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What is the differece between pan frying and deep frying?

When I fry french fries in my pan they are kind of semi soft and when I deep fry them they come out like at the fast food restaurants. Which sounds less fatten even though I know they are both bad. I'd perfer the deep frying.

Has anyone ever noticed the difference?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:11 PM on Feb. 22, 2009 in Food & Drink

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • If food is fried properly, it will absorb less oil in the deep fry method than the pan fry.

    The reason is, full contact with the hot oil creates a crust that doesn't absorb oil fully into the food. If you take a metal cooling rack and invert it onto a cookie sheet with a layer of newspaper or paper towels in between, the excess grease will be wicked away.

    With pan frying, the food is not fully immersed, so the unimmersed parts will absorb a little more oil and the crust will be slightly softer. Both are yummy.

    A serving of fish and chips made at home in the deep fryer absorbs about one tablespoon of oil.

    Answer by lovinangels at 9:52 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I know what you mean. I think because the heat is higher on the deep fryer and since everything is submerged equally, it fries on all sides perfectly. For fries, I actually like liked them baked but I make a lot of Latin dishes that uses tortilla dough and it is sooo good deep fried to a golden crisp.

    Answer by hgibsonorc at 9:15 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • The difference is in the amount of oil. In pan frying, there can be anywhere from a drizzle to a 1/2 cup of oil/fat. For deep frying there would be at least 3 inches of oil, enough to submerge what it is you're frying. Both should result in crispy fries provided the temperature is correct for each type of frying. French fries that are cooked in properly heated oil absorb very little actual oil. When you go somewhere and the fries are greasy, it is usually because they are either cooked in oil that is not hot enough or because they are not drained properly afterward.

    Answer by jespeach at 9:20 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • pan frying uses very little oil
    shallow frying uses 1-2 inches of oil and deep frying will use well over 3 inches in a pan. the temps are about the same, For fries, deep or shallow fry, be carefull NOT to over crowd the pan. Which it sounds like you are doing when you shallow fry (pan Fry as you call it) When you add the food to oils it lowers the temp, so if you add too amny fries to the oil at once it makes the oil temp drop too much. I hope this helps.

    Answer by chefjen at 11:51 AM on Feb. 23, 2009