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Best Option for Deep Frying


silentbob
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This isn't exactly a gadget, but what do y'all think about deep fryers?
I'm a little surprised to see no responses to this yet. I treated myself to one of the Waring units last year, and am quite pleased. As with a rotofryer (FryDaddy, etc) the food basket can be raised and left to drain for a while before removing from the unit. Unlike a rotofryer, the Waring (and DeLonghi) fryers separate completely into the housing, oil tank, and heating element, much like a miniaturized commercial fryer, which makes thorough cleaning quite easy.

The Waring model that Williams-Sonoma currently sells comes with two half-width baskets in addition to the standard basket, for working with smaller batches. No, it probably won't make fried chicken any better than if you used a deep skillet, but it's terrific for junk foods like frites or Scotch eggs. IMHO.

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I also have a Waring deep fryer from Williams Sonoma - the big kind with the rectangular fry basket (sounds like the same kind as ol ironstomach). I was excited to get it, but I've only used it twice in the last year. It takes a lot of oil (almost a full jug), and you can reuse the oil, but we don't fry as much as I thought we would (it's just two of us). So it turned out not to be as convenient for us because we're not frying often or in large quantities. In hindsight, I could do without the fryer or I should have gotten a smaller one.

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I'm interested in trying deep frying - fritters, maybe chicken, etc.

What is the best stove top mechanism? I'm predisposed toward cast iron, but what shape and size of pan? Or are there better options.

A cast-iron skillet might be too shallow for deep-frying. An enameled dutch oven (like Le Creuset) would be a good choice.
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I have recently discovered that a wok works very well. I'm talking about a real Chinese-made 14" steel wok on a really good heat source (mine is a Bluestar range using the 22k btu burner). In fact I fixed myself up a batch of french fries last eve. in just that way. I find you don't need too much oil--even if it's crowded, just keep moving the stuff you're frying back and forth through the oil with your Chinese spider or whatever implement. The shape of the wok with its rounded bottom seems to assist in the process.

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A Lodge cast-iron dutch oven works well, but I've always found that maintaining a constant temp is too much of a pain in the ass for me (especially since I'm on an electric stove). I spend the entire time tweaking the burner, and not enough time paying attention to the food, my pintglass, and my guests.

I use one of these and I'm pretty happy with it.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I have a 7 quart Lodge enamel dutch oven, so I guess that might do the trick.

Will the enameled cast iron stand up to the heat of the oil?

A smaller (volume and diameter) (non-enameled) cast iron dutch oven might be better for me, as I usually cook for only 1 or 2 folks.

I'm not a gadget head in the kitchen, but an electric dedicated fryer also seems appealing somehow.

Thanks again.

Scott

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This is mine.

i'm a particular fan of that one... a heavy bottom pot with a base slightly narrower than the top (to reduce the chances of a boil over)... that holds a enoughe oil to not loose temp as soon as cold food hits it... and a candy thermometer... you can rule the fried world.

patrick,

cook

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I had the same Joe Homeowner deep fryer but found it such a pain to take apart and clean all the time that when it failed (and it wasn't very old, either!) I did not replace it. I have an enameled Dutch oven I use instead, with a candy/fry thermometer stuck in the handle to make sure it stays upright. I don't have any trouble keeping the temp relatively constant on my gas range.

I do keep a fire extinguisher handy right next to the stove.

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Question on deep frying...

I'll be deep frying a bunch of things this weekend, mostly batter dipped things (veggies, onion rings, etc), and mostly savory. I had a recipe from long ago for a savory deep fry batter that was like a tempura, but also included some sugar to help with the browning - very light, but nice and golden brown. Unfortunately, I can't find this recipe anywhere and I'm trying to find a good recipe to use. Any ideas?

I'm looking at this recipe for all the sweet things.

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/street-fair-food-week/how-to-make-battered-amp-fried-sweets-at-home-street-fair-food-week-092890

I love long weekends...

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