How to use a Deep Fryer: Step by Step Guide
Whether you're looking to get a deep fryer for home in the near future, or you were recently gifted one and want to learn how to use it, we'll be sure to help you understand all the basics of how to use a deep fryer. Afterwards, we'll even give you additional tips and tricks to ensure you have all the information you need.
A step by step guide on How to use a Deep Fryer
Step 1: Fill your Deep Fryer with Oil
The first step in starting your deep fryer is filling it with oil. You'll do this even before you turn on the deep fryer, because you don't want your deep fryer to heat up before the oil is inside the fryer. A lot of deep fryers will have an internal mark as a maximum limit to how high you can fill your oil up. This is to ensure that your deep fryer still has enough room for the basket of food to fit without overflowing.
Step 2: Turn on your Deep Fryer and set your Temperature
Once your oil is set, the next step is to turn the deep fryer on. You'll start by plugging your deep fryer in. It's good to know that a lot of deep fryers have magnetic plug-ins that lock into the deep fryer itself. The reason they are magnetic is because they're meant to break away if they get tugged in. So if somebody trips on the plug, or simply catches it on something, the deep fryer will unplug. The last thing you want is to knock over a pot of burning oil. Once plugged in, the deep fryer should have an on/off switch, or can be turned on by moving the temperature dial to a specified heat. Foods can deep fry in large array of temperatures, so ensure you know what temp your food should be at.
Step 3: Prepare your Food
You'll want to ensure your deep fryer is completely heated before setting the food inside. If you try and put it in too early, the lower temperature could make the food soggier by the time its done. For examples, fries should be cooked at 375° F if you want them nice and crispy. However, if the deep fryer is only at 300° F when you put them in, they could be a big soggy by the time they're done.
As you're waiting for your deep fryer to heat up, you can prepare your food, if you haven't already done this. It's important to ensure your food is dry. If you're cooking frozen food, this is usually pretty simple. However, a lot of fresh foods contain a lot of moisture. You'll want to pat that food down and dry it up as much as you can before putting it in the oil. The food will simply react to the oil better giving you a better end result.
Step 4:Time to Start Deep Frying
At this point it's time to start the deep fry process. Now most deep fryers come with a basket to place the food into and then lower into the deep fryer. As long as you lower the food slowly, you'll be fine.
However, some models such as the Presto Fry Daddy come with a slotted scoop/spoon. As long as these can handle the heat, they can be used as well. If you have a deep fryer without these tools, you'll have to use your own tools. A pair of tongs would work just fine.
Step 5: Watch your Cook Time
If you're new to deep frying, we recommend simply watching the food. Most deep fried foods do not take a lot of time to cook, so simply paying attention to the color of your food seems to be effective, at least until you're able to nail down a routine.
Of course, if you deep fry enough, or trust the internet to let you know how long you should deep fry a certain food, you can always set a timer. Some deep fryers even come with their own timer.
Step 6: Take out your Food
In the final step of actually deep frying your food, this is where you simply take your food out of the deep fryer. If you use a basket, make sure to lift your food above the oil, give the basket a few light shakes to drain as much oil as possible, and then pour it onto a paper-towel lined plate. The paper towels will help absorb some of the oil.
Step 7: The Cool Pat Down
I call this the cool pat down because while the food is still hot, I like to grab even more paper towels and pat down the top of the food. Simply letting the oil sit on the food could absorb more oil or simply give you an oily taste. Besides, deep frying isn't the healthiest method to cook with in the world, so you might as well minimize the oils where you can.
Step 8: Turn Off your Deep Fryer and Eat
Before going onto eating, it's always best to double check and make sure your deep fryer is actually turned off properly. You'll want to clean out your oil eventually, but that can't be done while the oil is still steaming. Once your deep fryer is turned off, simply enjoy the food.
Step 9: Clean your Deep Fryer
After each use of your deep fryer, you should probably at least check in on the oil and do some simple maintenance with the fryer. Some fryers come with drain systems, while others come with tools to help you filter out the food particles sitting in the oil. It's okay to reuse your oil over and over again, until it goes bad.
If you choose to do so, you can drain your oil into a container in order to clean out your deep fryer. A lot of deep fryers come in multiple dishwasher safe parts, while others it may be best to hand wash. If you don't want to clean your deep fryer after each use, at least filter through the oil with a skimmer in order to get out any food particles. Food chunks simply sitting in your oil for a week straight isn't the ideal health scenario.
If you're unsure when or how often you should change your oil, check out our guide here.
If you're simply trying to learn about how to use a deep fryer, there are probably additional things you should know before simply starting up your deep fryer. You might be asking yourself several questions such as....
- What kind of deep fryer should I get? Check out our Best Deep Fryers list here
- What are things I can deep Fry?
- What oil should I use? Check out Best Oil for Deep Frying: Complete Guide
- How often should I change out my oil? Check out our guide on How Long Does Oil Last in a Deep Fryer?
On top of these questions, there are probably some things that you should know that you may not even think to ask. The biggest thing is about safety. Because lets be honest, when your frying oil in a pot at degrees close to 400° F, then you should probably know how to react to certain situations.
Safety tips when Learning how to use a Deep Fryer
- Know that all oils are different. Oils have a lot of properties but one of the most important properties is the smoke point. A smoke point of an oil is the point in which it will start smoking and eventually catch fire. The higher the smoke point of an oil, the safer it is to use. For example, fries should be cooked at 375° F. However, coconut oil usually has a smoke point of around 350° F. This would be a bad example of trying to heat a oil up too high. If your oil starts smoking, then you are either cooking at too high of a temperature, or you've exceeded the life span of the oil and need to use some new oil.
- In case of fire- If you follow simple guidelines, you shouldn't have to worry about a fire being caused by your deep fryer, but regardless you should know what to do if a fire starts. If your oil catches fire, it's best to cover it up with a non-glass lid. DO NOT try and put it out with water, because the water will rapidly splatter an oil fire.
- If possible, cover your deep fryer with a lid. Not every deep fryer comes with a lid, and they're not necessary, but they do help maintain oil odors, smoke, and splattering oil. If your deep fryer is deep enough, even without a lid, you shouldn't have much oil splattering out.