I believe that if one wants to eat fried foods, the deep fryer offers a healthier choice because much less oil is absorbed into the food than with conventional frying. But, the workings of the deep fryer are important to assure that the cooking temperatures are correct to achieve this goal.
Recommend this product?
Most reviews of the Waring DF-200 cite its convenient use, rapidly reached set temperature, easy cleaning, safety, and so on. I chose this product after having searched for a larger capacity home unit to make fish and chips and other meals that require cooking several items at once for a number of people. My longtime favorite, the DeLonghi RotoFryer works well for Tempura, battered fish and chicken, etc. Except for problems with the rotating basket mechanism which required various home remedies, I have been very happy with it. For meals that require potatoes in addition to a protein course, I bought a Maxim fryer which worked fairly well, but had a smaller capacity than I wanted. So, I bought and examined the Waring DF-200 which has about 50% more capacity.
The design of the Waring is a virtual carbon copy of several commercial, restaurant-grade fryers. That is, it has a removable stainless oil pan, and a tilt-to-drain, immersible 1800 Watt, 120 Volt AC heater with a capillary tube thermostat. These are professional features and are identical to those found, for example,in a Wells commercial fryer that sells for $400 to $500. Wells also makes nearly the same unit with a 240 Volt heater element of over 4000 Watts. Other commercial fryers operate with even higher wattage or have gas heaters with extreme heating ability. The higher the wattage and the BTU's, the faster the heating.
Fryers intended for home use are necessarily limited to 1800 Watt 120-125 Volt electric heaters because of standard home 15 Ampere limitations, although some kitchens use 20 Ampere circuits. However, no home fryers are made with much more wattage. I don't believe that the 1800 Watt Wells or the Waring unit would be satisfactory in a restaurant environment except for very light duty. Fryers of 1800 watts or so must be used on only one outlet with its own circuit breaker since the fryer will take almost the entire 15 amperes.
Now, the problems: Although the Waring and other fryers may reach preset temperatures quickly because only oil is being heated, they will not maintain that temperature, and the oil temperature drops rapidly when any reasonable amount of food is added. Fryers with immersible heaters regain temperature faster than fryers with elements integral to the oil pan because the heat goes directly into the oil. Neither type may reach the set temperature while cooking food except perhaps after the fryer has been on for a while. Then, the oil pan and the rest of the fryer will have stored enough heat to help stabilize the oil temperature. So, it pays to let the fryer heat up for a while after the set temperature is reached before adding food.
In most cases, cooking temperature recommendations stated in recipes are useless for home fryers. For example, with the temperature preset to 335 degrees F, when approx 1 Lb of shoestring potatoes are added for pre-cooking, the oil temperature of the Waring almost immediately drops to about 230 deg F, and after ten minutes, the oil temperature has increased to only about 280 deg F. However, even after this long cooking time, the potatoes are precooked properly and have not absorbed excess oil. All during the cooking time, the oil heater is on full blast, so there is nothing that could be done even if the temperature dial was set all the way up to 375. If the oil was initially set to 375, then slightly more time would have elapsed before the oil temperature dropped to 230 degrees. If only a half pound of potatoes were added, the performance might have been better. But, the Waring is rated for 3.75 pounds of food! So one pound should be well within its specified operating range.
The green light on the control panel goes on when the heater shuts off. This usually happens when the temperature is somewhere above the set point. Then, the temperature will drop, but the heater may not turn back on until the oil temperature is too far below a point which will assure the proper temperature. As a result, the green light stays on and the user thinks the temperature is correct. Crumbs and other cooking debris in the bottom of the oil pan along with insufficient heater capacity contribute to this poor thermostat response.
Most people do not need to test their cooking appliances in a scientific or any other way just to satisfy a nagging curiosity, as I have done. I have never done any meaningful testing of my DeLonghi RotoFryer and yet I have had many years of satisfaction with it. Personal preferences and experience are the things that really count in cooking. So, my word of advice, don't believe manufacturer's claims and just fry by the seat of your pants, so to speak.
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Amount Paid (US$): 129.00