Everybody loves the crispy exterior and juicy interior of deep-fried food. Food just tastes a lot less fun when you don’t have something deep-fried every once in a while.
Yet, many people don’t like to deep fry at home in fear of making greasy and unhealthy food or burning up the kitchen because they craved buffalo wings at 2 am.
The goal here is to guide you through the process of making delicious food safely.
What You Need:
- Electric deep fryer/stockpot/deep saucepan/Dutch oven/wok
- High smoke point oil
- Deep-fry thermometer
- Drying rack
- Metal tongs
- Mesh strainer
Keep in Mind:
- It is vital that you deep fry your food in something big and heat-resistant to avoid splatter and overcrowding. Your best option is the electric deep fryer, but other options mentioned above work too.
- A neutral (taste-wise) oil with a high smoke point is what you need in deep frying. This means that these oils can tolerate the high temperature needed to deep fry, and it takes a lot of time before they burn or smoke.
Examples of these oils can be Canola, grapeseed, sunflower, vegetable, safflower, peanut, pecan, soybean, and corn oils.
- Food has to be dried, piece by piece, with paper towels before putting it in oil to avoid splatter.
- If your oil is a reused one, make sure you filter it before use. Dirty oil can cause food to taste burnt, even when it is not.
- Never leave oil unattended in the fryer or pan; it can overheat quickly and catch fire.
- Cut your food into as equally as possible, to ensure even frying.
The Eight Steps to Deep Fry:
Fill your fryer/pot/wok with oil enough to submerge the food, but not more than halfway full. Leave at least 4 inches between the oil and the top to avoid splatters or spillovers.
The heating needed varies depending on the food and the amount. Generally, heat the oil to 160°C (320 F) for low heat, 180°C (356 F) for moderate, and 190°C (374 F) for high. Be careful not to go lower or higher than this. If you go lower, the food will come out greasy, soggy, and undercooked. If you go higher, the food will burn and it might catch fire. Nobody wants either. This is why you need a deep-fry thermometer if your fryer doesn’t display the temperature itself.
Create your breading, which is a mixture of beaten eggs, flour and/or breadcrumbs or batter, which is a mixture of beaten eggs, flour and milk or water. Breading and batter vary depending on the food you’re frying and your personal taste. Season your breading or batter with spices and sauces depending on your food and your taste as well. Grab your whisk and mix the ingredients to make them thin; this will help the food be crispy and light.
Coat your food completely in your breading or batter, to give it the delicious taste and crispy texture.
Use metal tongs to place the food very slowly, carefully, and gradually into the oil, to avoid oil splashing. Add the pieces one by one and don’t overcrowd the fryer. Overcrowding will lower the temperature, which leads to the food being undercooked and greasy.
Move the food around and flip it over with the tongs to prevent it from sticking and to ensure even cooking. Keep doing this until the food turns golden brown.
Using the tongs, take your hot food out of the fryer and lay it on a paper-towel-lined drying rack for a few minutes, to get rid of any greasiness left one last time. Feel free to add any additional seasoning to the food while hot, to make sure it sticks.
If you want to reuse the oil, filter it with a strainer into a sealed container and store it away in a dry warm place. If you will not use the oil again, throw it in the trash. Don’t throw it in the sink to avoid clogging pipes.
Now that you know all the tips and steps to frying, don’t let anything stop you. Go show that fryer who’s boss.
Stay safe and have a nice meal!