Deep fried turkey, chicken and fish are great dishes to enjoy when coked outdoors; but what are the secrets to enjoying great tasting non-greasy deep fried food?
Deep-frying is fast and easy and the results are great, providing you follow some simple guidelines and providing you have the right equipment.
Regarding the best choice of outdoor deep frying equipment, our choice is the exceptional quality Bayou Classic range of turkey deep fryer and fish fryer kits that come in aluminum and stainless steel.
Coming as kits they provide all you’re ever going to need to deep fry; including: racks, hooks for lifting out the bird, the all important thermometer and injectors for inserting wonderful flavored marinades; and when you’re not using them for deep frying they can just as easily be used for steaming and boiling.
So what are the ten guiding principles to great deep fry cooking? They are simple, straight forward and as follows:
- Its essential that you know the correct cooking temperature for the oil and the meat or fish that you’re cooking. If the oil is too cool then the water inside the food will not cook the food quickly and oil will begin to penetrate the meat spoiling the flavors and worse making it greasy, meaning unhealthy. Remember, it is not the oil that cooks your food it’s the water vapor inside the meat that the oil heats up that does the cooking so make sure you’re cooking at the right temperature; for this reason never deep fry without a deep fry thermometer . Never over cook meat in a deep fryer or again the oils will penetrate the bird after all the vapor has been used up within it;
- Make sure that you don’t over fill the stockpot. If you’re unsure about how much oil to use here is a simple test to get the level right. Put the bird into the stockpot whilst its still cold. Then fill the stockpot with cold water so that it just covers the bird. Then remove the bird and make a note of the water level; this is the level to which you should fill the stockpot with oil when preparing to cook;
- Make sure that you’re clear about the cooking time for whatever you’re cooking. Deep frying is much quicker than roasting three quarters of an hour will cook a bird of lbs;
- Get the oil up to the right temperature and then insert the bird on a dedicated rack, such as the Bayou Classic Chic Can Rack then cook the bird at the required constant temperature; do not let the temperature fall as the bird will become greasy and do not let it rise or it will be burnt on the outside and not cooked on the inside. So the rule is check you have the right temperature, put the bird in when it reaches that temperature, cook at a consistent temperature and take the bird out after its time is up;
- Always cook with the fryer lid closed to maintain the right temperature;
- Use a slotted spoon or frying tongs to take things in and out of the deep fryer it makes things much easier and far safer; Watch the fish carefully as they cook. They will begin to float as they become done, making it easy to observe the color of the pieces. When they are a golden to medium brown, remove them and allow the pieces to drain in a pan or cardboard box lined with paper towels. This is where a basket or strainer comes in handy, since all the fish can be lifted out at one time, the excess oil will drain back into the pot, and the pieces dumped into your holding container;
- When putting meats or fish into the deep fryer never try to over fill the stockpot, its much better to cook in batches as you will spoil the temperature and if you’re using batter if the stockpot becomes too full the batter won’t crisp up;
- With frozen foods remove as much of the external ice off the meat as possible;
- When removing your cooked food from the deep fryer place it on a paper towel covered plate to help remove excess fat;
- When cooking outdoors there are some simple safety guidelines that should be followed:
- Have a bucket of sand nearby and a fire blanket should there be a problem
- Cook on level ground away from any inflammable materials comprising a fire hazard
- Never ever leave it unattended; this is a seriously dangerous piece of kit if not treated and looked after with the greatest of care