If you like to eat deep fried food, cooking it at home is actually the healthiest choice because you can use fresh oil. You don’t know how many times the restaurant is re-using the same oil!
- Deep frying oil with natural flavor – I recommend vegetable oil, canola oil or corn oil.
- Fryer – A wok or a deep frying pot is a good choice when deep frying a lot of food. But for small amount, a frying pan is a good option. You only need ½-1 inch of oil in the pan.
- Long cooking chopsticks or metal tongs
- Fine mesh skimmer/strainer to pick up fried crumbs between batches
- Deep-fry thermometer (optional)
What You Need To Know Before Deep Frying:
- Remove combustible items around the stove.
- Do not put water in hot oil. Wipe all excess liquid off utensils or else it’ll splatter.
- NEVER EVER leave your cooking unattended. NEVER! Oils begin to burn at 400F and catch fire at 500F. If you need to leave your kitchen, make sure you turn off the stove.
How To Deep Fry Foods:
Step 1 – Add Oil in Fryer
Add oil in your fryer and do not put more than halfway full. Start heating the oil to 340-350F.
Step 2 – Check Temperature
Method 1: Put a chopstick in the oil, and if you see bubbles start to appear around the chopstick, it’s ready for deep frying.
Method 2: Put a piece of Panko or batter in the oil.
< 320 ºF: Panko or batter stays at the bottom of the oil before coming up slowly.
340-350 ºF (optimal temperature to deep fry): Panko or batter drops down to the middle of oil and quickly comes up.
> 370 ºF: Panko or batter stays on oil surface.
Step 3 – Prepare the Food
When the oil is at the optimal temperature, (dredge your food in batter and) pat your food to remove excess coating. Slowly place the food into the oil, submerging it gradually to avoid splatters.
Step 4 – It’s Time to Fry!
Do not put too many items into the fryer at the same time. Adding too many items at the same time will lower the oil’s temperature and your food will end up absorbing too much grease. If you are new to deep-frying, use a deep-fry thermometer to keep an eye on the oil temperature. It’s critical to make sure the temperature stays constant so the food does not absorb too much grease or burns.
Step 5 – Clean Oil
Between batches, use the mesh sieve to scoop excess crumbs, which will burn and turn the oil darker if you don’t take them out.
Step 6 – Drain Oil
Transfer the deep-fried food to a wire rack or plate lined with a paper towel. Let it drain excess oil.
After Deep Frying:
If the oil is still clean, you can strain the used oil through a fine sieve and use it again within a week. But if you don’t deep fry often, I recommend you to dispose of the used oil.
Option A) After the oil cools down, place it in a sealed glass container and put it in the garbage (or follow your local garbage company’s instruction). NEVER pour it down your kitchen sink drain.
They solidify the oil into a jello-like substance and becomes semi-solid.
Option C) Solidify with gelatine. Read Kenji’s method on Serious Eats.
How to Use Oil Solidifier
Step 1: Add the powder to the hot oil
Step 2: After solidified, toss into the trash
Helpful Tools for Deep Frying
- Splatter screen if you are worried about oil splatter.
- 3-Sided Splatter Guard to keep your stove area relatively clean (I won’t say mess-free though).
- Cooking thermometer to see the precise temperature instantly.