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Deep Frying in a Teflon-coated pot


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#1 Darienne

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 03:35 PM

Back in my olden days, I used to deep fry French Fries in my Mother's old cast aluminum pressure cooker. The pot was heavy and thick walled. And nice and deep. Of course, I got rid of it. :raz: What else?

Now I have just purchased for $5 a never-been-used T-Fal Safe 2 pressure cooker from Kijiji,thinking I could use it in the same way as in days of yore, but for blistering Poblanos, deep frying Won Tons, etc.

In went the oil, up went the heat, and then strange things happened. The oil bubbled like crazy at 100 degrees Celsius...not very hot even...and soon big blurps were happening in the oil. Something was not right. I quickly transferred the oil to a 'safe' and known pot and did the blistering.

I've done something stupid, right? You can't deep fry in teflon (or whatever the coating is)? The pot needs some other kind of seasoning type use first? Toss it out?

Help, please. And thanks.

Needless to say, there was NO lid on the pot.

Edited by Darienne, 13 February 2011 - 03:37 PM.

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#2 Anna N

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:04 PM

Really doubt it is the Teflon as there are any number of deep fryers that are Teflon-coated.

Edited to fix typo.

Edited by Anna N, 13 February 2011 - 04:05 PM.

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#3 thock

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:48 PM

I have a T-fal pressure cooker, too. It's a Safe 2, even. But mine is not teflon-coated, and is stainless steel. I got mine from a friend who had burned food on the inside of the bottom because it's just stainless sheet metal.

If yours is thin-bottomed, too, that may be the reason you're having trouble. Is yours thick-bottomed or thin-bottomed? I think I'd be more comfortable deep frying in something with a thick bottom, myself.

Can you post a picture of your cooker? Here are some pictures of mine.

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#4 Darienne

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:21 PM

The pot looks pretty much like yours, thock, except that it is black on the outside and inside and doesn't have bumps on the inside. The bottom has black rings painted on it. I'll take photos if it is necessary after this post.

OK. As noted, I dumped the hot oil into a trusted pot and continued the chile process without incident.

Now I decided that perhaps I had not dried the pot inside properly after washing it (subsequently proved that I had). So I wiped it down very well with paper towels, poured the oil back into it, turned on the heat and watched. This time I had my DH as witness to my endeavor.

The temperature of the oil climbed much higher this time before the bubbles and blurps really began. About 120 Celsius, but bubble and blurp it did. Not as much, not as violently. It was able to reach 175 Celsius without major incident. But as we examined the inner surface of the pot under the hot oil, it was covered with little air (?) bubbles.

What all this means I do not know. Can compressed air be in the teflon coating? It was not in the oil. This I can vouch for. Why was it lessened the second time around? Will it be gone on the third try and if so, why?

I remain confused.

Oh...the pot does not have a heavy bottom, but is probably the same as the sides, about 3/8" DH says.

Third time round...no bubbles. I still feel very queasy about it all.

Edited by Darienne, 13 February 2011 - 05:33 PM.

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#5 MSRadell

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:51 PM

-Something similar happened before with a new Teflon pan. Maybe it has something to do with how the coating is applied. I wasn't deep frying but when I put oil in the pan the first few times I got lots of small bubbles but eventually I didn't get them anymore. I really don't believe it's anything to worry about.
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#6 thock

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:05 PM

Hmmm, well, I don't particularly trust Teflon, myself, but if it's not doing that anymore, and if MSRadell has had that happen before, maybe you're ok, now. However, if you're still not comfortable with it, I'd say to follow your gut.

The thickness of my stainless is not anywhere near 3/8", so I'm wondering if they had different versions of the Safe 2 cooker. Is yours stainless or aluminum? Is it more like this one?
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#7 Darienne

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:12 PM

Nope. That one has something over its lid. You are right about one thing. I don't use teflon anywhere else in my life and I'm going to toss it. That's my gut reaction. Thanks for putting it all into perspective.
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#8 Blether

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:29 PM

A couple of years ago, a friend was looking for a good gaijin-size deep-frying rig. I suggested a big, cheap, thin gauge teflon-coated aluminum pot that we matched for size with a wire basket in the same store. It has always worked well and there have never been problems such as you describe.

