Deep fry it and they will come!
From spring rolls to fried chicken and doughnuts to candy bars, foods dunked in a deep fryer are always crowd pleasers. While the initial set-up can seem a little daunting, with the right tools and techniques, you’ll be putting tasty treats on your table in no time.
What you need:
Canola oil. A high smoke point and neutral flavour is essential for deep frying.
Heavy-bottomed pot. A cast iron Dutch oven is perfect. The sturdiness helps maintain a consistent high temperature that’s critical for best results.
Slotted spoon or strainer. An Asian style strainer works particularly well for turning foods in hot oil and lifting them out.
Thermometer. Ideal deep-frying oil should be between 300F and 400F.
Cooling rack. Draining excess oil is essential for a crispy crust.
How to deep fry
Place the heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the recommended amount of canola oil, according to the recipe. Be sure your pot is never more than half full of oil. The high sides of the pot help prevent oil splatter.
Place your thermometer in the oil and heat to the recommended temperature. It will usually be between 300F and 400F.
Prepare your food for deep frying according to the recipe. Be sure to shake off any excess coating.
Place the food item (chicken piece, doughnut) onto the spatula or strainer and gently ease it into the hot oil.
Fry according to the recipe, turning if recommended. NEVER LEAVE FOOD UNATTENDED.
Lift food from oil using the strainer or spatula and let the excess oil drip off. Place deed-fried food on a cooling rack above a paper-towel lined baking sheet.
A word about safety
Deep frying, like any cooking method, comes with a set of safety instructions.
Never leave hot oil unattended, always turn pot handles inward, wear close fitting clothes, keep the proper fire extinguisher on hand and ensure you have working smoke alarms.
If your oil gets too hot, a grease fire may result.
Have a heavy lid or sheet pan handy to smother smoke or flames of a small fire.
Never move a pot of oil that catches fire. It can spill and injury yourself or others.
Never use water on an oil fire.
When in doubt, always leave the building, close doors and call 911 for assistance from outside.
For more kitchen safety visit: National Fire Protection Association
What about that used oil?
Save it! Canola oil can be reused for deep-frying. Let the oil cool completely. Strain it to collect any remaining food bits. Store in a glass jar or plastic container for next time. After several uses, pour cooled oil into an unrecyclable container and place it in your trash. Never pour used oil down the drain or into the toilet.