New to deep frying

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Old 06-13-15, 06:14 AM
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New to deep frying

I love crispy chicken, but my fried chicken never reaches the crispy level I can get from places that deep fry. So, I have ordered a small (1.1 liter) deep fryer and have a triple dip receipt from online I'm anxious to try. I realize a small fryer is not the best, but I will be cooking for one most of the time and small will use less oil.

Any tips, suggestions, or favorite crispy receipts?

Bud
 
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Old 06-13-15, 06:44 AM
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I don't deep fry much, mainly for health reasons, and wifey is a health nut, SO, I have one of the Fry Baby deep fryers and I have found the key is to have the oil hot before putting in the meat. Of course grandma always dipped her chicken in buttermilk, then flour, then buttermilk, then flour again. Oh, the crispies
 
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Old 06-13-15, 09:49 AM
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Just unpacked it and it is small, but essentially that is what I wanted. Maybe one chicken breast or a leg and a thigh at a time. Or some chicken nuggets or strips.

The difference with the receipt I will try is they really season the heck out of the flour and instead of just buttermilk or an egg wash they make a thin batter out of an egg yoke, more seasoned flour, and some beer (or water), I'm going with the beer. Flour, batter, and another bath in the flour again.

I will of course experiment and adjust the seasoning to taste. I already anticipate a touch of heat which they mistakenly omitted. I don't go for super hot, but I like to know it is there.

Bud
 
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Old 06-13-15, 10:00 AM
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Most of the really crispy fried food you get is done in a pressure cooker. But from my research (and I do way more frying than I probably should) is oil set to 325 degrees. Any hotter and the flour will burn (which is my usual issue). I also season the flour heavily and have not as of yet tried the batter method. Usually dip in 1/2 & 1/2, then flour, let rest for 10 and then back into the flour one more time. Don't over crowd the fryer and don't overload the amount of oil or it may overflow. Two important tools are an infra-red thermometer to gauge oil temp, and a probe style instant read thermometer to make sure the meat is cooked all the way through. For chicken, you look for an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 10:15 AM
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I've been at parties where they dipped a turkey in hot oil, very slowly. I noticed the "max" line on this little one was very low and assumed it was for the boil over reason.

I shouldn't get in too much trouble for posting the link to the recipe:
Triple Dipped Fried Chicken Recipe - Allrecipes.com

When I fry chicken or fish with an egg wash and then crushed Rice Krispies I have trouble with the coating falling off. I'm hoping the batter and the deep fryer will make things stick together better.

And yes Furd, I figured out how to spell recipes .

Bud
 
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Old 06-13-15, 10:48 AM
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The key to using that website (and I frequent it) is that you take the time to read the comments section. Often you will garner tips on how to better improve the recipe over and above the original posting. Therefore allowing others to do the experimenting for you. On yeah, you will get the occassional "out there" person who says to add flaxseed, tofu and and a shot of truffle oil. For the most part, if you can visually taste things in your head, you can tell what additions make sense.

My initial thought on the recipe linked is that 3 cups of flour is too much and you won't taste any of the seasonings. Mine usually starts with 2 cups of flour or less. Also, have a zucchini or yellow squash handy and cut some medallions. Use them to dip and test your batter mixture. They fry up a lot quicker (than chicken) and you can tweak before sacrificing you first piece of chicken. They also make for a tasty treat. Even if you are on a salt restricted diet, always add a touch of salt immediately after it comes out of the oil. And, drain on a wire rack with cookie sheet under it, not on paper towels. Paper towels will make it soggy.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 12:50 PM
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Properly fried food isn't really all that bad for you. The problem is that most people don't keep the temp right and the oil soaks in. Done right, the oil just forms a crust and then heats the moisture in the food which does the actual cooking. I've seen a couple of articles that say a deep fried turkey is healthier than the traditional roasted method.

Also remember, commercial places have industrial fryers that maintain the temp exactly as set, not like a typical countertop model.

I'd also experiment with crushed FF onions, panko bread crumbs, and cornflakes added to the flour. I've had all three and they definitely add something.

I'm with Z on the draining. for just a few pieces you can use a little cookie cooling rack or the rack out of a junk toaster over.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 02:09 PM
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So I deep fry a lot and professional gas fryer is on the kitchen remodel wish list.

