Deep Fryer Maintenance and Quick Safety Tips
Deep frying is the method of frying the whole food in hot oil. This method is extremely fast cooking. With a deep fryer, deep frying is considerably safe, but hot cooking oil is extremely dangerous, and one should be very careful while handling hot oil so as to avoid fires and severe burns.
If deep frying is done in a proper method the food will not greasy. The hot oil boils the water within the food, and steams the food from the inside out. If the food is not immersed in the oil for very long and the oil is hot enough, no oil will enter the food. If the food stays in the oil long time, the water will steam out and the oil will penetrate the food. If the oil is not hot enough, the food won’t be cooked properly.
Most fried recipes have a coating of batter or breading, or foods that have a natural skin around the food such as potatoes or whole poultry with its skin on. The effect is that the outside of the food becomes browned and crispy while the inside is moist, tender, and steamed, similarly to searing. The batter absorb huge amounts of fat and is usually consumed along with the food.
SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE TIPS:
- Deep fryers and not pan:
Deep fryers generally have thermometers to prevent overheating and fires. Deep fryers are more likely safe compared to frying pans.
- No water in hot oil:
Water in hot oil causes fire and splatters, it sinks because it’s denser than oil, then vaporizes, splattering the hot oil and possibly scalding. If the oil is on fire, this can cause a chip pan fire, a fireball of burning oil comes out from the fryer, causing extreme hazard. In case of fire, do not use water to put off fire.
- Fire blanket or fire extinguisher:
To put off fire use a fire blanket immediately to hand, to smother fire, or a special fire extinguisher meant for cooking oil fires.
- Use proper oil:
Some oil is not suitable for deep frying, smokes at frying temperatures. Suitable oils include refined sunflower oil, refined safflower oils, refined peanut oil, coconut oil, and rice bran oil.
- Do not overheat oil:
Oils are flammable and oil fires are extremely dangerous; before burning the oil will smoke a sign of warning. Most often deep fries are done between 175 and 190 °C (345–375 °F).
- Do not overfill:
There must be some space in the fryer for food to be added, use only the recommended amount of oil, and small quantities of the food. If there is too much of oil or food, oil can overflow over the sides, causing burns or fire.
- Use suitable utensils:
Use metal utensils to manipulate food in a fryer, a wire cage is the proper tool, and long-handled chopsticks or a spider can be used for additional manipulation.
- Metal range hood:
Cooking under a metal range hood is recommended, flames from burning hot oil can reach up to 4 feet thus avoid cupboards above that space.
- Cool after use:
After use allow the hot oil to cool for 1-2 hours before handling.
GENERAL COOKING ADVICE:
- do not leave hot oil unattended
- do not drink alcohol
- wear tight, thick clothes
Wear tight-fitting, thick, long-sleeved clothes to prevent burns from splatters, such as denim and mechanics’ shirts, rather than loose and thin clothes.
IN CASE OF SMOKE:
When the oil starts to give off continuous smoke, its means it’s too hot it is at the smoke point, and the oil turns carcinogenic at this point.
- Turn off the deep fryer and allow the hot oil to cool.
- Care should be taken that oil must not reach above the smoking point, which may lead to production of poisonous substances in the food.
- Use a setting with low temperature or choose an oil with a higher smoke point.
IN CASE OF FIRE:
In case of fire, call the fire safety department immediately.
Fire of cooking oils are extremely dangerous and require special measures:
- Burning oil can only be adequately put off with the help of a fire blanket, or specialized fire extinguisher. These can’t be applicable in residential areas.
- Water should never be used on a cooking oil fire; neither should regular fire extinguisher.
If no proper fire blanket or a suitable extinguisher is available and the fire is small, try adding baking soda quickly as this can quench it (do not add any other substances). In the case of a large cooking oil fire, leave the place and contact the fire safety department immediately.
FRYING WHOLE POULTRY:
A whole turkey is sometimes deep fried during special occasions; some may also wish to deep fry a chicken or other meat. In general, cutting up the meat or buying it pre-cut meat and frying it in individual pieces is significantly easier and safe; it also makes serving easy.
TIPS FOR FRYING:
- Generally, cook small pieces food at required temperatures to get crispy and non-greasy food.
- Dry the food before frying to avoid splatters like soaked potatoes and do not forget to remove ice crystals from frozen food.
- Heavy flavored foods flavor the oil after single use; thus, cook light-flavored food such as vegetables before frying heavy-flavored foods such as fish, shrimp and other meat or use separate fryers for different foods.
- Starting with cold foods, general frying temperatures are around 160–190 degrees Celsius (325–375 degrees Fahrenheit). It may be higher for small foods. If the oil is too hot then the outside of the food will burn before the inside is done.
- Before starting with warm or hot foods, the oil can be much hotter.
- Alternatively, suspend food in oil with tongs for ten seconds before releasing.
- Fish recipes instructs you to microwave the fish before breading and deep frying it
- Don’t add too much food in one fryer.
- Consider using deep frying as one step in cooking, to make the outer layer of the food crispy only, similar to pan-searing. Or broiling. For instance, rather deep frying the chicken from raw to cook first roast the chicken and then finish it in the fryer. Similarly, you can deep fry potatoes as one step in making roast potatoes.
