Most of us like to fry foods but not all of us own a deep fat fryer. Deep fat fryers are a safer way to fry, the electric deep fat fryers are thermostatically controlled, they have rubber grip feet to anchor them to the work surface, they have a lid that shuts down securely so that the oil cannot spit or tip and the majority of them have an inbuilt mechanism that automatically shuts the fryer off if the unit is accidentally tipped over.
Can we fry without a deep fat fryer? Of course we can but there is a need to be far more vigilant toward the whole process. If you are going to deep fat fry and you have no electric fryer then you will need a large high-sided saucepan with a long handle. The high sided pan will contain the cooking oil safely and the long handle will allow you plenty of room to manoeuvre the pan without getting your hands too near the red hot metal.
You will need to put some oil into the saucepan so that you are ready to fry but make sure that the pan is no more than half filled with oil so that it does not present a danger to you. If you are frying meat then you may want to test the temperature of the fat so use a thermometer and make sure that the oil is up to temperature before you begin to fry. As you lower the food into the pan make sure that you lower it in very carefully, hot fat often spits and it can cause a nasty burn. The pan of fat will be on top of the stove so you will have to watch it all of the time, you cannot afford to walk away and leave the pan.
If you have a cooker hood then make sure that it is open before you begin to fry, if you have no cooker hood then it could be a good idea to open the kitchen window to let some of the cooking steam escape. Treat the pan of fat with respect and watch it carefully. Stand over the pan while your food is frying and be ready to lift the food out straight away once it is done.
Once you have removed your food from the saucepan of oil then the pan will need to be left to cool off. Once the saucepan is completely cool then you can take a funnel and pour the cold oil back into the bottle ready to use again. If you have a piece of muslin then it may be an idea to strain the fat through the piece of muslin before you decant it to ensure that any bits are strained off.
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