How To Deep Fry Food Without A Deep Fryer

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Clever tricks for oven-baked versions of fried foods abound, but some things just taste better fried. If you'd like an occasional treat without having to buy a deep fryer you'll hardly ever touch, these tips on deep frying at home are essential.

Sue Veed at the Serious Eats blog runs down the equipment needed, and the most essential tips for home frying that newcomers might not think about - and learn through very messy, or even painful, lessons.

First up is to take a paper towel to your about-to-fry food in a serious way:

In the art of deep-frying, drying is key. Since adding water to hot oil will cause the oil to jump, and sometimes even boil completely over the pot, food should have no excess moisture on it when it goes into the fryer. Thoroughly dry each piece with a towel or paper towels before cooking.

Another key tip that first-time fryers might be too eager to consider: dropping too much food in at once can quickly lower the oil temperature and mess up your perfect, golden-brown crisp. And if you're making fries at home, be sure to soak them first.

What have you fried at home that turned out nearly as good, or better, than the restaurant version? Make us all hungry for lunch in the comments.

[Via Serious Eats]


This story has been updated since its original publication.


Comments

    mischlep: Thanks for the link! KFC used to taste great 20-25 years ago, it was thickly coated and crunchy. Nothing like the weak wet mess I get today (rarely buy it now). I look forward to making my own based on your link's info.

    BTW people - DON'T USE VEGETABLE OIL!! It turns into trans-fat under heat and is VERY bad for you. I use the cheapest olive oil I can find and reuse it until it gets impractical to do so. I store it in the original bottle for reuse, then eventually throw it away in that bottle so it doesn't go down the sink.

    Final oil tip: if your oil smokes ("burns" - any frying), dispose of it immediately! Smoking oil has been chemically altered into a poison your body can do without.

      No, vegetable oil doesn't turn into trans-fat when heated. Oils turn into trans-fats when hydrogenated. Some vegetable oil based products, such as those previously used in industrial cooking and frying, already contain added trans-fats before any heating. Frying with trans-fat free vegetable oil is no more un-healthy than any other deep frying.

      Heating any oil, including olive oil, will form free radicals and oxidise some of the oil. Storing and repeatedly reheating will result in a build up of free radicals and fatty acids, it is unlikely to be good for you.

      If your oil smokes - it got hot. See above, just more of it quicker. It's not good for you and it'll taste bad. Dispose of it, avoid doing it again, but if you were halfway through cooking it isn't the end of the world. You haven't made deadly poison chips.

        Olive oil should NOT be used for serious frying, it has a low smoke point and will burn causing the problems described above. You want to use an oil that can tolerate high temps. Rice Bran/Peanut/Sunflower are examples that won't leave much flavour on the food.If you want the health benefits of Olive Oil, eat vegetables instead. All Oils are just full of calories..

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