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Deep Fryers: Heat Up Time and Oil Longevity?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
1. For the typical home use deep fat fryer, how long does it take to heat it up to operating temperature?

2. How long can you leave the oil in there? I am one person generally cooking for myself and would expect to only use the fryer occassionally.
=TB
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post #2 of 15
You can usually tell when oil isn't usable anymore when it goes very dark and gets smoky when frying. I think it would depend on the type of oil you'd be using and what you'd be frying. I know that the canola oil we use at at the grill (for fries, chicken tenders, crispy chicken burgers) under constant use lasts safely for 1.5 weeks. I think the amount of oil the fryer holds may affect oil longevity as well, the same deep fryer uses about 25L yet I see the same oil used on smaller deep fryers under the same usage don't last as long.
post #3 of 15
Headless, 1-1/2 weeks????? :eek::eek::eek: Eeeee Gads!!!!!!! Must not be that high of volume. Hehehe. (please... No offense meant) But in all seriousness any kitchen I've been in we were luck to get three days outta grease. We always had one fryer with nothing but new grease (fries and chips only) then it went progressively down hill for the remaining fryers with the oldest usually changed out frequently. :D

As far as Home fryers go there are some pretty nice ones out there now. Definitely not of the Keating caliber (0-360 in under 10 minutes) but I've heard they can be heated in 15-20 minutes or so. Recovery is something else. On the stove top is quicker but much more dangerous. Trying to impress my wife (then girlfriend) with a meal of fresh fries and smoked chicken on a crapy stove. Not a good combination in the cramped space of my condo kitchen. Doohhh!!!! And yeah I'd been cooking professionally for 20 years at the time.:o
As far as a Home kitchen shelf life for the grease? Something to think about is if you do mostly taters and the like once or twice a week then maybe around 2 weeks. But once you start with meats, seafoods and different frozen items.... IMHPO I wouldn't push it past a week. Not really worth the side-affects. Plus the grease will have an odor that is unmistakeable if it goes south. Hot or cold. You could always use the old tried and true "Florence Henderson test".:look:;):D
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
It sounds like a deep fryer might not be very practical for me, as most of the time I'd be likely to use once or twice a week to make one serving of something for one person. It would work out that I'd usually be changing the grease for every serving or every other serving of food cooked. That's a bit time consuming and costly.
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post #5 of 15
Every home deep fryer I ever bought never came up to temp. Last one was a real bummer. USing a candy thermometer, one of known accuracy, when setting the Rival to 350, waiting for the green light, and then waiting an extra 10-20 minutes "to be sure", the temp never got over 220. When set to 375, and following the same routine, the temp never got over 240F.

They were very willing to replace it. However the catch was, I had to pay shipping to ship the defective unit back and shipping to get the replacement. Adding that up was more than I paid at Home Depot for the first one.

No guarantee that the next one would work any better, and Home Depot wouldn't take the first one back.

I've had Fry Daddy, Fry Baby, Waring, Rival, and a couple others before I gave up. Use a nice heavy pot on the gas range, and learn how to adjust the temperature to keep it at the desired spot, and it actually works pretty good. Just be careful when adding anything cold!

doc
post #6 of 15
There ya go. Best way to go about doing it.

Or go get yourself a turkey fryer. :D
post #7 of 15
Lots of things affect the life of the oil too. What you fry in it has a tremendous influence: meat juices and vegetable juices get into the oil and break it down, salt will break it down very fast too, never salt over or around the fryer. Crumbs will burn in the oil and affect it too if you don't strain it religiously. Light, particularily sunlight, will break down the oil prematurely too, so keep the oil covered and out of direct light.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sounds good.

* What's the best kind of oil or grease to use for general deep frying? I'm most interested in making onion rings and vegetable tempura.

* If I strained the oil and put it in a sealed container and into the frig when I'm done, how long would the oil last?
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post #9 of 15
When I worked in a restaurant, we used lard in the deep fryers and in the broaster. We used it and filtered it everynight and left it in the walk in cooler. Actually, fresh lard was hard to brown the french fries in. It seemed you could leave them in forever, and they stayed pretty pale. Therefore my favorite was to use the used lard. However, eventually, you could tell by the smell of the lard and the taste of the french fries/onion rings that the lard was getting old. I believe that we changed it out about once every week or two.

doc
post #10 of 15
In actuality yes, it should be far more often then that but the managers are very stubborn about sticking with those test sticks...1 week with 50L of oil x2 gets pretty $$$. I once had a test stick giving me the yellow light to change soon even though the oil was pitch black (another sign of old oil) but because it was still "usable" I wasn't to touch the oil.
post #11 of 15
IMHPO peanut oil is the most suitable and as far as the refrigeration goes... That would substantially increase the shelf life. But this doesn't mean it has a half-life. Just be prepared for the oil to be cloudy when it's cold. Doesn't mean it's bad. :smiles:

Headless, Hate to say it but.... Your managers?:roll::rolleyes: I don't eat fried stuff often but when I do I'd like to think that the food wasn't swimming in something that looks like it'd be coming up in Ole Jed Clampetts back yard.:suprise:
post #12 of 15
Yes, managers...I can't sneeze without having them allowing me to. Sucks cause if someone gets sick, I'll take the flack but 5mins later, I'll be with them in the back with the "I told you so" grin. Just the other day, she was "asking" (in the complaining tone and voice) why is the new Chinese food section using day old rice for fried rice...I couldn't be bothered to go into explaining.
post #13 of 15
Tell her Chinese calendar is different. :D
post #14 of 15
Don't tempt me, you know I'll do it :crazy:
post #15 of 15
I tend to use vegetable oil such as canola. Peanut oil works well but sometimes its flavour doesn't suit all foods. Olive oil definitely not good, will burn at high temp. I deep fry on the stovetop - just gotta be careful, you can't leave it alone.

For fries, I prefer to use lard, only sometimes as a special treat. Gives the best flavour. And yes, fresh oil/lard doesn't give you the best browning on fries, it needs to be already used. No idea why....just does.

Keeping times for oils -I'll leave it to the experts. But yes its best to strain it and keep in the dark. Refrigeration would have to help.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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