Skills: Deep fat frying
Home Up Contact Us Cooking Skills Recipe Index

 

Deep frying is a great way of sealing in flavor and developing great texture. I personally love the crunch of freshly deep fried chicken, though I rarely indulge!

The basic principle of deep-frying is simple. Food, usually battered, is added to a pot of hot fat. The fat immediately surrounds the food and cooks it from all sides, creating an exterior layer that seals in the food's flavors and juices inside.

  • Be sure to read the recipe all the way through before starting. Take the time to gather all the ingredients and cooking equipment you'll need.
     
  • Always use clean, fresh oil. Although there are debates as to which oil to use for frying, I prefer peanut oil for its clean, crisp end results. Be careful frying in used oil.  Do the smell test before adding to the pan.  ???? What does that mean????  I mean smell the used oil to see if it smells rancid.  Used oil will spoil more quickly and have an “off” or almost “sour” smell.  Oil that fish has been fried in shouldn’t be kept and reused.
     
  • Choose a pan that's larger in circumference than the heat source. Because oil catches fire easily you want to avoid spilling it altogether, but this reduces the chance of fire. Many experts feel a Dutch oven made of seasoned cast iron is ideal.
     
  • Never fill your pot more than half full of oil. Remember you'll need at least 3 inches between the surface of the oil and the top of the pot to allow room for the oil to bubble up.
     
  • Constantly monitor the temperature. Look for a thermometer with a clamp on it so you can attach it to the side of the pot. Most deep-frying is done at 365*F. 
     
  • Don't add too much food to the pan at one time. Add just enough so that the food isn’t touching while it fries. The oil should move around and bubble up freely around each piece, keeping the temperature steady for even cooking.
     
  • Use the right tools. To remove fried foods from hot oil opt for an Asian wire mesh skimmer, a slotted spoon or a pair of spring loaded tongs. And don't forget a paper towel covered plate or baking sheet to drain fried foods on. Placing a clean brown paper bag or newspaper beneath the paper toweling will give you even more absorbency.
     
  • Remove foods in the same order in which they were added to the pan to insure they have all been evenly cooked.
     
  • Make sure the oil has completely cooled before moving the pot or disposing of the oil for safety's sake.

 

 

 

Questions or Comments:  Contact Webmaster
Copyright 2006