There are some kitchen gadgets and appliances that don’t get used every day, but are worth their weight in gold when you want them and in this category are include deep fat fryers.
Okay there are some people with mixed feelings because deep fryers can be a fire risk, but if you keep to common sense rules like not overfilling with oil, overheating the oil, or cramming too much food in, there is unlikely to be a problem – ever. Yep, they are safe if you use them safely.
In fact most accidents in the kitchen with gadgets are down to human error and a large bunch of those accidents are preventable – you just need to read the manufacturers guidelines and stick to them, or risk the consequences – my lesson was learned with an electric whisk, part of which entered the ceiling with frightening velocity – it could have been me!
Always check the correct oil temperature for frying specific food products, they don’t all need the same heat or cooking time and it’s a common for fat fires to be caused by the fat literally incinerating food, then combusting itself. Heating fat more than you need to isn’t going to cook the food properly either, more likely burn it on the outside while not cooking through the centre.
Stuffing the fryer basket full is another recipe for disaster and once again the food won’t cook well as it usually all gets stuck together. Deep frying needs food to bob about freely in the fat as it cooks evenly all around and on every surface. The main danger here is the oil bubbling up and out over the top where it can combust.
This is personal choice, but there is a lot to be said for a fryer with a lid which completely removes, rather than one on hinges which can get caught up on the basket causing it to splash back into boiling oil, obviously if the basket is automatically lowered and some are, that’s perfectly safe.
If you follow those basic rules you should never have a problem, but there is one last seriously important thing – don’t ever leave a deep fat fryer switched on either with or without food in it and leave it unattended. If anything did happen, you can stop it long before getting to the stage of evacuation!
Looking to buy an air fryer or turkey fryer and don’t know which brands you should look out for? Well there are quite a few makers of deep fryers but currently selling best are fryers from Presto, Cuisinart, T-fal and DeLonghi. Presto make the famous FryDaddy which gets a lot of great reviews but good advice is to make a short list of those you like and then do a bit of reading.
One last word of advice – read the manufacturer’s instructions before even unpacking a fryer and you’ll have years of creating delicious meals together, without a splash of hot oil going where it shouldn’t.