How to Make Donuts Without a Deep Fryer

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Just because you don't have a deep fryer doesn't mean you can't make donuts at home. Make donuts without a deep fryer with help from a published cook book author in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dede Wilson, and I'm the author of A Baker's Field Guide to Donuts. I'm going to show you how to fry donuts without a deep fryer. You don't need one, you can just do it at the stove with a thermometer. Believe me, when I was recipe testing for my book I fried dozens of donuts just this way and as long as you have a nice deep pan, you've got some good clean oil, I like to use safflower oil in there, and you've got a digital thermometer, think that's the best way to go. And you want to bring the oil up to between 350 and 355 degrees. Now in my book, various donuts are fried at various temperatures. Certainly follow whatever instructions you have in front of you and for whatever donut recipe you are using. But I find that most recipes tell you to go at 365 and 375 and I think the donuts get too over browned on the outside and that the insides don't cook. So I like to go with a 350, 355. So here are my donuts. This is a sour cream cake donut. They're ready to go into this pot. No fryer needed. And there's two ways you can get them into the oil. Now the safest way is to have a slotted spoon or spatula like you have here and you dip it into the oil so that it has a little bit of an oil coat on, and then what you can do is you can place the donut on to this, lower it in to the fat and then just shake it off like that. And this is going to be the safest way. After frying a few dozen, if you're feeling daring, just slip it in with your fingers. Obviously keeping your fingers away from the fat. And so I'm going to do four at a time in here. This is a big pot but the donuts need room to move around. You can see that these two already came up to the surface. There we go. Now donuts cook very very quickly and just like any cake that you bake where you don't want to over bake it because it could become dry, same goes for donuts. You don't want to over fry them. So what we're looking for is a golden brown color throughout then we'll flip them over once, continue to cook them, and then they'll be done. This only takes a minute or two on each side. It goes really, really quickly. So you want to have waiting for the donuts, you want to have a sheet tray covered with I have three layers of paper towels. Absorbent paper towels and that way the excess oil will drain and then if you want to coat them in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, just have that ready to do. It's actually a donut flipper, believe it or not. There is such a tool. It's really just a wooden dowel with a point on the end. Obviously not very expensive. It's just a little piece of wood. Certainly don't need one. If you have wooden chopsticks at home, you can use them. The long stick lets you stay far away from the fat. That's one of the reasons why this very simple tool works so well. And because it's wood, and it's going in to the oil, it's not going to conduct the heat, so the hand that's holding it will stay safe. And look at that beautiful color. Now we're just going to let them fry on the other side. Different oils have different flash points. Some are great for deep fat frying, and some are not. Canola oil or safflower oil, both of them are great by the way, for frying donuts. They're going to be more expensive than the large jugs labeled vegetable oil. But the problem with vegetable oil is that it's a blend and that blend is made up of different oil sources. Those different oil sources all have different flash points, and I find that frying in vegetable oil, a mixed vegetable oil doesn't give as reliable results. So these look like they're done. They're pretty much the same color top and bottom. Drain the oil off. We're just going to put them here on the paper towels. What I usually do is I flip them over so that the other side can drain of any excess oil. This is a cake donut, so they would be fine plain, they would be great with a glaze, they'd be great with powdered sugar. But I have my favorite right here, which is cinnamon sugar. And what I like to do is I like to put it in a bowl and while the donut is still warm just get it in there so that you can completely submerge it and cover it with that cinnamon sugar and it will stick to it because the donut is still warm and there's a little bit of oil still on the outside that will help the cinnamon sugar stick. I would fry them as close to serving time as possible. Meaning within the hour.. Donuts without a deep fryer couldn't be easier. You'll find plenty of donut recipes in this book, A Baker's Field Guide to Donuts. Yeast, cake donuts, filled, glazed, you name it. They're easy to do without a fat fryer. You can find more recipes at my site,, the baker's resource.


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