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How can one tell if oil is 350 degrees with out a thermometer? Are there any visual tells?

asked by Hot pastrami over 6 years ago
8 answers 48064 views
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added over 6 years ago

when you think it is close, drop a cube of bread in. If it sizzles and browns in about that a minute you are good. If it burns in that time, it's too hot. But depending on what you are putting in, the food will cool the oil a bit at first.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

But first, what type of oil are you using? Some have lower "smoke" points than others. Usually you can tell when the surface starts to shimmy a bit.

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added over 6 years ago

Nutcakes has it right. If you don't have a thermometer the bread method is really the best way. That trick is old and steeped in the history of culinary.

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added over 6 years ago

You can also tip the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, if it starts to bubble around the tip, then the oil is ready.

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added over 6 years ago

I'm with Mr_Vittles. The spoon trick works for me, but more often I will use the tip of a wooden chopstick.

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added 29 days ago

If you drop a grain of rice in the oil and it floats and cooks it's around 350

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added 29 days ago

The bread (or cracker etc.) trick is more accurate, but with practice you can get a pretty good idea by flicking in a few drops of water and seeing how it reacts.

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added 28 days ago

Some oils do develop a sort of hazy appearance with a certain temperature, but I'm not enough of a fryer to read it.