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Eight tips for deep-frying plus recipes

We have eight tips for deep-frying to make nicely browned, crisp or crunchy food that isn’t greasy. Use your skills on our three sweet and savoury deep-frying recipes.

Deep-frying is fashionable again – doughnuts, chips, onion rings, mars bars, whatever you choose, do it right and you’ll make nicely browned, crisp or crunchy food that isn’t greasy. Plus you’ll stay safe. Read, absorb and follow our tips for the best deep frying results.

  • Choose a heavy-based straight sided pan (or a large wok works well). Never over fill your pan with oil. Oil bubbles up as soon as you add food to it as the wet food gives off steam as it cooks, if the oil level is anywhere near the top of the pan it may well go over the top. Leave at least 12cm between the level of the oil and the top of the pan.
  • Don’t overheat your oil, use a thermometer or keep a very close eye on it and test it with cubes of bread as soon as you think it is hot enough. Actually, use a thermometer, you should own one if you want to deep-fry anything.Actually, use a thermometer, you should own one if you want to deep-fry anything.
  • Shake off any excess batter. Batter contains liquid, liquid makes oil bubble wildly and spit. Ouch!
  • Don’t overcrowd your pan, this will cause the temperature to fall and your food will absorb oil rather than fry in it.
  • Let your food fry on one side and then turn it over gently with long tongs, don’t be tempted to improvise with other implements unless you are a dab hand with long cooking chopsticks.
  • Use a spider or draining spoon to lift what ever it is out carefully. If it is too big to fit in a draining spoon find something it will fit in.
  • Salt food afterwards. Salt draws out moisture from food, you don’t want this to happen before frying something (see liquid + oil).
  • Keep a constant eye on the temperature, it is easy to overheat oil and you don’t want it to get anywhere near smoke point. If it gets a little hot turn down the heat.
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Now try your hand at these 3 deep frying recipes:

Pickled onion rings

Onion rings are the best match for beer. Our version is drowned in homemade pickle, coated with beer batter, then deep-fried until crisp and golden.

Cinnamon doughnuts

Whisk yourself away to the seaside with our best fresh doughnut recipe: these cinnamon-dusted doughnuts with chocolate sauce are the perfect rainy-day project. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.

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Buttermilk fried chicken

Soaking the chicken in buttermilk tenderises the meat and helps the crispy coating stick. A great DIY takeaway to make at home on the weekend.