By Mussy Raitman, Lubicom staff
Follow these five tips for ultimate frying success.
- Use the right oil
For some reason when it comes to oil, people find it hard to differentiate when to use what. What oil is good for frying? What oil is good for oven baking? Benefits of coconut oil versus olive oil? The questions are endless. When you go to a Kosher supermarket and there is an aisle full of oil options it’s very easy to get overwhelmed.
The most important thing to familiarize yourself with is the smoke point of different oils. Cooking oil past its smoke point not only adds a burnt flavor to your food but the nutrients from the oil are destroyed and thus can be unhealthy and hazardous to consume. If you’re saying yes to deep-fried foods at least say yes to the right oil.
- Keeping it Hot. Hot. Hot.
You’ve chosen the right oil and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and deep fry those latkes or donuts. The only problem: controlling the temperature. One of the biggest challenges when deep frying is managing the oil. Oil with a low smoking point heated to around 355 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. Not only does it crisp the outside perfectly but it ensures the inside gets fully cooked.
If you don’t have a thermometer you can: dip a wooden spoon in the oil – if it bubbles around the spoon it’s ready – or you can drop in a pinch of flour to see if the oil starts sizzling.
- Dry Food
If you’re avoiding frying this Chanukah because of the splatter, think again. All you have to do is keep your foods dry. Whether this means patting down your potatoes with a paper towel or wringing out the starchy juices, it is key to keep the moisture down to avoid violent splatter. The dryer the food the less splatter.
- Timing in the Seasoning
One of the worst feelings is getting served fries at a restaurant that taste bland and soggy with all the salt seeped to the bottom. This generally happens because the seasoning didn’t happen quickly enough. As soon as the food is removed from oil it should be seasoned straight away. This will ensure that the flavor of the food is maximized.
- Drain Well
Before you even get started frying, prepare a tray lined with paper towels. This ensures that as soon as you take your fried food out of the hot oil, the excess oil is absorbed into the paper towel. Paper towels drain double the amount of oil than a cooling rack as well as reduce the sogginess. If you’re trying to be even a little oil conscious this year, this should be a step you never skip.
But don’t pile up all your fried food on top of itself. When the tray is full, transfer the food to a cooling rack to make room for more on the paper towel.
Last but not least, familiarize yourself with safe frying procedures. You don’t want to fool around with hot oil.