Deep frying is a dry-heat method that yields foods with crunchy golden brown surfaces and a tender interior.
Dry heat cooking refers to any cooking technique in which the heat is transferred to the food item without extra moisture, resulting in a crusty exterior.
Learn how to fry deep, choose the right oil, and the benefits of using this technique.
What is Deep Frying?
Deep-frying is a dry-heat cooking method where pieces of food are submerged in either hot fat or oil. The hot liquid is heated to a temperature reaching 204°C (400°F). Chefs know that this temperature heat must be maintained to create a golden-brown surface. When food reaches the hot fat or oil, bubbles envelop it. But because of the high temperature, the moisture around the food rapidly becomes steam, allowing the crust to form, particularly if food is coated with breading or batter.
As earlier mentioned, deep frying creates a crust on the food exterior. This results from the high oil temperature drying out any moisture on the food surface. When the crust is formed correctly, the food should be less greasy and retain its shape.
Two things create a deeper flavour depth when food is cooked at such a high temperature:
- Caramelisation – Caramelisation or the browning of the natural sugars in ingredients,
- Maillard reaction – the browning of complex sugars in meat. It gives browned food its distinctive flavour, which, together with any pan juices that result from the process, enhances the dish.
Properly executed deep frying seals the internal moisture of food, preventing excess oil from being absorbed.
The entire food item is evenly cooked in hot oil in consistent high heat, resulting in a faster cooking time.
The heat from the oil will cook the food and dry the surface, with only a tiny amount of oil staying on the crust. If the oil is not hot enough, temperatures below 325°F (163°C) will make food soggy and greasy. When done correctly, the oil absorption is minimised.
RELATED READ: Pro Chefs Searing Tips For The Best Flavour
All about the oil
What’s the best oil to use?
The best oil for prolonged frying or cooking times is an oil with a smoke point higher than the recommended frying temperature, around 400°F (205°C) or above. A neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point should be used. Some examples of oil with high smoke points are Canola, peanut, and soybean oils.
Food should be completely submerged in oil for even cooking. Depending on the container’s size, 1 to 3 quarts of oil are typically used.
The goal is to have the hot oil instantly seal and cook the inside without burning the surface. The temperature of the oil can be adjusted based on the selected type. A typical range of 325°F to 375°F (160°C to 190°C) is used.
Make sure to have an instant-read or candy/oil thermometer that can read above 400°F (149°C) before deep frying. The differences in oil temperature change quickly and will significantly impact the fried product if not carefully monitored throughout the process. Turn down the heat and wait for the temperature to lower before continuing. If oil gets above 400 degrees, the interior will not cook, and the outside will burn, so keep a careful watch.
Fry in small quantities. The food is colder than the oil, lowering the frying temperature once added. Low temperatures can cause sogginess. Add in a few items at a time. Allow recovery time so the oil can return to temperature before the next batch.
Keep the oil clean:
Keep the oil clean while frying by removing debris or particles from breading or coating. Burnt particles can transfer the burnt flavour to the oil so remove them immediately using a fine-mesh stainless steel strainer or spider to remove debris.
Immediately transfer freshly fried food to a cooling rack or plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the leftover oil on the surface quickly. However, do not let it cool on a paper towel. Move it to a cooling rack to prevent it from losing the crunchy exterior. Deep-fried food can be kept warm on a baking sheet lined with a rack in a preheated oven at 200°F (93°C) if working in batches or not eaten right away.
Essential Tools for Deep Frying
- Deep Fryer
- Cooling Rack
- Slotted Spoon
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Stainless Spider Strainer
Deep frying is a dry heat cooking method that gives food that beautiful colour and crunchy surface texture. Chefs understand that this technique looks as easy as submerging food in hot oil, but in reality, there is a finesse in doing it to avoid resulting in raw food interior or soggy food,
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We have a roster of professional chefs that are available as short-term hires for :
- peak periods
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Anytime Chefs can also assist you in looking for permanent chef hires by facilitating your recruitment process.
We also offer a Consulting service to assist you in opening or running the cafe or restaurant of your dreams.
In our team, we also have polite, professional Kitchen Stewards to assist you in cleaning and organising your kitchens.
That’s it for this week.
As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Chefs!
Ciao for now,