Deep-Fry a Bite when Time's Extra Tight
Deep-Frying Equipment and Facts
If you deep-fry foods often, you may want to consider one of the many countertop deep-fat fryers available today. These handy appliances usually include adjustable temperature gauges and baskets to safely retrieve fried items.
While they can make it easier, they aren't a necessity for cooking great-tasting fried foods. An electric skillet or deep pot or saucepan used on the stovetop works just as well.
Electric skillets can be set to a specific temperature. But if you're using a pot or skillet, you'll need a deep-fat thermometer.
Pots and saucepans must be deep enough to contain the splatters and bubbling of the oil when heated. In addition, pots should be slightly wider than the stovetop's burner or electric coil, so spilled fat is less likely to come in contact with the heat source.
Once you have the equipment to deep-fry, it's time to select the type of oil you'd like to use. Oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature it begins to smoke and give foods an unpleasant flavor The higher the smoke point, the better suited an oil is for deep-fat frying.
Vegetable oils such as corn, peanut and canola have high smoke points, making them ideal for deep-fat frying. Butter and margarine, on the other hand, have low smoke points and are not recommended for this cooking method.
If you're frying with an electric skillet, pot or saucepan, don't use too much oil or it may boil over and spill when the food is added. A good guideline is to fill the pot no more than halfway with oil. For a countertop fryer, follow the manufacturer's directions.
Keeping the oil at the proper temperature and checking for doneness are vital points for delicious deep-fried fare. Follow these tips and you're sure to succeed.
Deep-fat thermometers are often used interchangeably with candy thermometers because both read high temperatures. Many styles clip onto the pan so the temperature of the oil can continuously be monitored. For accurate readings, be sure the tip of the thermometer doesn't touch the sides or bottom of the pot.
If the item you're frying includes uncooked ingredients, such as eggs or meat, be sure its center is cooked. Fry a few pieces and remove from the fryer to check for doneness. When they're done, note the time and temperature to use when you fry the rest of the batch.
Foods that are wet or moist will tend to make the oil splatter. When appropriate, pat foods dry with paper towel before frying.
Don't season foods while they're frying. If an item is breaded, try mixing herbs into the breading or season items immediately after they have been removed from the fryer.
For additional deep fryer recipes, visit the Taste of Home Recipe Finder.