Oil to fry with

On most days, I love eating healthy. Greens, whole-grains or protein-packed snacks are my go-to meals. But every once in a while I’ll treat myself to some good ol’ American fried food. (It’s practically unavoidable when you’re living in Wisconsin.) And boy, no matter how delicious you make your kale, nothing beats the taste of a crispy golden-brown chicken wing or an extra-indulgent cheese curd.

What exactly is deep frying? Also known as “deep fat frying” and just plain old “frying,” this cooking method involves submerging food into very hot oil (around 375 degrees) to cook. The oil instantaneously cooks the outer layer of the food, sealing off the center. This typically results in a crispy exterior and soft interior, giving french fries their glorious golden crunch.

It’s easy to find deep-fried treats at your local fast-food joint, but how about deep frying at home? It may seem daunting, but with the right knowledge, it’s easy. In fact, home cooks around the world fry on a regular basis.

With a little help from our Test Kitchen, we’re sharing 13 tips you should know when learning how to deep fry at home. Follow along and you’ll be whipping up homemade fries, crispy fried chicken and beignets in no time.

#1: You Don’t Need to Buy a Fancy Fryer

If you’ve been in a restaurant kitchen (or seen one on TV), you’re familiar with large deep fryers. Most home cooks rely on countertop deep fryers, which are convenient but not necessary. If you’re not frying every day, they’ll probably just take up space in your kitchen. Here are some tips to get more counter space in the kitchen.

We recommend frying on the stovetop. To do this, find a large, deep pot, preferably with high sides and a long handle. You’ll be filling the pot with a few inches of hot oil, so you want to make sure there’s plenty of room for food to float without the liquid rising near the top. We like to use this 5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven from Lodge ($40). Learn why the best pot to fry in isn’t a pan at all.

Bonus Tip: Since you’ll be dealing with very hot material that’s easy to spill, it’s important to have a firm, steady surface to work on. I wouldn’t have attempted deep frying in my college apartment because the burner grates would always rock back and forth!

#2: Have A Few Tools on Hand

Successful deep-frying calls for a few extra tools. To lift and lower food you’ll want a wire basket, slotted metal spoon or kitchen spider. I prefer the spider because it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver as I scoop delicate mashed potato balls or onion rings. You’ll also want a pair of long tongs for flipping food from a distance and plenty of paper towels for draining the cooked food.

#3: Safety First

Frying is fun, but as with any other cooking method, it’s important to practice safety at all times. Here are a couple of quick pointers to bear in mind as you go:

You’ll be heating up your cooking oil to an extremely high temperature, so stay focused as you cook. No answering the phone or multi-tasking. We also suggest keeping kids away from the kitchen while frying is going on.

Remember this old science lesson: Water and oil do not mix. Keep this in mind to prevent oil from spilling or spattering (which can cause some pretty nasty burns). Adding a little moisture to your oil will make it bubble up. Add a lot, and someone might get hurt. Be extra-careful to wipe down wet utensils and pat any extra moisture off the food before dipping it in the oil.

#4: Use the Best Oil for Deep Frying

Fry only with oils that have a high smoking point. Smoking point is the temperature it takes for the oil to start to break down and smoke. Once it smokes, it’s not good for frying.

Use: Peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil or vegetable oil.

Don’t use: Butter and shortening have a low smoking point, so avoid them. The same goes for olive oil.

#5: Use Enough Oil to Submerge Food

Don’t skimp on the oil. You’ll need enough to fully submerge food, with plenty of room to cook. (Remember, for safety you’ll want to have a few extra inches at the top of your pan to give the oil room to bubble.)

You can strain your oil after cooking and reuse it a few times. It will retain the flavor of the food fried in it, so don’t mix onion rings with delicate donuts.

#6. Cook at a High Temperature

For most deep-fried recipes, you’ll want to heat your oil to around 375 degrees. If you’re wondering how do you know when oil is ready to deep fry, it’s reached its mark when the oil starts to shimmer, giving off visible waves of heat. For total accuracy, use a frying thermometer to monitor the rising temp. We like to use this digital thermometer from ThermoWorks ($34). Once you add foods, the heat will lower, so you may need to give it time to heat back up between batches.

