Deep Fat Frying Techniques Silver Oak Winery Chef Dominic Orsini Discover new deep fat frying techniques from our Silver Oak winery chef to learn tips on how to properly deep fry your next food and wine pairing recipe.
Deep Fat Frying Techniques
- Use a thermometer with a remote probe: It is important to pay attention to the temperature of the oil. When oil gets too hot (500 to 550°F) it can spontaneously ignite, and a temperature as low as 200°F can burn skin.
- Use a pot that holds 3 times the amount of food to be fried at one time, and only fill the pot halfway with oil: Remember that the surface level will rise when ingredients are added to the oil. In addition, oil will bubble 3 to 5 inches above the original fill line.
- Proper ventilation: When frying, ventilation is important so the oily steam does not penetrate your home. If weather permits, I recommend frying outside.
- Use a wire skimmer to place food into and remove from the hot oil.
- When adding food to the hot oil: Make it a habit to turn off any flames under or around the pot when adding food to the oil. Turn the heat down when the oil bubbles at a high level.
- Water and moisture control: Even small drops of water will cause hot oil to splatter. Make sure all food is patted dry before frying. The more moist the food, the higher the oil will bubble up.
- Fire extinguisher: Keep one nearby! If there is an oil fire NEVER pour water on the fire, which will create a fireball. Use a fire extinguisher, or with oven mitts slide a lid or baking sheet over the pan to extinguish the flames.
- Temperature control: After adding food to the hot oil, the temperature of the oil will drop anywhere from 10 to 50°. Maintaining a proper temperature is crucial to proper frying. Every range has a different BTU, so you need to adjust the burner on your range to the proper temperature level to maintain the right cooking temperature as directed by the recipe.
- Removing food: Set fried food on a wire rack so the oil can drain away. If left on a paper towels, the bottoms will turn soggy.
- Seasoning: Always sprinkle the food with a little salt the moment it is removed from the oil, so the salt will dissolve on the oily surface of the food and seep into the food. Salt added to cooled food will tend to fall off the surface of the food.
- Used oil: When frying is complete, turn off the heat and cover with a loose lid. Let the oil cool for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once cool, check to see if you can see the bottom of the pan. If so, you can use the oil a second, third or even fourth time. Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve and funnel back into an airtight container. The oil will last up to one month in a cool storage area.
- Oil disposal: See local ordinances for proper oil disposal or find a biofuel recycle center.