A small deep fryer can cook any food that fits inside it without overcrowding the basket or overflowing the oil. Most of these small home appliances can handle everything from handfuls of small shrimp to large chicken breasts.
Chicken wings, corn dogs, jalapeño poppers and breaded zucchini are all popular fried foods that fit nicely into small deep fryers designed for home use. Fried dough is an Italian delicacy in the Northeast region, while Southerners prefer to use their small deep fryers for foods such as hush puppies, chicken fried steak and fried pickles, green tomato slices, shrimp or okra. Many foods fry well once breaded or battered, including even ravioli, tortellini, bacon and squares of lasagna.
Deep frying isn't just for savory foods. A small deep fryer can make homemade fried doughnuts, funnel cakes, beignets, churros or rosettes. When rolled into balls or cut into squares and then battered, cheesecake, cookie dough and even ice cream are ideal candidates for deep frying.
The key to cooking any food in a small deep fryer is the amount or size of food put inside. Small deep fryers should be filled no more than a quarter to a half full for best results. When too much food is added to the fryer, the oil temperature drops significantly, resulting in foods that are unevenly or inadequately cooked and soggy.