#7: Choose Small, Dry Ingredients

The easiest foods to fry are those that are small and dry, like hush puppies or fried okra. Cut your ingredients into bite-size pieces, about an inch or two in size. If you’re dealing with raw ingredients, pat the food dry with a paper towel before adding any batter or frying. This’ll remove any extra moisture that could cause the oil to spit and sputter.

#8: Batter Up

The secret to a crispy-fried crunch? Dunking your ingredients in a simple homemade batter. For this Crispy Fried Chicken recipe, home cook Leanne Schnitzler of Lima, Montana, coats her chicken in a simple garlic salt and paprika flour mixture, with egg to stick. If you’d like, you can add bread crumbs, too. This technique adds a crisp texture to just about any ingredient, be it meaty morsels or fresh veggies.

#9: Don’t Let the Temperature Drop

For happy frying, keep the temperature of the oil steady. If the temperature drops, your food will have an overcooked exterior and undercooked exterior. It’ll also take much longer for food to cook, resulting in heavy, greasy food instead of something that’s crisp and light. Some common mistakes that cause the temperature to drop are:

  • Overcrowding the pan
  • Adding food that’s cold

It’s best to cook in small batches and let refrigerated or frozen ingredients come to room temperature.

#10: Cook Till Golden Brown

The longer the food cooks, the more fat will be absorbed. For most recipes, you’ll fry uncovered until the food is golden brown and cooked through. If you’re unsure of the cooking time, test a single piece first. This’ll help you gauge the cooking time for the rest of the batch. Once you are finished cooking, remove the food with your preferred tool and let it drain on a paper towel.

#11: Clean Between Batches

Once you’re finished with your first batch, use a slotted spoon to remove any bits of food that remain in the oil. Think of it as starting with a clean slate. If food remnants are left in the liquid, it can alter the taste of your next round. Also, be sure to let the oil rise to temperature again, as it may have cooled between cooking.

#12. Reuse Your Oil

Instead of stockpiling big drums of oil in the pantry, you can reuse your frying oil time after time. When finished frying, let the oil cool down to room temperature. Then strain through a cheesecloth and return back to its original container. Store it in a cool, dark place. To extend its life, add a small amount of fresh oil each time you cook. If it starts to look thick or brown, then it’s gone bad.

#13: The ultimate secret to happy frying at home? Practice.

Frying is an art form. It’ll take a few tries and some patience to learn the subtleties that are involved to get perfect results with every batch. But the result is definitely worth the effort. Besides, no one will mind if there’s an extra plate of fried chicken around the house.

Ready to master deep frying? Start with these simple recipes:

  • Wonton Mozzarella Sticks: Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. You wouldn’t believe they only take a few ingredients to make.
  • Fried Chicken Strips: Finally, restaurant-quality chicken strips at home!
  • Zucchini Fritters: Got a bumper crop of zucchini? Use it up with this fried favorite.

While deep-fried food is always popular, cooking using this method leaves a margin for error that can be disastrous. By following a few simple rules, you can deep-fry safely and confidently.

1. Use oil with a high smoke point. This is the temperature an oil can be heated to before it smokes and burns. Saturated and monounsaturated oils are the most stable for frying. Oils that are rich in polyphenols or antioxidants are also easier to work with, because they appear to become less damaged at high temperatures – these include olive oil and rapeseed oil.

2. Use a large, wide, sturdy pan. Never fill the pan more than two-thirds full with oil as it may bubble up when food is added, and could spill over.

3. Make sure you have a well-fitting lid close to hand in case the oil catches fire. If your pan doesn’t have a lid that fits, a large, flat baking sheet will do the job.

4. Check the temperature of your oil. If you have a food thermometer heat the oil to 160C for low, 180C for moderate and 190C for high. Avoid heating the oil any higher than this, as it may catch fire. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil with a cube of bread. It should brown in 30-40 seconds when the oil is at a moderate heat.

5. Never put wet food in the fryer. Excess liquid will cause the oil to splutter which can cause injuries. Particularly wet foods should be patted dry with kitchen paper before frying.

6. Never leave a pan of hot oil unattended; it can take just a minute or two for the oil to overheat and catch fire.

7. Turn pan handles away from the front of the cooker to avoid knocking the pan off the hob.

8. Keep the kitchen a child-free zone while deep-frying. Little hands can cause catastrophes when dealing with hot oil.

9. Remove food with a large slotted spoon or sturdy tongs, something that allows the oil to drain as you lift the food out.

