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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: RV Cooking
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2007 19:49:08 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 18:40:28 -0400, GingerJools <> wrote:

>Do not use solid shortening.  This is the infamous "trans" fat. Poison
>on a plate...  been hydrogenated so that it's solid at room temp.

So?  Life's too short to worry about the health nazi fad of the week.  I know I'm
gonna die of something.  I'd rather die today than give up good food.

My "secret recipe" for french fries that are so good you can't stand it is this.  The
fry oil is about 50-50 Crisco (the solid stuff in the can) and lard.  Optionally but
very desirable, fry a pound or two of bacon in the grease before using it on the
spuds.  Deep fried bacon is WUNDERFUL and it leaves the most gorgeous flavor in the
oil.  Run the fryer at no more than 375 deg, preferably 350.  This slow fries the
spud, greatly reducing the moisture content, making it crunchy throughout and soaking
up juuust the right amount of yummy grease.

Fried Chicken and trout gets pan fried in the same mix.  Mmmmmmm.  I think there will
be some fresh trout for dinner.

In my restaurant people would beg me for my recipe for my fries, especially when they
saw that I used plain old 3/8" straight cut "line run" fries, about the cheapest
available.  I'd tell 'em but only after I questioned 'em a little to make sure they
weren't some sort of dumb-*ss health nazi that might to running around, screaming and
waving their arms in the air in a panic.  If I detected even the faintest hint of
health-nazism then I replied "sorry, secret recipe".

>Peanut oil is good for frying because it has a high smoke temperature.

If you get anywhere near the smoke point when frying a turkey then you're doing
something bad wrong.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Got a Deep fryer for the RV
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:59:12 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 16:02:38 -0700, "Tom T" <> wrote:

>> Everyone does things differently.  We specialize in fish fries for
>> large groups of people -- (30 to 50).  We use the oil over and over
>> and never refrigerate it, never have.  However, we do strain it after
>> every use.  We have found the best way to strain used cooking oil is
>> with a paint filter.  You can get paint filters at most places that
>> sell paint.  Paint filters have a fine mesh glued in so that oil will
>> pass through while small particles are captured.

This is jerry-rigging when jerry-rigging isn't necessary.  The correct solution is as
easily available and probably less costly.  Conical oil filters are available from
any restaurant supply and occasionally off the shelf at Sam's club.  If not on the
shelf, Sam's can order them for you.  The wire rack that is designed to hold the cone
is nice but not absolutely necessary.  As cheap as the wire rack is, I'd go with it.

Though I never bothered, a restaurant filter cone could be used over and over,
especially considering the small amount of oil involved at home or camping.  My
restaurant fryers held 50 lbs and they were small as restaurant fryers go.

Before the FryBaby came out, mom used to fry in a sauce pan. Her method of filtering
was to line a large wire mesh strainer with one or two layers of paper towels and
suspend that over the Crisco can.  Just as soon as the fries or chicken came out, the
oil hit the strainer.  She stored the used grease back in the Crisco can that it came

>> Never try to strain HOT oil.  Wait until it has cooled.  Most of the
>> debris will settle to the bottom.  Do not even try to filter the last
>> few spoon fulls of oil from the bottom of the cooker.  Just throw that
>> "sludge" away.

Restaurant cones are designed to be used hot.  For safety reasons, I usually let the
oil cool some but filter while it's still above water's boiling point.  Many oils,
including partially hydrogenated seed oil ("creamy fry oil") start getting thick
while still quite hot and therefore become more difficult to filter.

A filtering agent is also available from the restaurant supply.  The primary contents
of the stuff I used at one time were pumice and vitamin C.  The theory behind the
filtering compound is that the short chain polymers that form as hot oil oxidizes
will adhere to the pumice particles and be filtered out.

Polymerized oil is what forms that orange sticky gunk that is found on fryers that
aren't cleaned properly.  It raises the viscosity of the oil and makes it more prone
to foaming.  Oxidative polymerization is exactly the same process that makes boiled
linseed oil and tung oil harden.

In my restaurant, I filtered my oil for awhile but after I did an economic analysis
factoring in the labor cost of filtering, I decided that it was about as economical
and a lot less hassle to simply toss the oil more frequently and not filter.

