Deep fat frying involves submerging food in hot oil until it reaches a safe minimum internal temperature. The outside is crunchy while the inside is cooked safely.
While deep fat frying allows you to prepare fair food in your own kitchen, extreme safety measures must be followed.
- For grease fires, never use water to extinguish a fire. Water causes the flaming oil to splatter and spread. Call 911 immediately if a grease fire occurs.
- Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
- Never leave your fryer unattended. Frying is a fast cooking process. Food can blacken, burn and become a fire hazard if cooked only a few minutes too long.
- If you are using a deep fryer, do not add food while the basket is submerged in oil to prevent splattering oil.
- If you are frying in a skillet or pot, use a metal slotted spoon or tongs to take the food out of the oil. Plastic can melt in the oil.
- Use a clean food thermometer to check the food’s internal temperature after you have removed it from the hot oil.
- After frying, wait until the fryer has completely cooled (approximately 2 hours) before cleaning.
Five healthful alternatives to frying foods
While fried food may seem like an American classic, consider trying one of these healthful alternatives. They involve less fat and don’t sacrifice flavor.
- Sautéing and stir-frying: Sautéing is a quick and easy cooking method. Because it’s so fast, the food retains more of its nutrients. Stir-frying is similar to sautéing, but it happens at a higher temperature and faster speed. The food is constantly stirred so it doesn’t burn.
- Steaming: This frying alternative makes vegetables tender, bright and full of flavor.
- Grilling: This method gives food a rich, smoky flavor, and you don’t add any oil or fat.
- Roasting and baking: You can bake almost all foods you’d usually fry and still make them crispy and tasty!
- Braising and stewing: This method involves cooking ingredients slowly in flavorful liquid on low heat. Food becomes tender and full of flavor.