10. To dispose of the oil safely, leave to cool completely, pour into a jug, then back into its original bottle. Never pour the oil down the sink, unless you want blocked pipes!

What to do when deep-frying goes wrong

  • If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down.
  • If the oil catches fire, turn off the heat and smother the flames with a lid, large baking tray or a fire blanket – or use a fire extinguisher, if you have one.
  • Never spray the fire with water; this will cause the flames to spread.
  • Call the fire brigade as soon as it is safe to do so.

Watch the deep-frying technique in action with our video on how to make scotch eggs:

Watch more videos on deep-frying:

How to batter fish video
How to make doughnuts
See our deep-fried recipes for more inspiration.

How to Make Crispy Fish and Chips in 30 Minutes—Without a Deep Fryer

Fish and chips are one of the most iconic British foods—crispy, warm, battered white fish, paired with salty chips (or, as we know them, fries) on the side. So it should come as no surprise that in this week’s episode of Ludo à la Maison, Ludo Lefebvre says that the best fried fish he’s ever had was in London. He puts his own spin on the classic by serving American-style potato chips on the side, along with a creamy, herby dip to replace the usual tartar sauce. The end result? Light, browned bites of tempura-battered fish that taste fresh and crispy. Find out his key tips for preparing the dish below.

You don’t need a deep fryer

Yes, fish and chips are traditionally battered and fried—but that doesn’t mean you need a restaurant-grade deep fryer to pull them off. At home, Lefebvre says you can use a nice, strong pot (like the Le Creuset he uses in the video) with oil for the same results.

Speaking of oil …

Lefebvre recommends using grapeseed oil for this recipe, since it has a high burn temperature and smoke point (read: it doesn’t burn).

Grab a thermometer

You’ll need to monitor the oil temperature in the pot when you’re frying the chips and fish. Lefebvre says you want it to reach 170 degrees Celsius, or 340 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure it stays at that temperature, too—when Lefebvre adds the potato slices, he notes that the oil temperature drops, so he adds more heat to get it back up.

Cut the potatoes with a mandolin

Lefebvre opts for baby Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe, and uses a mandolin to slice them thin. You don’t want them to be too thick, so this is a better bet than using a knife.

When they’re crispy, they’re ready

You’re not going to achieve perfect color on all of the potato chips, since they’re all different sizes and will thus cook at different rates. Once they’re golden and crispy, pull them out and season with salt.

Prepare the batter

Lefebvre mixes flour, lemon zest (grated with a microplane), lemon juice, black pepper, sesame seeds, and Pellegrino water together for the tempura batter. Why sparkling water? It makes the batter more airy, he says.

Then, make the dipping sauce

Lefebvre jokes that he picked a vegetable dipping sauce for this dish because it makes you feel “less guilty,” and uses yogurt as a base instead of mayonnaise. He combines blanched zucchini (which preserves the color), cilantro, chives, and tarragon with garlic cloves and yogurt into a blender, producing a very green sauce. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Stick with white fish

Any firm white fish will do for this recipe. In this video, Lefebvre uses black cod from Santa Barbara, California—it fries well, is oil-rich, and has a nice, mild flavor.

Cut it into small bites

After he uses a fish knife to fillet the cod (make sure to remove the black part and the skin), Lefebvre cuts the fish into small, two-ounce pieces. This ensures that they will cook quickly and prevents the batter from burning.

Seriously, watch the temperature

As you dip the pieces of fish in the batter and add them to the oil, it’s crucial that the temperatures remains betwee 340 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too low, the batter will get soggy and soak up oil; a higher temperature will burn the batter. If you maintain it, you’ll end up with browned, perfectly crispy fish bites.

Get the recipe here.

Six Steps for Deep-Frying Without a Deep Fryer

We’re big fans of deep-frying as a finishing technique after cooking sous vide. You don’t need to own a dedicated fryer. You just need a deep pot and the proper tools to insert and retrieve the food from a safe distance: long tongs, a slotted deep-fry spoon, or a frying basket. Follow the steps below for deep-frying success.