Critical to this procedure is the fryer having a cold zone.  This is an area between
the bottom of the oil pot and the heaters where the oil remains cool.  This is the
repository for batter and other crumbs to settle into so that they don't burn and
foul the oil.  All commercial fryers and many consumer fryers have cold zones.  My
home unit, a Presto ProFry (a super two basket unit available at Wallyworld for about
$40), has a nice cold zone; my FryDaddy has but a minimal one.

>I got to hand it to you guys. I posted the question to a cooking NG at
>1:45. I posted it here over an hour later.  Still no replies in the
>cooking NG but 4 replies here.
>Yes, opinions seem to vary about changing the oil and storage but I'm
>looking for what others do so that's fine even if they don't agree.
>BTW, I tried peanut oil and don't like it at all. Canola oil is good.  I
>might try John's idea of Crisco.. As far as changing the oil after
>cooking fish each time, that's not going to happen. Would cost too much
>and seems to me, unnecessary.

I suspect that the root cause for the widely varying experiences with deep frying is
the oil used.  FRYER oil, as opposed to frying oil, contains two ingredients that
have major effects.  One is BHTA, a preservative that prevents rancidity in storage
and the other is silicone oil, usually around 0.05% to 0.1%.  Silicone oil inhibits
foaming and also extends the life, probably by inhibiting the formation of polymer

Frying oils such as Wesson generally don't contain these additives.  The assumption
is that the oil will be used once for pan frying and discarded.  This type of oil
works poorly in a deep fryer.

A good example is the experience of the very hard-headed woman who operated a snack
bar up here last year.  She used the same Presto ProFryer that I use at home and in
my concession stand and the same brand of fries but she insisted on buying frying oil
from the grocery store.  Almost from the beginning the stuff foamed uncontrollably.
It would sometimes foam completely over the sides of the fryer.  I finally dragged
her by the nose over to my stand to show her the difference between proper fryer oil
and frying oil.

The silicone oil will often become depleted before the fryer oil is used up.  In my
restaurant I found that I could buy USP grade silicone oil and extend the life of the
oil about double. Probably not worth it for casual at-home frying but something to
keep in mind if you suddenly have a bunch of stuff to fry.

>What oil do you recommend? I mostly cook
>fish and frys.

As I mentioned before, I use Crisco/lard, generically known as A/V (animal/vegetable)
oil for all my frying.  If I don't have that available for some reason, I use solid
(fully hydrogenated) or creamy (semi-hydrogenated) veggie oil.  Most restaurant
blends contain either soybean oil or a blend of soybean and safflower oils.

Not too long ago I noticed that our local Wallyworld is again carrying A/V solid oil
right next to the lard and Crisco.  I've started buying that and like it.  The animal
fat is beef tallow so I still add some lard for flavor but not 50/50.  Crisco used to
be A/V before the health nazis started screeching.

I generally pan-fry my fresh fish.  Matter of fact, I'm fixin' to fry some trout that
were in the river a few hours ago.  I don't like to foul up my fryer oil with
breading plus I think that pan-fried fish tastes better.  Here are some other things
that you might try in the fryer.

Bacon.  Deep-fried bacon is WUNDERFUL!  Just pull the strips apart and lay randomly
in the fryer basket.  It cooks very quickly and leave a wonderful taste in the oil. I
try to fry a  pound of bacon first thing after changing my fryer oil.  The effect on
french fries has to be experienced....

Wiener.  Deep-fried wieners have a roasted-over-the-campfire taste.  I kinda
discovered that by accident in my restaurant.  When I started frying the wieners, I
sold hot dogs hand over fist and at a premium price.  That wiener taste was what
everyone was looking for.  Cheap wieners with lots of added sugar will blacken and
thus don't work well.  I like the Oscar Meyer premium wieners and the Sam's Club
bulk-packed all-beef wieners.

Bologna.  Thick slice and fry.  I'm not a fan of bologna but deep fried, it's pretty

Polish sausage, Kielbasa, brats, etc.  Warm 'em in the microwave before frying,
otherwise the center won't get done by the time the skin cracks.

