If you’re health conscious, look away now.
Some things have to be deep fried. And deep fried properly. There’s the perfect chip – requires par boiling, blanching in hot oil then finishing in hotter oil. The perfect croquetta requires immersion in oil, as does the best tempura and a host of other things.
Yes, you can use the oven or these new fangled fry in hot air devices if you’re on a health kick. They have their place for somethings and I certainly wouldn’t advocate their daily use. Nor would I suggest using an old fashioned chip pan – firstly, there’s the obvious fire risk (all electric ones should have a thermostat to stop the oil reaching dangerous temperatures) and secondly, they are large and smelly.
Which means an investment in a proper deep fat frier. I have compiled a list of things to look for;
- Rectangular – this helps when you want to cook large things, such as fish or sausages, especially when battered, it gives you the space to lay them into the oil gently.
- A capability of dealing with solid fat like beef dripping; that will generally rule out any with active oil filters or a rotating mechanism.
- An air filter and a viewing window; this means you can keep the lid on longer and reduce the smell in the house
- Dismantle-able and dishwasher safe – all of it. This is a god send and makes the nasty job of cleaning it an awful lot easier.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to find one that meets all of these criteria. I spend quite a while looking for one and eventually I came across the Tefal Easy Pro. And the kicker was it was only £35. Plus the opportunity cost of using valuable cupboard space!
It does exactly what it says in the tin, although the dishwasher struggles to get all the grease off; the powder tends to adhere to the grease as opposed to removing it, which means handwashing is still required. No pipes or hoses means that waste fat has to be poured delicately into a bottle via a funnel, but it’s worth it for a solid, no fuss, restaurant style frier.