How to Tell the Temperature of Cooking Oil Without a Thermometer

Written by athena hessong Google
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For optimal safety, you should use a frying thermometer at all times, but for those occasions when you do not have a thermometer, you can use this old-fashioned method for approximating the temperature of the frying oil. Note that this only approximates the oil temperature.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Frying oil with a high smoke point (see tips)
  • Deep pot or deep fryer
  • 1-inch square piece of bread
  • Timer or watch with second hand
  • Fire extinguisher

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  1. 1

    Heat the oil over medium heat. Avoid using high heat, which could cause the oil to heat too fast and ignite. See the warning.

  2. 2

    Drop the bread into the oil and watch both the bread and the time on the watch.

  3. 3

    Watch for the bread to brown on all sides and float to the top to know when to begin frying your food.

  4. 4

    Watch the time for browning of the bread: 20 seconds means the oil's temperature is between 194 and 199 degrees Celsius; 40 seconds to brown the bread indicates 365 to 382 degrees and 60 seconds for the oil to brown the bread shows the oil at 350 to 365 degrees.

  5. 5

    Do not expect to get exact results without a thermometer, but use the range to determine when to add your food.

Tips and warnings

  • For best results when deep frying, use any of these high smoke point oils: peanut oil, safflower oil, refined sunflower oil and soy oil.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher handy.

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