Tag Archives: Deep fryer

Why we got rid of our deep fryer

So, you all came here today expecting a recipe to follow on from my Deep frying post yesterday. Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but as we got rid of our Deep Fryer years ago, I don’t have any way of preparing and photographing a dish, even if I wanted to. That’s not strictly true, I could use the cooker top method. However, it’s difficult to control the oil temperature as well as being dangerous and to be honest it’s not something I’m really comfortable with, so I’ve decided instead to tell you about why we got rid of our deep fryer.

Fish and chips, a popular take-away food of th...
Image via Wikipedia

The short version of this story is because I was morbidly obese and deep frying was one of the reasons that I had become (and remained) that way. The long version goes a bit more like this…

When we first got our deep fryer it was a fabulous tool – every so often, we’d have chips with our dinner or onion rings or some battered fish etc. This is back in the days when I was first starting to cook “properly” from scratch. It was really handy just to be able to fire something in there to go with whatever I was cooking from scratch.

That was part of the problem though, it was too easy, too convenient. What’s for dinner tonight? Fish and chips? Chicken, chips and onion rings? Steak and chips? you get the idea and what was even worse was that we were using frozen chips, onion rings etc. We weren’t even cutting our own potatoes not to mention cooking from scratch for more than half our meal but that was OK cause at least we were cooking something from scratch!?

In truth, that would be fine if we were only doing it occasionally, but it started to become multiple times a week. All because of the convenience and the easy excuse “I’m too tired to cook after a long day in the office”. And then there was the smell of chipper throughout our entire home. It became easy to use the same excuse to leave the cleaning of the fryer and changing of the oil until the weekend.

Eventually we came to our senses and we said that we would put the fryer away in the back of one of the cupboards and try to eat “proper food” for 2 weeks. Thankfully, about 6 months later we discovered the fryer in the back of the same press and it wasn’t a pretty reunion, as soon as I lifted the lid and got the smell from inside I gagged and I knew deep fried food had returned to it’s proper place in my diet as a treat every once in a while.

Have I ever regretted it? On occasions, when I see a nice piece of cod in the fish monger or when we visited Fifteen Amsterdam on holidays and tasted deep fried Zucchini for the first time, oh and that time experimenting with Gnocchi before service in a restaurant kitchen and someone threw the little pillows of heaven in and crisped the outside, they were divine!

Overall though I don’t regret getting rid of our deep fryer, we both lost weight and are healthier as a result :)

Deep-Frying

Deep frying
Image via Wikipedia

Deep-frying is the process where food is immersed in hot oil or fat to be cooked. Food can be partly cooked in advance and then finished just before being served.

To partially cook food you immerse it in the preheated (to 160C-175C) fat or oil until softened and not coloured.

To fully cook food you immerse it in the preheated (to 170C-190C) fat or oil until cooked through and crisp on the outside.

While it is relatively easy to deep fry food with the correct tools (basket or spider), there are a number of things to be concerned about, first you are cooking in either fat or oil, so it’s important to remove as much of this as possible after cooking. The most common way is by shaking as much off the food as possible as soon as it is removed from the cooker and then rested on clean kitchen paper to absorb more of the oil.

It’s important to have the correct amount of fat or oil for the food you wish to cook and this should be changed regularly to avoid the build up of hydrogenated fats (a.k.a. bad stuff). It’s also vitally important to remove as much excess moisture as possible from the food before frying to prevent accidents.

In most cases a specific deep fat fryer should be used, however you could use a large saucepan. I would strongly recommend that if you are going to deep fry then use a dedicated deep fat fryer as this will have its own temperature controls and is far less likely to go on fire than any cooker top method of deep-frying. That said it’s always a good idea to have a fire-blanket and an appropriate fire extinguisher handy as well as knowing how to use them!