To deep-fry means to cook food submerged in hot fat. Quality in a deep-fried product is characterized by the following properties: – minimum fat absorption – minimum moisture loss (i.e. not overcooked) – attractive golden color – crisp coating or surface – no off-flavors (sometimes imparted by the frying fat)
Many foods are dipped in a breading or in a batter before frying. This forms a protective coating between food and fat and helps give the product crispness, color and flavor.

Guidelines for deep frying:

1. Fry at proper temperatures. Most foods are fried at 350 to 375°F (170 to 190°C). Frying at too low a temperature usually causes excessive greasiness in fried foods.
2. Don’t overload the baskets. Doing so greatly lowers the fat temperature.
3. Use good quality fat. The best fat for frying has a high smoke point.
4. Replace 15 – 20% of the fat with fresh amounts after daily use.
5. Discard spent fat. Old fat loses frying ability, browns excessively and imparts an off-flavor.
6. Avoid frying strong and mild-flavored foods in the same fat, if possible. French fries should not taste like fried fish.
7. Fry as close to the service time as possible. The food moisture quickly makes the breading or the batter soggy.
8. Protect fat from the following:
– Heat: turn off the fire after frying or to a lower holding temperature.
– Oxygen: keep fat covered in between use.
– Water: remove excess moisture from food before frying.
– Salt: never salt the food over the fryer.
– Food particles: dust off loose crumbs before frying and skim the fat often.
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