FRYING FISH MADE EASY by steve fessler

370 Degrees is Key

I fried fish at Frank’s Tavern in Fenton for 22 years
and Frank’s was known for their Fish-n-Chips. To be known for your fish,
you have to know something about frying fish…agreed? So here goes…

I contend, when frying fish the most important ingredient is clean hot oil, period. Any oil that can withstand cooking temps of 370 degrees will do just fine. Oil is just a matter of preference. Most prefer peanut oil & vegetable oil.

1.) A Good Method-One Fryer.

Consistent temperature matters. If your oil drops below the 360 degree mark, your fish will come out greasy. A great way to avoid greasy fish is to pre-fry, then fry. What do I mean by pre-fry?

To pre-fry: Place a couple of pieces of your battered fish into the fryer. (Do not overload, as the temperature will drop dramatically and guess what, the fish will be greasy.) After placing the fish in fryer for a half a minute, remove from fryer and place on a rack. Remove from the grease any cracklin’s, as I call them. (Small pieces of batter, floating in the grease -see picture.) You can use a slotted spoon or a screen to remove.  Check thermometer for proper temperature. When it is 370 degrees again, go ahead and continue to cook the fish to completion. You will see a superior result with this method.

2.) The Better Method-Two Deep Fryers.

In this case you would just drop the fish into the first fryer heated to 370 degrees (pre-fry) for just 30 seconds, scoop out and place in the next fryer that is already 370 degrees. This way the first fryer takes the cold out of the fish and the second keeps it at a constant temperature to ensure non-greasy fried fish. With both fryers, make sure to skim the cracklin’s off, as they help lead to the breakdown of the oil. The oil you use should always be golden brown. If the oil is dark brown, your fish will be dark brown. Clean oil and hot oil is the key.

Average size fillets only take 2-6 minutes in a deep fryer, so watch carefully. The fish should be golden on the outside and flaky white on the inside. I hope this helps when you try preparing fried fish. Any questions? I will be happy to try to answer them. Steve

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