Deep fat fryer
I haven’t owned a deep fat fryer for years. However, I thought that any good cookery book needed a section of deep-fried treats, then the user could decide how often to eat them rather than be exasperated at their lack. TT gets fish and chips from the chip shop, and occasionally craves fried chicken. I would like to be able to have an occasional doughnut and jellabie.
On Sunday I went to the electrical store and bought a DeLonghi deep fat fryer. I chose it because it seemed robustly made, had a tap to drain the oil, and the element lifts out of the oil bath and then everything else can go in the dishwasher. It also says it has a ‘coolzone’ which is where the element is above the base of the pan so that the oil is slightly cooler at the bottom and bits that fall down don’t burn so quickly, meaning you don’t have to change the oil so often.
I tested the fryer when I first got it. I filled it with three litres of fryer oil, which I found at the cheap supermarket next to the electrical store. It has an anti-foamer, which seems like a weird idea, but I certainly had no trouble with the fat rising up when I put the food in. It took less than six minutes to heat to 180degrees C. I checked the temperature with my thermometer, and it was pretty close to the marked temperature.
I made four types of doughnuts, battered fish, mushrooms and onion rings, and fried chicken. I have had the machine working for quite a bit of the time for the last forty-eight hours, and I am astonished by how little the house smells of cooking fat. I used to find that a single batch of shallow frying permeated the house with fat smells, and I particularly had trouble with the laundry smelling, which dries in an open room above the kitchen.
When finished, let the oil cool down completely. It takes a lot longer to cool down than it does to heat up, so leave it while you get on with something else.
The emptying tap has a filter on, which can be dismantled for cleaning. The oil comes out clean. The residue and bits of batter collect in the base of the tank, and they can be scooped out easily for disposal. The heating element and probes can be cleaned, and the tank and lid washed in the dishwasher.
Emptying and dismantling is very easy. I have read that it is best to store the filtered oil for future use in a cool dark place but not the fridge, which apparently increases the spitting when the fat is reheated.
Recipe write-ups to follow.