- Choose a safe skillet. Since you're using a good amount of oil and plan to cook at high heats, you want your pan to be deep and sturdy. If you're not sure which skillet to try, there's another, beginner-friendly option: an electric deep fryer. With the electric version, you can control temperature settings and use an automatic timer.
- Pick the appropriate cooking oil. Selections will vary from recipe to recipe, but be sure to choose an oil with a high smoke point — an oil that won't break down at high temperatures. Canola oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil are all great options.
- Prep the food. It's more than just a saying: oil and water don't mix. For that reason, you need to dry your foods completely before adding them to the pan. Pat them dry with a paper towel or go for a coating like flour or bread crumbs. The best part? The coating will lock in moisture.
- Safely pour and heat the oil. To avoid splatters, add the oil to the skillet while the pan is cool. You should also make sure to leave plenty of room for the oil to rise and bubble without spilling over. A good rule of thumb: keep the oil below the half-filled mark.
- Slowly add the food. Stay safe and burn-free by carefully lowering each piece of food into the oil. Don't crowd the pieces together or the food may not cook through evenly.
- Monitor the temperature. One of the most important aspects of deep-frying is to ensure a consistent cooking temperature. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and keep the temperature in the range of 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature dips too low, you'll risk greasy food, and if it gets too high, the oil can smoke or catch fire. Using a deep-fry thermometer can help you keep it steady.
- Watch the food's color. Your goal is to remove the food when it's turned a golden-brown shade. Do so cautiously, piece by piece, then turn off the heat and let the pan cool before taking it off the stove.
Do you have any deep-frying tips? Share them in the comments below!