How to Deep Fry Foods Effectively and Safely

  Jun 27, 2017

Deep frying is an excellent way to enhance the flavor of any food. Yes, we mean any food. From deep fried hot dogs to Twinkies to even ice cream, it’s a symphony on your tongue. But if you’re looking to bring the carnival junk food experience home with you, it’s more complicated than you think.

When asking the question of how to deep fry foods effectively and safely, it’s important to know the right techniques. That will determine if your food comes out delicious – and if you keep all your limbs.

Here’s the breakdown that’ll help you use a deep fryer like a pro.

What You Need to Know to Make Deep Frying Effective

To keep food from taking on a greasy taste and texture, falling apart in the process, or coming out burnt, there are a few things you need to observe.

Get the Right “Oil”

Peanut oil is the most common favorite for deep frying, but other alternatives such as lard offer that extra kick of flavor – and fat – which really makes deep frying fantastic. If neither of these options appeals to you, or you’d like to keep the flavor neutral so you can better enjoy the food itself, then your best option is vegetable oil. It has a high smoke point, is mostly flavorless, and is extremely cheap.

Constant and Consistent Heat is Everything

If you ignore every other tip, then remember this one: your oil should be kept between 325ºF and 400ºF at all times. If you allow it to get it any higher, it will begin to smoke. Let it get any lower and your oil will begin to seep into the food – giving it a greasy texture. Since water and oil do not mix, the natural moisture in the item being deep fried will automatically repel the oil, allowing you to give it a tasty coating without becoming soggy. However, that factor is greatly inhibited in cold oil.

Work in Small Batches

In the above spirit, be sure to cook small batches at a time. It’s tempting to throw all your French fries in at once, but this will lower the temperature of the oil and produce a nasty batch. Instead, start small and allow the oil to regain its temperature after each one.

Don’t Forget Your Batter

You may have noticed deep frying always includes a batter of some kind, and this isn’t just for the added flavor. A crisp breading or batter helps to secure food away from the oil, preventing a burned or soggy result. As a bonus, it also locks in the flavors, allowing the natural taste of the oil and the food to join, rather than cancel each other out.

Safety Techniques and Tricks You Need for Deep Frying

When you have anything simmering along at 400ºF, it’s dangerous to be near. Oil is even more so, as just a splash of water can have explosive results, and oil sticks harder and burn deeper in human skin than any other liquid – unless we’re getting into napalm. So above even flavor, be concerned for your safety.

Pat Down Your Food First

Most foods naturally contain moisture, and since water and oil don’t mix, when your wet food touches extremely hot oil – you could have an explosion of burning oil all over you. Be sure to pat down your food to remove as much moisture as possible.

Use Tongs, and Wear Long Sleeves

The more protection you can have against the oil, the better. Even in small scales, the hot oil will pop and splatter, which makes it a wise choice to wear long sleeves, and use a tong that way your hand can keep its distance. This will keep the pin-prick burns at bay, and also save your skin in the case of an accident.

Use a Large Pan

Your deep fryer should never be more than two-thirds full, in order to allow bubbling up and to avoid spillover as you add the food.

Use High Smoke Point Oils

You don’t want your oil smoking, and this is why options such as vegetable oil are smart for their high smoke point.

Have a Fitting Lid

Should things get out of hand and a fire start, your first course of action is to smother it. This is best done with a fitting lid that will seal in the oil and fire, putting it out after a few minutes but also preventing further damage to yourself or others.

How to Deep Fry Foods Effectively and Safely


Rosalie is the founder of UnderRoofs where she and her associate's blog about the best home & kitchen, tip & tricks, and finest tech that will help you make exquisite in your home. she gathers and shares tips on how to improve home and kitchen for you to be able to make the most out of it.

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