Perfect Deep Frying

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Perfect Deep Frying

Frying has long been the preferred method of cooking in our part of the country.  Even though we share a multitude of delicious chicken recipes on, we would be lying if we said we liked any of them better than Grandma Paul’s Fried Chicken.  There is something about frying chicken, catfish, hushpuppies or okra that just feels and tastes like home.  Gosh knows it smells like home for days after too! 

For safe and tasty frying, remember these tips the next time you decide to drop something wonderful into a shiny pot of peanut oil.

*Making sure the oil is at the optimum temperature before frying will help keep oil absorption to a minimum which helps to cut back on fat and calories.

*The optimum temperature for deep frying is almost always between 350ºF and 375ºF.  Check the oil temperature by using a frying thermometer.

*If you don’t have a frying thermometer at your disposal, check the temperature of the oil by dropping a cube of crustless white bread in the oil. It should be golden brown in about 60 seconds.
*Use Canola oil or Peanut oil for deep frying.  It is low in saturated fat, has a high burning point and does not detract from the flavor of the food you are frying.

*Nobody likes a crowd!  Avoid crowding food when you are deep frying.  To cook properly, food being deep fried needs to be surrounded by hot oil.  Adding too many items to the hot oil at once will reduce the temperature of the oil resulting in greasy and soggy food.

*NEVER fill the pot you are frying in more than halfway with oil.  This will ensure no dangerous bubbling over when your food is added.

*Towel off BEFORE going in for a swim?  Drying your food well with paper towels before adding to the deep fryer will help reduce the amount of hot oil splattering out of the pan.

*Make sure the pieces of food you are frying are uniform in size.  Foods the same size will cook in the same amount of time.

*To put out a fat fire put a lid over the pot.  Baking soda also puts out a fat fire. 

*Discard oil that has begun to smoke and start over.  Smoke indicates burned oil which will give off an unpleasant odor to your fried food. 

Paula’s Trick:
Paula’s Aunt Peggy taught her this trick.  To prevent oil from blackening when deep frying, try this trick.  Put a wedge of carrot in the oil.  It will act as a magnet for black flecks that accumulate when frying. 

Recipe Links:

Deep Fried Pickles
Southern Fried Oysters
The Lady and Son’s Chicken Fingers
Crab Balls
Corn Fritters
Fried Shrimp
Grandmother Paul’s Fried Chicken
Fried Apple Pies

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Reader Comments:


sure miss watching you cook

By jeannie on February 19, 2014


Thanks for Paula's trick. Will sure try it out.

By tinuks on April 02, 2013


Love Paula she's the best....

By Joann on September 07, 2011


it,s good when you coat chicken with buttermilk.....then dip in flour mix,with a lot of your chicken seasoning mix...garlic, flavor mate,kentucky seasoning spice.....put flour in bag........shake good first,then start coating chicken.flour.then buttermilk......then coat is so kfc.....

By juanita stahl on September 06, 2011


I am a Southerner (Atlanta, Ga) transplanted to Northern Ontario. I love the hint of a piece of carrot in the oil to attract the brown flecks. I have never heard of that before. When I fry my chicken or country fried steak, I soak the meat for about 20 minutes in a mixture of buttermilk and tabasco sauce. Really gives a little kick of flavor!

By Susan Reeves on March 02, 2011


Hi, Paula. You and I are distant cousins. My grandfather (Will) was your grandfather's brother. I wanted to leave the hint on fried chicken that my mother left me though I can't make it like she did. Hers was always so perfect, crusty on the outside and when you bit into it, the meat was so juicy. And it was never greasy. To get the wonderful crust, she would flour the chicken once and then sprinkly it with water. Then she floured it again. What a great crust. Also, she fried it at a high temperature to cook it quickly and covered it when she first starting cooking it to get the inside cooked. Then she cooked it without the cover and turned it to make it crusty.

By Donna M Cross on March 02, 2011


I gotta say, in a pinch pancake mix and Bisquick puts a fat fire out too..LOLOLOL!!

By Brandy Monk on March 02, 2011


Astin B. God bless you and thanks for your advice. It's a good reminder how hot oil is really volatile.

By Anonymous on March 02, 2011


Definitely make sure you watch your oil closely. Never leave heating oil unattended. Grease fire burns are dangerous, painful, and can be deadly. I survived a grease fire accident 9 years ago and I am very diligent now to watch the oil closely and have all things needed to extinguish burning oil quickly. NEVER use water. smile

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