If you’ve never used a deep fryer, your first attempt can be quite intimidating. It doesn’t get any easier with the oil hissing at you when it gets hot.
But, worry not. You can become a pro at deep-frying even without any culinary expertise under your belt.
Whether you want to whip up delicious crispy fried chicken or try your hand at preparing wings for the game night, deep frying is the way to go.
Deep frying imparts a crispy taste to every vegetable and protein. However, it’s crucial to take safety precautions when cooking your favorite food in a deep fryer to stay safe from grease fires and burns.
In this guide, I’ll discuss how to use a deep fryer and not burn yourself in the process. Let’s begin.
For your ease, I’ve divided the process into three sections. Follow along, and you’ll have sizzling hot spicy wings in no time.
Remember to select an oil that has a high smoke point. The smoke point (1) refers to the temperature at which an oil starts burning your food.
An oil with a higher smoke point is less likely to give a burnt taste to your food. Some examples include soybean, grapeseed, and vegetable oil.
Although olive oil is beneficial for health (2), don’t use it for frying as it has a low smoke point and will probably burn the foods that require a longer cooking time.
All fryer models are different in their working mechanism and setup. Read the instructions manual to check if there’s anything specific you need to do to use your deep fryer.
If you’ve lost the manual or can’t locate it, search for the deep fryer plus the manufacturer’s name on Google, and you’ll find a PDF version online.
Most instructions manuals have a visual representation of the fryer’s parts to help you assemble it easily. Follow the manual to put your deep fryer together.
Some common foods that can be cooked in a deep fryer include fish and chicken. Adding a coat of bread crumbs or corn flour can give a crispy texture to most foods, such as buffalo wings.
As for veggies, you can fry okra, pickles, and potatoes, among others.
Once you’ve chosen the oil and assembled the fryer, you’re all set to use it.
Pour the cooking oil of your choice into the deep fryer while it’s off.
Most deep fryers have a minimum and maximum filling line. Make sure the oil is never above or below them. However, if your fryer does not have indication points, fill it halfway and never more than that.
If the fryer comes with a basket, remove it. Fill oil in the basin before putting the basket back into the deep fryer.
Turn on the deep fryer by plugging it in or switching on the button, depending on your fryer’s working mechanism. If there’s a lid, keep it closed while the oil is preheating.
Crank the deep fryer’s heat up to 325-375°F using the built-in thermostat. Alternatively, you can adjust the temperature of the oil using a cooking thermometer if there’s no thermostat on your fryer.
Your deep fryer may have an indicator light that will turn on when the oil has heated up to the optimum temperature.
Look out for a smoky smell. It indicates that the oil has overheated, and your food is likely to come out burnt.
Do not put moist food in the deep fryer as it will cause hot oil to bubble and splatter all over you, causing burns. Use paper towels for removing moisture from the food to be cooked.
If your fryer has a basket, put the food in it and lower it into the fryer. However, if there’s no basket, use a slotted spoon or tongs to put the food inside the deep fryer.
Never drop food into the fryer as it will cause the oil to splash over you.
Again, if your fryer has a lid, close it while the food cooks. Doing this will keep the frying odor from spreading all over the kitchen and prevent the oil from splattering on to the wall and countertops.
Do not use or put plastic utensils inside the fryer as they will melt under high heat.
Fry your food until it turns golden brown. Depending on the item you’re cooking, the frying time will differ, so consider the recipe before you start. Also, keep checking the food while it’s frying to prevent it from burning.
For most foods, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fry them completely. If you’re cooking for a large group, do not put the entire batch in the deep fryer at once.
Divide the food into smaller batches. Crowding the deep fryer with food will result in some items being undercooked. Moreover, it may cause the oil to overflow, causing a fire.
Once the food is cooked, remove it from the deep fryer by lifting the basket or using tongs. Gently shake off the excess oil from the fried food.
Transfer the food to a drying rack and let it cool for some time.
Staying safe during deep-frying is an absolute necessity. You wouldn’t want to savor a plate of deep-fried cheese balls with a burnt hand, would you?
Do not step away from the fryer while the food is cooking inside. If the oil starts to burn, lower the heat and cook for the recommended duration.
Never touch the fryer with bare hands as it can burn you. Always use tongs or the fryer’s basket to add food.
I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of keeping cords out of the way. Make sure the cord is away from any area with high foot traffic. If someone trips over the deep fryer, it will topple over, possibly causing a fire.
In case there’s a grease fire, use a fire extinguisher to put it out. Keep in mind that grease fires are hazardous and cannot be put out using water.
Thus, having a fire extinguisher close to the deep fryer can save you and your house from significant harm.
After cooking, let the oil cool off. During this time, enjoy the meal you’ve prepared and pat yourself on the back for pulling off the incredible culinary stunt.
The oil will take about two hours to cool down. After it has cooled to room temperature, pour it in a sealable plastic container and throw it in the trash.
Never pour the oil, even when cooled, down the drain as it can clog the pipes.
Gordon Ramsay might make it seem like using a deep fryer is as easy as pouring yourself water from the tap. But I can understand how scary an oil-spitting cooking appliance can be for novice home cooks.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare fried chicken for yourself whenever you want. You just have to follow the steps in this guide and take necessary precautions. Now, it’s time for you to try a recipe and let me know:
Share your responses and favorite recipes with me in the comments below.
REVIEWED BYSince always, I am passionate about food; I enjoy writing and want to share my passion and offer quality articles to my readers. I have lived nine years in France, where I learned all about culinary arts.