Deep fat frying and your health

For many food lovers, the deep fat fryer is the one kitchen appliance they can’t do without. The convenience of deep frying at home is very appealing to many families.

However, there’s no denying that on-going concerns about obesity, heart problems and diabetes have made many people question the wisdom of continuing to eat deep fried foods. If you want to buy great deep fat fryers in UK then there are many things you need to consider before buying a deep fat fryer.

The good news is deep fat frying is not inherently unhealthy as long as a few simple rules are followed.

These include using the correct equipment, combined with the proper technique for frying. If you strive to master these, then the majority of the negative aspects of deep fat frying can be dramatically reduced or even eliminated.

It’s widely excepted by using the wrong type of oil can cause health problems including heart attacks as a result of clogging of the arteries.

Therefore using oil that is primarily saturated and the mono unsaturated is the best option – these have been proven to be the most stable at high heat. It’s advisable to avoid cooking oils that contain excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats.

There are many types of oil which experts say are good to use on health grounds and also producing excellent results when it comes to people not frying.

These include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, pumpkin oil, safflower oil, cotton oil, grape oil and sesame oil.

Choose your oil wisely – some oils are more likely to smoke than others. Try sunflower or peanut oil, as they tend to have lower ‘smoke points’. And always try to use fresh oil – never re-use it or you’ll end up with poor quality fried food.
Using a Deep Fryer Safely in your Kitchen

Always add the oil to the fryer before switching it on to avoid the risk of splattering. Do not fill the unit drum by more than a third deep in oil.

Always avoid putting too much food in at once – if you cram the fryer to the brim, the temperature of the oil will decrease and make your food greasy.

Make sure you watch the food carefully while it is frying and aim for your food to turn a nice golden brown colour.

Never leave the fryer unattended. When you’re happy, remove the food carefully with a sieve or tongs and dry off excess oil away with paper towels.

Never mix oil and water together and it’s wise to have a small fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen in case of an emergency.

After switching off the fryer, wait for the oil to completely cool before you drain it from the device and dispose of it safely.

A fryer with a locking safety lid is the best option as it will prevent the risk of oil splashing out of the unit while you are cooking and eliminate the risk of oil spills in the dryer is knocked.

Most reputable deep fat fryers have thermal safety cut-out feature which will stop the unit from operating if it becomes too hot.

Any food you are planning to fry must be as dry as possible. Dab any excess moisture from the food with some kitchen towels. The drier the food, the better the result.

You can also consider sprinkling breadcrumbs or flour on to cut potatoes for an extra crunchy chips.

A good tip to see if the oil is ready is to drop a small square of crustless bread into the machine. If it turns brown after a minute, it is ready to use.

There are literally thousands of different types of food stuff which can be deep fat fried.

Among the most popular in the UK are fish and chips, onion rings, battered sausages, mushrooms in breadcrumbs, bacon, doughnuts, chicken breast, leg and wings, French toast and steak.

More unusual options for deep frying include ice cream in crushed cornflakes, mozzarella cheese in breadcrumbs and Mars bars in batter – a big favourite in Scotland.

Many fruits and vegetables taste wonderful when fried in a light batter or breadcrumbs including courgette, cauliflower, red and green peppers, bananas, onions, artichoke hearts, green beans, parsnips, aubergine, green tomatoes, spring onions, olives, watermelon, avocado, apple, brussel sprouts, pear, corn on the cob, broccoli and asparagus.

Many foodstuffs which are cooked in a fryer are coated in breadcrumbs or batter before frying, but it’s perfectly acceptable to cook food without any coating.

Fish, for example, is often cooked in a heavy and crunchy batter, whereas vegetables are regularly cooked in an Oriental tempura style, with thin and extra light batter coating.

Some people choose to cook with animal fat in their fryer oil including goose, beef and duck oil. Another option is lard which is made from pig fat.

If you want to enjoy the taste of fried food but really can’t cope with the thought of it being fried in fat, then you might like to consider the option of buying a fat-free fryer – this latest innovation is proving a popular choice and brands like the Philips Airfryer ot Tefal ActiFry operate with rapid air technology which cooks the food by circulating hot air around the interior of the device.

If you are trying to watch your weight, The Actifry is ideal if you are watching your weight and will serve up delicious chips and other deep fried dishes which won’t pile on the pounds!

There’s no need for pre-heating and this fryer has a very large viewing window, which doesn’t steam up, so you can monitor the progress of everything you fry.

The ActiFry is very easy to clean – the removable bowl, paddle and the fryer lid in the dishwasher can be placed in a dishwasher. It also comes with a recipe book to give you some excellent frying suggestions.

You can use most types of oil in it including olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and flax oil.

How to buy a deep fat fryer ?

Some fryers have timers, and different models may have different maximum cooking periods, so you may wish to compare these before buying. Add food to your cooker a little at a time, as the temperature will dip when new items are added. There’s no risk of having oil splashing around and potentially causing injuries or an accident. You’ll need to invest in a deep-fat fryer for a truly authentic taste. This helps heat the oil to the desired temperature more quickly. There are slightly different heating options with gas fryers, such as having the gas jets concentrated on the outside of the frying tank, or using infra-red heaters, which give a fast, high heat. Cleaning A large vat of oil is quite a messy item to clean. Some timers will alert you with a bell when they turn off. Give the food and the oil room to work together without crowding. The basket can be put inside and raised without opening the lid. We explain how to choose the best deep-fat fryer to get the fluffiest, crunchiest chips possible.

Then, after you add the food, the oil comes back up to temperature more quickly as well. Gas fryers are generally more expensive to purchase, but can be cheaper to run, due to natural gas or propane being less expensive than the cost of electricity used for an Electric Fryer. Choose a deep fat fryer that’s easy to clean otherwise you’ll be reluctant to use it regularly. Fryers can also come with variable thermostats, which give you more control over the cooking process. To prevent overcrowding and quickly recovered the temperature, fry in small batches, never filling more than approximately half of the surface area of the oil with frying food at any one time. Lidless fryers deep fryers are either free from a lid or they have a lid that has to be removed to put the basket in and take it out. We no longer review deep fat fryers, but our advice could help you to choose one that works for you.

This is the key to performance: beginning the frying process more quickly so that the outside cooks crisply and the inside stays moist, yet without absorbing a lot of oil. Due to the nature of gas fryers, they normally come in free-standing models, so for smaller outputs or where a deep fat fryer’s use is nominal and occasional, a countertop electric fryer may be the best option, and much more affordable. Drainage Look for a model with a trap or easier oil drainage to avoid having to tip the whole fryer to empty it.Dishwasher safe parts make clean up easy. Most fryers operate in the 140-200 °C. (280-400°F) temperature range and indicator lights will let you know when the correct temperature has been reached.

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