Deep frying is easier and faster with an electric fryer

Close-Up of Human Hand Preparing Food in Cooking Pan. PHOTO/www.gettyimages.com

What you need to know:

Commonly used for commercial purposes, an electric deep fryer can be such a convenient appliance in your kitchen at home. Also referred to as a deep fat fryer, the electric kitchen appliance is used for deep frying food.

There is nothing like good, old fashioned fried food such as chicken and French fries or fish.  Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, deep-frying yields such spectacular results that when done properly, it would be hard to re-create that delicious culinary magic any other way.  A deep fryer (also referred to as a deep fat fryer), is an electric kitchen appliance used for deep frying food.      

Commonly used for commercial purposes, an electric deep fryer can be such a convenient appliance in your kitchen at home.  Instead of deep frying food in a saucepan of hot oil using either a cooker or charcoal stove Sigiri food is deep fried in an electric fryer with an in built pan, plugged into electricity. 

Not only are they convenient, electric deep fryers are also great at temperature regulation. They allow you to select a desired temperature and notify you when they are heated.

An internal thermometer prevents oil from overheating and regulates the temperature during cooking. Deep fryers also cook food faster.  Modern deep fryers have food odour filters which prevent the smell of what you are cooking from spreading into the entire house.  

What to  cook with a deep fryer

When most people think about deep fryers, all they think about is making French fries or chicken but there many other things one can cook at home such as fish fingers, beef, meat balls, kebabs, and homemade snacks such as samosas, mandazi, cassava, sausages, and the famous local pancake kabalagala.

Cynthia Akello, a mother of two, says her deep fryer comes in handy whenever school resumes.

“My children are in boarding, so I make daddies and baggia for them to take to school using our electric fryer, the beauty is that I do not have to struggle with regulating the heat manually like I used to with a sigiri,” Akello says.  

Prices and where to buy

You can find deep fryers in supermarkets such as Capital Shoppers in Nakawa, Carrefour and Game at Lugogo Shopping Centre, Quality Supermarket in Lubowa and Kajjansi. For more variety at much more affordable prices, go to Superior Complex, on Ben Kiwanuka Street and walk into your preferred store.

A Saachi deep fryer with an oil holding capacity of three litres goes for Shs150, 000. Double deep fryer of six litres, will cost Shs300, 000-Shs340, 000. A 12 litre deep fryer will cost about Shs400, 000. 

There are also single fryers of different litres. Some may be even cheaper or more expensive depending on the make and brand. When using a double deep fryer you can cook different meals simultaneously at different temperatures. You can even choose to cook with one side.

Cost-effective

Deep fryers, have become a better choice for small-scale fast food vendors in the suburbs. Roseline Nantume, a fast food  vendor in Kireka, says, buying a deep fryer was the best choice she ever made as the money she spends on electricity is less than what she used to spend on a sack of charcoal every month.

Nantume says she would have to keep the sigiri lit to be able to make the French fries when customers placed orders. But with a deep fryer, all she has to do is switch it on and off when not in use.

Gladys Nakato, a cutlery and kitchen appliance shop owner at Superior Complex, affirms that deep fryers do not consume as much electricity as people assume.

“I have one at home, now because I have Yaka, every time we use it I monitor to see how much power has been consumed, I have noticed  that one  can make French fries enough for five people without even using up a unit,” Nakato says.            

Safety measures

If you are using it for the first time, read the instructions that came with your deep fryer. You can also inquire from the store how to use it before you take it home.  

Make sure you use the right oil for frying one with a high smoke point. That way, it will not burn or give your food a foul taste. Peanut oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil all have a high smoke point, making them great contenders for the job. Olive oil, on the other hand, should be avoided when deep frying.  

Set the temperature

Different foods should be cooked at different oil temperatures, some deep fryers have indicators for temperatures meant to cook specific foods. If your deep fryer has a lid, close it while the oil preheats.  The temperature to which you heat your oil will vary but is usually between 325-375°F (163-191°C).  Never leave the oil unattended and if you see the oil starting to smoke, the temperature’s getting too high and you need to turn off the heat immediately to avoid a grease fire.

Put the food into the deep fryer basket

Pat your food dry using a few paper towels before putting it in the deep fryer basket. Wet or moist food will cause the oil to bubble and splash, which could lead to burns. Then, carefully submerge the food into the fryer.

If your fryer does not have a basket, use tongs or a slotted spoon to put in the oil tank.  Do not drop the food into the fryer. Let the food cook. Different foods will require different frying times, so reference your recipe before you start frying.

Frying

Monitor your food to make sure it does not burn. Lift the basket out of the oil or use tongs to check on how the food looks.

When it is ready, turn off the deep fryer, take off the lid and take the fryer basket out shaking it a bit to drain off all the oil then let the food sit on a cooling or drying rack over a baking tray or rest your food atop some paper towels. This will remove the excess oil from your food. 

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