Techniques

Deep Frying

deep frying bunuelos(2)
Deep frying at home is satisfying, but can be a mess and a danger unless you heed a few simple tips.

Fry in the heaviest straight sided pot you have. Cast iron is best, but anything that holds heat evenly will work. Be sure to point pot handles toward the wall to prevent accidents.

I generally prefer peanut oil for frying, as it has a high flash point (meaning it takes a really high temperature to ignite it) and its flavor is compatible with many foods. Canola is my second choice. Keep in mind the oils flavor and how it will affect the food you are frying.

Whenever you deep-fat-fry, it’s important to regulate the oils temperature. That does not mean you must continually check a thermometer (I do not always trust thermometers), but you must use your eyes and pay attention to the color of the frying food, and how fast it is cooking. Browning should be gradual. If the food darkens too quickly, turn down the heat and let the oil cool a bit before resuming.

If the oil is not hot enough the food will soak up more of it, and your food will be greasy rather than crispy. Test the temperature by dropping in a small bit of food. When oil is 350-375˚ F the food will immediately start to sizzle. Brown food on all sides, then drain well before serving. The easiest way to drain is on a stack of paper towels. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes. This rest period is important if you are going to top your fried item with sugar. Sprinkled on too early, when the item is still wet, and it will soak up and liquefy the sugar, making the item sticky, and less beautiful.

And remember … open a window and turn on your ventilation system.  Then boil a few cinnamon sticks when you’re done to refresh your home.

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