Caution and Common Sense While Deep Frying

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 09:09 AM

Using caution while deep frying, whether indoor with a Presto counter top deep fryer or an outdoor propane deep fryer, is just common sense. And using your own common sense will often help with being cautious and staying safe.

Always use your indoor deep fryer indoors. When using a counter top deep fryer you should always position your fryer well back from the edge on an even, level, cooking surface, table or counter top. Do not let the cord drape over the edge of the counter or table. Keep the cord out of reach of children and out of walk through areas.

Always make sure that foods are properly thawed before deep frying. Ice crystals on frozen chicken wings can cause a boil over of hot oil that you will be cleaning up for days!

Try to dry any wet or watery foods as water and oil don’t mix. When wetness hits the hot frying oil, splattering will occur. Remove excess moisture by blotting wet foods with paper towels.

Use good oil or all purpose shortening for deep frying. Deep frying foods in butter, margarine, or animal fat is not a good idea due to the low smoking point. (A smoking point is the temperature at which the fat or oil begins to break down and produce bluish smoke. After smoke point you near the flash point. Flash point is where the the oil ignites. Since deep frying foods is a very high temperature process, it requires a fat or oil with a high smoke point, like refined soybean or peanut oil.)

Always preheat your frying oil. Your oil should be at a proper temperature before lowering foods into the cooker. If the oil is not at a proper temperature to deep fry, your food will absorb oil instead of creating a protective barrier that cooks food, seals moisture in and crisps the outside. Also do not overload your fryer basket, as too many items at one time can also significantly lower the temperature of the cooking oil and allow for oil absorption. Frying pieces that are similar in size will also help in getting everything fried around the same time, rather than having to leave smaller pieces in the basket until the larger pieces finish cooking. Remember that smaller amounts of food will cook faster, so placing uniform pieces in a single layer in the bottom of the basket will result in quicker and more even browning and doneness.

Always work slowly when lowering a fryer basket into hot oil. NEVER drop the basket in. You should dip the basket like steeping a tea bag, until the oil settles down. This also helps keep some of the food from getting totally fried together. Dunk the basket raise it and shake a little to separate any pieces that have a potential to be deep fried together. Then continue this process until you can safely submerge the basket completely without an oil boil over.

Always use the equipment that comes with your fryer, like the basket and the lift/drain hook. Always wear protective gloves and having protective eye gear is a great safety measure as well.

NEVER leave your deep fryer unattended. This goes for turkey fryers, safer fryers, counter top fryers, and stove top deep fryers. You always need to keep a careful watch during the deep frying process. Should a grease fire occur, turn off gas immediately and cover the pot with a lid. Most counter top units have an emergency release cord, so unplug and cover. Baking soda and an all purpose fire extinguisher are great to have with electric fryers.

Deep frying food is tasty and fun. Using caution and common sense while deep frying can make for a very pleasant culinary experience.

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