How to Deep Fry Foods
Featured Pinch Tips Video
•Don't overcrowd the pan! Carefully add the food, leaving lots of space around each piece so the food will cook evenly. If you add too much food at once, the oil temperature will drop and the food will absorb fat instead of instantly searing.
•Watch the food carefully as it cooks, regulating the heat if necessary to keep that oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees F. When the food is browned according to the time in the recipe, it's done. Remove it with a slotted spoon or a heavy stainless steel sieve with a long handle. Drop it onto paper towels to drain.
•Fried foods can be kept warm in a 200 degrees F. oven until all the food is fried.
•Oil and water DO NOT MIX!! Keep water away from the hot oil. If you pour water on the oil, the mixture will explode. If the oil smokes or catches fire, cover it with a pan lid or cookie sheet. You can use baking soda to put out any grease fires, but be careful that you don't spread the flames around.
•I always keep a fire extinguisher in my kitchen, just in case. Learn how to use it NOW, before you may need it.
•Don't reuse the cooking oil. Some sources say you can strain it and reuse it, but the oil has already begun to break down from the heat, and undesirable compounds like trans fats have formed. Let the oil cool completely, then discard
Remember the violent reaction of hot oil to a drop of water? The hotter the oil, the more violently it repels water and other moisture. Only at temperatures below 325°F will the oil start to seep into the food and make it greasy.
Vegetable Oils Have Highest Smoke Points: As a rule, vegetable-based oils have higher smoke points than animal-based fats like butter or lard. The main exceptions are hydrogenated vegetable shortening, which has a lower smoke point than butter, and olive oil, which has a smoke point about equal to that of lard.
Refined Oils and Light Colored Oils: Another factor is the degree of refinement of a given oil. The more refined an oil, the higher the smoke point. That's because refining removes the impurities that can cause the oil to smoke. A simple rule of thumb is that the lighter the color of the oil, the higher its smoke point.
Finally, it's important to note that any given oil's smoke point does not remain constant over time. The longer you expose an oil to heat, the lower its smoke point becomes. Also, when you're deep-frying food, little bits of batter or breading will drop off into the oil, and these particles accelerate the oil's breakdown, lowering its smoke point even more. So in general, fresher oil will have a higher smoke point than oil you've been cooking with for a while.
-Vegetable Shortening (Hydrogenated)=325 degrees
-Olive Oil=325 to 375 degrees
-Corn Oil=400 to 450 degrees
-Canola Oil=425 to 475 degrees
-Clarified Butter, Sunflower & Soybean Oil=450 to 475 degrees
-Safflower Oil=475 to 500 degrees