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Old 11-27-2004, 09:24 PM   #1
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Crisper Batter

O.K., what's the secret to getting a batter to fry up crispy/crunchy?

I am talking about onion rings, sea food, chicken or fish. Even for fish and chips! Chinese restaurants have the secret. So do most fish'n chips joints.

Mine ALWAYS comes out of the pan crisp but goes limp and mushy as soon as it starts to cool and the coating has the consistancy of a limp pancake.

What could I be doing wrong?

I have tried dozens of recipes, different frying temperatures, beer, whole eggs, egg whites, baking powder, flour or corn starch, peanut oil you name it.
:? :x


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Old 11-28-2004, 01:11 AM   #2
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I swear by a product called Drakes Crispy Fry Mix...try it...and play with the various recipes.


You are able to find it in grocery stores!!!

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Old 02-19-2005, 01:49 AM   #3
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I would also suggest looking at the temp you are frying them at. If the oil is not real hot the coating tends to come off or something.

I just made breaded eggplant today and changed my normal routine. Usually I do them in oil in skillet but today I used the wok w/ crisco. I was concerned about gettting it too hot but I really needed these to come out right. Crisco gets hotter than oil and the wok is made for high temps. These eggplants came out real well and I think it has to do with getting it real hot when you first put them in there.
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Old 02-19-2005, 06:22 AM   #4
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From the Barefoot ontessa Family Style Cookbook

3 pounds fish (cod, mahi mahi ,etc) fillets ( thick ones)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground blk pepper
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. AP flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 eggs (large)
Vegetable oil

Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper and cut into chunks

Combine the flour, baking powder,lemon zest, cayenne,1 1/2 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper
Whisk in 1 cup of water and then the 2 eggs.

Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a large frying pan and heat it to about 360 deg.

Dip each piece of fish into the batter allowing excess to drip back into the bowll. Place very carefully into the hot oil . Don't crowd the pieces.

Keep the oil hot. Cook the fish on each side for 2-3 mins until lighltly browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

This is a great recipe and has never failed me. Enjoy
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:24 AM   #5
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Another thing you can do if you're frying in batches is to heat up your oven on low - keep a sheet pan in the oven, and as you finish off and drain a batch, put them on the sheet pan to keep them crispy.

Oh - and another thing that can contribute to 'limpness', is not draining them well as you remove them. Get a 'spider' or a mesh strainer to remove them from the oil, and while you're still holding the strainer over the oil, give it a few shakes to remove as much oil from the food as possible. Then spread them out without touching each other on paper towels or opened up brown grocery bags (I especially like to use these when making tortilla chips).

Or - put a rack (like you'd cool cookies on), on top of a sheet pan and spread out the food to drain on top of the rack.
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Old 02-19-2005, 12:16 PM   #6
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I do the 3rd thing Marmalady suggests and also put them into the 200 deg. oven that way. You really can't leave them long, though, or they will get limp.
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:10 PM   #7
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I agree with jp, a lot of folks don't use the right frying temperature or the right amount of oil.

To get things nice and crispy it's best to deep fry. If you skimp on the oil and cram too many items in the oil that will drop the oil temperature and eventually a more greasier and softer product.

Use plenty of oil and then deep fry small batches at a time. Then as marmalady said ensure you drain all the oil out before placing it on a paper towel. Once you drain it on a paper towel and the oil is absorbed I like to move the items to a cleaner plate so it does not sit in the soaked paper towel and get soggy. I have a warming drawer so I leave it in there until it's time to serve.
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Old 02-26-2005, 04:45 AM   #8
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A few quick tips to proper deep frying:

1. Make sure that your oil is heated properly, between 350-360 degrees. Get a thermometer that can handle the temperature of the hot oil, or one of those self heating deep-fat fryers that have a built in thermostat.

2. Make sure that you have the right amount of oil. You should have enough oil so that when you immerse the food into the fat, it is completely covered. Even when you depress the food in the oil, it should not touch the bottom of the pan or pot.

3. Use the right equipment. Do not use a cooking vessel that is so shallow that the oil comes close to the top when you add the food to the oil. A wok is actually one of the best all-purpose pans to use if you want to deep fry foods.

4. Do not overcrowd the pan. By trying to fry too many food items at the same time, you'll bring down the temperature of the oil, which will not give you the heat that you need to properly crisp the batter of the food.

5. Make sure that your batter is cold. Cold batter equals a crispy coating. It shouldn't be cold like ice water, but it should be in the range of 45-50 degrees.

Hope these help and good luck.
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:57 PM   #9
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Crisp batter? Couldn't be simpler: two words:

Add cornstarch.

A relatively small amount of cornstarch added to any simple flour batter will result in a crisp coating on anything. I know, 'cause I use it often and it never fails. For a thin, crisp coating, use a rather thin batter. For a thick coating, use a thick batter. Fry slow enough to ensure the desired degree of doneness to the coated food, and fry until a golden brown. If you want puffy crisp, be generous with the baking powder and use milk instead of water to activate it.

You can emulate KFC with 32 herbs and spices, or go with just flour, water, salt and some cornstarch. (Tip: too much cornstarch and you get rocks! I generally use about a tablespoonful for a cup of flour.)
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:56 PM   #10
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That's how I make mine sometimes Oldcoot (good to see you!!!!!) - flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Crispy every time. And those times I don't make it that way it's probably because I forgot!!!!


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