Euro-Pro Corporation introduced the concept of Flash Frying to North America and now many manufacturers offer Flash Fryers. Those of you who have purchased a Flash Fryer are already appreciating the difference between Flash Frying and traditional frying in a pan or deep fryer with out the Flash Frying technology.
True Flash Fryers have the heating element and the thermostat submerged directly in the oil. This controls the heat of the oil so that a consistent temperature is maintained while adding fresh or frozen food. Without heat fluctuation, your foods turn out light, crispy and virtually oil free; the whole point of flash frying!
There are just a few tips you should know when using your fryer. Whether you have a 3 liter, a 5 liter, digital or not, cool-touch or stainless these tips will work for you!
- I use pure Vegetable Oil when frying, but you can use Canola, Peanut or a Blend. Never use Olive Oil; it will smoke!
- Try to buy the oil in bottles that have a large opening at the top (I shop at the wholesale stores for this) and keep the oil container for later!
- Never fill the Reservoir above the Maximum or below the Minimum Fill Lines! Those lines are there as a safety net against boil-over or smoking. Please follow this rule!
- Make sure the fryer is properly preheated! Depending on the size of your fryer, this can take between 8 – 10 minutes.
- Do not crowd the food! It will cook faster and more even if there is room for the oil to circulate around the food.
- Even though the instructions say to put the food into the basket and then lower it, you will have problems doing this if you are using batter; it will stick! Lower the basket first and then use long tongs and gently lower the item into the basket. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, dip the basket into the oil to coat it first and then immediately place the food into it; it will help but not alleviate the problem.
- Speaking of batter, make sure the batter is thick enough to cling tightly to the food. If using tempura or beer batter, this is especially important. Otherwise little pieces will float to the top and burn after awhile. If this happens, try to get them out with a slotted spoon of sieve before they burn and taint the flavor of the oil!
- The temperature guide is great but, personally, I fry everything on the highest temperature. The exceptions are large frozen egg rolls and anything battered in bread crumbs; I drop the temperature of 10 degrees for those two things!
- If you are going to make fresh French Fries or other vegetables that are not breaded, take care to dry them thoroughly with paper towels before you put them in the fryer! I cannot over emphasize the importance of this! If you do not, your oil could boil over and be dangerous or at the very least extremely messy.
- If you are frying steak or other red meat, bread first and then carefully place into the oil one piece at a time and then cover immediately with the lid. I find that red meats “pop” so I always try to use the lid as quickly as possible.
- If you are making Funnel Cakes or Rosettes, remove the basket completely. You will need a wire spoon to remove the cake, but otherwise they will stick to the basket and be rectangle in shape!
- Cooking times will vary depending on 1) quantity cooking, 2) temperature of the food and 3) size of the food. But generally speaking foods are typically done when the outside reaches a medium to dark golden brown color. However, I always recommend removing one item and test for doneness before removing the entire batch. Below are some of the foods you may fry and the time it normally takes me to cook one basket, half-full.
- Bread-like foods such as doughnuts, French toast sticks, Hush Puppies and Fritters will usually float when they are done, but to be safe, remove one and test for doneness.
- Frozen munchie-type foods are typically done when the outside reaches a medium to dark golden brown color; small things like Cheese Sticks, Poppers and Pizza Rolls are done in about 3-4 minutes!
- Frozen Shrimp are done in about 5-6 minutes.
- Large pieces of chicken (bone-in) usually take me 8-10 minutes to cook depending on the amount chicken you are cooking at one time.
- Fish filets, depending on thickness, typically take 4-6 minutes to cook.
- Fresh French fries require about 8-8 minutes to thoroughly cook and be crispy.
- Larger frozen foods like Egg-Rolls and Corn Dogs, will take about 5 minutes.
- After you are finished frying, unplug the unit and remove the lid. Allow the oil to completely cool; this could take 2 hours or more but don’t rush this step. Then, what I do is place the original oil container into the sink and cover the mouth with cheese cloth or a small mesh sieve. Carefully pour the oil through the mesh into the container. If I was frying chicken or steak, I stop before I get to the “sledge” at bottom of the reservoir! Then seal the container and store the oil in the refrigerator. If you didn’t keep the oil container or don’t want to use it, strain the oil in the fryer into a large bowl and store in that or wash the reservoir, replace the oil, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator!
Be sure and check the manufacturer’s food capacity limit in your owner’s manual. Never exceed the limits!
And again, be very careful to pat dry all fresh vegetables paying particular attention to those vegetables with a high water content such as potatoes!