You might be tempted to use extra-virgin olive oil, but with its low smoke point and distinctive flavor, it's not your best option. Instead, Sell advises using vegetable oil because it has a high smoke point, a neutral flavor and is super economical.
Peanut and grape seed oils are two other options that have neutral flavors and high smoke points. Also, if you're reusing oil, is sure to filter it first so it doesn't give your food a dirty flavor.
An ideal home deep fryer allows the oil to maintain a consistent temperature, has a basket or handheld strainer with a non-metal handle and a feature that filters and preserves the remaining oil for future use. A dedicated deep fryer is much, much safer than using a big pot, according to Sell, and you can find a good one for under $50.
Whether you're planning to deep-fry fish or a Twinkle, dredging your food in flour is a key first step. For savory fried foods, you can simply add salt and pepper to the flour, but feel free to experiment with other spices like gram masala for an Indian-style take.
As for sweet fried foods, you can add sugar or cocoa powder to the flour, but don't forget the salt. Fried foods should have a wonderfully crisp outer layer and the best way to get one is with the right batter.
His favorite batter is just five ingredients (flour, baking soda, malt vinegar, salt and water), but there are a few things to keep in mind: That means no rancid flour (pitch it if it smells bad) and don't even think about using the baking powder that's been sitting in your fridge absorbing odors.
Or mix up a cake batter for an over-the-top deep -fired peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Skip the fork and use a whisk to combine your ingredients or “beat the heck out of them” as Sell says.
The whisk will help you incorporate as much air as possible which will make the batter light and airy. If you're using a pot to deep-fry, use your digital thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil.
Before you start deep frying out of a pot, there are a few items that you should have handy, preferably on the countertop where you are working. Also, keep a box of baking soda close by and if needed, pours on the powder with a heavy hand.
At his restaurant, Sell uses a basket to strain the food and most deep fryers will come with this feature. If you're not using a straining basket, create your own set-up: Line a baking sheet with a paper towel to catch oil, and place a cooling rack on top.
When it's time to dispose of the oil, don't put it down your sink (or toilet, for that matter). Instead, let it cool before discarding it in a sealable container, or soak it up with paper towels.
According to the New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, cooking oil and grease should be disposed of with your trash. Taste of Home Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever.
When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken.
I serve the beer battered fish with a ranch dressing and hot sauce mixture as a dip. You can frost them with maple or chocolate glaze, then top with chopped nuts, jimmies, toasted coconut or sprinkles.
I don’t have a deep fryer!”, I’d be swimming around in my Scrooge Chuck pile of coins right now. Believe me when I say that working with boiling oil isn’t the medieval torture so many home cooks consider it to be.
Much like a multi cooker or slow cooker, an electric deep fryer is designed to take all the guesswork out of the process of deep frying. But you absolutely don’t need an electric deep fryer to successfully crisp up a soft shell crab, serve homemade fried pickles, or flash-fry a quick batch of potato chips.
A DEEP, HEAVY-BOTTOMED POT For deep frying, you want a stockpot that will evenly distribute and retain heat, and wipe clean without sticky oil residue. Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, like the famous Le Crest models, are ideal for the task, as well as regular cast iron Dutch ovens (the oil will help season them with frequent use).
If you do use a stainless steel stockpot, long-term deep frying may leave a ring of fried oil buildup that I’ve found more difficult to remove than on cast iron. It takes so much of the guesswork out of frying or working with hot sugar and pays for itself in peace of mind.
When oil is maintained at the right temperature, it keeps whatever you’re frying from taking on too much grease or burning too quickly. When it’s just right, the food will stay moist inside and crispy on the outside, and the oil won’t be wasted.
A METAL SPIDER/SKIMMER The simplest of the three essentials, this kitchen utensil is able to simultaneously scoop up your fried goodies and drain excess oil back into the pot. ), but a metal spider also known as a skimmer or strainer, is wide enough to grab more than one piece of food at a time.
As much as I love peanut oil, it has a distinctive taste that can work against certain fried foods. In all my deep frying recipes, I specify oil to a depth of at least 2 inches, since that’s generally deep enough to completely submerge the food as well as shallow enough to prevent boil over.
I take a cue from Alton Brown and line a baking sheet with paper towels, then cover that with a wire cooling rack flipped upside-down to put the metal in direct contact with the paper towels. When your oil reaches temperature, carefully add your food to the pot using the metal spider.
Frying is a hands-on process, so don’t walk away to catch up on Instagram or watch Red Zone. Keep an eye on what’s happening in the pot, and when your food reaches its desired brownness and crispiness, scoop the goodies out with the spider, shaking gently to let the excess oil drip off, and transfer to the draining station.
In New Jersey, I can take my used cooking oil to be recycled on our county’s semi-annual hazardous waste collection days.