Story Posted: 2009-09-09
Deep-Frying: Info & Tips
Source: CanolaInfo, Category:
Health & Nutrition, Recipes & Cooking
Today, we know about the cholesterol in animal fats
and are using more healthful vegetable oils, with high smoke points
like canola, to fry our foods. Most people consider deep frying a high
fat cooking method and while it does yield tasty results, it is usually
considered as occasional cooking methods, for special meals.
Elaine Magee, a Registered Dietitian, has written
over 25 books on nutrition and healthy cooking. She has recently written
"Fry Light, Fry Right!", a "recipe makeover" cookbook
that takes our favorite fried foods and shows us how to cut some of
the bad stuff without losing the the flavor or texture. The techniques
are simple, usually requiring little more than a hot oven or pan, a
small amount of canola oil and other readily available ingredients.
Check out Elaine's book at her recipe
||Healthy food isn't going to do anyone any good if no one is eating it. It has to taste great! (Elaine Magee, Registered Dietitian)
Deep Frying Tips
- It is important to deep fry at the proper temperature
to ensure food cooks properly and doesn't absorb too much oil.
- Maintain a frying temperature of 375 degrees F
(190 degrees C). A batter-coated or breaded surface will quickly form
a protective shield, preventing the oil from penetrating the cooled
food and making it greasy. The food will cook by conduction or indirect
- If the oil is not hot enough, oil will reach the
food before the coating cooks enough to form the protective layer.
The result - greasy food.
- If the oil is too hot, the coating will burn from
the direct heat of the oil before the food has had time to cook.
- Avoid adding salt to food before deep frying.
The salt draws moisture to the food's surface, which will splatter
when the food is added to the hot oil. Salt also lowers the smoke
point and breaks down the oil more quickly. If required, salt can
be added just before eating.
- Fry vegetable foods, like potato chips, while
they are still frozen to limit the fat absorption.
- Avoid crowding the deep fryer with food as it
will lower the oil's temperature, causing the food to take longer
- Preheat the oil to about 15 degrees F (7 to 8
degrees C) higher than its optimal deep frying temperature, allowing
the oil to return to its 'ideal' temperature once cold food is added
to be cooked.
Storing used oil
- When the oil has cooled enough that it is
safe to handle, strain it through paper towels, coffee filters or
cheesecloth into its original empty container or a clean, glass jar.
Do not mix it with unused oil.
- Store the oil, tightly sealed, in a cool, dark
place or in the refrigerator.
It's time for an oil change...
- When loose particles accumulate as sediment at
the bottom of the storage container or are suspended in the oil.
- When smoke appears on the oil's surface before
the temperature reaches 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), your oil will
no longer deep fry effectively.
- When the oil has a rancid or "off" smell
or if it smells like the foods you've cooked in it. The oil should
Facts about Smoke Point!
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which the oil begins
to smoke and smells off. Canola oil has a high smoke point 468 degrees
F (242 degrees C). Each time you deep fry with an oil, you lower its
smoke point irreversibly. If your oil's smoke point is just above 375
degrees F (190 degrees C), which is the normal deep frying temperature,
chances are its smoke point will drop below 375 degrees F (190 degrees
C) after its first use. Click Here to compare Canola Oil's smoke point
to other cooking oils.
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