Do you love big bluegill?
Does anyone use this or something similar to it? What should I look for? Does a certain brand work better?
Any help is appreciated.
I have one similar. I'll tell you the more BTU the better off you will be. Some of the cookers take awhile to heat the grease up then when you put you fish in it cools down and take awhile to get back up to temp. So the emphases is on the burner bigger is better.
I have one from Bass Pro and have used it for about 10 years now. I did substitute a smaller cast iron pot for the larger aluminum one that comes with that cooker. The cast iron pot was bought at a flea market for a few bucks. It holds the peanut oil at a more constant temp. which is critical for good tasting fish,and being smaller it doesn't use a much oil.
remember ,heat your pots on low both aluminum and cast iron before you crank it up on high,, your pots will last longer without damage. cast iron holds the heat better than aluminum. Check out this cooker I have at the crappy cabin, it's charcoal on one side and a fish cooker on the other, the charcoal side has a smoker box underneath , I like it but I still have other fish cookers too , my favorite is a two burner oblong cast iron pot with high sides . LOFR
Neat looking outfit I like it and it looks heavy duty.
This is almost the way I started out. Went to check on these but everything I see so far is junk at least in my opinion. They are so thin any fire would warp or distort then in my opinion.
Dick, I had this one made for me, I gave 75 dollars for it, 25 years ago, it has been a great one. I had it built with longer legs so it would fit me better. LOFR
Oh yea FOOD FIT FOR A KING.
Chris, I cook for a living. What these folks have been telling you is spot-on. Here's a few other tips:
- Pay careful attention to the recommendations of your cooker. If it says it's not for cooking turkeys, DO NOT get a bigger pot and attempt it. The reason is the stability of the base unit. If the cooker tips over while lit, all that hot grease and and probably will catch on fire.
- A pan with thicker sidewalls is definitely better. Cast Iron is great, as it holds the heat. If you have connections in the restaurant industry, try to get an aluminum pot with sidewalls 3/8" thick, and sized appropriate to fit on your cooker.
- Bigger is better! Someone mentioned the grease cooling down when you add fish. The more oil you have, the less the oil will cool down when you add fish. I wouldn't recommend adding more fish just because you have the room. Add the same amount as normal, and you will notice better results.
- Make sure to keep a close eye on the thermometer that comes with the cooker. You want to oil to try to maintain a steady temp. You'll notice that you turn the heat up when you add the fish, then, as it cooks, you start turning it down to keep the boil from getting too hot.
- For best results with your oil, you need to filter the oil after use, then put it into a container and store it until next time. If you just leave all the breading/sediments in the oil, it will begin to burn and scorch, shortening the lifespan of your oil by about half. (Almost all restaurant filter the fryer daily, even then, getting a week out of the oil is pushing it.)
- Most folks will tell you to use plates and sheet pans lined with paper towels to put the food onto after it comes out of the fryer. The theory is that the towels soak up the grease. While that is true, however, it still keeps the food in contact with the oil. What is best is some kind of grate over a sheet pan or some sort. This allows the oil to drip off the food, and keeps the food out of the oil so it doesn't soak back into the food. I've found that home-baking cake racks will fit into jelly-roll pans. This is what I do at home, and it works great, although the cake rack could be a little bigger.
Also, you can use the cooker for other things besides frying. LOFR touched on that, with the crawfish boil pictures. I will also put my wok on the burner and do some amazing stir-fry. You can smell it several blocks away, and it drives my neighbors nuts!
Well this is certainly helpful. I plan on pretty much just using this for fish or fries/onion rings. I enjoy how I cook turkey and don't know if I want to get a turkey fryer or not. I felt like this would help keep the price of the unit down.
Doing what you do for a living, can you suggest a fryer to get? If I have to order it and pay shipping I'm okay with that. I enjoy quality products (go Weber).
Chris , trust me ! I dont cook whole fried turkeys any more , I make battered turkey breast fingers and they disappear quicker than a whole fried turkey , that some good eaten , LOFR