large handle that stays cool to the touch while the fryer is hot. The lid has a vent to release steam during cooking. It also has a glass window so that you can see how the food is doing with the lid on (although it often fogged up hindering the view).
The first food I wanted to fry was chicken wings. I am a huge wing fanatic and I wanted to see how the Smart Fryer held the temperature and cooked the wings in the 7 minutes they allotted in the wing preset. To test, I dropped in 9 wing segments. Since wings are cold, it can drop the temperature more than room temperature foods, like cut up raw potatoes. The 9 wings cooked perfectly in the 7 minutes. Not only did the wings cook well, but the deep fryer did a great job holding the temperature. There was very little loss of heat and the Smart Fryer was ready to start a second batch right away. I tried 14 wings next and they came out great as well.
I like to dredge the wings in some seasoned flour before they go into the hot oil. The skin was crispy and the meat was moist. They were the perfect wing and totally ready to be coated in sauce.
For some tasty sauces to coat chicken wings check out:
After I made chicken wings, I tried mozzarella sticks. Our family LOVES this crispy and gooey appetizer. I used mozzarella cheese strings coated in panko bread crumbs. They were awesome and fried up really quickly.
One of the unique features of the Smart Fryer is that it has a special setting to make twice fried french fries. This technique is generally regarded as the ultimate way to cook french fries. The first fry setting is at a lower temperature of 265F where the potatoes are essentially blanched in the oil. This allows the fries to cook through but does not brown or crisp the outside. After this first fry, the potatoes are pulled out of the oil and allowed to drain while the temperature is raised to a high 355F. The second fry at this high temperature crisps the outside of the fries while leaving the inside light and fluffy. Delicious.
The Smart Fryer has this twice fry setup in the preset options and I was very eager to try it out. I put the cut potatoes in the basket and lowered it in the oil at 265F and it cooked for the 4 minutes. Then I pulled it out and after it reached the 355F, I lowered the basket for the final 3 minutes. The fries were amazing and I loved how easy it was to make them with this unit.
There is almost nothing that I can say negative about the unit. There is only one thing that I do not like about the Smart Fryer, but it is not only this fryer, it seems to be all of them anymore. The power cord is attached to the fryer by magnets. This might seem fine, but any little bump on the cord and it could dislodge from the base unit, causing it to shut off. I have owned other deep fryers recently and they also had this same design. It is likely to do with safety, but it can be fairly annoying. Other than that, I love the Breville Smart Fryer.
The Breville Smart Fryer is a quality deep fryer. It is well made, holds a lot of oil and cooks at precise temperatures effectively. The preset options are really handy and make cooking wings, calamari and other things very easy. The twice fried french fries are great as well. Cleanup is easy as the heating element and control panel can lift right off.
Pick up the Breville Smart Fryer at Amazon – Breville – The Smart Fryer