Fried food

I have this weakness for fried food, not limited to French fries, fish and chips and fried chicken fingers. Not to mention tonkatsu.

I have this fairly substantial 1 gallon deep fryer that amazingly can bring a full gallon of oil up to 360°F in 8 minutes. It requires so much electricity it requires a special outlet.

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Recently, however, I've been using my Avantco IC1800 induction hot plate and a quart of oil for my single servings of fried food. While you can always use a pot of oil on the stove, the induction is safer and much more convenient because it has a digital temperature control. You just dial it to 360°F and that's it!

ate.2012.03.06.c2.jpgI'm making frozen French fries here. If heated in the oven, the package says to use a 450°F oven, which takes 10 to 12 minutes for me to preheat, then 13 to 19 minutes to cook.

With the induction hot plate and a quart of oil it takes 10 minutes to heat the oil to 360°F and 2 minutes to cook. And the fries are much better.

With the old fryer I would carefully filter the oil after each use and clean the fryer, which is a fair amount of effort. Since it uses so much oil, it's necessary to reuse it several times. With just a quart of oil I just put the cover on the pan and set it aside to reuse just a few times which really saves a lot of effort.

I set the hot plate on an inverted sheet pan on my stove so it's directly under the vent hood. It's effective enough that I don't have any fried food smell in the rest of the house!