- While breading with a dry powder, use a viscous liquid such as butter milk or an egg wash to make it stick to the food.
- While breading with a moist batter, use cornstarch, cornmeal, or flour to make it stick to the food, and make sure batter is not loose but firm.
- Shake off the excess batter or breading on the food before frying; otherwise it will shred in the oil, which will require more frequent oil changes.
- Some foods require refrigerating breaded food for at least ½ hour before frying, so that the breading sticks firm to the food.
- Adding too much food to the deep fryer not only cools the temperature of the oil, it also causes your food to start produce steam from overcrowding in the fryer, and lowers the temperature, this will result in soggy foods and breading falling off the food.
- Peoples opinions regarding re-use of cooking oil, and the storage of used cooking oil differ.
- Some people believe that repeated use of the oil improves frying and use one batch of cooking oil for three to six frying, while some claim the repeated use of used oils are hazardous either due to the breakdown of the oil into harmful compounds or due to bacterial growth.
- Those who reuse oil tend to argue that it’s better to close the lid while storing the oil before refrigerating it.
- It is necessary to dispose reused oil when it begins to smell or turns dark.
- When reusing oil, add fresh oil to old in order to extend its use.
- If your fryer has a filtering system, filter your frying oil regularly,
- Cooled oil can be filtered with a kitchen paper, tea strainer, coarse coffee machine filter paper or muslin.
- It is necessary to change the oil when it becomes dark as it changes the taste of the food.
- The thumb rule is to change oil each week under heavy use or every 3 weeks if it’s only used for frying vegetables.
- You should add an extra 1.5 minutes to your frying time while using new oil in the fryer.
- Oil can be purified by deep-frying parsley. The parsley absorbs all the odors in the oil.
- At some point, cooking oil must be disposed off.
- The oil can be re-used a couple of times before it is disposed for other non-deep frying uses.
- Check for nearby restaurants asking if they recycle used oil. They usually recycle used oil into other substances such as biodiesel, etc. . . .
- After the oil is cooled store it in original containers such as milk containers, beer or wine bottles, wide-mouth jars, etc.
It would be better if you can cover the containers but it’s optional.
- Lard, coconut oil, Crisco are solid fats which can be used to solidify and cool the used oil.
- Do not worry about the disposal since your oil state is liquid there is availability of Japanese oil solidifiers which can be used to solidify your used oil and make it easier for disposal.
- You can always check the local sanitation center if you have any doubts on disposal methods.
- Never dispose down the drain it is considered as an illegal offence in many countries. There is a possibility that problems like clogging of pipes and sewers can take place which would cause a big problem in the water treatment plants by drastically reducing their performance.
- The foods which are deep fried must be served immediately while the food is hot and crispy .It can be kept warm in oven (95°C, 200°F) or in a pan.
- The oil can be drained on a paper.
- After fried and while it’s hot it is preferable to sprinkle salt and pepper or other spices.
- It will be desirable to have dipping sauce.
- You can serve with a slice of fresh lemon which is tasty.
- While serving for giving a pleasant presentation you can use various compositional methods such as Contrast textures. You can do this by placing deep fried food on salad this is a classic composition. It is very common to have tempura in soup in japan.
- If the customers prefer to use hands provide them napkins due to the oil content of the food .it is usually the easiest way to use Forks, chopsticks as the food is crispy and hot.
- You can serve beverages such as beer, black tea, soft drinks, red wine, etc. these pair well with fried foods.
There are a few problems relating to health as we are deep frying the food. These concerns are delusions, argumentative and few are justifiable. In short we can say that deep frying foods gives us food which are crisp and not greasy. The food is a slight different from other pan –frying methods. The ingredients are very common, when you deep fry a food it’s still the same food for example if you deep fry a snickers bar it’s still a snickers bar.
- The oil must be used at a high temperature, the temperature should be appropriate a little below smoking point.
- Its comfortable to fry smaller pieces at high heat
- Its considered to be over cooking if you don’t hear the frying sound
- You can filter and reuse or use a new oil each time.
Q: Will you become fat if you eat too much fried food?
The fear of vat oil is very high among the people but the idea is very baseless.
Very little of the oil is actually used mostly its used only for heating. You must inspect the oil temperature before and after cooking – the oil should reflect that the vat is in the oil but not in the food. While deep frying the oil only provides the heat and steams the food from inside it is considered that when food is cooked by steaming it is actually healthy from the sound we can understand that food is heating from inside; the steam actually helps in keeping the fat out. But in case of potatoes it’s a little different the fat is intentionally made to enter their food even before deep fry. When we fry or stir fry a similar layer of fat is usually applied but visually not seen.
Q: Does deep fried food create toxins?
There are various concerns when using refined oils which have low smoke points and increasing them to smoke point which causes the production of carcinogens by the process of oxidation. This can be reduced by the process of using refined oils with high smoke points. Toxins are produced when food is deep fried in oil when below the smoking point. It is considered that when the oil is reused or kept in high temperatures for an extended period of time it leads to the production of toxins. This suggests that oil must not to be reused. While deep frying the small food particles which fall into the oil are themselves and must be filtered because they act as oxidizing agents. This suggests that if you want to reuse oil.