Is This Deep Fryer Right for You?
I’ve often thought I’d like to own a deep fryer—I love hush puppies and fried chicken, but I’m not crazy about the mess and smells I get from deep-frying in a pot on the stove. So I decided to try out one of the higher-end deep fryers on the market. The DeLonghi Roto electric fryer was surprisingly easy to use, and it’s loaded with smart features, but I discovered that it’s not the answer to all my deep-frying dreams.
Safety: The fryer is encased in a sleek plastic housing that stays cool. The power cord is magnetized so that if something catches on it, the cord instantly falls out of the outlet (to avoid pulling on the pot of hot oil). The lid remains shut while lowering and raising the frying basket to prevent splatters.
Convenience: A handy oil drainage system features a neatly hidden rubber hose. A filtering system cuts down on odors. A nonstick interior means food doesn’t stick. The frying basket is dishwasher safe. The lid has a window. The oil heats up very quickly, in about 10 minutes.
Extras: DeLonghi makes several fryers (one model is half the price of this one yet includes the same convenience and safety features) but the Roto fryer has some nice extras. A rotating tilted basket bathes the food as it spins, so the fryer needs much less oil. There are five temperature settings between 300°F and 370°F; great for cooking french fries in two stages (do an initial fry at lower temperature and finish at a higher temperature).
How it performs
This deep fryer operates on one controlling feature: you put food in the basket, shut the lid, and lower the basket. I had good results with anything sturdy, but wet batters stuck and cooked onto the basket. Here’s what I tested and how they fared.
panko-crusted chicken strips
The bottom line
If you fry lots of french fries, fried chicken, or any breaded or wrapped food, invest in the Roto fryer. But if fritters and other battered food are on your menu, stick with a saucepan and a deep-frying thermometer.
All About Griddles
A griddle is a great piece of cooking equipment to have in the kitchen. It is a flat cooking surface with a heat source underneath and can be in one of three formats. It can be a piece of cookware, such as a non-stick or cast iron griddle that is heated over a burner, or it can be built into a range. There are also electric griddles, which are plugged in and rest on the counter, separately from a stovetop.
Griddles are ideal when cooking for a crowd as they have a large surface area. The fact that there are no sides (as with a skillet) makes it easier to flip food, and the open area doesn't trap any moisture so the food—for example, hash browns—becomes nice and crispy.
Cooking on a Griddle
When many of us hear griddle we think of breakfast. Probably because most pancake recipes instruct to "heat the griddle" as you make the batter, or as we sit at the counter at the diner we watch the cook crack our eggs onto the griddle. It works well for not only pancakes and eggs but also bacon, French toast, hash browns, and other breakfast items. Griddles are also often used for cooking burgers and other hot sandwiches such as grilled cheese.
An electric griddle does have a few advantages over one that is in or on the stovetop. Because it is not relying on the range burners as the heating source, the cooking surface is heated evenly throughout. An electric griddle also has a well around the sides for where the grease can drip off and pool. And if you are cooking a lot of dishes at once—for a holiday, for example—you are not taking up any of the burners on the stove.