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Old 08-14-2007, 08:42 PM   #1
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Deepfryer substitute

I tried a search but couldn't find anything on the subject...

Anywhoo...

Can you deepfry in anything other than an actual deepfryer? I think I remember seeing someone do it in a Dutch oven? (someone on Food Network) Is that safe? Can you do it in say, a large Teflon pot? Like what you would boil pasta in. Or would it melt the Teflon... I've used a Teflon frying pan to do shrimp with maybe 1/4 " of oil and turned them over. Which leads me to ask... is there a difference in doing that, and actually deepfrying?

Sorry if these are silly questions, but I don't want to do anything dangerous.

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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What are you trying to make?
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:51 PM   #3
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Fried shrimp
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:52 PM   #4
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A dutch oven is a very traditional vessel to use for deep frying. I would not use a teflon coated one though. It might be safe, I am not sure, but I would not do it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
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Yes, jen, you can deep-fry in a pot other than a deep-fryer.

The best vessel is a fairly deep, heavy pot. Cast-iron would be ideal, but if you don't have a deep cast-iron pot, any other heavy pot will do. You can use Teflon, it won't melt off. (I have a small electric deep fryer that is Teflon-coated.) If you are using a pot with a handle, make sure the handle is positioned toward the center of the stovetop. Things like sleeves, bracelets, etc. could get caught on the handle and cause you to knock the pot of hot grease/oil off the stove. You do not want to go there.

One important thing to remember is to NEVER fill your pot more than 2/3 the way with oil because when frying, the oil will bubble up when food is introduced. If the pot is too full, the risk of a boil-over and a grease fire is very great.

However, if you do have a "fire" problem, you can extinguish a (small) grease fire by dumping a lot of salt or baking soda on it or by covering it with a lid to deprive it of oxygen. NEVER try to handle a large fire of any kind by yourself. That's what 911 is for.

I'm not trying to scare you, just give you some safety hints so you can have a good frying experience.

Also, if you have food that is wet or has a high water content, be prepared for lots of splattering. That's just the cooler water hitting the very hot oil.

Now that I've gone on, what do you want to fry?
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thank you Katie! And an extra thank you for the safety tips and how much to fill it. I didn't even think of that

I'm going to attempt to make my first copy of a recipe called BangBang Shrimp from a local restaurant called Bonefish Grill.

Thanks for the quick replies, gonna go fix it now!
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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One other tip, is to get a deep-fat / candy thermometer (available at most stores). Basically, it's a large glass thermometer with a clip that attaches to the side of your pan. Put the bottom of the thermometer in the oil. When it hits 350, you're ready to go. However, when you put some cold food into the oil, the temperature will drop, so turn the heat up to maintain 350. Be prepared to adjust the heat up and down as you're cooking on the stove.

The bigger/heavier pan you use, and the more oil you use, will help even out these temperature swings. However, as previously stated, do NOT fill the pot with so much oil that it bubbles over when you add the food. You may have to cook in small batches to prevent large temperature swings.

That's why I prefer to use a counter-top deep-fryer, as it has a thermostat built-in and keeps the heat at 350.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:31 PM   #8
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Yes you can do it these ways but why not buy a cheap small fryer.Takes out the guess work no problem.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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all of the above is true 1) a heavy pot, 2) no more than 2/3 full, 3) a thermometer 4) type of oil: canola or peanut are good for frying and have high smoke points. 5) a metal slotted spoon or strainer for removing the fried foods.

I personally don't want a deep fryer, and like a cast iron dutch oven for frying in. FOr small batch frying I use a Wok because I can get the oil deep enough without using a lot as the shape is conical. It has wide sides and I can swish the food around easily with a chinese spider web strainer ...I like it for shrimp especially.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:22 PM   #10
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Thank you again for the replies! Cooking and eating is done. Deepfrying was successful... recipe was not. I should have known when the recipe I followed made a batter. It was ok, but more like if you were making sweet and sour shrimp. I wanted a crispy, light, crunchy coating. I will have to experiment.

Again, thank you for all your replies!!!
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