Hamburger patties.  A fellow restaurateur turned me on to that.  Food service patties
cook very rapidly and are as easy to prepare as hot dogs.  I haven't tried
hand-formed hamburgers yet but they should work as well.

Spam.  Again, thick slice maybe 3/8" thick and fry.  Forms a tasty crust.

Ham.  Cure 81 is the one I like.  Thick slice or cube and fry.  Beware of brands with
lots of sugar added, as it burns quickly.

French toast sticks.
Corn dogs.
Vienna sausages.

Unbreaded chicken.  I buy either drumettes or wing parts or occasionally thighs,
either from my restaurant supply or from Sam's.  These are frozen raw and coated with
ice to prevent freezer burn.  Just rinse 'em to remove the ice coating and drop in
the fryer.  Not quite as good as southern fried chicken but trivially easy.  This
kind of chicken and some fries constitutes breakfast quite often for me.  I flip on
the fryer before I get in the shower.  It's ready to go by the time I get out.

Red or new potatoes.  I boil 'em, let 'em cool, cut 'em into quarters and deep fry
'em.  Like home fries only better.  Or you can twice-fry them.  In once until the
first hint of brown forms.  Cool in the fridge.  Fry again.

Raw veggies.  Like oriental stir-fry only easier and faster.  Sometimes I use fresh
veggies and other times I use the frozen stir-fry veggie mix.  Cut 'em into strips
just like for stir-fry.  Keep the heat a bit lower for these, in the 300-325 range.

Tater skins.  Bake 40 or 50 count* (1.25 or 1lb ea) Idaho bakers.  (9 minutes in a
1000 watt microwave) Cool and cut across the spud into thirds.  Hollow out the two
ends so that maybe 3/8" of tater remains.  Freeze**.  Deep fry.  Enjoy with either
cheese and bacon or cheese and BBQ.  Take the center third and slice lengthwise into
quarters.  Freeze them along with the cones of potatoes that you hollowed out of the
ends.  Deep fry.  Ummmmm!  Tater hunks.

This actually works better after some of the starch converts.  In my restaurant, I'd
take the spuds out of the microwaves and toss 'em on the steam table.  In about an
hour a significant amount of starch had converted.  What didn't sell within about 2
hours got made into skins.

You can take the frozen skins and hunks with you, as they keep nicely in the freezer.
Especially if vacuum-packed.

dill pickles.  OK, I don't like these things but they sell like wildfire out of my
concession stand so obviously a lot of people do like 'em.  Dunk hamburger dill
slices in batter and deep fry.  Optionally eat with bloomin' onion or other modified
thousand-island-dressing-based sauce.  I use commercial bloomin onion batter mix but
most any batter that you like will work.


*"count" refers to how many taters come in a 50 lb box.  "40 count" has 40 taters to
a box or 1.25 lbs each.  About the largest I see at the supermarket is 50 count.  The
more usual mini-taters are 60-80 count.  Not worth fooling with.

** Freezing helps 'em hold together and not crap up the oil with tater cruft.  By the
time the inside thaws, the outside is getting crispy and adherent.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Got a Deep fryer for the RV
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 18:37:53 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 14:56:23 -0700, "Tom T" <> wrote:

>I bought a deep fryer for the RV. Fit's perfectly in the sink for travel
>so I can leave oil in it. Of course, I don't use it inside the rig. I've
>been setting it up on a table outside the rig. It's been a hit with
>RVing friends. Fish & chips in less than 20 minutes including setup and
>preheat. Question is, how often do I need to change the cooking oil?
>It's not clear from the manual.

When it starts tasting bad or it starts foaming or smoking.

If you'll use Crisco or some other brand solid oil or even better, a mix of Crisco
and lard, you'll not have to worry about the oil sloshing out when cold.  And your
food will be sooooo much better tasting.  Try doing some fries in the 50/50 mix at
350 degrees.  They'll take 10-15 minutes to fry, depending on how high the heater
wattage is, but they'll be out of this world.

