Can you "deep fry" in...water?

Kiyomoo
Kiyomoo Posts: 306 Member
edited February 2020 in Food and Nutrition
Hear me out, because while the answer may seem an obvious "no", I am curious about something.

Let's say you want to deep fry something. Onion rings? Okay, so you coat the rings in batter but put them in boiling water instead of oil. What happens?? Does the "breading" fall off or stay on the rings?

Just curious because a few minutes ago I got done attempting to make onion rings while using butter instead of oil. I found out that was a very, very poor decision, and now my kitchen is smokey...

I know this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the science behind cooking, I want to learn how things work lol.
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Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,219 Member
    I think your smoke problem is that butter is not good for depending frying. It has a low smoke point (temperature at which it starts to burn, in butter's case 350 degrees F or lower). For frying, you need a high temperature oil, like peanut oil or avocado oil or some of the seed oils.

    More info here: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/cooking-oils-and-smoke-points-what-to-know-and-how-to-choose#chart-of-oil-smoke-points

    Obviously, any deep frying is going to be higher cslorie, but if you're going to do it you need a high-temp oil.
  • Chef_Barbell
    Chef_Barbell Posts: 6,524 Member
    This is funny... but yes if it's in water, it's boiling.
  • Sakura_Tree
    Sakura_Tree Posts: 142 Member
    edited February 2020
    Sadly you cannot deep fry anything in water, you need to use a high smoke point oil or fat, most people use canola but I stay away from seed oils, another option would be bacon grease or lard. Butter burned because of the milk solids and the smoke point just isn't high enough to deep fry in. I have an air fryer which does a great job at getting things crispy without any oil , you should try it out!
  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,553 Member
    Oil adds a lot of calories to food, especially deep frying. You could save calories by baking onion rings in the oven. As others stated water boils food, butter burns at a low temperature and isn’t a good choice for frying. It works well at lower temperatures for sautéing sometimes mixing with an oil. It adds flavor to foods. Cooking has a learning curve. We all have mishaps. You are already learning. You’ll get the hang of it.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,892 Member
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    Try watching Alton Brown's cooking show "Good Eats". It's on the Food Network/Cooking Channel in the US, but should be available overseas too if you're not in North America. His episodes cover a lot of the science about cooking and basic techniques.

    This is a good suggestion. I also recommend checking your library for the book The Science of Cooking by Harold McGee. Really interesting!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    You can pan fry in butter but it has to be clarified first to increase the smoke point.

    There are a few reasons why you cannot fry something in boiling water. Water is absorbed into the batter which loosens it, there is a lot of friction, and the temperature is not high enough to set the batter quickly enough or brown the food. That last part answers the question of what happens if you tried a boil n bag type situation or a sous vide set-up.

  • Lib_B
    Lib_B Posts: 446 Member
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    Try watching Alton Brown's cooking show "Good Eats". It's on the Food Network/Cooking Channel in the US, but should be available overseas too if you're not in North America. His episodes cover a lot of the science about cooking and basic techniques.

    Good recommendation. Also check out the Serious Eats website. Great recipes and if you want to know the science, they explain it. Everything on that site is perfection. A lot of it is also not 'healthy', so I save it for special occasions when I'll be cooking for a lot of people.
  • earlnabby
    earlnabby Posts: 8,177 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    Try watching Alton Brown's cooking show "Good Eats". It's on the Food Network/Cooking Channel in the US, but should be available overseas too if you're not in North America. His episodes cover a lot of the science about cooking and basic techniques.

    This is a good suggestion. I also recommend checking your library for the book The Science of Cooking by Harold McGee. Really interesting!

    I really enjoyed the book "What Einstein Told His Cook" although it isn't as much a how-to as it answers those weird questions every cook has like "Why is vanilla extract so bitter but makes things taste so good?"

    I completely agree on anything you can watch from Alton Brown. Also, check your local Tech school or University Continuing Education programs. Many offer basic cooking classes.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    noelkro80 wrote: »
    The 1 calorie spray is what I always use for frying anything. It’s fantastic

    Once I started weighing the pan after I used my so-called zero calorie spray I realized it was actually minimally 18 calories. I've gone back to regular oil, which is way way cheaper, and doesn't have that funny smell.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    Kiyomoo wrote: »
    Hear me out, because while the answer may seem an obvious "no", I am curious about something.

    Let's say you want to deep fry something. Onion rings? Okay, so you coat the rings in batter but put them in boiling water instead of oil. What happens?? Does the "breading" fall off or stay on the rings?

    Just curious because a few minutes ago I got done attempting to make onion rings while using butter instead of oil. I found out that was a very, very poor decision, and now my kitchen is smokey...

    I know this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the science behind cooking, I want to learn how things work lol.

    "The Joy of Cooking" is lighter on science than the other sources mentioned, but for a new cook, it is an excellent resource. It taught me how to cook when I left home decades ago.

    These days, when I get inspiration from various sources (allrecipes.com, the cooking section in the New York Times, https://www.177milkstreet.com) I will often see if my JOC has a similar recipe and use that instead, as I prefer how it is laid out, and, with the exception of using the cold-start method for hard boiled eggs, it has never failed me.

    My library system carries this so yours may too. (I like to test-drive cookbooks before I buy them.)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,991 Member
    Kiyomoo wrote: »
    Hear me out, because while the answer may seem an obvious "no", I am curious about something.

    Let's say you want to deep fry something. Onion rings? Okay, so you coat the rings in batter but put them in boiling water instead of oil. What happens?? Does the "breading" fall off or stay on the rings?

    Just curious because a few minutes ago I got done attempting to make onion rings while using butter instead of oil. I found out that was a very, very poor decision, and now my kitchen is smokey...

    I know this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the science behind cooking, I want to learn how things work lol.

    The breading would just get soggy and fall off because you are boiling it. For deep frying you need to use an oil that has a high smoke point to withstand the high temperature. Butter does not have a high smoke point...it is better used as a spread or a low heat pan fry like you would do with an egg.

    I don't really deep fry anything, but I pan fry a lot of things and I use avocado oil as it has a high smoke point and is full of healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. For things I would typically deep fry I usually bake on convection in the oven.
  • pinuplove
    pinuplove Posts: 12,903 Member
    Kiyomoo wrote: »
    Hear me out, because while the answer may seem an obvious "no", I am curious about something.

    Let's say you want to deep fry something. Onion rings? Okay, so you coat the rings in batter but put them in boiling water instead of oil. What happens?? Does the "breading" fall off or stay on the rings?

    Just curious because a few minutes ago I got done attempting to make onion rings while using butter instead of oil. I found out that was a very, very poor decision, and now my kitchen is smokey...

    I know this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the science behind cooking, I want to learn how things work lol.
    If you're truly interested in the science of cooking, there are tons of YouTube series you could check out! America's Test Kitchen comes to mind (their series "What's Eating Dan" is good, too). Basics with Babish is fun. Also Alton Brown's Good Eats (not sure he's on YouTube though). And many, many more, I just can't think of them right now :smile: