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ATK Kids

4 Tips to Become a Deep-Frying All-Star

Deep frying can be intimidating, especially for beginner chefs. These tips from ATK Kids’ latest cookbook will help you fry successfully and safely—no matter your age.
By Published Mar. 18, 2022

In the three and a half years that I’ve been working for ATK, I’ve ogled more deep-fried recipes than I can count: Thai-Style Fried Chicken, Fried Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Chocolate Cake Doughnuts, to mention a few. But I’m ashamed to admit that, for all that ogling, I’ve yet to actually deep-fry anything at home myself. Why? It's the fear of setting off my apartment’s supersensitive smoke detector—and the chance I singe my eyebrows doesn’t sit well with me either.

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But with a little how-to—thanks to the deep-frying guide in ATK Kids’ latest cookbook for teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs—I can go from deep-fry shy to the frying fanatic I’ve always aspired to be. And, of course, the book includes staple deep-fried recipes with comprehensive frying instructions so that your teen can make fried chicken, french fries, and doughnuts with ease and confidence.

Yes, I’m indeed 25 years old, but these tips apply to all frying newbies, whether you’re 15 or 75. So read on for four things you should know about deep frying, and tackle those bookmarked recipes with greasy gusto.

1. Use a Large Pot

Using a large Dutch oven (one that holds 6 to 7 quarts) ensures that the oil won't rise too high after you add the food you're frying.

2. An Instant-Read Thermometer Is Your Best Friend

Always follow the temperature cues in the recipe. If the oil starts lightly smoking, that’s a sign that it’s overheated—turn off the heat until the oil cools to the correct temperature. (And click here for our favorite instant-read thermometer.)

3. Use the Right Holey Tool

Use a slotted spoon or spider skimmer to remove smaller foods, such as french fries, from the frying oil—any excess oil will drain through their holes.

4. Know When to Get Rid of the Oil

Once you’re finished frying, turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the oil to cool completely. Never pour frying oil down the drain! Once the oil is cool, you can use a large liquid measuring cup and funnel to pour it into its original container and then throw it away. You can also reuse frying oil three to four times if it’s been used to fry chicken and up to eight times if it was used for french fries.

To reuse your oil, set a fine-mesh strainer in a large liquid measuring cup and line it with a coffee filter. Carefully pour the oil through the strainer, and then discard any solids. Pour the oil into its original container and store it until you’re ready to use it again.

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