I have a FryDaddy in my rig that contains the 50/50 mix.  I just toss it in an
under-seat compartment when I'm finished.  No worry at all about spillage.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Got a Deep fryer for the RV-storing without refrigeration
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:23:31 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 13:31:47 -0500, Steve Wolf <> wrote:

>I'm all stuck on the idea that one can go buy a $20 Fry Daddy, ladle in
>some Crisco and lard and then go merrily frying away.  After one is
>done, you just let it cool and post the Fry Daddy to a cabinet.  No
>refrigeration needed.
>I really want to try this.  It has been a while since I've had a fryer.
>That's John.  Anyone else do that?  Anyone else just stick it behind the
>box of cereal?
>I'm not sure.  Food particles will remain in the oil.  If they didn't,
>we would not have to buy another container of Crisco.

Yes, food remains in the oil and in the case of the FryDaddy, the cold zone is
practically non-existent so the oil has to be filtered or changed often.  In my RV I
use mom's method - paper towel in a wire strainer.  The Daddy holds relatively little
oil so that's not a big deal.

>John -- you leave this thing for months at a time in a cabinet without

Yup.  My rig had sat for over a year while the engine got rebuilt and I was off doing
other things.  Fry oil was still fine.  Another example:  I did a fry dinner at some
friends' place last Saturday night.  I took my spare FryPro, the one that I use in my
concession stand.  It hadn't been used since October of last year.  The oil was in
perfect condition.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Got a Deep fryer for the RV-storing without refrigeration
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:24:54 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:40:20 -0500, Steve Wolf <> wrote:

>And, John, how do you get your Fry Daddy to know it is at 350 degrees?
>I didn't think you could regulate the temperature on a Fry Daddy.

You have to take it apart and adjust the little thermostat bolted to the bottom.
Actually, most FryDaddys are set pretty close, somewhere in the 350-375 range.  I've
owned several and only had to adjust a few of those.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Spud-O-Mania
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2008 23:35:52 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 19:41:18 -0600, "Max" <> wrote:

>Stick with the Canola oil and your ticker will last a lot longer.

Or maybe not, depending on which health fad of the day you subscribe to.

Brings up a philosophical question.  Suppose you could eat only flavorless food like
broccoli and cauliflower with no salt and no butter and live to be a hundred or eat
steak, taters and all that other good stuff and die in a year.  What would you do?

I'd go pick out my favorite crematorium, then enjoy the remaining 364 days.  After
all, what is life for if not enjoyment and happiness?

Bob: Suspect that you had a little TOO much bacon grease in that mix if you'd been
frying those taters in a pan.  Hmmm, or maybe not.  I do have to say that I like both
home fries and eggs fried in bacon grease.  Maybe it is an acquired taste, one I
acquired as a toddler.

Yep, bacon does curl up.  If you need to eat a straight edge then deep frying's not
for you.  OTOH, a bacon wad is a nice bite to chew on.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Fry Daddy on Sale!  $15 at Wal-Mart
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2008 18:04:37 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Wed, 02 Apr 2008 16:06:45 -0500, Steve Wolf <> wrote:

>So to the tune of "Born to be Wild" I picked up a Fry Daddy.  Will it be
>relegated to storage shelf, next to the bread and pasta maker?  We'll
>see.  It's been a while but I do remember that most things emerging from
>the device tasted just so good.  It awaits a camping trip.
>While I was there I spied another device that might get John's
>attention.  Hamilton Beach makes a device called a "Meal Maker" that
>sells for $49.84.  It kind of looks like a Fry Daddy for serious friers.
>  It can cook a small cat without any trouble at all.

That looks neat.  If I didn't already have a shelf full of monocookers, I might be
interested.  This is the ProFry

Great product, even if the price has gone up a little since I got mine.  I fry too
much not to have a dedicated fryer.

The only things I DON'T like seems to be something safety-nazi-induced in many
heating products these days.  The %^&^&**& short cord and the magnetic cord
attachment.  Once I verified that mine worked, I opened it up and attached a
conventional 8 ft cord to the thing.  Ahhh, that's better.

When I have several stand-alone cooking appliances running at once, I have to scatter
them around the kitchen outlets to keep the breakers from blowing.  I haven't yet
gotten around to rewiring my cabin kitchen to my standard
one-outlet-per-30-amp-breaker.  Long cords make the process more convenient.


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