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Deep-Fat Frying Tips

by: Celebrity Recipes
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Afraid that deep-fat frying will leave you with soggy tempura, singed fish, burnt crispy pata or, worse, blistered hands? Here are some deep fat-frying tips to make this specialized cooking style easy and safe.

  • Before frying, make sure the fryer and all utensils you intend to use are wiped clean and bone-dry. Water droplets aggravate splatters.
  • Using ice-cold batter on food makes it extra crisp. (Simply put ice cubes in the batter or pop it in the freezer before cooking.) Batter-coated food should be air-dried first for 30 minutes to reduce splattering when it hits the hot oil.
  • The pot of deep-fat-frying should be deep enough to allow for bubbling and spattering, otherwise oil splatters will find its way on your hands or stove (or oven) top. Protect first yourself with a wire mesh designed to fit over the cooking container, and then your stove burners.
  • The oil's temperature makes or breaks what you're deep-frying. Sliced potatoes, meat, small whole fish and other fleshy food stuff's should be deep-fried in moderately hot oil. If fried in oil that's too hot, the food's surface will burn even before the inside gets a chance to be cooked.
  • On the other hand, foodstuff dipped in egg, breadcrumbs or batter need instant "sealing" so it is best to use very hot fat to immediately fry the coating. Pre-cooked food such as croquettes, and smaller food slices will deliciously crisp in very hot oil.
  • To check if the fat's hot enough for frying, test the heat by sprinkling little drops of water into it. If the sound is sharp and high, then the oil is ready. Other signs are small ripples on the surface or a strong characteristics smell. You can also use the bread method---drop a cube of white bread into the oil, and if it browns uniformly in 60 seconds, the oil is moderately hot (a cook's thermometer should read a temperature of around 350 °F to 365 °F); 40 seconds, oil is very hot (temperature around 365 °F to 382 °F) and 20 seconds, oil is extremely hot (temperature around 382 °F to 390 °F).
  • Never throw food to oil. Slip it instead into the pan to avoid spatters.
  • Deep fry in small quantities, large chunks of food dramatically reduce the oil's temperature. When fat is not hot enough, it cannot immediately seal the surface of what's cooking. Therefore, food turns soggy and taste like grease. Likewise, food will just soak and turn droopy in too little oil. Don’t scrimp on fat for deep-frying ---food must be completely submerged if you really want it golden and crunchy.
  • Aside from corn oil, other types of oil best for frying are canola, corn, peanut, safflower and soy. (Olive oil, because of it's distinct flavor and aroma, is suitable for frying fish, fritters and croquettes --food that requires short exposure to heat-but not for deep-fat frying. It develops an acrid taste when heated for a long time.)
  • Recycle's the word; don’t throw away used frying oil. Unless it has been used previously to fry fish, oil can be stashed in the fridge and be used for deep-fat frying (so you don't have to consume a whole container of fresh oil everytime). Remove food particles by straining it through a coffee filter or a double-layer of cheesecloth.
  • If you're cooking tempura, fry veggies first before the shrimps since these don't leave a distinct smell in the fat. Use fresh or little -used fat.
  • The secret for crispy-licious french fries is through double-drying--lightly fry potato slices then set aside. After it has cooled off, deep fry to a golden brown.
  • If the thought of used-oil odor and stale aftertastes turn you off, "refresh" oil by frying a raw potato or a handful of parsley for about 10 minutes before frying your main meal.
  • In case you do burn yourself, apply ice cube immediately to cool off the heat and seal it off from oxygen (the main culprit for the pan). Follow with a burn ointment, or in the absence of one, dab of toothpaste will suffice. More serious burns should be referred to a doctor.
  • Drain your deep-fried food in paper towels to absorb extra oil and cut down on unwanted fat.

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September 20, 2017

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