Deep-Fry a Bite when Time's Extra Tight
No longer reserved for French fries and onion rings, deep-fat frying can help busy cooks prepare golden family favorites in a snap. Whether you use a countertop deep fryer, electric skillet or large pot, deep-frying is easy to do.
By completely submerging food in hot oil for mere minutes, this cooking method seals in flavors and juices. And since the items to be fried are often coated in breading or batter first, they stay moist inside but have a wonderful, crunchy exterior after deep-frying.
Two delicious recipes are shown in the photo at right. You can prepare both Fried Mushrooms Marinara and Shrimp Egg Rolls using your deep fryer.
Fast, Fabulous Frying
The temperature of the oil is extremely important when deep-frying. If the temperature is too low, the food absorbs too much oil and becomes greasy. If the temperature is too high, the outside of the food may burn before the inside is completely cooked.
Most deep-frying recipes call for the oil to be heated between 365° and 375°F. Carefully add your food only when the desired temperature is reached.
When items are added to the oil, the temperature of the oil decreases. By frying foods in small batches, however, the proper temperature should return quickly.
Continue to regulate the temperature while frying, and turn the food frequently with long-handled metal tongs so it cooks evenly. Once the items are cooked through, remove them in the order that they were added to the oil.
Tongs are handy for retrieving large items while mesh skimmers or heat-resistant slotted spoons are great for removing smaller foods. Place the fried items on paper plates lined with paper towels to soak up excess fat.
After each batch of food is removed from the fryer, wait until the oil returns to the proper cooking temperature before adding the next batch.
When you're done frying, the oil can be saved to reuse at a later time. Simply allow it to cool at room temperature and strain it through cheesecloth into an airtight container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 months but should be discarded after it's used three times.
For additional deep fryer recipes, visit the Taste of Home Recipe Finder.