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Food Preparation: Frying

There are three basic methods of frying:

Pan frying, also known as sautéing, uses a small amount of melted shortening or oil—just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Shallow frying uses enough melted shortening or oil to partially cover the food.

Deep frying completely covers or submerges the food in melted shortening or oil.

Although most foods can be fried using any of the three methods, the following table indicates the foods most typically prepared with each method.

 

Pan frying

Shallow frying

Deep frying

Food

Lean tender meats such as liver, veal, or steak; tender vegetables such as onions; dessert pancakes

Shrimp, chicken, and other small pieces of food, including vegetables such as potatoes

Shrimp, chicken, cutlets, vegetables such as potatoes, onion rings, eggplant; fritters or doughnuts

Equipment

Heavy fry pan or electric skillet

Heavy fry pan or electric skillet

Medium to heavy weight 8-10" wide by 4-6" deep saucepan, or electric deep fryer

Spatula or tongs for turning food

Spatula or tongs for turning food

Frying basket; tongs or slotted spoon

 

Special frying thermometer

Special frying thermometer or temperature control

Amount of melted shortening or oil

Enough to cover bottom of frying pan:

8" diameter = 1/4 cup

9" diameter = 1/2 cup

10" diameter = 2/3 cup

12" diameter = 1 cup

Enough to partially submerge food; 1/2 - 1"

Enough to fill a 4-6" deep saucepan half full, or a deep fryer within 1/2" of the fill mark

Procedure

Heat shortening/oil to 365°, a medium heat; place food in pan

Heat shortening/oil to 365-375°, a medium-high heat; place food in pan

Heat shortening/oil to 365-375°, submerge food, cook until golden brown and done

Turn when nicely browned, complete cooking and browning on other side

Turn when brown; complete cooking and browning on other side

Remove food from fryer

Drain food on paper towel

Drain food on paper towel

Drain food on paper towel

Serve immediately

Serve immediately

Serve immediately