  1. Choose an appropriate frying oil, one that has a higher smoke point than the desired cooking temperature. Peanut, soybean, and sunflower oils are our favorites for frying at high temperatures. For a list of smoke and flash points of different oils, see page xxii of Modernist Cuisine at Home or 2·126 of Modernist Cuisine.
  2. Add the oil to a deep pot, but fill it no more than half full. Generally the walls of the pot should rise at least 10 cm / 4 in above the oil so that there are no spillovers. This also helps contain splattering and makes cleanup easier. Use enough oil so that you can submerge a small batch of food completely.
  3. Preheat the oil to the cooking temperature. Use a probe thermometer held upright in the center of the pan of oil to check the temperature (see the picture below). Our recipes call for frying at temperatures between 190 °C / 375 °F and 225 °C / 440 °F. That’s hot! Make sure your thermometer can display temperatures up to 260 °C / 500 °F. Frying, candy, and thermocouple thermometers usually have this much range. For consistent results, cook in small batches to minimize the cooling that occurs when you add food, and warm the food to room temperature before frying it. Allow the oil temperature to recover between batches.
  4. Pat food dry with paper towels before frying. The presence of external moisture on foods can cause oil to splatter violently. Don’t get too close to the oil. Use long tongs, a slotted deep-fry spoon, or a frying basket to insert and remove foods gently. Never use water, flour, or sugar to put out a grease fire. And do not try to carry a flaming pot outdoors. To suffocate a fire, use baking soda, a damp towel, or a fire extinguisher specifically designed for grease fires.
  5. Once food enters the hot oil, things happen fast. Just 30 seconds may be enough when you don’t want to cook the interior of the food further (for example, when deep-frying food after cooking it sous vide). Smaller pieces of food will cook faster and more evenly than larger pieces. For more on why size matters when deep-frying, see page 2·117 of Modernist Cuisine.
  6. Drain the cooked food on paper towels. Absorbing excess oil removes much of the fat associated with deep-frying. Most of the fat does not penetrate the food very far, coating only the surface. Simply blotting deep-fried food as soon as it emerges from the fryer will make it a lot less greasy. But take care that you don’t remove all of the oily coating. Oil is, after all, the source of much of the flavor, texture, and mouthfeel of deep-fried food.

Ready to try deep-frying? Check out our recipes for Starch-Infused Fries, Chicken Wings, and Cheese Puffs. And check back next week when we add another deep-fried recipe to our library.

—Adapted from Modernist Cuisine at Home and Modernist Cuisine

Last updated on October 25th, 2019

If I had a dime for every time I heard the question-slash-complaint, “Oh, you have to deep fry that recipe? I don’t have a deep fryer!”, I’d be swimming around in my Scrooge McDuck pile of coins right now.

Photo: Casey Barber

Believe me when I say that working with boiling oil isn’t the medieval torture so many home cooks consider it to be. Like rolling out pie dough and shucking oysters, it’s a technique that becomes less nerve-wracking with practice and the right equipment.

Much like a multicooker or slow cooker, an electric deep fryer is designed to take all of the guesswork out of the process of deep frying.

Its digital temperature panel maintains the oil at a consistent temperature, a fry basket allows for splash-free dunking and removal of your ingredients, and automatic oil filtration helps clean up and store your oil when you’re done.

But you absolutely don’t need an electric deep fryer to successfully crisp up a soft shell crab, serve homemade fried pickles, or flash-fry a quick batch of potato chips. Nor do you have to resort to air frying, which can be tasty in its own right, but not a true substitute.

You most definitely can deep fry on your stovetop without fear or worry! Here’s Deep Frying 101 for when you’re ready to take the plunge. Watch the video and read on for all the details.

3 Essential Tools for Deep Frying on the Stovetop

A DEEP, HEAVY-BOTTOMED POT

For deep frying, you want a stockpot that will evenly distribute and retain heat, and wipe clean without sticky oil residue.

Photo: Casey Barber

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, like the famous Le Creuset models, are ideal for the task, as well as regular cast iron Dutch ovens (the oil will help season them with frequent use).

If you do use a stainless steel stockpot, long-term deep frying may leave a ring of fried oil buildup that I’ve found more difficult to remove than on cast iron. (May I recommend some Bar Keepers Friend?)

