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Who doesnt love deep fried food? It gives a crisp crunchy texture that transform any bland food to an extraordinary one. In fact, fried chicken sandwich is now one of the most popular food at fast food restraunt. Ever since Poepeyes released their now famous chicken sandwich, fast food giants have been duking it out. What most people don’t know is there is a lot of chemical reaction that occurs when you deep fry food. Restraunt professional have gotten this step down to a science. To get a perfect fried food there are certain steps that should be followed. One of it is choosing the best oil for frying, a high smoke point and neutral oil is important. Using the right temperature also prevents food from getting too greasy. Preparing the food properly ensure a perfect crunch without the crust falling off.
Best Oil for Frying
There are many different variable to consider when choosing the best oil for frying. What it really comes down to is what your end goal is. If you plan on deep frying chicken, a neutral high smoke point oil like Peanut Oil is best for that. If you want to make duck confit, duck fat is the way to go. For specialty vegetable dish where they confit root vegetables, Olive Oil might be the best choice. Below you will find the different segments that discusses how each variable affects deep frying.
What happens when you deep fry?
When you deep fry at a high temperature, one of a classic sign of a good frying is the bubbling that occurs. What happens is the moisture is escaping from the food and rising to the surface. This is a good sign because the moisture will prevent the oil from making the exterior crispy. Once the moisture escape from the surface of the food, the surface will dry and leave a gap where oil will occupy. This is called oil uptake by researcher. For more information, you can read the scientific journal at the following link.
What does the batter do?
The goal of any good cook is to prevent food from drying out. Since deep frying food is essentially removing all moisture from a food, using a batter is a way to circumvie the lost of moisture. The batter will form a protective layer to prevent the main food from drying out. It will eventually dry out to a point where it becomes crispy due to the deep frying.
Why use Carbonated Water or Beer in Batter
By using a bubbly beverage in your batter, the bubbles form will form a larger gap in the crust. The layers in the crust will eventually enhance the crunch that you get from the batter. With Beer, the ethanol will evaporate faster than water which will reduce the amount of time it takes to form a crust. This lets you remove the food from the fryer faster.
All oil has a smoke point. When a oil starts smoking, all the nutritional value that comes with the fat starts degrading rapidly. Usually you want the oil to be at 325-450 F when you deep fry food. At lower temperature food tend to become overly greasy because moisture is not escaping at a rate which prevents oil from seeping in.
Since the oil needs to be at a high temperature to deep fry, it is critical that the oil will not degrade when you deep fry food. Some oil with high smoke point is peanut oil, canola oil and Avocado oil. Wikipedia has a list of oil with its different smoke point.
If you plan on confitting a vegetable, fruit or meat, a high temperature might not be as important and you can use olive oil to gently cook it. This imparts some olive flavor into it.
A neutral oil is a oil that does not impart any flavor to food. When you are deep frying food, the goal is to bring texture and crunch, not to impart a taste of olive or sesame oil to it. Peanut oil and Canola oil are some example of oil that has a neutral flavor. Use a neutral oil that will not affect its taste unless that is your end goal.
Price is a factor that should be considered here. Olive oil is used in a lot of cooking and vinegrate, but the issue is that it is expensive. Why waste 20 dollar just to deep frying a piece of chicken? Peanut oil and Canola Oil are a lot more economically sound. Use a oil that is cost effective instead of expensive.
To be fair, the french do use duck fat to make duck confit. That in itself is pretty expensive but it is for a specific type of cooking.
What oil do Chef Use for Frying?
For the most part, when you deep fry food, the best oil for frying is peanut oil and canola oil. It has the perfect balance of price, smoke point and neutral oil. If you plan on doing a different type of frying like a confit, duck fat or olive oil will work in those applications.
For more information about deep frying, look at the video below.
Where to buy the Best Oil for Frying
To purchase these oil, check the following link.
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