Shallow Fry vs. Deep Fry – What’s The Difference?

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If you have been cooking for some time now, you must be familiar with deep frying and shallow frying. But most folks who haven’t cooked as much consider both to be the same. However, both are different cooking methods that yield different results.

Nowadays, frying has become common, from crispy chicken wings to fried mozzarella cheese. There are tons of delicious options now widely available that involve frying. The list never stops, but it’s all a way to add a distinct flavor to every food.

Well, you might wonder what the difference between shallow fry and deep fry is? The primary difference is the quantity of oil used. Deep frying involves completely submerging the dish in oil, while only part of the dish is submerged in the case of shallow frying.

The frying makes the dish crisp and retains its original flavor that cooking might lose. You can fry just about anything from vegetables to meat. It is an extreme form of roasting that uses extremely high heat to crisp the outer layer entirely.

In order to fry your food first you will have to keep heating the oil until it starts to evaporate and forms bubbles. Then the ingredients are put in the fryer and left to brown. Frying will crisp the outer layer entirely and give you a crispy product at the end.

Shallow fry

Shallow frying is a technique very similar to deep frying with the basic difference that the food is partially covered in oil. When you compare it to deep frying, the ingredients are completely submerged in oil. The food items may touch the bottom of the pan as it is partially submerged and does not float.

In shallow frying, a pan is commonly used. The size of the pan depends on the quantity of food and what you are frying. An electronic deep fryer cannot be used if the goal is to shallow fry.

Different food items require different temperatures to be fried. However, in the case of shallow frying, you are typically using a pot. In this case, it is very difficult to maintain or control temperature precisely.

But a thermometer can be helpful in this case if the food item requires precisely a specific temperature to be shallow fried. Typically, temperatures involved in shallow frying are around 140°C to about 160°C. Due to these temperatures, shallow frying takes a longer time as they have low temperatures.

However, the best crispy exterior can only be obtained due to shallow frying. Moreover, a number of oils can be used in shallow frying. As the quantity of oil used is little, more expensive oils can also be used.

Using a variety of oil gives a distinct flavor to the food, which may not be obtained from normal frying. The most common oils involve in shallow frying include canola oil, palm oil and sunflower oil. They are comparatively cheap refined, and have high smoking points. If you are confused with choosing an oil, then these oils are the go-to as they are cheap as well as have high smoking points.

Shallow frying is a very simple method, and you can’t get much wrong. However, a layer of corn starch can be added to get uniformly browned and crisper products to get better results. Moreover, panning can be done on food items that are inconsistent and difficult to fry.

Deep fry

Another method used to fry food items is deep frying. This is a much different technique and is applied to obtain different products. In this method, a lot of oil is used, and it is made sure that food does not touch the bottom of the pan; rather, it floats.

It is typically done in pots, not pans. Moreover, various electronic deep fryers are also available to fries the food item uniformly. What makes these electronic fryers so incredible is that they are able to control temperatures.

For example, if you want your fryer to stop at 420°F, then it will automatically stop at that temperature. Deep frying is typically done at higher temperatures involving less time as compared to shallow frying. However, it is similar to shallow frying in the aspect that the temperature has to depend on what you are frying and what results you want to obtain.

Deep frying generally involves oils that have a high smoking point as high temperatures are involved. Using expensive oils in deep-frying is not recommended as a lot of oil is used up. Once the oil is used in frying, it won’t be the same and should not be used in any other way than frying.

This results in deep frying oils having limited flavors unless you don’t want to stick to your budget and purchase more expensive ones. The oil can be reused simply by using a coffee filter to filter the oil from any debris it has.

Some of the most common oils used in deep frying include sunflower canola and palm. Moreover, oil blends are also available that are affordable and easy to find. These oils also do not add any flavor to your food item so that you can enjoy its flavor.

What’s the Difference Between Shallow Fry and Deep Fry?

  1. Deep frying comparatively enhances the flavor of the food as it is completely submerged in oil, and fatty acids are added to the food; however, less oil is used in shallow frying, so it does not affect the flavor as much.
  2. Well, frying does not have health benefits, but if you compare both of them, shallow frying will be comparatively healthier as less oil is involved.
  3. Deep frying adds more texture and crispiness to the food item; however, shallow frying browns it but doesn’t make it crisp.
  4. Shallow frying takes longer as food needs to be flipped so it can be cooked uniformly from both sides; however, in deep frying, food is completely submerged, so it doesn’t need flipping.
  5. Deep frying happens at higher temperatures as compared to shallow frying, as you have to make sure that oil is boiling before putting the food item in deep frying.