AN OIL/CANDY THERMOMETER

Unlike a meat thermometer, an oil/candy thermometer is designed to register higher temperatures and can be clipped to the side of a pot to stay immersed in oil or boiling sugar for long periods of time.

Like an electric deep fryer, it’s a one-time investment, but on a much more affordable scale. And there’s really no substitute for the safety and monitoring features an oil/candy thermometer provides. It takes so much of the guesswork out of frying or working with hot sugar and pays for itself in peace of mind.

Photo: Casey Barber

Why bother monitoring the temperature of the oil, by the way? When oil is maintained at the right temperature, it keeps whatever you’re frying from taking on too much grease or burning too quickly.

Think of a thermometer as your Goldilocks insurance. If the oil is at too low of a temperature, the food will just soak it up; too high, and your breading will burn before the interior of the food cooks through. When it’s just right, the food will stay moist inside and crispy on the outside, and the oil won’t be wasted.

A METAL SPIDER/SKIMMER

The simplest of the three essentials, this kitchen utensil is able to simultaneously scoop up your fried goodies and drain excess oil back into the pot.

Photo: Casey Barber

Metal tongs work in a pinch, too (get it?), but a metal spider also known as a skimmer or strainer, is wide enough to grab more than one piece of food at a time.

And when you’re doing multiple batches of fried food, you want to get to the eating part as quickly as you can!

The Right Oil for Deep Frying

Once you have your equipment on hand, you need the software—that is, you need the oil.

I recommend organic canola oil or vegetable oil for everyday frying. Both of these oils have a high smoke point—that is, they won’t start to smoke and burn before they hit almost 450 degrees F.

Photo: Casey Barber

Canola oil and vegetable oil also both have a neutral flavor that won’t interfere with the taste of your snacks. As much as I love peanut oil, it has a distinctive taste that can work against certain fried foods.

The Right Technique for Stovetop Deep Frying

For stovetop frying, be sure not to overfill your pot. Once the food hits the hot oil, it’ll bubble and sizzle, and you’ll be in a lot of trouble if the oil starts pouring over the edges of the pot like a volcano.

Photo: Casey Barber

In all my deep frying recipes, I specify oil to a depth of at least 2 inches, since that’s generally deep enough to completely submerge the food as well as shallow enough to prevent boilover. You’ll need at least 1 quart of oil for a 3 1/4-quart Dutch oven, but always make sure that the oil doesn’t fill the pot more than halfway.

Once you’ve filled your pot with oil, clip an oil/candy thermometer to the side of the pot and make sure its tip is submerged. You’ll know it’s in the right position when the probe is deep enough to clear the “dimple” above the tip of the thermometer, but not so deep that it touches the bottom of the pot.

Photo: Casey Barber

Heat the oil over medium heat to the temperature specified in your recipe: depending on the size, shape, and heat retention of your pot, this can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes.

Whether your oil is heating in an electric fryer or on a stove burner, set up a draining station next to the frying station. I take a cue from Alton Brown and line a baking sheet with paper towels, then cover that with a wire cooling rack flipped upside-down to put the metal in direct contact with the paper towels.

Photo: Casey Barber

This helps wick away additional oil to keep fried foods crisp instead of soggy from hanging out in oil puddles.

When your oil reaches temperature, carefully add your food to the pot using the metal spider. Frying is a hands-on process, so don’t walk away to catch up on Instagram or watch Red Zone.

Keep an eye on what’s happening in the pot, and when your food reaches its desired brownness and crispiness, scoop the goodies out with the spider, shaking gently to let the excess oil drip off, and transfer to the draining station.

Storing and Recycling Oil After Deep Frying

Once your frying adventures are over for the day, don’t ditch the oil! If filtered and stored properly, you can re-use that oil for your next crispy expedition.

First, let the oil cool to room temperature in the vessel you used for deep frying. Don’t try to decant it into anything just yet—simply move the pot off the hot burner and leave it uncovered until it cools.

Photo: Casey Barber

Once your oil is cool, place a funnel in the mouth of a clean, sealable container. The plastic jug your oil came in is absolutely perfect, if it’s empty—if not, a Mason jar works equally well. Just make sure the container is large enough to hold all your oil.

