Skip to main content

7 Benefits of Deep-Fat Frying

Paul has been passionate about preparing, cooking, and eating healthy food for over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Who doesn't love French fries?

Who doesn't love French fries?

Deep-frying has gotten a bad rap in recent years and is widely viewed as an unhealthy cooking method.

The negative reputation is perhaps more than a little unfair, however, as deep-frying does have a lot going for it and is not necessarily as unhealthy as often portrayed—especially when done in moderation.

Deep-fried food is popular because people love the taste, texture, and appearance of food cooked in this way. It's also a quick and convenient way to prepare food, and it's energy-efficient when compared with other methods, such as roasting.

7 Advantages of Deep-Frying Food

Here are seven positives associated with this cooking method:

  1. Faster cooking
  2. Improved flavor
  3. Enhanced appearance
  4. Seals in the moisture
  5. Energy- and cost-efficient
  6. Easy and straightforward
  7. Nutritional issues can be minimalized

I look at each advantage in more detail below.

1. Faster Cooking

Frying food is generally quick. You heat up the oil to the required temperature, immerse the food, and within a relatively short time, your food is ready.

Compared to other cooking methods, such as roasting and baking, deep-frying is fast. A whole chicken, for instance, that might take an hour and a half to roast in an oven, can be cooked in 30 minutes or less in a deep fryer.

The rapid speed makes this technique a great method for cafes and restaurants, where cooked food has to be turned out regularly and quickly.

2. Improved Flavor

The high temperatures that occur with frying ensure that two processes happen to enhance the food's taste, namely:

  • The Maillard reaction: This is a non-enzymatic reaction that occurs between sugars and proteins when exposed to high temperatures. It produces browning of some foods, as well as altering the taste, texture, and aroma.
  • Caramelization: Another type of non-enzymatic browning reaction, caramelization is a process by which volatile chemicals are released, resulting in a characteristic caramel flavor.

3. Enhanced Appearance

A particularly appealing aspect of deep frying is the golden and umber hues that are created by the cooking method. The browning process is another aspect of the Maillard reaction and makes the food more appetizing in appearance.

Fried chicken, potato fries, and fritters all benefit from the attractive color changes that deep-frying brings.

4. The Moisture's Sealed In

Some cooking methods, such as roasting, have a tendency to dry out the food, especially if the food is overcooked, or proper care isn't taken.

Deep-frying creates a crust that seals in the moisture. This is achieved through the high temperature of the oil drying out the surface of the food. The use of coatings such as breading and batter can also be effective at helping to ensure that the food doesn't dry out.

The combination of a crusty outside and tender inside is what gives deep-fried food its textural appeal. The pleasing consistency of potato fries or donuts, for instance, is as key to their appeal as their taste, aroma, and appearance. Meats, such as chicken, are pleasingly tender when fried.

5. Energy and Cost Efficiency

The rapid speed of deep-frying as a cooking method means that you're usually heating for a shorter amount of time and therefore saving energy.

You can also use the oil in a deep fryer multiple times, whereas with shallow frying the fat usually has to be thrown away after one use. Modern deep fryers are able to filter out the crumbs and smaller pieces of food debris.

6. Easy and Straightforward

Deep frying usually requires little or no prep and is considered an easy and uncomplicated cooking method. Typically, all you have to do is wait for the oil to reach the right temperature, immerse your food, and then just wait until it's ready.

There is no need to monitor the food closely and keep flipping it, as you do with shallow frying. You don't have to keep basting it to keep it from drying out, as with roasting. Deep frying is a hassle-free process with only the only major variables to control being the temperature and timing.

7. Nutritional Issues Can Be Minimalized

Health concerns about deep-frying are generally focused on the fat that is absorbed by the food during the cooking process.

However, the amount of fat that's soaked up can be minimalized by cooking at a high temperature. The oil's heat then cooks the food and dries the surface, and only a small amount of oil remains on the crust.

The major problems only occur when the oil is not hot enough. If this happens, more fat is soaked up and the food ends up soggy and greasy.

The T-fal deep fryer with basket.

The T-fal deep fryer with basket.

My Favorite Deep Fryer With Basket

For those seeking a recommendation, I'm a huge fan of the T-fal Deep Fryer with Basket. I've owned one of these appliances for over two years and I love it. This powerful fryer isn't the cheapest out there, but it's worth the money and offers a welcome addition to any home kitchen.

It's very straightforward to use, and while it's certainly not small, the large capacity does enable me to cook for friends and family when they come over. The oil filtration and storage system also saves money, as I'm not having to change the oil all the time. The only downside of the big capacity is that it does take a lot of oil to fill the reservoir.

The deep fryers I've had in the past were always difficult to clean, but the T-fal is relatively easy. You still have to take it apart to wash the parts, but it's not difficult. The stainless steel design is stylish and the fryer still looks as good as it did when I purchased it over two years ago.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Paul Goodman