After fifteen years of heavy duty use, I may be retiring my Fry Daddy. Then again, I may not. Old faithful is still sitting on the cabinet, and unless I really love my new fryer, I may continue using an appliance that has given service way above the call of duty.
Recommend this product?
Years prior, the only fryers that I ever saw were in restaurants or huge models (probably also restaurant models) in some mountain homes where dinner called for massive quantities of food cooked fast and not in batches. Grandma (moms side) owned both a French fry cutter that would slice an entire potato in one swift punch and a heavy duty fryer.
Typical (can I call these normal?) families just filled heavy skillets like the cast iron models with oil and deep fried on the stove. This produced varying degrees of success, since some cooks can figure things out and some cant. Some of the best fried food Ive ever eaten was stove top cooked as well as some of the worst.
The first real home fryer I ever saw was a Fry Baby my Granny (dads side) purchased. This was a really small fryer but was perfect for visits when shed make crab cakes which I adore. Granny was quite progressive and never a tradition woman for her era. She didnt really like to cook. In fact, she hated cooking and most domestic duties. So, Granny often opted to buy convenience cooking tools. She loved to eat and didnt always find that restaurant items compared well to home cooked. Crab cakes in this area were sad imitations for someone raised on the eastern shore, so she bite the bullet and fried her own crab.
When I married and moved to more permanent quarters, one of the first gadgets I bought was a Fry Daddy. This was identical to the Fry Baby but was larger. With a husband who could pack away food and with kids planned, it just made sense to go with the bigger version.
The Fry Daddy is not fancy. Its just a vat with a plastic lid and a metal scoop. You push the electric cord in the side of the Fry Daddy, plug it in the wall, wait a few minutes, and fry food. Of course, you take off the plastic lid since plastic melts. Granny did melt her lid and was quite irritated about that, since she forevermore afterwards had to cover her Fry Baby with a sheet of tin foil.
If looking for disadvantages, its easy to come up with complaints. The Fry Daddy does not have a ready light or any indication of when the oil is hot enough to cook. About fifteen minutes does the trick, and with practice you can place your hand a few inches above the pot and feel the heat level and know when its time to dunk the food. Since the Fry Daddy does not include a lid, grease does escape and does make the kitchen somewhat sticky especially cabinets near the cooking area. With the unit being all-in-one, clean up can be a bit tricky. You have to fill the vat area with water without dunking the entire unit. Even with careful hand cleaning, the Fry Daddy tends to fill a bit sticky.
Obviously there are things that could be improved, but the bottom line is that the Fry Daddy turns out fabulous food. I would not keep this right on top of the cabinet and would not use the Fry Daddy a couple of times a week if it didnt do a great job. My French fries are so tasty that the neighbor kids were eating them off the ground when one of my boys dropped his plate of fries. I looked out the window and noticed kids eating food off the ground and went out to find out what was going on. Of course, I put a stop to eating food sitting in the dirt and went in a fried up fresh fries for all the kids. I dont think the local kids get home fries, and they sure did gobble those up.
The only reason I got a new fryer was because the old Fry Daddy seems to be falling a little short on the temperature. Its probably not off by much, but its enough that foods end up being a bit limp. Given the years and the mileage on the Fry Daddy, it does deserve to be put out to pasture. Its certainly done its time and then some. Id call it one of the best kitchen investments Ive ever made.
My new fryer is a Cool Daddy by Presto. This is made by the same company, so I felt comfortable in making the selection. Presto addressed some of the concerns noted with the old original model. For example, this fryer has a ready light, various temperature settings, and a case with lid that closes to keep fat vapor from coating the kitchen. The whole unit comes in a case that stays cool to the touch, and the fryer portion lifts out for cleaning. Overall, Cool Daddy is more modern and also appears to have a bigger cooking vat.
In cooking with the new fryer, I do see some problems. First, the Cool Daddy is much bulkier than the old Fry Daddy and takes up a lot more counter space. Though the vat looks big, it really does hold any more than the smaller Fry Daddy. The system here is to add the food, dunk the food, and cook until everything is done. The old model had that metal turner type thing used to stir as needed. Though its more convenient to dunk (with a wire basket) and forget it, food tends to stick together and to cook unevenly when not monitored and stirred as needed.
At this point, I can say that the Fry Daddy makes superior French fries. Cool Daddy leaves some fries a little overcooked and some undercooked. The fries also stick to the basket and some clump while cooking. This did not happen with the Fry Daddy. Of course, I watched while cooking in the Fry Daddy and fluffed up the fries as needed.
I will try the Cool Daddy again and with different food items, but currently I would have to say that the old Fry Daddy is a better machine. No. Its not as easy to use. No. Its not as safe. But, when push comes to shove, Fry Daddy food rocks while Cool Daddy food is just OK. Even with the temperature running low on the Fry Daddy, Id still call it a better cooker.
Its hard to beat a real classic. I know that some people never warmed up to the very basic Fry machines (Fry Baby and Fry Daddy) put out by Presto, but I swear by them. In fact, Ill keep an eye out. Im sure that lightly used Fry Daddys turn up in yard sales and at resale shops. Id love to get a like-new or gently used Fry Daddy for back up. I may cotton to my new Cool Daddy, but currently I think that the new is not measuring up to the old. Ill keep experimenting, but if Cool Daddy continues to turn out less tasty food, Ill go right back to Fry Daddy (minor warts and all).
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Amount Paid (US$): 20