How to fry correctly
The temperature of the olive oil in the fryer must be maintained at 80ºC while the food is not being cooked.
- The normal frying temperature is 165ºC-170ºC for most foods. Raising the temperature will not accelerate the process, but only shorten the olive oil’s lifespan. Exceptions to this rule are delicate foods such as vegetables, which can be fried at a lower temperatures, and baby squid or fresh anchovies, which can be fried at a higher temperatures for a short period of time.
- When food is about to be fried, the temperature of the oil must be increased gradually. If the food is to be fried in a batter, the temperature should be raised and kept at 150ºC while the food is being covered in flour, and increased to 165ºC-170ºC just before placing the food in the deep fryer. The temperature must be lowered again to 80ºC after the frying cycle.
- Oil should be kept below smoking temperature, since this temperature will accelerate its oxidation process and shorten it´s cycle life.
- It is best for food not to be too cold when placed in the fryer. Frying at room temperature would be best.
- Water and moisture should be removed from the food before they are battered or fried. Moisture deteriorates the oil through a process called hydrolysis, which shortens its life.
- The plate where the food has been breaded should not be emptied into the fryer. Instead, each piece must be placed in the oil separately, by hand, in order to minimize the quantity of extra batter or crumbs that will end up in the deep fryer.
- Ideally, olive oil should be filtered after the final frying cycle before completely allowing it to cool. It´s best to completely empty the deep fryer and filter the oil with a strainer, pouring it into a pot covered by a steel pot, always as far away as possible from any heat sources. This way both the oil and the inside of the fryer can be cleaned quickly and easily, thus extending the life of the oil thus improving the quality of the fried food.
- Food must be placed in the fryer gradually so the oil’s temperature does not drop sharply. An easy way to check the oil’s temperature is to place a bread crumb in the oil and observe the following:
- If the bread sinks to the bottom, and does not rise to the top, the temperature is less than or equal to 150ºC.
- If the bread sinks to the bottom and then rises slowly to the top, the temperature is between 160ºC and 165ºC, the recommended frying temperature for vegetables.
- If it sinks down then rises to the top after a few seconds it means the temperature is between 165ºC and 170ºC, the ideal temperature for most fried food.
- If the bread does not sink, and starts toasting, the temperature too high, over 175ºC.
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