Pros: Large Size, Accurate Heat Control, Good Food
Cons: Clumsy Basket Handle, Size can be a problem
In spite of my comments above, I really like this thing. It is large enough to do a 10-Lb turkey, and do it well. The temperature control on my unit is dead-on, The cover that limits splatter is useful to an extent, but for most regular french-frying jobs, it is simply in the way and the filter is difficult to clean well.
This unit does great work on other french-fried foods. It makes very good double-fried french fries. It is great for chicken-fried steak and deep fried chicken. Breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches have never been better. We did fish, but that stinks up the oil to an extent. By the way, try not to use Canola Oil as it gets funky rather quickly. The best bet for this unit is Peanut Oil. It will hold about one gallon and you should buy extra to replace the small, inevitable losses. This unit can do for the home on a family basis what the larger french-fryers do for a restaurant.
Handling yourself around this is tricky because of the large volume of very hot oil. This unit is too big and awkwark to set on a kitchen counter-top, but the appliance cord is really too short to do anything else. One must buy a short extension cord (mfr says not to) that is of a high enough capacity to do well in order to get this unit down where the in-out manipulations are easier. The unit should be placed on a lower surface so that an accidental spill or splash does not get on one;s upper body. I put mine on a rolling 4-wheeled cart that has locking wheels. Avoid working around water at all costs when using this unit
The enameled oil basin has an easy-clean drainage system and then is removable for a throrough cleaning. The separate heating elements and temperature controls should not be washed and can be removed so that they do not get wet. For the most part, the rest of the unit is stainless steel and a durable polymer, so that cleaning may be involved, but the surfaces come clean easily.
I store mine on the its cart, with the oil in it and the lid closed between uses. Well, that is until the oil gets old and then I dump the oil, wash the unit up, and store it empty until the next time I want a run of french-fried foods. Because of its size, one needs a place to store it, as it does not fit in well anywhere that I have found that is "easy."
The handle on the food basket is a little clumsy. There is another, supplied handle that is meant to get ahold of the basket handle and manipulate it when the basket handle is hot. It works, but it is difficult to get to hook up and one really needs something like tongs or a meat fork to assist in that process. I also wear my "Ove-Gloves" during this process in case I would make a handling mistake with the very hot equipment.
As a kid in college, I worked as a fry cook and used french fryers a lot and this unit is, so far, the closest I have seen to the real restaurant unit.