Deep frying is all about temperature. Oil is one of the best way to conduct temperature to food, thats why deep frying is much faster than methods of cooking. The temperature of the oil develops flavor through the Maillard reaction and the caramelization of the sugars on the surface of the food. The goal is always crisp food, soggy grease laden food is the result of poor frying technique.

Why does that happen? Your temperature gets too low. When you throw food into 350+ degree oil the water superheats inside and the steam pressure escaping through the pores of the food keeps the oil from getting in. The amount of oil absorbed during deep-frying is generally worth less calories than the butter absorbed in a traditional sauté.

The problem is that the heat being transferred to the food is coming from your oil, if the oil temp gets too low then, the steam pressure is insufficient to keep the oil out and you get a disgusting soggy high calorie mess. Keeping the temp up is crucial and doing so is a two pronged attack in which the two prongs often seem in conflict.

One prong is what I like to call thermal mass, as I mentioned oil is a very good conductor of heat which means the temperature of all the oil will more or less remain the same. So if dropping a chicken thigh in 4 cups of oil causes the temperature of the oil to go down 50 degrees, dropping it in 8 cups will cause the temperature to go down 25 and 16 cups 12.5 degrees. When talking about thermal mass the cooking vessel comes into play as well, when the temperature goes down in the oil, heat is transferred back in from the walls of the pan, that is why dutch ovens have long been a favorite for deep frying, the cast iron absorbs a lot of the energy(?) lost from the addition of the cold food.

The other prong is heat transfer. To keep the temperature up you need to replace the heat lost, the problem here is that the more thermal mass you have to absorb the heat loss of the food, the harder it is to get that heat back up. The solution to this problem is on it's surface, more power. While that is essentially true you also need to consider how to get that energy into the oil. The ideal solution is to heat the oil directly, which is why comercial friers have either electrical elements like those in a water heater or gas tube burners like found those found in a furnace embedded in the oil. You can replicate this at home with an immersion heater but um, use at you're own risk. For the most part, without a deep fryer this means that we're stuck heating the cooking vessel like we do in all other forms of stovetop cooking. From this point of view, heavy cast iron, which is a very poor conductor of heat is actually one of the worst choices, which is why the other most popular choice for deep frying is the wok. The very thin hammered steel transfers heat quickly to the oil on the other side and the sloped sides are optimal for capturing the heat produced by a gas burner. Aluminum and copper are even better conductors of heat than steel but at the same thickness will not stand up to levels of heat that steel will.

So where does that leave us home friers? What is the best way to tackle the frying? It depends on your equipment and what you're frying and figuring that out is a process of trial and error. For the most part you shouldn't need to go shopping for new pots and pans (although if you want an excuse, take it and run with it) but there is one essential tool that must be purchased if you don't already have it. A thermocouple connected to an instant read digital thermometer, that old mercury candy thermometer is not good enough.

In my case if I'm just doing small garnish items, (a single ravioli, brocolinis, parsley, etc) a one of my small AL or clad saucepans on a high flame with 500mls of oil works fine. If I'm cooking for 1 or 2 I use a 11 in high sided salute pan with about 2.5l of oil on the largest burner. If I'm cooking for 4-6 I usually use a 12in tri ply stock pot with 6L of oil on a 3500w induction hot plate that I bought while we were waiting for the gas to be hooked up. This nice benefit of induction is that if you accidentally **** up and add to much oil, you're much less likely to start a massive grease fire and burn down your house.

If I'm doing lots of food such french fries for a party I go to my 12 qt cast-iron dutch oven with 6 liters of oil. Now I don't have a bigger stronger burner (yet) than my hot plate so why go back to the CI? There is a technique that uses the characteristics of cast iron to great effect for deep frying but takes a bit of practice and a lot of care so please be safe. First you must make sure that you have oil that is completely free from water. Get it to 240* and STIR until no more bubbles come out, heat it to about 300 and repeat, keep it at this temp, making sure that it doesn't go over. Take your cast iron pot and put it in the oven on MAX, turn on the broiler, everything and bake for an hour. It will get hot, I don't have a broiler so I can't really get it passed the max temp of my oven at 520*, but when I had a broiler, I could get it almost to 700. Now working very quickly you take the dutch oven and pop it onto your largest gas or electric burner on highest heat (induction usually won't work because of temp based safety cutoffs), pop in your thermometer and add the oil. Watch the temperature intently it will be ready in almost no time at all, anticipate 365 and when it get there be adding the first batch of food, the temperature should not drop in the oil, it will likely continue to rise. This is where the practice part comes in, if it does and gets over 385 before the food is cooked, you can go to more oil and larger batches or a slightly lower preheat. Work your batches quickly, double fried fries only need a couple minutes on the second fry and you should be able to work through 3 batches (10-12lbs of spuds) or so before you loose the benefit of the preheat.

