Disclosure: The product was provided by the manufacturer.
- Char-Broil The Big Easy is an oil-Less outdoor fryer that includes a cooking basket, lifting handle, marinade injector, mesh top cover, foil tray, propane connection and meat thermometer
- Uses infrared heat technology to lock in flavor and keep it moist
- Propane-powered, outdoor cooker
- Enclosed burner design with 16,000 BTU's
- Rotary Ignition
- Use mesh lid during the last 10-15 minutes if browner, crispier bird is desired
- Efficient design uses one third less propane
- Cool-touch handles
- Quality Stainless steel burner and cooking chamber
- Pull-out grease tray
- Safely cook a turkey or chicken up to 16 lbs in 8-10 minutes per lb; meats and roasts may take longer
- UL certified
- Cooking Guide included
- Learn more from manufacturer
Assembly, Seasoning the Big Easy & Other Notes
Once assembled, before you can cook in it, the stainless steel cooking chamber and cooking basket must be seasoned. Cooking oil is recommended (we used olive oil) and both parts must be greased, and the cooker hooked up to propane and turned on to season. After about 15 minutes, it stopped smoking and process was done.
There's no variable settings - only on/off so cooking time will vary depending on item cooked, as well as weather (wind/cold), so it means that dinner may be served a little later than expected, if weather is not ideal. In other words, gauge by the interior meat/poultry temperature to see how close you are to throwing the potatoes on the stove.
There is an optional basket that can be added to this cooker for vegetables and it would be worth getting. With use, the cooking chamber takes on a darker hue, to be expected and noted in the manual.
How The Big Easy Performed
Using a simple rub of garlic and spices, we cooked a 4.5-lb blade shoulder pork roast in 2 hours (very windy/cold day). The result was amazing - so juicy that inserting a fork in the roast before slicing, caused juices to squirt out. It tasted and looked like a gourmet roast - the best tasting pork roast ever.
We also cooked 4-lbs of pork short ribs - 1.5 hours (windy day), after marinating them in our own recipe. We cut them in sections of 4, arranging them in the bottom and up the sides of the cooking basket, rotating them half way through (not sure if needed). They had a nice crispy exterior, were juicier than when done on the barbeque, tasted good but we prefer slowcooking these.
The grease pan size is adequate; it washes up easily, but adding foil makes clean-up quicker. You can make gravy (lots of drippings), but it must be done on the stovetop to reach a safe temperature.
The best part overall is the fact that there is no oil to buy, use and store. And though some could argue that it is not really a fryer, results of the turkey alone proved comparable to frying in oil. I much prefer to fry without oil and save the hassle, cost and risk of handling a large amount of hot oil.
This fryer was tested in the fall with outdoor temperatures between 35 to 45 degrees F. Wind or cold did seem to affect cooking time. Clean-up was reasonable - light scrubbing with plastic scourer for the stainless cooking chamber, cooking basket and washed small grease tray, thermometer and handle. Even the larger items were able to sit in the kitchen sink for washing - bonus.
The Big Easy does an amazing job of frying, but cooking times will vary depending on poultry/meat and weather. I like the cooking technology and love the safety aspect. I recommend it if you want a safer option to outdoor oil frying. Whether you call it frying, roasting or cooking, it does brown nicely and produce tender, moist and great tasting results. Price of the Big Easy is reasonable.