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Keep the fat at a constant high temperature. This is best done by using a heavy, flat-bottomed pan and a deep-fat thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. To ensure crispiness:
- Heat cooking oil to the temperature listed in your recipe, typically 365 degrees F to 375 degrees F. You'll need enough oil in the pan to cover the food you're frying.
- To avoid a pasty coating, dip the food in the batter and wait for the excess to drain off.
- Cook in small batches and add the food slowly. Avoid crowding; freely bubbling fat makes for a crispy crust.
- Watch the oil temperature and don't let it drop below the temperature specified.
- Stir the food several times to ensure even cooking.
- After frying, drain the food on paper towels. Keep finished batches warm in a 300 degree oven while you finish frying.