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Deep Fryer - Hot Oil Cooking

Steams, stews, roasts, broils, deep fries...

Deep fryer - Steams, stews, roasts, broils, deep fries.     I have to admit I don't know a whole heck of a lot about deep frying. Having spent so much time in the south, there are some who might find that admission a little odd. Everyone deep fries in the south, don't they?

    For several months I've been on a quest to create the perfect french fry. It started with a mail order french fry cutter contraption that broke the third time out of the gate, and now continues with the recent addition of the deep fryer (a birthday present from a bear in Wyoming).

    Here's what I know about deep frying in oil: When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on my grandparent's farm in Burlington, Kansas. I remember my grandpa fishing all weekend with his friends and coming in on Sunday night with the bed of a pick-up truck two feet deep with catfish. The men would catch and clean them and the woman would cook them in a big deep fat fryer. My cousins would come from Gridley and the get-together would last late into the night. Someone had a firecracker left over from the Fourth. Someone had a cigarette. We'd shoot BB guns at tin cans on fence posts and spy on the adults and eat slabs of catfish until we thought we couldn't eat anymore. It was that good.

    Also when I was a kid my Mom would make doughnuts in a deep fryer. She did this four or five times that I recall. These were big events around the house, these do-nut making days. Lots of anticipation as to when that first batch would finally get done and Mom would give the okay for a series of limited taste tests. The beta batch. You could participate in the taste tests only if you agreed to give immediate feedback. Feedback was important at this stage. If Mom had missed a step in the instructions, this is where we would find out. If that first doughnut was perfect, and it always was, production would swing into high gear and she would make six or seven dozen more of the calorie loaded pastries before shutting the factory down.

    So that's what I know about deep frying. I know that the two things I've eaten that were cooked in a deep oil fryer, battered catfish chunks and sugar donuts, were absolutely delicious. I'm ten years old, okay? I'm not thinking about calories or cholesterol or their impact on my projected lifespan. All I'm thinking about is how can I get another one.

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