Who needs Burger King when you can make it and have it your own way?

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent recommendations to stay at home have enticed–or forced–many of us into cooking at home. And no matter how badly our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi wanted to go to a fast food restaurant and order some crispy golden fries, she knew that popping a squat at McDonald’s was unacceptable right now.

The simple solution would be to pour some oil in a pan and fry them herself, but she didn’t want to deal with the cleanup afterward, and she really wanted some delicious fries. That’s what inspired her to buy the Ohitori Fryer by D-Stylist, a personal fryer machine that can hold up to 0.6 liters (20 ounces) of frying oil.

It probably depends on where you buy it from, but Saya snagged this for 2,000 yen (US$18.72) at a nearby store. Considering what it could do, she thought it was a steal!

The set includes the machine, a frying basket, and a user manual. It looks like a mini rice cooker, don’t you think?

You can’t completely shut the lid; it just goes up and down. It’s more of a mechanism to prevent oil from splashing everywhere.

According to the instructions, you can fill it with anywhere from 0.3 liters to 0.6 liters of oil, so you can really only make a little at a time in terms of both amount and ingredient size. As for the temperature, you can fry things at 80-190 degrees Celcius (about 176-374 degrees Fahrenheit).

Here are the goods: frozen fries. Saya went with these classic shoestring-cut Ore Ida spuds.

The fryer had a little symbol with a suggested frying temperature of 170 degrees Celsius (338 degrees Fahrenheit) for French fries, so that’s what she went with. She poured in the oil, switched on the device, and waited for the red light to turn off, signifying that it was ready to go.

The fine mesh of the basket was really useful for keeping all of the ingredients together! But since it was so small, Saya was only able to fry about 3.5 ounces of fries at a time; that meant it would take about three rounds to get through the 10.5-ounce package of potatoes. Hey, she didn’t complain, though.

She dipped the basket of frozen fries in and was rewarded with a pleasant bubbling sound that made her feel like she was working the baskets at McDonald’s. What a pro! It also wasn’t too loud, and there was hardly any oil splashing. No worries of grease fires here.

After a few minutes, she pulled out this beautiful basket of fully-cooked fries.

She sat down with her cup of cola and dug in, restaurant-style.

Looks like a pretty crisp fry, right?

She dipped some in the ketchup and then some in the mayo.

Have you ever tried eating fries with butter, too? Highly recommended.

After frying another basket, Saya realized she wanted the fries to be a little more well-done, so she decided to take it up a notch (literally). She brought it up to 190 degrees Celcius for a crispier crunch.

She thought they looked much more appetizing at a higher temperature. Either way, they were delicious!

Next, she tried out some kushiage skewers using some pre-cooked pork, veggies, shrimp, and camembert cheese. You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand; it doesn’t have to be fancy!

Saya read on a recipe site that you can use a butter-like mixture to coat the kebabs before rolling them in a bread crumb coating, so she went with that. Who needs a cookbook when you have Google?

She rolled each skewer in the panko bread crumbs…

And dunked them in the frying oil. It was just as satisfying as using the fryer basket!

▼ They came out looking gorgeous and delectable.

▼ Even the frozen shrimp came out looking appetizing!

You can’t even tell Saya goofed up these bacon-wrapped tomatoes since they’re covered in a panko bread crumb camouflage.

The best part about the frying experience for Saya was that it was like a neverending cycle of fry, eat, fry, and eat. As long as you prep everything in advance, the frying experience is actually easy and fun.

The clear winner of the kebab contest was the camembert cheese: crispy and brown on the outside yet melty and gooey on the inside.

Of course, you’re probably wondering what the cleanup process is like. Saya shied away from using a conventional frying pan to fry foods because cooking and cleaning can get pretty messy. She was also a bit worried about the Ohitori Fryer since there were no removable pieces apart from the basket.

As you can see, the inside doesn’t come out like a rice cooker’s bowl would; and since it has a cord, that meant washing it with soap and water was out of the question. It turns out all you need to do is dispose of the oil and wipe down the inside.

The fryer was pretty dirty after Saya’s kushiage escapades, but with just paper towels and wet wipes, she was able to make it look like brand-new. Nothing stuck to the inside, either. Impressive.

You do get what you pay for, though; that simple wipe-down process was enough to peel off some of the printed labels on the 2,000 yen device.

And since the lid didn’t close all the way, there was some oil left on the table after Saya put the fryer away. It wasn’t a ton, though – probably the same amount you’d expect when grilling.

In conclusion, we’d recommend this easy-to-use personal fryer to anyone who wants to enjoy a fun frying experience. Saya actually couldn’t believe how satisfied she was with the fryer considering its low price! If you love fried foods, this is something to add to your wishlist.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]