I can't believe I just wrote this much on deep frying, cooking is a passion (and one time profession) of mine and it's nice to be knowledgeable in some topic on the forum for a change .
 
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Old 06-13-15, 06:38 PM
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Esand1,
A good friend had a neighbor, probably as enthusiastic as you, or more so. His passion was pastries and he would go knocking on doors to find people to cook for. he did banquets, parties all for free just so he could cook.

Anyway, I read the whole post and thanks.

zz I agree that 3 cups, plus another 1.5 cups looked like enough to do 3 chickens. Since I will be cooking small batches I will prepare a zip bag with the dry mixes and then just take what I need for a couple of pieces of chicken. Of course I will have to figure out what to do with the leftover beer .

Bud
 
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Old 06-13-15, 07:27 PM
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Bud - thanks to you, your thread inspired me to fry some food tonight. Blood sausage, quail egg and pancetta empanadas.

And of course the not previously mentioned advanced student technique. In the hearth


 
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Old 06-13-15, 09:06 PM
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I completely agree with Esand1, the best results come from keeping the oil at the proper temperature and that requires a large quantity of oil and lots of heat available to keep it hot. Keeping the oil at the proper temperature is 90% of the problem but when possible the food cooks quickly and absorbs little oil.

Anyone for deep-fried shrimp?
 
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Old 06-14-15, 03:24 PM
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Furd, one many things I dearly miss from WA is waking up at 4am for a low tide Sunday morning with friends followed by a late lunch of fried geoducks washed down with a crispy PNW IPA.

Que nostalgia.

Its too bad that deep frying has been so victimized in the media these days by the Oprah moms snarfing down prefabricated hi carb over salted and over msg-d "diet" snack bars.
 
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Old 06-14-15, 03:45 PM
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For those "outside the loop" a geoduck (pronounced gooey duck) is a giant clam found on the pacific northwest beaches. They are rather phallic looking.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]51998[/ATTACH]

Here are some recipes. About Geoducks | Geoduck Recipes
 
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Old 06-14-15, 04:48 PM
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Mmmmm geoduck was some good stuff! I had it at some sort of local chain back in '94 or so and even there it was fantastic. Local is always better.
 
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Old 06-14-15, 07:39 PM
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If you have the occasion to use a propane stove outside, I have found a neat way of keeping your oil at the proper temperature. Instead of using flat bottom pots or even cast iron ones, cut a 20 lb propane tank in half and grind off the foot ring (carefully). It will stay upright and the flame will wrap around the bottom of the rounded vessel much better than a flat surface.
 
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Old 06-14-15, 08:03 PM
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If you do not have plenty of oil, dunking in some cold chicken will drop the oil temperature down to where you are not at the proper temperature.

The small fryers with limited capacity can cause lack of crispiness. If you use a larger deep fryer and reuse the oil, the extra size does not does not cost money.

Dick
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:02 PM
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the best results come from keeping the oil at the proper temperature and that requires a large quantity of oil and lots of heat available to keep it hot.
It never hurts to keep a supply of cold beer nearby either. I helped a friend fry a turkey several years ago (my first deep fried turkey) and found keeping the oil at the correct temperature with the typical turkey fryer is a real challenge, but it can be done. The next key is the timing on the bird, it takes approximately a 6-pack for a 16 to 18 lb. turkey to be properly deep fried.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 10:14 AM
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How to use a deep fryer

Here is where the 6-year-old rule shines. (of course under supervision)
Place the Fryer is sitting in the middle of an open table.
Oil is added prior to plugging in the unit. Set the temperature and frying time.
Turn on and I wait until it comes up to the right temperature.
A light or audible alarm should let me know of this.
The basket with the food items in it are lowered gently into the oil with the cover in place. This prevents splatter, burns, and a mess from occurring.
When done the reverse is done and the food is emptied into a basket lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil and covered with a cloth.
Read ********
 

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