Breville Smart Fryer Review – Is it Good Enough for Me?
Hardware – What You Physically Get
The unit comes packaged with six pieces. The outer shell, an inner hopper, a heating element, a basket, a cover, and the power cord. The cover of the unit features a vent, complete with a mesh filter to help catch some of the cooking odors, a handle for carrying the unit, and a viewing window. The case itself is made of brushed steel and has a control unit attached to the back which allows for manipulation of the temperature through a digital control mechanism. The sides of the case feature heat resistant black plastic handles.
The basket and the cooking bowl are both stainless steel and they are safe for cleaning in the dishwasher. This is definitely a bonus when compared to other home frying units. The oil can often cake onto baskets and become a nightmare so finding a unit that is easy to clean is definitely a boon to any aspiring home fry chefs. The frying basket has a 2.5 pound capacity.
The heating element and the digital display and controls of the unit are very high quality. The unit also features an electric thermostat which operates to help maintain the temperature of the oil according to the settings that you desire.
Aesthetics – Counter Appeal?
The Breville Smart Fryer has a wonderful aesthetic. The shell is brushed steel in color with a digital display and control unit on the back. The top and sides feature handles for moving the unit. The cover also features a vent for steam to be released from the unit and has a small window for you to see inside the unit as it is cooking. The form is both aesthetically pleasing and functional enough to be useful for nearly anyone in any situation. The power cord plugs into the bottom back of the unit through magnetic clips.
In-Use – How Well Does it Actually Work?
This unit functions perfectly. Unlike many fryers on the market, both residential and commercial, this one is able to hold temperature when compared to a standard thermometer. Many fryers will have a probe which is too close to the heating element itself, leading to a large disparity between the temperature of the oil and the temperature shown. That is not the case here.
The unit holds about a gallon of oil and the heating element is able to maintain the temperature of the oil very well, even when a lot of frozen food is dropped into the fryer. A quick drop of about 3 pounds of frozen chicken will result in a drop of around 50 degrees which bumps back up to the normal temperature in under a minute. That is a very fast turnaround time for reheating oil.
When it comes time for cleanup it is extremely easy. All parts of the unit come apart very easily and it is relatively intuitive, even without instructions. The oil bucket has a lip which allows for easy pouring of the oil out of the unit and through a strainer (or a disposal unit). This is a great feature to have considering the fact that most home frying units do not feature a lip and wind up allowing oil to run down the side of the unit case and spill everywhere.
Pros: Things I Liked
Adjustable levels of oil will allow you to vary the amount of cooking you need to do and the turnover of the cooking oil you use.
Easy to clean.
Functions exactly as advertised.
Easy to put together, take apart, and clean.
Heats, reheats, and maintains temperature quickly and efficiently.
Cons: Things I Didn’t Like
The magnetic plug for the unit falls out very easily.
Steam releases during the frying process along with a slight odor and, yes, some oil residue will be released as well. This unit needs to be used in a somewhat ventilated area.
Conclusions: Would I Pay for it Again?
At a price point of around $130