So now that we have thoroughly gone over the different types of pots and pans; we want to talk about actually using them for what they are designed for…Cooking!
To that end, we will begin with cooking oil…
What food is cooked without using cooking oil?
Actually, there are plenty of recipes that don’t use cooking oil but majority of our food is cooked using some quantity of food for many purposes like stir frying, deep frying etc. The important thing here is knowing what amount to use and what temperature is required for different purposes.
The first scenario is deep frying where a considerable amount of oil is needed.
Deep frying is used to achieve a crispy texture on skin and cook food quickly in preheated oil. It is better to use smaller meat pieces when deep frying as large pieces are more difficult to deep fry. There is no need to fill up your container for deep frying, in fact, just put enough to immerse the pieces that need to be fried.
Change the quantity depending on the sizes. Use refined oils with smoke points up to 375ºF as unrefined oils do not have higher smoke points. If you are using a cooking thermometer, maintain the temperature within 350 to 375 degrees F.
No worries if you don’t have a thermometer, just put a bread cube in and see if it turns brown in 50 seconds. That is your ideal temperature for deep frying.
Sautéing with oil
For sautéing food, you don’t need as much quantity of oil as in deep frying. It is simply a process of searing food at high heat in minimal preheated oil.
For this method as well, you need to use refined oil like refined sunflower oil with high smoking point because you need to sauté food at high temperature. Ideal way of sautéing would be to preheat the skillet then add oil and heat it up. Add in the food before oil starts smoking.
When stir frying, any oil with high smoking point is suitable including soy, olive, peanut or corn flour oil. Quantity of oil is crucial for stir frying, normally 2 to 3 tablespoons per batch is enough for stir frying ingredients. Care should also be taken regarding the timings of each ingredient being fried as some take more time to be fried than others so add them in the oil accordingly.
Lastly, there is pan-frying that uses more oil than sautéed food but is almost similar to the process. Use a skillet with a heavier bottom for even and easier heat conduction. Also the size should be large enough for ingredients to get brown otherwise, they will start steaming instead.
Every frying process has its own specifications. By following them you not only save oil from being wasted but also ensure properly fried delicious food.
Oil is really important aspect to cooking and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
We have had so many questions from folks asking if they can use this type of oil for that, or that type of oil for this…often our answers are not what they want to hear, hence this post!
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