Char-Broil The Big Easy Better Basket

This is a preliminary look at the new Char-Broil The Big Easy Better Basket. I have three Big Easy oil-less fryers (NOT the Smoker Roaster & Grill!) and many of the rigid baskets. I was looking forward to this basket if nothing else because it folds up to a smaller size.

Ok, so first out of the box. It’s flat. Cool! You just pick up on the handle and BOOM a basket!

Char-Broil The Big Easy Better BasketThe Char-Broil Bigger Better Basket unfolds easily and becomes a big basket, bigger than the standard basket. It’s a little taller and a little wider (at the top). Better for bigger birds, for sure! It is made of stainless steel. The base is the same size as a standard basket. The rings are connected by stainless steel wires that are on swivels so they can rotate as you unfold the basket. With the wires being non-rigid I think inserting/removing a turkey or large chicken will be easier with this basket.

Char-Broil The Big Easy Better BasketHere’s a close-up of how the wires connect. I’m guessing that they might be a little challenging to clean. The basket is dishwasher safe. I admit that I usually just toss my other Big Easy baskets into the dishwasher after I use them. First, I knock off any easy-to-remove remnants of whatever I was cooking. I don’t worry so much about them looking like I just bought them.

Char-Broil The Big Easy Better Basket

There’s a handle, just like on the regular basket. It’s easy to pick up.
Char-Broil The Big Easy Better BasketThe basket slid into my Big Easy with no problem.The basket is smaller at the bottom than the top (that’s how it collapses on itself). Just something to keep in mind when you pick a bird for cooking. The bottom of the basket is the same size of the standard basket, 9″ across.Char-Broil The Big Easy Better BasketWhen you unfold the basket you have to rotate your hand a bit, allowing for the basket to twist. If you don’t the rings and wires and swivels can get caught up on themselves.

It’s an easy thing to untangle, and not anything to complain about. Once you realize you need a soft touch on the handle it’s easy to unfold the basket time-and-time again.Char-Broil The Big Easy Better BasketUnlike the standard basket, there’s no way you’ll get a bunk bed basket into the Better Basket, at least not on the lower level. It does fit, but it leaves you with only about a 1″ gap below the bottom rack.

You can, however, put a bunk bed basket at the top. This will give you two cooking levels which is usually crucial when cooking something other than full birds. The bunk bed would be near the top of the Big Easy, higher than if you put it into a standard basket, so foods there will cook at a different rate.

I’ll pick up a whole chicken or turkey soon and give my Better Basket a whirl. I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then, happy cooking!

Wingin’ator 3000 on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Wingin’ator 3000 is the name I’ve given to my modification to the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer. I love using my Big Easy for whole chickens and turkeys, but when it comes to using it for chicken wings, it needs a little help. There’s just no real good way to load the fryer up with a lot of wings at once. So, I made the Wingin’ator 3000.

Wingin'ator 3000 on the Char-Broil Big EasyAll you need is the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy and some round (large square ones also work) disposable grill toppers. I used something similar to these 13″ ones, available from The Barbecue Store. You may also luck out and find them in your local grocery store. They are made by OscarWare. I also found these Oscarware 3-Pack Disposable Grill Toppers which are large enough that they should also work, along with these from Char-Broil.

I turned the basket upside down and traced the outline of the circle it makes onto the toppers. I then cut the grill toppers slightly larger (by 1/8″-1/4″ than the circle using tin snips (wire cutters will work too). The metal in the topper is pretty thin so it cuts easily.

I then gently folded each circle like a hard taco so I could slide it into the Big Easy basket from the side. I unfolded it and then crimped down the edges to firmly attach the toppers to the basket frame.  You want to make sure that the toppers are relatively taut so they don’t fold in the middle under the weight of the chicken. Also make sure you fold the edges in pretty well or you might drag your knuckles on them! I added 3 toppers, creating 3 shelves for wings, 4 if you count the bottom of the Big Easy basket.

For my first trial i put on only a family pack (about 4 pounds) of wings (drumettes and flats). I could’ve easily cooked a lot more, which made me very happy! Just make sure you spray the entire contraption with non-stick spray before loading it. (Note: I cooked two family packs, over 60+ wing flats and drumettes, on the Wingin’ator 3000 tonight, Dec 3, 2013!)

If you’re looking for a way of making fried-like wings on the Big Easy, check out my recent post on crispy chicken wings.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Wingin'ator 3000 on the Char-Broil Big Easy OverheadOh and it’s all dishwasher safe making cleanup a breeze! Click here for some of the other awesome things I’ve made on my Big Easy.

If you have any questions about the Wingin’ator 3000 drop me a note. Just hop on over to the About/Contact Us page. I look forward to hearing from you.