Getting your oil to the right temperature can be tricky, made even more difficult with old pans and faulty ranges. Never fear, there are ways to test if the oil in your pan is the proper temperature for frying up some delicious snacks:
- Thermometer: This is the most sure-fire way to test your oil’s temperature. The ideal range here is between 325–375°F. Both instant-read and candy thermometers are going to give you the reading you’re looking for – just make sure they can handle the high temperatures.
- Drops of batter: If the dish you’re frying is coated with some sort of batter, a great way to test the oil is to drop a bit of the batter into the oil. If there isn’t any bubbling, then the oil isn’t ready. If it’s furiously bubbling and there is smoke, that’s too hot.
- Wooden spoon: Grab your wooden spoon and get ready for this awesome trick. Dip the handle-end of the spoon into the oil. Oil that’s ready for frying will bubble around the handle.
- Rice: Pick up a grain of rice and drop it into your hot oil. If the rice comes back to the top and starts cooking, your oil is hovering around 360°F, perfect for your food.
With these techniques under your belt, your oil will hit that sweet spot between too cool (pale and greasy) and too hot (burnt outside and raw inside).
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