This method of cooking makes many a health fanatic cringe—but fret not, it’s not so bad. Yea, I said it, deep frying does not deserve the evil reputation it so often is given. But there’s a condition—it must be performed properly. When deep frying takes place with certain parameters in place, it turns out that the level of fat absorption is comparable, if not less, than other forms of cooking. So what are these conditions you ask…well they can be summed up as one word: temperature, temperature, temperature! Here are some basic points:
- Fry at the correct temperature. The usual range is between 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature below that makes foods absorb more oil than is desirable.
- Maintain the correct temperature. Temperature can fluctuate between frying batches, so use a thermometer to make sure you bring the temperature back up before adding a new batch of food.
- Don’t crowd your fryer or pot of oil. This will cause the temperature of the oil to drop too much during a frying batch.
These are the most basic points..stay tuned for more. Let’s not demonize oil or fats—besides they carry flavor. If we eat more flavorful whole foods, we’ll be more satisfied (and in turn will be eating smaller portions) and feel less deprived. This doesn’t mean we deep fry everything or pull a Paula Deen and install a deep fryer into our countertops, but that we remain open to it as a viable cooking method.