Deep frying is one of the most challenging cooking techniques as you may end up with burnt food if you fail to use the proper oil or temperature. Fortunately, there are simple ways to properly prepare your food and use the correct equipment to have perfectly crisp and delicious meals. Here are some tips on how to have perfectly deep-fried food every time:
Prep Your Food
Make sure any food you’re going to fry is completely dry to avoid any splatter. Also, coating your food in batter is a great way to give it a crispy exterior and prevent it from drying out, so look for a high-quality breading mix for sale with a distinctive umami taste and crisp coating.
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Cut your food in uniform pieces regardless of whether they are vegetables, fish, or chicken. This will ensure that everything will cook evenly and have a consistent flavor. Dry everything thoroughly to prevent moisture in the oil, and avoid putting salt directly on the food or on the fryer to prevent oil degradation.
Also, if you’re a first-timer, make sure you have a splatter screen ready to protect yourself against hot oil splatters. If ever there’s too much smoke coming out of the pot, turn off the stove and wait for the oil to cool down to avoid any burns.
Get the Correct Temperature
It’s not enough to deep fry in an oil that’s “hot enough”. Proper deep frying involves having the right oil temperature, commonly between 325 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oil is not hot enough, it can result in greasy, soggy food. If it’s too hot, it can burn and even lead to accidents in the kitchen.
Keep in mind that the temperature drops once the food is added to the pan, so make sure to avoid overcrowding it and use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor your cooking. If the oil starts smoking, it’s a sign that it’s overheated, and it might give off a burning flavour to the food.
If you have no thermometer, you can use the end of a wooden spoon to test if the oil is ready. Just stick it in the center of the oil until you see small bubbles sizzling. You can also drop a small amount of batter, and once it quickly fries, the oil is ready. Another method is to toss a little flour, and if it sizzles, the oil is ready.
Choose the Right Oil
It’s recommended to use cooking oil with high smoking points such as sunflower, peanut, and soybean oil. Oil with low smoking points, like olive oil, means that it will scorch at a low temperature, which will make your food taste bitter or burned.
Even if you’re deep-frying, it’s still important to choose healthy cooking oils. Coconut, olive, and avocado oil are some of the healthiest fats that you can use. Olive oil has high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids that help lower your bad cholesterol levels, same with avocado oil. Deep frying with the right kind of oil will result in good food and features health benefits.
Use the Right Equipment
You don’t need fancy equipment in deep frying. The pot, oil, and thermometer are some basic items that you need. It’s recommended to use a candy thermometer as it clips to the side of the cooking vessel for convenience. Cast iron Dutch ovens are also great because they are sturdy and heavy, making them hold heat well for better cooking.
Remember to use a wide pot to avoid overcrowding your food. Leave about 4 inches at the top of the pot to avoid spills and reduce splatters. For removing the items from your pot, a slotted spoon or skimmer is perfect to use. Another piece of equipment that’s perfect for deep frying is a wok because its long, sloping sides require less oil, and its roominess allows you to cook more food.
Other helpful equipment includes a drying rack, paper towels, and baking sheets. Draining the extra oil from your food on a paper towel-lined drying rack will make it less greasy and more appetizing. There are available drying racks that hold large quantities of food, perfect if you’re frying different items.
Deep-fried foods are always popular, especially at parties during the holiday season. To ensure that all your fried dishes are perfectly cooked and delicious, follow these deep-frying tips that will also let you cook confidently and safely. Since there is a wide variety of food items that can be fried, it’s important to know that they require different frying methods. Remember that proper preparation and technique are important to be able to have perfectly cooked food.
Featured Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash