Why You Should Be Deep Frying In A Dutch Oven

There are plenty of great foods that can only be made at home through deep frying. Whether it's a recipe for tempura shrimp and vegetables, fried green tomatoes, or classic fried chicken, there are so many great ways to enjoy fried foods. There are plenty of costly mistakes that can happen when frying though too, so it's important to make sure you're using the right vessel.

According to Taste of Home, one of the best vessels for deep frying is a dutch oven. Allrecipes claims that the first dutch ovens were originally invented in the Netherlands (hence the name) in the 17th century, but their design would be revolutionized by an Englishman named Abraham Darby. Darby invented a new way to mold cast iron into the classic dutch oven shape, which would improve the quality of the cooking vessel. As Le Creuset points out, cast iron metal (and its enameled brethren) is legendary for its high heat retention and naturally non-stick surface. Adding these qualities to the practical shape of the dutch oven proved to be a major success. 

While you could try deep frying in your favorite cast iron pan, there is a very important reason that this job is better reserved for a trusty dutch oven.

High walls and lids help you fry safely

One of the biggest problems with deep frying food is the risk of a grease fire, and as Taste of Home points out, working with hot, sputtering oil in a shallow pan is just asking for trouble. A great way to avoid getting hot oil all over your stove and possibly contacting your flame is to use a high-walled vessel like a dutch oven.

It has other perks as well: Taste of Home adds that most dutch ovens come with a lid. This means that in a worst-case scenario where the oil does light on fire, it can be quickly extinguished by carefully placing the lid on top of the pot, and letting the fire drain the oxygen.

Dutch Ovens Cookware says that most enameled cast iron is also great for deep frying because it can stand up to the high heat needed for perfectly crispy crusts. Le Creuset says that many recipes will need oil around 350 degrees Fahrenheit to cook properly. Luckily, high-quality enamel can withstand these high temps, and the cast iron core of these pots will retain and distribute the heat evenly as the cooking continues.

There are tons of great uses for dutch ovens, so even if you've never deep-fried at home before, they make a worthy addition to any kitchen.