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Old 04-02-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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Make sure your oil of choice has a high enough smoke point for your desired frying temperature. I prefer canola oil as an all around good fry oil for anything my college taste buds may require.

Here's what I fry at:

French fries - Once at 320 Fahrenheit, then again at 375 Fahrenheit.

Fish - 350 Fahrenheit (for thin fish like tilapia).

Tempura vegetables - 350 Fahrenheit.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:05 PM   #12
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Any tips on how to keep the temp. static? Got it up to 360, kept rising so turned heat down, oil seemed to stay at 390 for a long time so took it off heat, kept returning to ring and away to keep the temperature relatively static. I suppose the answer is to keep adjusting the knob until it stays at one temperature...

Also: looking for some extensive deep fry ideas, methods, temps...only really interested in very quick cooking times / foods which will not absorb the oil (just tried aubergine slices for 40 seconds but that fruit is a sponge basically - I couldn't get rid of the excess oil)
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #13
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I don't use a thermometer and have always winged the frying process. It may not be scientific but works for me. I would assume however that you would have to keep adjusting the knob until you hit the desired temperature. If you throw in frozen foods (to fry) it will reduce the oil temperature instantly so you would almost have to.

I prefer an electric fryer because it does a better job of controlling temperature. I have never owned one because I don't normally fry foods and it just seems like one more appliance that will collect dust and get minimal use but have used it in my aunts house and works really well.

As far as oil absorbtion goes almost all foods will absorb oil but some at a lesser degree than others. In my opinion the ones that absorb more oil are:

Breaded foods or bread (it is like a sponge)
Anything that is a thick batter (tempura batter, Indian pakoras, falafel etc) that you drop into the oil. It essentially absorbs (sucks up) the oil as it cooks. Again not scientific explanation just my observation
Eggplant amongst veggies is another sponge and so are mushrooms. I prefer baking them to frying them since they release their liquids and get concentrated in flavor. Just hit them with some oil and bake.

I find that the food that does not soak up a lot of oil and tastes great (if done correctly) are eggrolls, samosas and any other wrapper products. Turkey,chicken,fish and meatballs can be fried as well and it does not absorb a lot of oil if you do it correctly using the right temperature.
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:12 PM   #14
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Excellent advice! Thanks so much. I'm a veggie (forgot to say) but will try some samosas next I think. Do you think there is any point refrying things to get them even crispier? Does it just make them more oil filled?
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:23 PM   #15
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I never fry anything twice. There are several things in Indian cooking as well that call for double frying to make it super crispy. I feel like it makes them even more oily. The key is as Andy mentioned earlier in this thread to know how to fry the stuff correctly. Example if you have something that has a thick crust you fry them on medium low heat until they are nice and golden. Same with eggrolls and other products.

Since you said you are a vegetarian I will tell you that the best thing I like (I am Indian and love my veggies) fried are pooris. If you don't know what they are - You make a simple flour dough, let it rest, roll it into small to medium size circles and deep fry on high heat for a minute on each side. They puff up and get yummy and soft. You serve them with some spicy potatoes, seasoned pickle and a side of mango lassi. I think sharing this recipe made me crave for some I have to make myself some soon
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:47 PM   #16
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Never fry anything twice? But...but...cripsy is the essence of fried food!

Well, this proves to each his own. The only thing I regularly fry twice is the french fries I mentioned above, and those are better than most fast food chain fries I've had, with the single exception of Good Times.

As for making it more oily, I'd disagree. I had a plate of fries after the first fry and a plate after the second and noticed no distinguishable difference in oiliness. Light and fluffy, both ways. Only difference was the crispy crust in the second fry. Its up to you and your own palate and how sensitive it may be to any furtive oil that may slither its way into your food.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:58 PM   #17
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Hi Garrett, you are right it's more about taste and as I indicated some of the stuff we make (I am Indian) is not that crispy or great when it's twice fried and I definitely think it's more oily. I cannot comment on home made french fries since I barely ever make them. I am ashamed (hang my head in shame :-)) to say that if my kids absolutely like to have fries I get the Ore Ida ones and just bake them instead. I am sure if I made them from scratch I would appreciate twice fried.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:56 PM   #18
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If done right, frying food should not cause it to absorb much oil at all. Yes there will be a little bit, but not more than if you used oil in a stir fry or something like that.

When you put food in oil to deep fry what happens is the hot oil turns the liquid inside to food to steam. The steam pushes put of the food which keeps the oil from soaking in. The bubbles you see when you deep fry something is all that steam rising up through the oil. If the oil is not hot enough then steam will not be produced and the food will soak up oil. If the oil is too hot then the steam will be produced too fast basically using up all the liquid in the food before the food is cooked. This again because there is no more steam then the food will soak up oil. Keeping the right temp will help make sure your food does not soak up much oil at all.

As for regulating the temp, you need to ride the temp control knob. as you put food in it will drop the temp. The more food you put in the more it will drop.
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