What is the provenance of your oil ? It sounds like it could be contaminated with moisture and gradually working that off with each boiling you give it.

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#9 Mjx

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:23 AM

Really doubt it is the Teflon as there are any number of deep fryers that are Teflon-coated.


I feel a bit of a dunce asking this, since the answer probably should be self-evident, but I'm not getting the reason a fryer would have a non-stick coating... wouldn't it be unnecessary?

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#10 Darienne

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:41 AM

What is the provenance of your oil ? It sounds like it could be contaminated with moisture and gradually working that off with each boiling you give it.

Good thought, sir. The oil: canola, half was brand new, the other half had been used to blister the last very large batch of Poblanos, plus one load of Won Tons. Can't recall anything else. Filtered through a coffee paper filter each use. Kept in the fridge in an air-tight bottle.

However,
1. my first use Sunday in the Teflon pan produced the alarming blurps and bubbles.
2. I then dumped the hot oil into a trusted pan...no blurps or bubbles.
3. Then later back into the Teflon pan. Much reduced blurps and bubbles with a visible 'coating' of tiny bubbles on the pot interior.
4. Third heating in the Teflon pan...no blurps and almost no bubbles.

If it had been a problem with moisture in the oil, would there not have been evidence in the 'trusted' pan?

I could try phoning the company.

As for Mjx's question: I know next to nothing about Teflon. And my pot is not a deep-fryer at all, but an inexpensive pressure cooker pressed into use as a fryer. When I bought it, I had no idea that it was Teflon coated and had I known, I still would have known nothing.
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#11 Anna N

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:20 AM


Really doubt it is the Teflon as there are any number of deep fryers that are Teflon-coated.


I feel a bit of a dunce asking this, since the answer probably should be self-evident, but I'm not getting the reason a fryer would have a non-stick coating... wouldn't it be unnecessary?


I have never understood the logic either but suspect that there is a whole demographic out there that ONLY buys something labelled "non-stick". I have read another food board where people post and say that their whole batterie de cuisine is composed of non-stick!
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#12 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:42 AM

The pot area above the oil line can get polymerized, hard to remove oil. Non-stick makes it easier. That said, I use an enameled dutch oven, and one of these days I'll pick up a griswold.

#13 thock

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:29 PM

Nope. That one has something over its lid. You are right about one thing. I don't use teflon anywhere else in my life and I'm going to toss it. That's my gut reaction. Thanks for putting it all into perspective.


Interesting. They must have made other Safe 2 cookers that you can't find info about on the web, anymore.

Well, I'm glad I was able to help, if I did. I try to go with my gut for most things, so you probably can't go wrong with that.
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#14 Darienne

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:37 PM

Reporting back the next episode of deep frying Poblanos to blister them.

Today I pulled out the old trusted deep saute pan and poured in the oil: 2/3 already used(filtered through paper, in airtight container) and 1/3 new. Lo and behold the oil spluttered and burbled and spat into the air. It was NOT the post. It may well have been what Blether first suggested: oil with water in it. Whether the moisture was in the old oil which is kept in the fridge or the new oil, I don't know. I've never thought about 'quality' of canola. Just bought what was there in Costco. Saporito Foods, product of Canada.

Is there a difference in canolas? Or was it the fridge storage? (I did throw out the oil from the February 13th episode...but still have the pot.)
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#15 andiesenji

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:27 PM

Moisture from the air can condense and incorporate into oil in the fridge.

I don't refrigerate oil - I filter it after one use (except with fish) and just keep it in a cool place for up to 90 days. After that it is discarded.

I only use oil twice if used to fry things like potatoes, etc. I don't like to reuse oil in which I have fried chicken and especially fish, unless it is within a day or so and I am frying the same foods.
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#16 Darienne

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:37 PM

Actually, the only thing I seem to be using it for is blistering Poblanos. I have a recipe in which the potatoes are semi-deep fried, but I decided to try roasting them today instead and they turned out equally well. That's it for deep frying chez nous.

ps. I am mistaken. Of course. I have deep fried wontons, spring rolls and tortillas. It's just that for years...nay decades...I deep fried nothing.

Edited by Darienne, 02 March 2011 - 03:38 PM.

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