- Two-year warranty
- Awkward to clean and empty
- No timer
- Limited capacity
- Review Price: £29.99
- Fixed oil container, hinged lid
- Frying basket
- 500g capacity
- 205 x 215 x 240mm
What is the Swan 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer?
If you like the idea of a deep-fat fryer, but don’t think you have space for one, the clever and compact Swan 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer could be the answer. Taking up around the same space as a chunky toaster, it will deliver crispy, crunchy morsels galore, or even just a plateful of homemade chips for two.
This square stainless-steel fryer will easily fit in a corner of your kitchen, on a shelf or in a cupboard. Its frying basket and handle can be stored inside the vessel, too. Plus, since its fixed container capacity is 1.5 litres, you won’t need a huge amount of oil to fill it every time you want to fry.
Swan 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer – Design and features
The size might be this fryer’s primary appeal, but beyond that it’s relatively basic with a few design touches. On the outside, the fryer is clad in stainless steel, making it attractive enough to sit out on the worktop. On the inside is a fixed oil container with a raised ring at the bottom. Since this isn’t removable, you’re unable to pop the container in the dishwasher for cleaning. However, it does have a non-stick coating that makes wiping out by hand easier.
The lid, too, is fixed, but there’s a filter built into it that helps cut down on cooking odours. It features a wide viewing window so you can keep an eye on progress inside, and rather than a bulky handle, the Swan incorporates a small lip on one side to make lifting the lid easy.
There’s no timer or on-off switch, and operation is controlled by a thermostatic dial, which goes up to 190ºC (with common frying temperatures of 150, 170 and 190ºC marked).
There’s a graphic guide to cooking heats and times for different food, such as vegetables, chips and poultry, and a single indicator light to show it’s heating up and to indicate when it’s ready.
You can fry by dropping food directly into the oil or by using its equally compact frying basket. This features a handle that can be folded in or detached for storage, and a hook so you can set it on the edge of the fryer to drain excess oil from the contents.
Related: Best kitchen gadgets
1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer – What’s it like to use?
There’s only guidance for cooking chips in the instructions of the 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer – there are no recipes – so you’re on your own when it comes to getting the most from the machine.
There are minimum and maximum fill marks on the inside, at the back, but they’re quite hard to see on the dark coating. I filled it with vegetable oil and started by making churros.
The oil needed to be at 190ºC for this recipe, which the fryer reached in around eight minutes from cold. The indicator light went out once it had hit the correct temperature.
I piped pieces of warm churro dough directly into the oil – minus the basket – and left them to fry. This took around 12 minutes. While the dough cooked, the viewing window steamed up, and there was also steam emanating from the holes in the lid.
As I couldn’t see how the churros were cooking, I had to lift the lid every few minutes. The lip at the side of the lid is a good idea for keeping the shape of the fryer compact, but in use I found that steam would rush out as the lid was lifted, requiring the need to wear oven gloves.
Once golden, I removed the churros from the oil. The exterior was firm and crunchy, while inside, they were soft and slightly chewy. A few of the churros had singed slightly when they were initially dropped in, sinking to the bottom of the pan, but otherwise cooking was even and thorough.
One particularly good feature of this fryer was that the condensation generated didn’t drip back into the oil, causing it to spit. Instead, it sat around the edge of the pan, dripped towards the back or evaporated.
Next, I made chips from raw potatoes. After peeling, chipping and drying them, I piled the potatoes in the fry basket, and, following the advice in the instructions, submerged them into the oil while it was still cold. Then I set the dial to 170ºC.
There was no advice about how long to cook the chips, and it took six minutes before the oil hit the cooking temperature. Condensation on the viewing window made it tricky to monitor progress.
After 40 minutes from cold, the chips began to appear golden and cooked – although, possibly, the frying time could be reduced by raising the temperature.
The finished chips resembled chip-shop chips – soft throughout with minimal browning.
A second fry at 190C for 10 minutes made them crispier, giving them a deeper golden colour.
The basket was easily cleaned in the dishwasher, but decanting the oil from the fryer was awkward – the lid needed to be held open. Wiping it out by hand was straightforward, but a removable lid would have been preferable.
Why buy the 1.5 Litre Stainless Steel Fryer?
While its size and easily storable shape mean you can have proper chips whenever you fancy them, a lack of guidance lets this fryer down. This means it’s probably better for someone who’s had a fryer before but is looking for a more compact model.
A fixed bowl is understandable for the price, but the hinged lid is more perplexing – it works well for checking on progress, but gets in the way when emptying and cleaning the machine. The capacity is also quite limiting. The Swan can produce enough chips for a large solo portion or for a couple, but wouldn’t be big enough to cater for a family.
Great for small kitchens, but do your deep fat fryer homework first.