Author Topic: Frying Equipment  (Read 1856 times)

Offline euge

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Frying Equipment
« on: July 25, 2010, 05:26:33 PM »
Never raised with fried food. Odd considering I'm from the South ;).

However, I want to do some deep frying, like making sweet-potato fries or potato chips, fried shrimp and maybe Vietnamese Spring-rolls. Stuff like that.

I was looking at deep "Fryers" like Waring Pro http://www.amazon.com/Waring-DF250B-1800-Watt-Brushed-Stainless/dp/B0014JM1JE and wondering if I need this much bulky expensive unitasking equipment.

I have stock-pots and sauce-pans. Would a frying thermometer be a better buy?

Ideas? Experiences? Advice?


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Offline denny

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 05:54:49 PM »
America's Test Kitchen just reviewed fryers.  They all had trouble getting to a 375F temp.  The one you show was their top choice, but they said none of them performed anywhere near as well as a dutch oven and a good thermometer.  Their overall recommendation was "save your money".
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 06:24:21 PM »
Yeah, they all suck.

Dutch oven is the way to go, or even just a frying pan.

If you want to save the oil you can get a few frys out of it.Just take a stainer or china cap lined with cheese cloth and strain the oil. Just plan a few meals around the oil and use it to fry fish the last time before you discard it. Store it in a plastic bottle or something after it cools but strain it while it is still hot.

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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 07:41:40 PM »
Dutch oven is the way to go, or even just a frying pan.  If you want to save the oil you can get a few frys out of it.Just take a stainer or china cap lined with cheese cloth and strain the oil. Just plan a few meals around the oil and use it to fry fish the last time before you discard it. Store it in a plastic bottle or something after it cools but strain it while it is still hot.

+1 to all of the above.  I wasn't raised with frying either and just sort of started recently, past year or so.  I have yet to get a great thermometer but a tall stock pot does well for me, and I use a grill thermometer to get a good idea of temps.  Often I just sort of guess and adjust from there!  I thoroughly agree though on the fish fry oil...don't reuse that for non-fish stuff.  I almost did so last night with some pierogies, took a whiff of the saved oil, and decided to sautee them in slanina lard instead. 

A frying appliance seems a bit of overkill and there isn't room in kitchen for one.  A fry basket, on the other hand, might prove useful.  Don't own one now, though, just a pair of tongs.  I mainly fry things like samosas, pierogies, won tons, and egg rolls.


Offline euge

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 08:35:52 PM »
Well that's all good to know! I was leaning towards just a thermometer. The thermopen is really accurate so maybe I can use it. Hate to damage it though.

Have a heavy clad stock-pot though the dutch-oven sounds interesting. I have a 20% off for BBB!

I plan on using a gallon of oil at a time and storing it in a bucket in the fridge.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline beerocd

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2010, 02:33:30 AM »

and decided to sautee them in slanina lard instead. 


YOU ROCK!  ;D
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Offline euge

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2010, 03:04:40 AM »
I ran out to BBB and armed with my 20% coupon got an Emeril 6qt Dutch-Oven. Priced at $49.99 got it for $39.99. I always season any new cast-iron regardless of whether it is "pre-seasoned". Noticeably darker now!

Have a sweet-potato on the counter warming...

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 06:23:14 PM »
Big Le Crueset pot with a thermometer. Better heat retention. For something taller, I'd pull out the All Clad.  For shallower stuff, Lodge cast iron pan.  Same idea.  I tried several kitchen deep fryers and they all seemed pretty lame.  I think you have to go to a commercial kitchen supply place and look for something more robust.  If it can't keep the oil temperature up after you add the food, you're wasting your time and will have limp, greasy food.

You need something more than tongs.  Go get a kitchen spider.  They come in a variety of meshes and handle designs.  I have a Chinese one that has a bamboo handle and a Swiss one that's all stainless with a very tight mesh.  One or the other does pretty much what I need.

A basket is better for lots of small items, but you can probably use a vegetable insert like those that come in steamers.  It doesn't need to be snug with the pot, just fit into it.

If you're heating gallons of oil on the stove, pay close attention to the temperature and know the smoke point of the oil you're using.  Use peanut or canola oil are good.  Most frying is in the 325-375F range, depending on the crispness and color you want, and how long it has to cook.

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Offline babalu87

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 06:36:15 PM »
Oh man I gotta heal up and catch me some Bluefish , this talk of frying has me craving some fried Bluefish.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2010, 06:45:11 PM »
You want to drool over frying?  Two words: duck fat.  Please don't have your heirs curse me.

Never fried bluefish.  Got a recipe?  I usually bake it with a mayonnaise-based sauce on it.  Legal Seafoods recipe from Boston that I liked when I was there in college.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2010, 07:13:04 PM »
You want to drool over frying?  Two words: duck fat.  Please don't have your heirs curse me.

Never fried bluefish.  Got a recipe?  I usually bake it with a mayonnaise-based sauce on it.  Legal Seafoods recipe from Boston that I liked when I was there in college.

Oh we had Fries with Duck Gravy at a place in Northampton, MA on our way out to do turkey hunting this Spring...........Food of the Gods!
We wound up talking them into selling us a quart, it was great on homefries :D

The key to Bluefish is its gotta be VERY fresh.

I'll post a few recipes in a Bluefish thread so this one doesnt get too sidetracked


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Offline euge

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2010, 07:26:22 PM »
I've used the Dutch-Oven a few times to make sweet-potato chips and with russets to make fries. Definitely takes skill to use but I think the DO works really well. My results were eye-opening but nothing to brag about. Will take practice.

My main issue is the temp drop even with just a few pieces frying. With the SP chips it was ridiculous. The twice-fried fries fared a little better. Not bad despite still being a tad greasy.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline beerocd

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2010, 07:53:07 PM »
being a tad greasy.

Raise the temp? As long as you are cooking them and they are releasing moisture the oil cannot simultaneously be entering.
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Offline euge

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2010, 09:35:46 PM »
This is what I was wondering. First the par-fry the fries at 300F, then cool for a bit and fry again at 350F. Getting crispy and done in the center but greasy. I'm trying for a golden brown but they're getting darker so maybe I'm overdoing them?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Frying Equipment
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2010, 10:35:22 PM »
Bourdain talks about fries cooking 6-8 min at 280F, resting 15 on a sheet pan, then cooking 2-3 min at 375F.  He soaks them in cold water beforehand, presumably to remove some starch. His recipe is the Les Halles cookbook, and whether you like him or not, when he was a real chef he did cook a bunch of frites.

Maybe the size of your cut has something to do with it, or how tightly they are packed?  If you put too many fries in the oil, the temperature plunges and you're liable to get greasy fries.  Try cooking less of them at a time, or use a larger volume of oil. But play with the fries-to-oil ratio and see if that helps.  If the fries aren't able to freely swim around in the oil, they aren't getting the benefit of that cooking.

If your fries are greasy but dark, I'd think you're cooking them too long at too low a temperature.  Not necessarily the temperature when you put them in, but the temperature of the oil once they are in.
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