Deep-frying is a favorite method of preparing dishes, where one can bite into that crispy texture, that complements the meat or vegetable, that the batter encases. Fried chicken is what people usually look to for a downing session. The famous ‘bucket of chicken’ is what we’re familiar with, when it comes to junk food. Here, we look into how oil is everything when it comes to deep-frying. You want to get the best in fried food, by knowing exactly what kind of oil would work well with it.
Choosing the Right Oil for Deep-Frying
When picking out the best oil for deep-frying, you need to first understand what is a smoke point. A smoke point is when oil is heated up to a temperature where free fatty acids and glycerol break down. It is then further broken down to acrolein, which is when cooks display that bluish flame that engulfs the top of the frying fan. When the smoke point comes into consideration, flavor and the breaking down of nutrients come forth. That is why it is crucial to know which oil has to be used for deep-frying, to make sure you don’t ruin the dish. The best oils when it comes to their smoke points are.
Canola oil (high oleic): Smoke point is 246°C
Peanut oil (Refined): Smoke point is 232°C
Grape seed oil: Smoke point is 216°C
Safflower oil (Refined): Smoke is 266°C
Avocado oil: Smoke is 271°C
Sunflower oil (refined): Smoke point is 232°C
Soybean oil (refined): Smoke point is 232°C
Avocado oil: Smoke point is 271°C
Almond oil: Smoke point is 216°C
When deep-frying foods, you can use anything by following this method of frying below. Even deep-frying fish works well for this. The oils mentioned above have high cholesterol content in them, so you need to watch out for how often you deep-fry foods when using those oils. The best deep-frying oil to use, would be grape seed oil, being a healthier option to the others.
What You’ll Need
½ cup flour
One small bottle/single can of beer
Grape seed oil/oil of your choice with high smoke point
1½ teaspoon of salt
Fire extinguisher (just in case)
Method of Preparation
When you defrost the chicken/fish, make sure you wipe away any water or juice, that may still be on it. You want it nice and dry, since water makes oil sputter. First prepare your batter, for the deep-frying. Mix in your flour, beer, chili flakes, and salt. Make sure it is a nice consistency when you mix it all up. The secret behind using beer, is to achieve that nice golden crisp batter, since the bubbles create that air for it to go crunchy in texture. Keep it aside, and get to heating up your oil now. When heating oil, keep it at a low fire, until it gets to a point where it is hot enough to submerge your meat. When the oil surface starts to ripple, you know that your oil is hot enough, or you could drop in a square piece of bread to see if it rises, and is deep brown in color. Using filleted fish/chicken, is the best thing to do, since it gets evenly fried without it being undercooked from within. Dip in your chicken/fish into the batter, and then plop it gently into the wok, at a close range, without dropping it in from a height. You don’t want hot oil spill out. Don’t overcrowd the wok with all your pieces; fry 3-4 pieces at a time. Don’t leave that spot to do something else, since it needs your attention from start to finish. When you turn it about in the oil, make sure the outside is golden brown, signaling that it is done. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. When that’s done, you can then place them on kitchen paper rolls, to soak up the excess oil. There you have it; crispy battered chicken/fish, ready to be devoured with barbecue sauce or a lemon garlic dip.
Deep-frying is a nice way to get food tasting yummier than it would if you had fried it (sautéed), or cooked it in a gravy. It’s a nice way of experimenting with not just cooking meats, but with vegetables, fritters, ‘twinkies’ and of course donuts. There are different ways to use oil as a medium to get golden battered foods, that taste so much more sinful when it has been deep-fried to perfection.