Why It's Important To Keep Everything Super Dry When Making Fried Foods

Indulging in the crispy, savory delights of fried food is a universal pleasure that transcends cultural boundaries. From the golden perfection of french fries to the irresistible crunch of fried chicken, these culinary creations have a way of tantalizing our tastebuds and triggering feelings of comfort and satisfaction. However, as a home cook, you know that achieving that golden, crispy exterior isn't just about the right batter or oil temperature — it's also about ensuring the food you're frying is as dry as possible before it meets the bubbling hot oil. 

The old adage "oil and water don't mix" holds true in the realm of frying, and excess moisture on foods can lead to dangerous splattering when introduced to high temperatures. When oil and water come into contact, especially at high temperatures, a violent reaction occurs. The water rapidly turns into steam, which forcefully ejects droplets of hot oil in all directions. This splattering poses a severe risk of burns and fires, putting both the cook and anyone nearby in danger. To avoid this peril, it's imperative to ensure that the food being fried is devoid of excess moisture.

How to ensure your food is dry before frying

The first step in achieving dryness is to thoroughly pat down the food before it takes its oily plunge, whether it's chicken, potatoes, or even pickles. A few moments spent with paper towels can save you from potential mishaps and discomfort. But here's the catch — even if you're planning to coat the food with a flavorful batter or a crispy breadcrumb layer, the initial patting down remains crucial. A good coating can provide a buffer against the oil, but it's not a guarantee against splattering if there's lingering moisture beneath. 

If your food is impeccably dry, the initial contact with the oil will be calm and controlled, allowing the exterior to gradually develop that coveted crispy texture. So the next time you're preparing to fry up your favorite treats, remember that dryness is your ally. By taking the extra time to pat your food down, you're creating a safer cooking environment, reducing the risk of burns and fires, and ultimately elevating the quality of your fried creations.