How to Use a Home Deep Fryer

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Whether it's sticks of cheese coated in breadcrumbs and fried, batter-dipped onion rings or traditional fried chicken, there's something about deep-frying that gives you a flavor you can't get with anything else. Now, thanks to advances in home kitchen technology, you can prepare your favorite deep-fried recipes yourself. With a little know-how, you can become a fry master in your own kitchen.

  • Buy a model that is easy to use and makes sense for your purpose. The first thing to look for in usability is how easy it is to clean. Consider what you will be using the fryer for. Are you a single person, or the head of a large household? If you are living by yourself or with one other person, it will be easier and cheaper to go with a smaller model.

  • Clean the fryer before you use it. The factory where your fryer was made uses all kinds of chemicals to put together and protect your fryer. While these are great for manufacturing, they aren't so great for consumption. There may be residue left over from the manufacturing plant.

  • Use the right kind of oil for frying. When sautéing in a pan over medium high heat, olive oil is often the top choice for many cooks. When deep frying, however, you are cooking at a much higher temperature, and olive oil has a low smoke point. One of the best choices for deep frying is canola oil. Not only does it have a high smoke point, but it also is relatively flavorless, so you can fry just about anything in it and the end result will taste like the ingredients, not the oil.

  • Fry in small batches. When a food is immersed in oil that isn't hot enough, it doesn't fry and get crisp. Instead, it cooks slowly, letting the surrounding oil soak into the item you are cooking. The main culprit of low oil temperature is overcrowding while frying. If you add too many things to the fryer at one time, the temperature lowers, and the items don't cook properly.

  • Clean your fryer properly as soon as you are done. First, empty and strain the oil. If you haven't fried too much in the oil, you may be able to use it again. Store it in a dark, cool place until you are able to reuse it. Next, let the deep fryer cool, and disassemble it. Wash the inside thoroughly. Not doing so will attract rodents and bugs. Make sure the deep fryer is dry before you store it. Mold and spores are very difficult to clean from the cracks and crevices of a deep fryer, and will affect the taste of anything you cook in it afterward.

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