Here are some tips to keep in mind when deep-fat frying:
1) Use a deep pan to prevent oil spatter. A spatter guard that covers the top of the pan is helpful too.
2) Use the right oil for the job. See our guide here.
3) Be sure the fat has reached the right temperature before you add food: 365˚F–380˚ F for doughnuts. Either use a fat thermometer or drop a tiny speck of food into the oil when it looks hot but not smoking; if it sizzles, the oil is ready. If the oil is smoking, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.
4) Fry only a few items at a time, leaving plenty of space between each piece. Crowding the pan brings down the oil temperature: Cooking takes longer and more oil is absorbed by the food, making it greasy.
5) “Double-fry” the food for best results: When the food is beginning to brown, lift it out with a large basket-type strainer with a handle (called a spider strainer) for about 10–15 seconds, then re-immerse in the hot oil. This allows the outside heat to penetrate the interior of the food and cook it sufficiently before the outside overcooks. It also helps keep the oil at the proper temperature.
6) Drain the food on paper towels to remove surface grease.
7) If you want to re-use the oil, strain it when it’s cool to remove any food particles. Don’t re-use oil more than once.
8) Enjoy the doughnuts. Have a Happy Hanukkah.
Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher in Stamford, Connecticut. She is the author of “The Modern Kosher Kitchen” and “Hip Kosher.” Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram