Mastering Pan-Frying: Tips for Perfectly Cooked Meals Every Time

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What can you do when a food item you want to cook is too large to sauté but you don’t want to completely cover the food in oil like you do with deep frying? The answer comes in the form of pan-frying, which is also known as shallow-frying. With this method, you partially fill the pan with oil and don’t stir like you do when you sauté. Here are some tips for pan-frying.

Prep Your Food

If you have decided to pan-fry something, you will need some quality oil and a good skillet. However, remember to properly prep the food before you cook it. This will be the best time to add your seasoning and any other spices that you want to cook with.

This can include various foods, including potatoes, and tastier foods including crab cakes, veal, chicken, scallops, fish, and pork chops. This gives the food the crispy exterior that many people enjoy while the inside stays nice and tender.

Use a Heavy Pan

It’s important to have a heavy-bottomed skillet or pan when you pan-fry your food. This is because the oil can reach extremely high temperatures, and the pan or skillet that you use must be able to handle this.

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A cast iron skillet or a quality stainless steel skillet are two of the best pans that you can use. If you are unsure, do a small test by placing the oil in the pan and a morsel of food. If the pan seems to be able to handle the heat, you are good to go.

Choose the Right Oil

Choose an oil or fat that doesn’t burn if you plan to pan-fry the food on high heat. Try using a high-heat oil, such as avocado, grapeseed, or other vegetable oil.

You could try using butter; however, it’s not advisable as it starts to burn at 350°F. If you must cook with butter purely for the taste, mix it with some high-heat oil. That’s the way to get the best of both worlds.