Deep frying involves immersing food in very hot oil.
However, if done right, eating deep fried food is not exactly eating food dripping with oil.
You just need to know what deep frying mistakes to avoid.
Getting the deep frying technique right results in tender tasting food with a golden crispy crust and minimum grease. The taste of oil/fat is never dominant.
Of course, getting the right cooking equipment is important too. After all, you’re dealing with a large amount of hot oil that you wouldn’t want to spill on your countertop.
Deep Frying Mistakes To Avoid
Using The Wrong Oil
Always fry in oil that has a high smoke point.
The smoke point of oil refers to the temperature at which smoke starts to form and the oil starts to break down.
When oil breaks down, the quality and flavor changes. This can cause your food to have an unpleasant taste.
High temperature is needed for quick cooking, sealing the food and minimizing absorption of too much oil.
Use oil that has a neutral flavor. This ensures that it won’t impart its flavor to the fried food. Refined peanut oil has a neutral flavor as well as a high smoke point and is a popular oil used for deep frying.
Vegetable, peanut and sesame oils have the highest smoke points.
If you’re reusing old oil, make sure it has been filtered. ‘Dirty’ oil results in food with a darker ‘dirtier’ look, more greasy taste and might even taste burnt even though it’s not.
Oil that has been used to fry fish should only be reused for seafood only.
[alert-announce]Lard produces a crispy effect on food[/alert-announce]
Frying At Too Low Or Too High Temperature
You need to maintain a relatively steady high temperature of between 325 – 390°F for best results.
Frying at too low a temperature will result in soggy food as too much oil has seeped into the food. The food cannot crisp properly.
Too high a temperature might get you a burnt crust and undercooked interior.
The trick to delicious crispy deep fried food is to fry them as quick as possible. There is minimum time for fat absorption and yet not so quick that they get burnt before being thoroughly cooked.
The oil temperature plays an important role when deep frying. A good clip-on thermometer meant for deep frying is a good investment if you;re not using a dedicated deep fryer with temperature control.
[alert-announce]Putting in a slice of bacon into the peanut oil produces a smoky flavor in your food[/alert-announce]
Leaving the pot of oil unattended
Never ever walk away to answer a phone call or attend to other cooking chores.
A grease fire can start in split seconds when the oil is over heated.
The boiling hot oil can spill over and start a fire.
Even the safer and easier to use thermostatically controlled electric deep fat fryer will still need constant attention.
Related post : Deep Frying At Home
Putting too much food into the fryer at the same time
Overcrowding the oil will result in less than perfect crispy fried food. The oil temperature drops and takes a while to rise up again. This results in oil seeping into the food and you’ll end up with soggy food.
Cook in small batches and stir the food continuously to prevent them sticking together. Food has to be surrounded by the hot oil to crisp properly.
The bubbles surrounding the food being fried is the result of the moisture inside the food evaporating due to the heat from the oil. These bubbles then act as a barrier between the food and oil, thus preventing excess oil from diffusing into the food.
The remaining moisture inside the food has now been heated to boiling point, thus cooking the food.
As less moisture escape from the food into the oil, less bubbles are visible. Food is ready to be removed from the fryer.
Try to maintain an oil temperature between 325 to 390 degrees F. A frying thermometer comes in useful to check and regulate the oil temperature.
Deep Frying Large Chunks Of Food
Deep frying smaller cuts of food produces better results. Frying time is fast, resulting in a crispy exterior and tender interior.
Try to cut food into similar small sizes so as to cook more uniformly.
Soak up excess grease from your fried food with kitchen paper immediately after removing from the hot oil. Any vaporized water molecules inside your fried food will turn back into moisture as the food cools down. This creates a suction that draws surface fat into the center of the fried food.
You can also try draining the excess oil using a baking sheet and wire rack.
Get the batter right
To get the perfect crisp outer layer, you need to get the batter right.
Whisk well as a light and airy batter results in a crispier crust.
Do not ever use flour that has gone rancid. That goes for baking powder too.
Season the flour for best flavors. Ingredients such as garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper and herbs make a tasty batter.
Dredge food in batter just before deep frying.
[alert-announce]When deep frying chicken, make sure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F[/alert-announce]
Well, if you love fried chicken as much as I do, you’ll love these secrets for the perfect fried chicken.
As for the ubiquitous French Fries that seem to be every one’s comfort food, do watch the video below.