It's safe to bet that most of us don't have deep fryers ready and waiting, but that doesn't mean you can't pan- or deep-fry items for a crispy, crunchy, golden brown exterior. Frying on the stovetop is safe and easy with these tips in mind:

  • Heat the correct amount of fresh oil to a minimum of 325°F/163°C and a maximum of 375°F/191°C in a heavy pan. The pan has to be heavy enough to conduct and retain heat evenly, and the volume of the pan needs to safely hold the correct amount of oil.
  • For pan frying, use a heavy sautoir (sauté pan) with straight sides.
  • For deep-frying, use a heavy wide-mouth saucepan or stockpot.
  • The oil temperature is critical because smoking hot oil is not only dangerous and unhealthy but also burns the exterior crust without cooking the interior. Oil that’s not hot enough makes greasy food.
  • Always use fresh oil with a high smoke point so that it does not break down quickly during the cooking process. For example, canola or peanut oil can withstand high prolonged temperatures.
  • For pan frying, fill the pan so the oil goes about two-thirds up the side of the food. The food should touch the bottom of the pan but appear as if it is floating. Touching the bottom encourages browning. Never fill the pan more than one-quarter full with oil, because it can bubble over when the food is added. Replace oil as needed to maintain the correct depth.
  • For deep-frying, fill the pot so the food can be completely submerged or swim in the oil. Again, never fill the pot more than one-quarter full with oil, because it can bubble over when the food is added. Replace oil as needed to maintain the correct depth.
  • Use a candy/frying thermometer to gauge the oil temperature. Or place a small piece of bread into the oil. At 350°F to 375°F, the oil around the food should immediately bubble, but the food should take at least 45 seconds to begin browning.
  • Keep the oil clean by skimming all loose pieces of food from the oil with a very fi ne-mesh spider and discarding them.
  • Cook the same size food in several batches. Too much food added to the pan at once lowers the temperature. The food should not touch, because this prevents uniform browning. Use tongs to turn the food so that the crust is not pierced. For the best flavor and even cooking, turn pan-fried food once but deep-fried food several times.
  • Blot excess oil from the food on a wire rack lined with paper towels set over a sheet pan. Airflow under the rack maintains crispiness by reducing the condensation that happens when food is placed directly on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

CIA FOODIES


Tips for Frying on the Stove

It's safe to bet that most of us don't have deep fryers ready and waiting, but that doesn't mean you can't pan- or deep-fry items for a crispy, crunchy, golden brown exterior. Frying on the stovetop is safe and easy with these tips in mind:
  • Heat the correct amount of fresh oil to a minimum of 325°F/163°C and a maximum of 375°F/191°C in a heavy pan. The pan has to be heavy enough to conduct and retain heat evenly, and the volume of the pan needs to safely hold the correct amount of oil.
  • For pan frying, use a heavy sautoir (sauté pan) with straight sides.
  • For deep-frying, use a heavy wide-mouth saucepan or stockpot.
  • The oil temperature is critical because smoking hot oil is not only dangerous and unhealthy but also burns the exterior crust without cooking the interior. Oil that’s not hot enough makes greasy food.
  • Always use fresh oil with a high smoke point so that it does not break down quickly during the cooking process. For example, canola or peanut oil can withstand high prolonged temperatures.
  • For pan frying, fill the pan so the oil goes about two-thirds up the side of the food. The food should touch the bottom of the pan but appear as if it is floating. Touching the bottom encourages browning. Never fill the pan more than one-quarter full with oil, because it can bubble over when the food is added. Replace oil as needed to maintain the correct depth.
  • For deep-frying, fill the pot so the food can be completely submerged or swim in the oil. Again, never fill the pot more than one-quarter full with oil, because it can bubble over when the food is added. Replace oil as needed to maintain the correct depth.
  • Use a candy/frying thermometer to gauge the oil temperature. Or place a small piece of bread into the oil. At 350°F to 375°F, the oil around the food should immediately bubble, but the food should take at least 45 seconds to begin browning.
  • Keep the oil clean by skimming all loose pieces of food from the oil with a very fi ne-mesh spider and discarding them.
  • Cook the same size food in several batches. Too much food added to the pan at once lowers the temperature. The food should not touch, because this prevents uniform browning. Use tongs to turn the food so that the crust is not pierced. For the best flavor and even cooking, turn pan-fried food once but deep-fried food several times.
  • Blot excess oil from the food on a wire rack lined with paper towels set over a sheet pan. Airflow under the rack maintains crispiness by reducing the condensation that happens when food is placed directly on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

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