Deep Fryer Baskets: Basket Case
If you thought that a deep fryer basket was nothing more than a meshed container with a heat-proof handle then you might be quite surprised. Fry baskets come in such a variety of shapes, sizes and materials that you'll have a tough time picking one unless you knew exactly what you were looking for. The number of brands alone is mind-numbing. Let's take a look at some of the popular models and see what the experts say about the little and the big fry.
Admiral Craft Deep Fryer Baskets
Admiral Craft's nickel-plated baskets are the standard shape that you'll see with commercial deep fryers. They're great to use as replacement baskets for your existing fryers, and they are versatile enough to be used with various models of deep fryers. The insulated handles are color coded to show the size, so reordering is very easy. They also have a simpler round model with a flat bottom for use with your Dutch oven. You just need to match the size of the basket to your pan diameter, along with the height, and you're all set to go frying. They come in standard 8 1/2 and 11 1/4 inch diameters.
Lodge Deep Fryer Baskets
Slightly on the expensive side are the Lodge deep fryer baskets. The mesh is made from commercial-grade nickel plated steel wire, and rolled rims to rest the basket when frying. The long, wide handle ensures good control even with a loaded basket. It also helps you lower the basket into the boiling oil slowly, while preventing splashes that usually occur with quick drops. The long plastic shield makes sure that the handle stays cool even at the typical 365 F frying temperature. Lodge is a renowned cast iron manufacturer with over a century.
Waring Deep Fryer Baskets
If you're looking for a top of the line deep fryer basket, then Waring fryer baskets might interest you. Starting at around $30 and going all the way up to $75, these works of art will make any frying job a pleasure. The Waring LFB75 3 lb frying basket is perfect for frying large batches of food, and can be used to replace dual basket fryers. Specifically designed for the WDF75 countertop fryers, it can also be used with a similar sized open fryer. It also comes in a 1.5 lb model for $60.
Food-Specific Deep Fryer Baskets
There are other types of deep fryer baskets for specific uses. One such product is the taco fryer. It can fry up to 8 tortillas at a time in the shape of taco shells. Segregated compartments ensure that the tortillas don't stick to each other when frying. It is made of nickel-plated steel and retails at around $14. There's also a taco salad bowl fryer that's easy to use and gives a great effect. Just let your tortilla float on the hot oil, and then press it down with the salad bowl fryer. The taco shell will be formed around the mesh frame of the fryer in a traditionally shaped taco shell; perfect for serving salads, dips and nachos. Then there's the tostada frying basket. With a capacity of 18 tortillas held in place vertically in individual slots, this is perfect for that last-minute party that you weren't expecting to happen at your place. Retails at around $14 and made of durable material; even comes with a hanging hook for convenient draining.
And That's A Wrap
While there are several products on the market offering great quality, great prices and great customer satisfaction, you need to know what dimensions you're looking for in a deep fryer basket. If it's too small, then the hanging hooks might not be of any use, and if it's too big then it won't even go into the fryer. Take a measurement of your fryer or Dutch oven before you shop for a deep fryer basket. You'll also want to check the insulation to make sure it doesn't get hot. However effective the insulation might be, the handles tend to get very warm when you're frying continuously so look for one that's reliable, and also one that's wide enough and long enough to give you the kind of control you're looking for when handling a loaded basket. If you make a good choice in the beginning, then you can expect your deep fryer basket to perform for years together.
Where Can I Buy Deep Fryer Baskets?
You probably don't have a deep fryer specialty store in your area, and may not know where to begin shopping for deep fryer baskets. This is one item WalMart might not have in stock. This is not necessarily true, but before you go out to a WalMart, Target, or Sears, at least phone the store to ask if they stock deep fryer baskets so you don't end up wasting your time. While WalMart does have deep fryer hardware listed on their online site, this does not mean that individual stores will stock the products.
NexTag: has a great selection of indoor deep fryer baskets, outdoor deep fryer baskets, baskets for electric deep fryers, across a very wide price range. The problem with NexTag is that the selection is rather limited in terms of stand-alone baskets, as most are included with a deep fryer purchase. There is a set of three different-sized baskets, as well as a set of twin baskets (two of the same, standard size) listed.
Amazon: has a much better selection of stand-alone indoor and outdoor deep fryer baskets. They have both round and rectangular deep fryer baskets, so whatever shape basket your deep fryer needs, Amazon can accommodate. Prices start from as low as $8, and go into the $35 dollar range. There are baskets specifically for tacos, turkey, and french fries, all of which can be purchased for under $40.
Of course, you can also visit the websites of the aformentioned Lodge, Waring, and Admiral Craft companies - you can be sure to find something you like between the three of these deep frying specialists.