Frying Fridays Part I: What you Need to Deep Fry at Home

by katerina on February 18, 2011

This is the first post in my Frying Friday series, about How To Deep Fry. Stay tuned for posts on How to Deep Fry Safely, and How to Deep Fry Successfully.

Apple Fritters

Now, before you deep fry anything (stop eyeing those apple fritters), you need to have all the right tools at your disposal. Preparation is the key to success right? This of course assumes you don’t have an actual Deep Fryer. If you have a Deep Frying machine, then read the manual.

What you Need to Deep Fry:

1. The Right Pot
Either a high-sided saucepan or a wok work quite well for deep frying on the stove top. You just want to make sure you have enough room that the item you are deep frying can be completely submerged and still leave you with enough space so it is at most half full. You don’t want oil boiling over. Make certain your pot is stable on your stove.

2. An Oil Thermometer
If your oil is too cool your food will get really greasy and soggy, if it is too hot it may burn the food before it is cooked through. With an oil thermometer you can adjust the temperature as you go to maintain the correct heat for the food you are deep frying.

3. The Right Oil
You need an oil with a smoking point higher than the temperature to which you plan to take the oil for frying. When oil begins to smoke that means it has begun to break down. This is not necessarily the point at which the oil will ignite (called the flashing point and generally much higher), but it is still something worth avoiding. Of course you also usually want an oil neutral in flavour. I usually use canola oil, other good choices are safflower and grapeseed. I also regularly use peanut oil, which has a high smoking point but isn’t truly neutral.

4. A Slotted or Spider Spoon
Once the food is in the oil, you will need to turn it, and eventually retrieve it. I usually use a spider, which is a utensil you can buy for about $2 if you go to a dollar store and is great because you don’t waste very much oil while removing items.

Alright deep frying enthusiasts, am I missing anything?

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