Grease smells aside, it's all worth it. Fluffy, breaded batter gives way to whatever crispy/gooey/crunchy thing you've cooked so deliciously inside.
So long as your oil is hot enough before frying (thank you, trusted thermometer), your food should be beautifully cooked without feeling greasy. When the oil is hot enough, the food will actually cook by steaming within the batter, so you'll completely avoid that bogged down greasy feel.
To ensure this, always heat oil completely to a temperature between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit before throwing your pre-battered food in. Other success-guaranteeing tips include always removing your fried food from the oil with a slotted spoon, remembering to place fried food on a few paper towels before serving, and making sure that the oil is deep enough in the pot to fully cover the food being fried.
Got these jotted down? Now you're ready to start frying! Read on for five great first time frying recipes.
Photo courtesy of shutterstock images
Beer-Batter Fried Pickles
Ahh, fried pickles. Moist batter falls aside to deliver a still crunchy kick of tang, I love it. I much prefer a heavy batter on my fried pickles to a light dusting of corn meal, and give me a large chunk of pickle over a small sliver too, while you're at it. This recipe delivers on both of those requests.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Who doesn't love fried chicken? While not able to eat it daily, I definitely need my yearly fried chicken fix (usually had on the beach, as discussed earlier in our Beach Appropriate Snacks article). When the craving does hit, I want my chicken to have a flavorful breading that has a bit of a kick, and for my chicken to retain its moisture. This recipe is spot on.
Fried Portabello Mushrooms
At some point in my life, I discovered deep fried mushrooms. Let it be known that after one dunk in the accompanying slightly spicy mayo, I was never the same. If you've never had a fried mushroom, I advise quickly buying everything you need for this recipe and whipping them up tonight!
Fried Cheese Sticks
Let's be honest, if you're going to be deep frying, it's a waste not to throw some cheese in that pot. These fried cheese sticks are extra fun because of their use of spicy pepper jack, but if heat isn't your friend, swap in some plain Monterey Jack, Swiss or classic Mozzarella.
Making doughnuts at home takes a little effort, but the warm, melt-in-your-mouth quality of a doughnut straight from the fryer is unlike anything tasted before. This is a great, basic recipe, but for more at-home doughnut tips be sure to check out our interview with doughnut-king Stephen Collucci, pastry chef of Coliccio & Sons and doughnut extraordinaire.