Deep frying is not the healthiest or most sustainable method of preparing food. But: Sometimes I really like to eat crispy tempura, falafel, sweet potato fries – you name it. When I got the cravings, I prefer to prepare deep-fried food at home, since I can make sure, that it´s done properly. Let me share some helpful tipps with you!
Normally I use sun-flower oil, when I deep fry food. It tastes neutral and has a high smoke point. The same goes for olive oil, which might have a stronger flavor. Note: Even though unrefined, virgin oils might be your standard choice for salads, sauces or baking, deep frying requires refined oils! The reason is simple: Unrefined oils have a low smoke point, which means, that you can not fry foods at the right temperature (at high temperatures, they simply start smoking and burning). My advice: By refined oil, that you only use for deep frying!
Deep frying at very high temperatures might be a thread to your health. At home though, it is more likely, that you fry at lower than necessary temperatures. This is especially the case, if you heat your oil on an electric stove. The problem with low temperatures is, that the food is getting soaked with oil instead of getting crispy. The result is mushy food, that contains a lot of fat. If you wanna check the temperature of your oil, simply dip a wooden spoon in your heated frying oil. When you see little bubbles close to the spoon, you can start frying! The outcome is crispy food, that is kind of dry (there is no waste oil, dripping down your food after proper deep-frying).
Oil can cause health problems, if you overuse it! I don´t follow a certain rule in terms of how often I use it. I simply check the color and how “clean” it looks. After the first time, I cover the pot with a lid or I store the oil in mason jars. I use it maybe two or three more times. If the oil starts to change the color or I spot a lot of crumbles, I substitute the old oil with fresh one. Speaking of: Oil doesn´t belong in the sink! Pour it in a jar, close it with a lid and recycle it. In Europe it is possible to bring it back to the supermarket for instance. The old oil is being collected and used for making biodiesel!
I am Julia, vegan by heart, traveler and minimalist based in beautiful Portugal. I love simple but delicious food, ashtanga, skating, surfing and having a nice conversation over snacks and a glass of wine. I am blogging about vegan food, my minimalist journey, life hacks and my experiences as a traveler.