6 Tips to keep your Deep Fried Foods Extra Crispy
There's nothing quite like the taste of crispy deep fried food. On the flip side, there's also nothing quite like the taste of a soggy deep fried dish. Fret not, we'll help you ensure your food comes up nice and crisp by following 6 simple tips.
Here's a quick overview of all the things you can do to ensure your food comes out crispy when deep frying.
1) Don't put your food on paper towels. Instead used perforated sheets/cookie sheets.
2) Ensure your oil temperature doesn't drop.
3) Make sure you're using the correct oil.
4) Some foods such as french fries come out crispier when you fry them twice.
5) Coat your food with Batter
6) Ensure your oil is still fresh
Use Cooling Racks
When people deep fry at home, they usually put paper towels on a plate and pour the food onto the plate. While that is extremely easy and it works, sometimes its not ideal. When that happens, your food can sit and soak in extra oil, making it soggier. Instead, consider using a cooling rack set above a cookie sheet. Oil can drip from the cooling rack onto the cookie sheet pan. Now, your food won't be sitting in oil, and there'll be enough air for your food to breathe. A bonus tip for this would be that you can set these racks in your oven on low if you're making multiple batches. This ensures all your food stays room and is ready at the same time.
Ensure your Temperature doesn't drop
Keeping a high temperature is paramount when it comes to the crispiness of your food. Lets take french fries for example. If you fry them are 375° F, the hot oil will react nicely with the cold fry. Instead of the oil simply seeping into the fry, the temperature difference will almost create a barrier from the oil and the exterior of the fry. Now, the heat/steam can simply cook through the fry. However, if you've ever made fries at a much lower temperature, lets say 300° F, you'll notice that the fries come out much soggier. This is because at the lower temperature, that barrier is never created and the oil easily seeps into your fries.
There are a few things you need to do to ensure your oil temperature doesn't drop.
The first is to know your equipment. Every deep fryer has a minimum or maximum limit. These limits are not only based on the size of the deep fry but its power. If you are trying to squeeze 3.5 liters of oil into a deep fryer with a maximum of 3 liters, not only could your fryer over flow, but the deep fryer may have a larger struggle keeping the oil warm. No matter what kind of tools/fryer you use, follow your manual.
The second thing is probably the easiest and most common error in deep frying at home, and that's simply overcrowding your deep fryer. What happens when you pour an ice bucket into a sink full of hot water? Your temperature drops. The more ice you put in and the more the temperature drops. This simply commonsense concept is applied to deep frying. Most things you put into a deep fryer or either room temperature or cold. The oil is obviously hot. The more food you put into the deep fryer, the further your oil temperature will drop. We've already discussed what deep frying at below standard temperatures can do to fries. More batches will most definitely come out better than overfilled batches.
Use the correct Oil
When we say use the correct oil, we simply mean use an oil type with a high smoking point. A smoke point is at what temperature an oil will start to break down and produce a bluish smoke. Given that most deep fryers reach a temperature of 375°F, it's important to have an oil that at least reaches this amount. Although, we recommend oils that reach 400°F just to be safe. Check out our guide on the best oil to use when deep frying.
Know your Food
If you want to make the crispiest food, sometimes you simply need to know your specific food. For example many restaurants use a specific strategy when it comes to their french fries. That strategy is to lightly deep fry the french fries and then put them in a freezer overnight. Finally, they'll deep fry them a second time until they're golden. This produces a very soft yet crispy texture to the french fries.
An additional thing to know when frying fresh food is to ensure the food is try. For example, you don't simply want to take your fresh vegetable and throw it straight into the deep fryer without any prep. Chances are your vegetable is holding a lot of excess water on its exterior. Water doesn't mix well with burning oil, so it's always best to pat down your food to get it as dry as possible.
Depending on what you are deep frying, it may be pretty bare. Batter can be put onto just about anything, is easy to make, and offers a lot of flexibility with taste. Who doesn't love fried chicken? Batter. You can turn a hot dog into a corn dog with some simple batter.
On top of providing a nice crisp texture, batter can add a lot of flavor and texture. From smooth batter for your hot dogs to the nice crispy batter for chicken, batter is nothing but flexible. Even better, batter doesn't need to be plain. Spicy batter and beer batters can add a lot of additional flavor for your favorite foods.
Ensure your oil is Fresh
Keeping oil fresh at a restaurant is actually much easier than doing so at home. That's because they use high smoke point oils and cook a lot of food throughout the day. All they need to do is change the oil every few days depending on their uses.
However at home, most households don't deep fry food every day, or often even every week. The problem with this is that oil will rotten overtime if not kept in an air tight container. No, your deep fryer lids will not keep your oil in an airlock environment.
When your oil is no longer fresh, it can lower the smoke point of your oil as well as alter the taste of your favorite deep fried foods. That's why its important to ensure your oil remains fresh. We've created a whole guide on this already, but to make it easy, we'll cover the basics here.
There are a few signs that will let you know your oil is starting to go bad:
- Your oil has darkened considerably compared to when you first started using it
- The oil gives off a bad smell
- Anytime your oil starts to give off a colored smoke that is more than just steam, stop using it immediately.
- Your food doesn't taste like it normally does
Overall, if you know the signs of oil that has gone bad, it's really easy to see the signs of when it starts to go bad. It's nothing to fret over, but it is important to understand.
When it comes to deep fried food, the crispier the food the better. To avoid letting your food become soggy either during or after the cooking process, you only need to follow a few simple steps. Ensure your using a fresh and proper oil with a high smoke point. Ensure your deep frying your food at the desired temperatures. Once done, ensure you let the food sit on cooling racks rather than paper towels. If these tips are followed, your guaranteed to produce some tasty, crispy deep fried food.