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
- 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
- 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
- Remove foods in the same
order in which they were added to the pan to insure they have all been
- Make sure the oil has
completely cooled before moving the pot or disposing of the oil for safety's