Owning a deep fryer means you can enjoy deliciously crispy fried chicken fingers, fish, or french fries at home. But, we know your first time using it can feel a little intimidating!
It can be tricky to figure out how to properly deep fry foods in oils and fats at high temperatures. And while deep-fryers do make the process a lot easier, there are still a few tips you should know before you use your deep fryer.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor deep-fryer, cooking up a storm can be easy with the right deep-fryer tips.
With our step-by-step guide on how to use a deep fryer, you can enjoy using your deep fryer without any hassle.
How To Use Your Deep Fryer
This step-by-step process applies to both indoor and outdoor deep fryers. The only difference is deep fryers that work with gas have a different method for turning it on or off.
1. Prepare The Appliance For Use
Before you use your deep fryer for the first time, make sure to clean the appliance. Manufacturers recommend cleaning and drying each part thoroughly, especially the deep-fryer oil tank.
Some deep fryers have different setups. So read the manufacturer’s instructions for your deep-fryer before you begin cleaning.
Also carefully remove all packaging material as well as adhesive films from your deep-fryer. Then, use hot water to clean each part. And always remember to wipe your appliance with a clean, dry cloth after washing.
2. Prepare the Oil
Next, prepare the oil by lifting off the lid on your deep-fryer and removing the fryer basket.
Make sure you choose a cooking oil that has a high smoke point. The high smoke point is the temperature at which your oil will start burning your food. For example, coconut oil or canola oil has a high smoke point. Whereas extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point.
So, select an oil with neutral flavors such as peanut oil if you prefer the traditional taste of deep-fried food.
3. Pour the Required Amount of Oil in the Deep Fryer
Then, pour your oil into the deep-fryer. Depending on your model, you can pour up to several liters of vegetable oil into the fryer.
Your deep-fryer will have level indicators printed inside the fryer bowl to show how much oil you should pour.
Ensure the oil level is above the minimum and below the maximum fill line. If your remaining oil level has dropped below the minimum level, it can cause a dangerous grease fire hazard. Therefore always add oil to your deep-fryer before switching it on at the power outlet. But, remember to never add too much oil.
4. Set the Temperature
After pouring the oil, replace the lid on your fryer. Then, plug it into the power outlet and ensure the cord is fully extended before turning it on.
Turn your temperature controls to the desired temperature settings.
Make sure the oil has reached the selected temperature before you gently lower your food into it. Otherwise, your food will absorb excess oil and become soggy.
Depending on your temperature settings and the type of different foods you’re deep-frying, times will vary. For example, see the following frying times for different fried foods:
- Frozen chips: 6 min
- Fried chicken wings: 13 – 18 minutes
- Frozen fish sticks: 5-8 minutes
- Breaded mozzarella sticks: 2-3 minutes
- Frozen shrimps: 4-7 minutes
- Raw doughnuts: 1.5-3 minutes
- Frozen onion rings: 10-15 minutes
5. Add the Food
Once your oil has preheated, it’s time to place your food into the frying basket. Place the basket into the raised position on your fryer. And keep the basket handle in an extended position so the basket is supported while adding food.
To ensure an even cooking process, your food should be of the same size. If you’re frying wet foods, pat the food dry before placing them into the wire basket. This will reduce the amount of water that comes into contact with your hot oil.
Also, you should only fill your basket with less than two-thirds of its capacity. If it’s too full, this can lower the temperature of the oil and cause your food to absorb excess amounts.
And if you’re cooking frozen foods, shake them well before you submerge them into the hot oil. This will ensure the oil completely covers the food evenly in the fryer.
Now, hold the handle and slowly lower your fryer basket into the oil. And don’t drop it into the oil. This can cause the hot oil to splash.
Most deep fryers have a lid. If yours has a lid, you can keep it on or off while you cook. But, we recommend cooking with the lid closed. This can prevent any oil splattering onto your countertop as well as keeping odors inside of the unit.
6. Remove the Food From Hot Oil
When your food has finished cooking, raise your basket out of the oil using the handle. Then, turn off your temperature settings and switch the power off.
To drain oil from your food, keep your basket in the raised position with the handle extended. Allow the excess oil to drip, and then remove your fried food from your deep-fryer. You can also use a slotted spoon to remove deep-fried food from deep-fryers!
Place your food onto a plate or drying rack covered. You can also place your food onto paper towels or baking sheets to absorb excess oil.
Finally, allow your deep fryer to cool completely before removing the oil or cleaning it.
Safety Tips to Use Your Deep Fryer
Make sure you follow these safety precautions when you’re deep-frying.
- Do not leave your deep fryer unattended when it’s switched on.
- Never touch the ventilation area on the lid of your deep fryer as this can generate heat and steam. Also, ensure nothing is blocking this vent at any time.
- Avoid using solid oils or fats such as butter or animal fat. These can increase the risk of a grease fire hazard.
- Hot oil can splatter, so be careful when lowering your fryer basket into the oil.
- Always ensure you add the correct level of oil according to your fryer model. Incorrect oil levels can damage your appliance when cooking. Heating your fryer without any oil can also cause damage.
- Because water and oil don’t mix, it’s important to ensure your cooking area and utensils are dry before deep-frying.
- If you need to add oil when using your deep-fryer, only use cold or cooled oil. Also, pour it very carefully to prevent any oil splashing. In any case, do not mix large quantities of fresh and old oil. If fresh oil comes into contact with old oil, it can spoil faster.
- Never use an outdoor deep-fryer inside of an enclosed area. This is because they run on propane gas, which can be dangerous if used in a covered space.
- Keep your deep fryer at least 10-feet away from any construction or flammable material. Also, do not use it under an apartment balcony or deck.
- Always ensure your fryer is on a stable and non-flammable surface. For example, don’t use a deep-fryer appliance on wood, asphalt, or plastic surfaces as they can burn or melt.
- Finally, always follow your manufacturer guidelines for using your deep fryer. And avoid overfilling your fryer with oil or cooking fried foods that aren’t thawed.
Keep these details in mind when using your deep-fryer.
How Long Can I Use the Same Oil in a Deep Fryer?
While you don’t need to change your oil after each use, you should never use the same oil more than 8 to 10 times.
If you’re frying food with a lot of protein like fried chicken or fish, this can taint your oil quickly. So you’ll need to change it more often. However, if you’re mainly frying potatoes and filtering the oil each time, you can use it for up to 10 sessions. But, do not use the same oil for longer than 6 months.
Keep an eye on the condition of your oil to know if it’s no longer safe to use. For example, if the surface begins to foam or the oil starts smoking. Or, if the oil smells bad or has a thick, syrup-like texture, you should change the oil.
Is It Ok to Leave Oil in a Deep Fryer?
Yes, you can store oil in your deep fryer. However, it’s best to store your oil in an external sealed container if you’re not using it for a long period. And make sure you store it in a cool place.
If you leave your oil in your fryer, you should filter it after each use to remove food debris.
Using a deep-fryer may feel like it has a steep learning curve. But, these tips can make it easy for any cook to enjoy frying their favorite fried treats without any hassle.
You can easily deep-fry up a storm with this simple guide for using your deep-fryer at home.
Remember to choose the right oil, and take caution when submerging your food into the fryer. Make sure you prepare your appliance correctly and use the correct amount of oil and right temperature settings. Lastly, follow the safety precautions to avoid any fire hazards while cooking.
Whether you have an indoor model or outdoor deep fryer, with these tips, you can enjoy a simple and safe cooking process!
Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about using your deep-fryer. Or, share this article with a friend!