How to Deep Fry Food: Tips for Making Tasty Treats and Snacks
How to Deep Fry Food
If you’re considering using a deep fryer for the first time in your concession stand, it can seem intimidating. But once you get the hang of it, deep fryer use is easy and can add significant profits to your operation. Use these deep frying tips to make sure you’re using your equipment properly and getting the most out of it.
Using a Deep Fryer for the First Time
When you first purchase your deep fryer, follow the setup instructions in your equipment manual. Then, before operating for the first time, thoroughly rinse and dry the fryer tank. Prior to each use, check the drain valve to make sure it’s securely closed and the drain plug is fully tightened in place.
A Note on Frying Oil Types
The oil you use for frying will make a big difference in the flavor and even the safety of your food products. Vegetable oil is the best choice. Canola oil can work, but the quality of the flavor will not be as good, and peanut oil is dangerous due to peanut allergies among consumers.
Filling the Fryer Tank with Oil
Fill the tank to the minimum oil fill line initially. Never operate your fryer with cooking oil below this minimum level. Oil expands when heated, so you’ll need to safely bring the level up to the maximum fill line by carefully adding additional increments of oil as it heats, until it reaches the maximum line. Never overfill the tank.
Remember that hot oil is dangerous! Read and understand all safety precautions in your equipment manual before heating. Important safety and quality control tips to keep in mind include:
- NEVER allow water to contact oil. Don’t cook products with high water content or surface moisture present, and don’t operate in the rain or near any water source. When water comes into contact with hot oil, it may result in explosion and severe burns. Make sure the fryer is completely dry after cleaning, including inside any drain valves.
- Don’t overheat the oil, and do not attempt to fry foods if the oil temperate exceeds 400˚F.
- Don’t fry food in broken-down oil (thinned, darkened oil).
- Don’t overload the frying tank.
- Don’t fill the basket more than half full.
- Don’t shake breaded items over the fryer.
- Don’t salt items over the fryer.
- Don’t thaw frozen foods before frying.
Frying Oil Temperature
For best oil recovery time, fry all foods at 400˚F. This temperature will give your foods that nice golden brown crispiness while not reducing the oil temperature too much after each snack is made. It allows you to keep your speed up for maximum profits.
How to Make Deep Fried Oreos and Other Sweet Treats
For most deep fried sweet treats, the FW-12 Fryer is the perfect piece of equipment. It can hold three 8-inch funnel cakes or two large elephant ears, and its size makes it right for small to medium venues like school concession stands, parks and rec locations, and more.
For traditional fun foods like funnel cake and elephant ears, use a quality batter such as Deluxe Pennsylvania Dutch mix and Frying Saucer/Elephant Ear mix. As you perfect your technique for pouring funnel cakes, try counting slowly to yourself as your pour the batter into the mold ring to help you determine how long it takes you to pour the best possible cake.
For frying items like Oreo cookies, dip in batter and fry for approximately 45 seconds. For deep fried candy bars, you’ll need to pierce them with your setter stick and freeze to avoid melting chocolate; then fry for about 45 seconds as well for best results.
How to Deep Fry Potatoes, Hot Dogs, and Other Savory Snacks
Many savory snacks require a deep fryer rather than a shallow fryer. The Standard King 9 Fryer is great for making French fries, fried chicken, fish, corn dogs, and onion blossoms. For these items, you’ll need fry baskets and/or dog-on-a-stick frying kits to attach to your fryer.
For savory batters, Dipsy Dog mix makes a delicious cornbread-flavored coating for corn dogs, and Deep Fried Onion Batter Mix is perfect for crispy fried onion blossoms. If you want to try your hand at Saratoga Swirls for some serious profits, you’ll need a fry cutter to make the perfect swirl – simply slice a potato in half, pierce with an 18-inch setter stick, and attach to the cutter to make a gorgeous swirled potato snack on a stick.
Keep in mind when frying savory snacks that oil and water don’t mix. We recommend frying fresh or thoroughly defrosted items rather than frozen to reduce oil recovery times. But if you must use frozen foods like chicken or fish, do not allow them to thaw, as the excess water will cause dangerous oil splatters.
Serving Deep Fried Foods
Use a skimmer or tongs to remove fried foods from the oil and drain for a minute or two on a cooling rack or paper towels to remove excess oil. Then transfer to a paper- or napkin-lined serving tray or plate for the best presentation to the customer, avoiding the greasy look and feel.
Deep Fryer Oil Storage and Maintenance
Your fryer should be properly cared for after food preparation is complete. Always allow hot oil to cool below 140˚F before draining, storing, and cleaning. Best practice is to allow the oil to cool overnight and then drain it the following morning.
To reduce waste, if your oil is not too broken down, you can drain just half the used oil and refill the tank with fresh.
Can You Leave Oil in a Deep Fryer?
If you’re not transporting the fryer, you can leave used frying oil in the tank. Depending on the types of foods you cook, you can get about two weekends of use out of a tank of oil, give or take. Lighter foods such as funnel cakes are slower to break down oil, while potatoes and frozen foods will break down oil faster. If your oil is turning black, it’s a sign that it’s time to dispose of it and refill with fresh oil.
If you are transporting your fryer, such as in a concession trailer, you must drain the tank before heading to your next destination.
How to Clean a Deep Fryer
Be sure to clean your deep fryer regularly using non-toxic, food-grade cleaners. Not only is this good sanitation practice, but having a clean, well-kept fryer is one of the best ways to advertise your products.
Follow your equipment manual for proper oil drainage. After oil is drained, close the drain valve and tighten the drain plug fully. Fill the tank with water to the minimum oil level. Do not fill above the minimum oil level or you could damage your fryer.
Add some dish soap. Or, if you need to deep clean a tank that has a buildup of oil, use Gold Medal’s Heat’n Kleen. See product instructions.
Bring water and soap or water and Heat’n Kleen solution to a boil. (Do not heat above 250˚F.) Turn the fryer off, unplug the unit, and allow solution to cool to below 100˚F. Then drain and remove all solution. Clean the outside of the fryer with a soft cloth, dampened with soap and warm water.
Wipe the stainless steel parts of the fryer with a clean cloth and Gold Medal’s Watchdog Stainless Steel Cleaner. Never use oven cleaners or abrasive materials, as they will damage parts of the machine.
Thoroughly dry the unit after cleaning, including inside any drain valves.
How to Dispose of Used Frying Oil
After your oil has cooled, drain it into a container or bucket. It’s best to contact your local municipality to determine if your city has a set process for taking commercial frying oil – many do. Or you can toss it in with your regular trash. Whatever you do, never pour frying oil down the drain, as it can severely impact your plumbing.
Need More Deep Frying Tips and Ideas?
If you’re ready to take your concession stand to the next level with delicious and creative fried foods, Gold Medal can help. From our high-quality equipment to our outstanding batters and mixes, we have everything you need to make your snack bar a success. Contact a representative today to get personal recommendations from our concession industry experts.