Place a fine mesh strainer or paper towel inside the mouth of the funnel to catch any errant fried bits, since they’ll make the oil go rancid more quickly. Pour the oil through the funnel into the container. Seal and reuse, filtering each time, until you notice the oil darkening significantly.

You can usually get about eight to 10 uses out of your oil before it’s kaput, but remember that frying items with a distinct smell, like seafood or salami, will flavor your oil from there on out.

Photo: Casey Barber

When the oil’s no longer usable, recycle it instead of pouring it down the drain—cooking oil clogs pipes and sewers. In New Jersey, I can take my used cooking oil to be recycled on our county’s semi-annual hazardous waste collection days.

Not sure what’s allowed in your area? Call your city recycling department or department of public works, check Earth 911 for local oil recycling facilities, or talk with your favorite neighborhood restaurant about adding your oil to their recycling pickup.

How to successfully fry anything without a deep fryer

Pan fried tots cooling on a rack.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Don’t have a deep fryer? You can still make homemade fries, hash browns and more with the same great taste. All you need is a pan and a stove top. There are several tricks to pan frying success, though. Here is a guide to get you started.

Tools for frying on the stove

Picking the pan or pot

First, you need to pick the right pan or pot. Ideally, it should have a heavy metal bottom to heat oil slowly, preventing scorching and allowing for a steady boil during frying.

Pots or pans should also be at least 5 inches deep. You’ll need at least 3 inches (4 to 6 cups) of oil to deep fry most items, so your pan should be able to accommodate that much oil and have plenty of room for the food you will add without spilling over. Deep 1.5 to 2 gallon (6 to 8 quart) pots or pans are ideal. Cast iron Dutch ovens are a good choice for frying on the stove because they are both heavy and deep.

Getting the heat

Next, you need a way to check the heat. The faster the food cooks, the less oil it absorbs and the speed at which food fries is directly due to temperature. Many deep fryers have thermometers, but since you are using a pan, you’ll need to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil before you can start frying. Meat or candy thermometers work great for frying.

Frying with accessories

Finally, you need the right accessories. Many deep fryers come with frying baskets, but you can get the same effect using a simple tool called a spider. Spiders are bamboo sticks with a netted scooping tool at the bottom that looks like a mini colander. These spiders are ideal for scooping up fried foods because the oil can drip though the wire net. They can be found at most department stores in the cooking section for just a couple of bucks. Many people use tongs to grab foods from frying grease, but they tend to smash more delicate items. This is where spiders are particularly handy.

You will also need a cooling rack and a cookie sheet. After frying, laying foods on the rack will allow the food to shed any excess oil and the cookie sheet will catch the oil. I like to line my cookie sheet with wax paper for easy clean-up.

Frying step-by-step

Now that you have your tools assembled, you can get down to frying:

  1. Set a cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet beside your frying pot.
  2. Set your burner on medium and let your pan of oil heat for around 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Put the meat thermometer in the center of the oil to check the temperature. The oil should be between 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) and 400 F (205 C), depending on what you’re cooking. Thicker foods (like bone-in chicken legs) will need a lower temperature to cook all the way through while thinner items that need to be flash-fried (onion rings) can be cooked at the higher end of the range.
  4. If your oil doesn’t get hot enough after 5 minutes, raise the burner heat a little and check the temperature until you hit the sweet spot.
  5. Add just enough food to the oil so that the oil level rises only about a half inch. You want the food to have plenty of room to float around without getting stuck together.
  6. Leave the food in the oil until it becomes a golden brown.
  7. Scoop the food out with either tongs or a spider and place it on the cooling rack until you are ready to serve.

Tips for the best fry

Here are a few more tips to insure that your food comes out perfectly cooked:

  1. If you have more to fry, don’t put it right in after the last batch. Wait until the temperature is just right again, then add the next batch.
  2. If you’re frying fish and chips, fry the chips first and then the fish. Otherwise, your chips may end up with a fishy flavor.
  3. Wait to salt your fries or tater tots until after they fry. The salt can fall off and scorch during frying.
  4. To reuse your oil, filter it through cheesecloth — once it cools — and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  5. Don’t crowd food in the oil. Make sure that it can float around to get the perfect doneness, inside and out.

Editors’ Note: This article was published on March 31, 2016 and has been updated.

Editors’ note: This story was updated on March 31, 2016 to correct the temperature range at which foods should be fried.