I always had concerns about deep frying for guests especially after the cocktails start flowing and they begin to hover in the kitchen. Having a pot of 360 degree oil bubbling on the stove as guests mingle could lead to trouble. Your oil deserves your undivided attention and if you follow a few simple rules there should never be a problem.
The Rules to Live By
- Always have a candy thermometer to gauge and control the exact temperature you need
- Try to heat the oil over gas as it is easier to control
- Use a large dutch oven and never fill more than half-way oil
- Never cook over the smoke point (the top temp)
- Never overload, there should be room for all of the kids in the pool
- Make sure you have all the equipment ready, tongs and a Chinese steel bamboo strainer
I prefer using extra virgin olive oil for deep frying tempura, stuffed squash blossoms and the more delicate foods that really absorb the taste of the oil. For most other items I us canola oil and will rarely use the oil twice as it takes the bitterness of the burnt crusts left in the oil.
I like to sauté at a higher temperature but I like the flavor butter adds so I do a 1:1 mix of extra virgin olive oil and butter. It’s a win-win for all involved.