The final frontier of home cooking… Deep Frying!
Ever been to a restaurant that doesn’t deep fry something on their menu? I doubt it. I’ve never even been inside a restaurant kitchen that doesn’t have a deep fryer and the right kitchen utensils to use it.
From crispy smash potatoes, to meatballs, beignets, legendary fried chicken, and all the way to croquettes, brussel sprouts. fish and chips, mozzarella sticks, and of course, golden French fries, deep fried food is part and parcel of eating out.
It’s always been a great shame that these delicious salty treats only last so long. Hot out of the fryer, they’re divine and perfect in every way. After the trip back home, steaming themselves soft in a to-go box, not so much.
So, obviously, everybody wants to be able to make these fried snacks at home and on-demand.
But that’s easier said than done.
Deep frying has never been the easiest thing to do at home. The large amount of oil can become quite expensive, it’s hard to regulate the temperature of the oil as you plunge food into it, the oil becomes dirty and maybe burned quite fast…
Not to mention that having a pot of shimmering, searingly hot oil sitting on the stove top hardly puts the mind at ease. Oil splash back is no fun (I have the scars to prove it) and oil fires even less so (luckily I tend to avoid those).
Those are just some of the reasons we put together this list of the Top 5 Must Have Deep Frying Utensils and Tools for home use.
These kitchen tools will make deep frying a whole lot easier, and safer at home. They’ll allow you to not only work cleanly and efficiently, but also help ensure a delectable end product. Without these tools, you’ll just be making your life more difficult and without any reward for your trouble.
Here are the must haves for your home deep frying needs.
Top 5 Must Have Deep Frying Tools and Utensils
Lodge Deep Fry Basket
Exactly what it sound like, a basket for deep frying.
You put the food in the basket, then you put the basket in the oil and let the magic happen.
These are really great for frying lots of small things at the same time. Things like calamari or slice zucchini, for example. With a fry basket, you can dunk the whole batch into the oil at the same time and then remove it all together without going fishing for stray bits.
They can make life much easier in many cases and are worth picking up just for the convenience of safely putting items into the fryer oil.
Just make sure to get a round fry basket for home cooking since you’ll mostly be using round pots. Stay away from the rectangular baskets. Those are mostly designed for commercial fryers which also happen to be rectangular.
Letschef Stainless Steel Spider Strainer
Funny name, and completely unrelated to spiders. A kitchen spider is basically a stiff net on a handle. Sometimes they will also be called strainers or skimmers.
Spiders let you pick up food in the hot oil while letting the oil strain out through the mesh. It’s great for moving food around in the oil, too. The long handle keeps you far away from the hot oil and the large mesh head at the end lets you pick up lots of food at once.
This is a must have for fried chicken in particular. This is how you can manipulate and flip over the chicken while it’s in the oil to ensure consistent cooking.
The key thing about these is really just the mesh. You take the food out, but the oil stays in the pot. That way you can transfer food safety from the hot oil to somewhere where it can dry out and fool down before you eat it.
A good bonus is that spiders are useful for so many other things. They’re also perfect for getting pasta out of boiling water or for scooping poached meat out of liquid. They’re key for deep frying, but they have nearly limitless uses besides that. I frequently use them to remove large mirepoix from stocks or soups that I don’t want in my end product. Much easier than fumbling around with a colander to strain out still boiling liquid into yet another pot.
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack
Why a roasting rack? We aren’t roasting! We’re deep frying!
A roasting rack here is key not for the cooking process, but for what happens after.
With a roasting rack set on a baking tray, you have a “landing pad” for your deep fried food to dry out and cool down.
The oil will drip off, helping you avoid oil-logged food and air will also be able to circulate underneath the food, helping to cool it down faster.
Biggest bonus here is in cleaning and cost. No more wasting paper towels to dab oil off deep fried foods after they come out of the oil. The baking tray the roasting rack is set in will catch any excess and be dish-washer safe.
This is absolutely a must have for pure quality of life reasons. It’ll also make your food a whole lot nicer by preventing pools of oil forming in contact with the food on whatever receptacle you transfer your freshly fried food to.
And, like many other things on this list, its great for many other cooking applications (like roasting, as you may have guessed). Great triple-threat tool to have in the kitchen.
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart
Nearly quintessential as a piece of cookware. They’re great for so much. Get one.
And specifically for deep frying, they excel. They’re one of the common pieces of cookware than come closest to acting as a commercial deep fryer.
The real key thing here is that they are made of cast iron. Cast iron has long been known as classic outdoors-man/camping cookware but it has a unique advantage over other types of cookware materials.
The great thing about cast iron is that its thick and retains heat extremely well. That means that since the Dutch Oven maintains its heat well, it’ll help stabilize the temperature of the oil as you drop food into the oil.
Any food placed in oil will drop the temperature of the oil as heat energy is transferred to the food as it cooks. With a Dutch oven, the thick walls maintain their heat level and in turn help maintain the temperature of the oil.
The end result is less waiting between batches of food for the oil to come back to temp. It’ll help you avoid the problem of either overcooked food or even once crispy food becoming soggy from sitting too long in cold oil.
The best part of Cast Iron Dutch Ovens in a word: consistency.
Plus, since they tend to come in quite large sizes, its easy to find one that can hold enough oil to properly deep fry whatever it is you’re looking to deep fry.
Craft Wok Flat Hand Hammered Carbon Steel
Pretty much the ultimate deep frying tool. You’ll never bother with a frying pan again.
Woks tend to be quite thin which give them the benefit of heating up pretty fast. They won’t retain their heat as well as some other options, but they can be very quickly reheated to the target temperature in between batches.
Their sloped sides also give an added safety bonus. Bubbling or splashing oil will be caught by the wide, sloped sides and run back into the center. Plus, those same sides make it easier to manipulate food and turn it over inside the wok.
On top of all that, the oil inside a wok is very easy to strain as you go. Since burned particles will collect only in the very center of the wok at the base, a single scoop can remove any pesky burning bits. With more classic, straight-sided western style pots, you sometimes find that the burned debris from breading or batter can collect in the edges which makes them a bit tricky to remove.