Electric deep fryer or pot on stove top for deep frying at home? Which method is more hassle-free? Which one is safer?
The home electric deep fat fryer comes with features that enable you to deep fry with minimum fuss.
Deep frying is not daunting with the right tools.
With the stovetop deep fryer which is usually a stainless steel stockpot, Dutch oven, deep-walled heavy bottomed saucepan or a wok, you are more exposed to the sizzling hot oil as you deep fry without using a lid.
Each method has its pros and cons.
Advantages of Stovetop Deep Fryer
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- No need to plug into wall socket, hassle-free from cords and timers
- Can be used for other cooking methods besides deep frying – versatile cooker
- Versatile in oil usage – can use a smaller pot that needs less oil if deep frying a small amount – no minimum oil usage
Disadvantages of Stovetop Deep Fryer
- Cannot use lid while deep frying if using wok/skillet/frying saucepan/dutch oven etc – expose to scalds and oil splatters. You can try using a splatter screen to minimize the greasy mess or using a pot that comes with fryer basket and lid
- Deep frying odor lingers and is more intense
- You might want to use a candy/deep fry thermometer (recommended although not compulsory) and you have to constantly keep an eye on the oil temperature. Cooked food has to reached a safe minimum internal temperature to be safe for eating
- Hot oil is inflammable and can cause a fire if in contact with open flames such as those found on the gas stoves
- Without the advantage of a temperature control knob such as those found in the electric deep fat fryer, there is the danger of heating oil past its flash point, the point when the oil vapor mixes with the air and ignite.
Advantages Of Electric Deep Fryer
- Easy to use
- Has a lid to contain volatile splattering hot oil
- Deep fryer with basket makes it easy and safer to lower or lift food into or out of the boiling oil
- Odor filter minimizes the smell of oil and frying in the kitchen
- It comes with the luxury of electronic temperature control – easy to control and adjust
- Deep fryer with oil filter feature will auto filter the used oil once oil has cooled down
- Deep fryer with over-heating feature shuts down the machine when oil temperature rises too high
- Indicator light alerts you when oil is ready for frying
- You can deep fry outdoors – no oily mess in the kitchen
Disadvantages Of Electric Deep Fryer
- Single use appliance – can only be used for deep frying
Can you deep fry without a deep fryer or thermometer?
To deep fry successfully, you’ll need a container of oil boiling at between 350 – 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
A deep frying pot with basket would be great as the frying basket makes it easier to lower and raise the food.
Just make sure you fill the pot only 1/4 – 1/2 full with oil. You must have enough space for the food to bubble and move around in the hot oil without any risk of spillage. A good estimate would be about 4″ of space between the top of the oil and the top of your pot.
To check whether the oil is ready for deep frying, you can test using a bamboo chopstick. When you dip the tip of the chopstick into the oil, bubbles form around the tip indicating that the oil is hot enough (about 350 degrees F). Too many vigorously moving bubbles indicate that the oil is too hot.
Another method is to drop in a small cube of bread or a pinch of batter. Again, you check the bubbles. When these (the bread or batter) turn brown in less than a minute, that means you can start deep frying.
You should only fry in the optimal frying temperature to minimize oil absorption into the food.
You’ll need a splatter screen guard to minimize splatters as well as a slotted spoon/skimmer to put in and remove the fried food.
Always deep fry in small batches so as to maintain the ideal temperature better. Too much food added at once can cause the temperature to drop rapidly.
Yes, you can get to enjoy your favorite fried food even though you do not have a deep fryer or thermometer. However, if you deep fry frequently, then using the domestic deep fat fryer is more convenient.
If you reel back in horror at the thought of ‘all that hot oil’, then the hot air fryer might be the machine for you to try out your grandma’s perfect fried chicken recipe.