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Thermapen for frying and candy-making


edwardsboi
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You can get thermapens in many different temperature ranges, including those useful for frying and candymaking.

I think the issue is that thermapens are hand-held, and shut off automatically after a set period of time. I think for frying you'd want something that would clip onto your pan and provide a continuous readout. Also, your uses are fairly messy, and thermapens aren't water or oil -proof, so you couldn't them in the sink afterwards.

If you're set on a thermapen anyway, you could get the one with the interchangeable plugs, and get a probe that comes with a cord.

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I agree with the above. I've used a Thermapen for deep frying and candy making and it was a PITA. It kept turning itself off and you have to hand hold it. I suppose you could rig something up to hold it to the side of the pan but it would still turn off.

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  • 1 year later...

I am new to deep-frying and having just obtained my Thermapen, I have been trying to work with a pot of oil, the Thermapen and some potatoes. I was just wondering, when a recipe states that the potatoes should be deep fried at a temperature of 350 degrees, do I wait until the oil has reached 350 degrees and stop the stove, or do I let the temperature continue to rise? I am supposed to cook the potatoes for six minutes and I was afraid that letting the temperature rise with the stove on may overcook the potatoes.

Secondly, does anyone have experience with consistently using a Thermpen to deep-fry stuff? Mine is new and it was getting pretty hot from the oil smoke and I was pretty afraid it would be dead after a few tries.

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I would recommend a normal candy thermometer. I think the thermapen is designed to measure temperature of food and even though it can go high enough for frying it is a different story to do this over prolonged time. If you just ditch the pen into the oil for a few seconds every now and then you should be OK.

For the frying itself, once you drop the potatoes in you find that the temperature will drop significantly and on a normal stove it will take a bit to recover. So generally you should be OK if you even go a bit higher. If the temperature sinks too much the potatoes may not get crispy and take longer to cook through, if you are too high they get brown but do not cook through. Don't be alarmed if you see it dropping 70 or so fahrenheit. That happens to me quiet a lot and usually it turns out OK.

Do you want to make french fries?

JK

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So you would recommend that I have a candy thermometer and try to look observe the temperature? Turn up the heat if it is dropping too much and switch off the stove at a slightly higher temperature?

Oh, just another question, do electric deep-fryers allow me to fry at a consistent temperature then?

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A candy thermometer is just a few bucks and you can just leave it in. Ezpecially wjiwle heating up that is important. You don't want it to overshoot to much, that may damage the oil and prevents you from reusing the oil more often. Worst case, if you go way past smoking point it may combust.

Most electric fryers willmhave the same problem, temperature will drop when you put product in and it takes some time to recover. Of you have a commercial fryer it won't be so bad.

In a recipe this would be built in tp some extend i guess. Just give it a whirl. It's not rocket science, if your temperature is lower just leave the potatoes in longer and sample along the way. I have fried with temperatures all over the place and often you find different temperatures in recipes for the same product.

If you want to do french fries the whole game changes .... That is a bit of an art, to ensure they stay crispy.

Edited by jk1002 (log)
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Depending on the vessel in which you're heating the oil, there can be a significant temperature rise even after you turn off the heat. Of course, there will also be a drop in temperature when you add whatever it is you're frying. It's a balancing act, but you get the hang of how a given pot behaves after frying in it a few times. A dedicated candy/fry thermometer is the way to go.

 

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I agree with others about using a candy/frying thermometer for deep frying. I have a Taylor candy/frying thermometer, which has a clip on the back that attaches to the side of the pan. It's supposed to stay in the oil during the entire frying time. Clipping it to the side of the pan keeps it out of your way.

I was just wondering, when a recipe states that the potatoes should be deep fried at a temperature of 350 degrees, do I wait until the oil has reached 350 degrees and stop the stove, or do I let the temperature continue to rise?

I'm assuming your recipe says to bring the temp to 350 degrees before you start frying. That sets a certain range of temperature within which (hopefully) you will be cooking your potatoes properly. Ideally, you should be cooking your potatoes around 350 at all times. But since adding food to oil drops the temperature, you have to learn to deal with that. Also, keep in mind that the time of 6 minutes is only a guideline. The potatoes are done cooking when they are done cooking!

My advice is, don't mess with the stove controls in order to regulate heat. You will probably overshoot or undershoot your desired temperature, to your extreme frustration. Instead, once the oil hits your target temperature, learn to regulate the temperature by the amt of food you are cooking at any given time.

This is how I deep-fry:

- Heat the oil slowly over medium heat until it reaches the target temperature. The heating process may take 15 mins or more. Don't change the stove controls from medium heat. By this method, your oil is always at its peak temperature.

- Put in smallish batches of food (about a handful) to cook at any given time. That way the temperature of the oil won't drop so much. Watch how the food is cooking. It should bubble and sizzle, and gradually brown. If it's browning too fast, the surface of the food will be cooked, but the middle will be underdone. Add some more food to slow down the cooking process. If the oil is getting too hot, quick, add more food to drop the temperature. But if the food seems to take too long to brown, add less food in your next batch so the temperature doesn't drop so much. You don't want to cook at too low a temperature, since the food will then absorb more oil.

I realize all this sounds vague, but one learns by experience how to deep fry. Remember, you're learning to cook, not how to watch a thermometer. :wink:

- I remove cooked food from the oil with a slotted spoon. As the pieces of food are done, I drain them on a rack that has been set over a paper towel-lined pan. I use a big cooling rack set over a half sheet pan. If you crowd the hot food, or pile the pieces on top of each other, they will steam and soften, and not be crispy. I don't drain fried food directly on paper towels, because the food can steam and soften that way.

- Between batches, use a skimmer to take out the little brown and black bits in the oil that will cause the oil to smoke. If necessary, wait for the oil to heat up and regain your target temperature--again, without changing the stove controls from medium heat.

- If you're frying a lot, there may come a time when your oil doesn't seem to brown as fast, and actually seems slow. You need to add some fresh oil to the pan, and let it heat up.

- Smaller pieces of anything are easier to deep fry rather than large pieces, so if you are new to deep-frying, keep that in mind.

- When you're deep frying, make sure any pets and small children are out of the way and not underfoot, preferably clear of the kitchen.

- If your pan seems hard to clean of oil residue, use a heavy duty cleaner like Formula 409, which is supposed to take the grease off stovetops and ovens.

good luck, & have fun (that's really the point of cooking, besides eating)

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I agree with you in theory that using a digital thermometer is the way to go but the thermapen that you must physically hold is a little dangerous. I have abandoned all my analog thermometers in favor of digital ones, but I use a digital thermometer with a remote probe. I can clip it or hang it on the side of the pan thus there is little danger of my getting burned. I actually raise the temp above the desired temp so that once the food is added, I will cook it at the reco'd temp, in your case 350º?

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A clip-on digital thermometer shd be fine. Make sure the max temp of the thermometer is at least 400F. The probes shaped like an open hook tend to slip into the pot, taking the cable with them. For awhile I played around with a digital probe thermometer (the open hook design) to test the temp of liquids in a saucepan. The probe hung off the side of the pan while I was cooking. I always seemed to be adjusting the probe so that its tip (where it measures temp) stayed in the liquid, and didn't rest on the bottom of the pan. Eventually I went back to using my old clip-on Taylor thermometer.

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Luckily, I have a largo exhaust hood over the stove and I've covered it with magnetic clips. Some hold recipes, and others are used to drape and clip the remote thermometer cord so the probe dangles in just the right spot and height in the pan. I even have magnetic strips on my timers, so I can just slap them up there too.

Edited by Kayakado (log)
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