The new fried chicken served at Nopa in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The restaurant, one of the city’s best known, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. (Photo By Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Likely Reason Your Fried Food Didn't Turn Out Crispy Enough
Fried food is typically associated with restaurants, but at-home versions of your favorite deep-fried dishes are well within your reach as a home cook. However, that doesn’t mean that frying food at home doesn’t have its pitfalls, and this is how to avoid the disappointment of fried dishes that end up less crispy than they ought to be.
Successfully frying food is all about heating your oil to the right temperature. Oil that’s too hot will result in a burnt, black crust, while oil that’s too cool make turn your food soggy, so aim for a starting temperature between 325 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit, which will drop into the high 200s or low 300s after you add your food to the oil.
Overcrowding your cooking vessel with food can also lower the oil's temperature too much, which leads to sogginess. You shouldn't try to fry too much food at once, and you need to wait for the oil to reheat between batches of frying food, checking with a kitchen thermometer to see if it's back to the right temperature.