This is a preliminary look at the new Char-Broil The Big Easy Better Basket. I haven’t cooked with mine yet, but since I was so excited to get it I thought I’d share my first thoughts. I have 3 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!
The 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.
Here’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 (I do knock off any easy-to-remove remnants of whatever I was cooking first) and I don’t worry so much about them looking like I just bought them.
There’s a handle, just like on the regular basket. It’s easy to pick up.
The 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.When 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.Unlike 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, giving 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!