Equip yourself with a deep-fry thermometer.
Frying food at the correct temperature is crucial, it ensures the breading won’t fall apart, leaving you with that perfect golden crust. If the oil temperature is too low, it will stick to the breading rather than frying and making it crispy. The result? Soft, mushy food swimming in oil. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, you’ll crisp up the surface too quickly, leaving the inside raw.
So how do you know if the temperature is right? When you see small bubbles rippling on the surface. The bubbles come from steam escaping in the foods you’re frying, which eliminates excess moisture. Don’t reduce the heat for fear of burning the food: you want the temperature to remain stable and as close to 350° F as possible.
Using the right cooking oil is essential to fried food success—it must have a high smoke point, which enables it to withstand high temperatures without burning. Despite claims that it’s not suitable for frying, extra-virgin olive oil is actually an excellent option in terms of quality and taste. However, it can be expensive to fry with, as you might need to use half the bottle. Some also find its strong taste to be too overpowering. In general, refined peanut oil is the most widely used because it easily withstands high temperatures and has a delicate flavor that doesn’t cover up the taste of the food you’re frying. Canola oil is a decent alternative as well.
When placing food in a pot for deep frying, the oil temperature will drop temporarily. To keep it as stable as possible, don’t fry too many pieces at once. There should be a bit of space between each item. And as a general rule, regardless of the pot size, never use less than 1 liter of oil. And fry away!
Article credit: Gourmandize
Photo credit: Gourmandize