Is it possible to deep fry in a stainless steel? If you are anything like me you probably rely on most of your cooking through the heart and a lot of experimentation.
But you may have those moments of inspiration where you feel you want to go all out and you whip out that recipe book to make a spread fit for a king and you are expecting company you want to impress.
You want to do it just right and now your recipe calls out for some good old hearty deep fat frying. You take a look at your non-impressive cookware set, and now you are asking yourself the question, can I deep fat fry using my stainless steel? The answer to that is absolutely! Now, let us take a look at what deep fat frying entails.
What is Deep frying?
Though it may not be one of the healthiest cooking methods given the excessive amount of oil that is needed, not many can argue that fried food sure is one of the most amazing comfort foods there is.
Simply put, deep frying is frying food that is completely submerged in very hot oil. The food should mostly come out with a golden brown chunky exterior and a tenderly cooked interior.
The oil should be hot and as we have said given the food must be completely submerged in the oil, this means you will need about three to five inches of oil in your pot or deep pan.
That means using a pot with a depth of say seven to nine inches to be safe from spillovers. Having established that, what cooking utensil or pot is suitable for deep frying?
The Best pots for deep frying
From my experience I have discovered that the best pots for deep frying are cast iron, metal, and a wok, you can also use a nonstick pan to deep fry but I wouldn’t recommend it.
I am going to delve a bit deeper into each of these but to answer the question as to if we can use stainless steel for deep frying, the answer is yes! Stainless steel falls into the metals category.
Is it the best to use though? Let’s get in a little deeper on these different types of pots. The cast-iron pot commonly known as the Dutch oven is a heavy pot which is amazing for keeping in all the flavours in your food as it heats up quickly and evenly on all sides and the thick base is a great advantage in heat retention.
The wok is also an amazing tool for deep frying because of its shape and design, it allows for less spillage and splatter that actually makes it out of the pot when you are frying.
The metal pots and pans include copper, which though doesn’t come the cheapest, is perfect for deep frying because of its amazing properties that allow for perfect heat distribution. Now let us talk about stainless steel.
Deep Frying in Stainless Steel
Although we may tend to find that stainless steel is not that great when it comes to heat retention, it does have the advantage that it will keep your oil fresher and more useable especially if you want to use it multiple times.
You may want to avoid flavouring your food while still frying and leave that for after if you intend to reuse your oil. Stainless steel also has the advantage that it is a lot easier on the pocket when it comes to purchasing than its more sophisticated and expensive counterparts.
It also comes in different thicknesses and sizes and can also come in very large sizes which is definitely an advantage for deep fat frying. Since you are also not looking to save oil when you are deep frying, you can save your expensive not stick pans for some other uses that do not require a lot of oil.
A stainless steel pot is quite ideal for deep frying because it heats up quickly, heats up the oil quite quickly and evenly while handling the temperatures quite easily thus creating a wonderful tone and textures.
As previously mentioned, stainless steel comes in different quality levels. So you may wonder what would be the most suitable type of stainless steel for deep frying.
I would say the thicker the better. The heavy pans help to maintain a steady temperature as you throw in and take out the food from your fryer.
This may then pose another question, what is actually the best stainless steel cookware? To answer this you may need to ask yourself the following questions.
- Is it made from non-rusting 18\10 alloy (this is the percentage of chromium and nickel present in your cookware)
- Does it have an encapsulated copper bottom ( as this helps with heat retention)
- How are the handles attached to the pot or pan? Are they screwed on, are they welded on or both? This may seem very simplistic but with my growing mountain of fallen off pot handles, trust me, there is nothing more annoying than a pot without a handle
- Same applies to lids if the pot or pan comes with one. If it’s a set of pots also check if it is a standard size that fits on all the pots.
While there are several options that can be used to deep fat fry food like outdoor deep fryers, it is safe to say that you can indeed use stainless steel to deep fry. Ready to continue with your amazing recipe with your set of stainless steel cookware? Hit me up in the comments on what you are cooking today!