There's no getting around it: We love to fry. Chicken, potatoes, even pies (sweet and savory) have all been dunked in hot oil in our test kitchen. And through all of that recipe development, we've learned a few things. We've learned that the specifics of each deep-frying recipe is different. But we've also learned there are basics that you can apply to each one. Read on for a few of the steps that will help you get the most out of your next fried food.
Tips for Better (and Safer) Deep Frying
How to Get Fried Coating to Stick
Fried foods often have coatings, and in most cases, letting the coated food rest before frying helps the coating stick. A wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet elevates the food so the bottom coating doesn't stick to the sheet. Our favorites are the Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet and the Libertyware Half Size Sheet Pan Cooling Rack.
How to Avoid Splashing and Sticking Together
To avoid splashing, carefully add food to the oil using tongs, a spider skimmer, or a slotted spoon. To keep coated foods from sticking together, hold each piece in the oil for a few seconds to let the coating set before releasing. When frying uncoated foods, pat them dry before adding them to the oil to minimize splatter. Follow recipe instructions, as some may call for a gentle stir as the food cooks in the oil.
How to Avoid Greasiness
Line a second rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack and/or paper towels (depending on what you're frying). Transfer food directly to this sheet to drain away excess oil from the surface. Salt foods immediately after removing them from the oil, while they're still hot, as salt sticks better to hot foods.
Protect Yourself and Avoid Distractions
Keep in mind that frying usually produces a small amount of splatter; always wear an apron to protect yourself from any oil that escapes from the pot. And do your best to minimize distractions; keep small children and pets away.
The Best Thermometer for Frying
Maintaining the oil temperature by adjusting your burner is key for even frying. Use a clip-on thermometer (our favorite is the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm to monitor the oil temperature and an instant-read thermometer (our favorite is the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4) to check the food.