Adventures in Deep Frying

I felt brave today, and decided it was time to make the sweet potato chips on my to-do list.  The tubers had been on the counter for more than a week.  It was time.

Now, I’ve never really deep-fried foods other than some corn dogs one year on the 4th of July.  I did those outside on the grill using my Lodge Logic cast iron dutch oven and they worked. But I was still hesitant.  Shall we say… “chicken”?  Oy.

But hey, if Sarah Ballantyne could do it, so could I.  *deep breath*

So I printed off Sarah’s blog post and recipe from The Paleo Mom and began.  I used my trusty Cuisinart food processor to slice up 4 big sweet potatoes to 2mm thickness.  Salted and drained them in a colander for an hour or so, and got the oil ready.  I happened to have some of the palm shortening Sarah recommends, so I put that in my Lodge Logic dutch oven and fired up my Weber gas grill.  This grill has sturdy cast iron grates, so I can actually cook on it with cast iron cookware – keeps the heat outside in summer!

My first batch scorched: cooked them too long.
The second batch was soggy: oil cooled too much.
Third and remaining batches were fine…
until the TruGreen Lawn guy showed up and began spraying my grass  – while I was cooking!  

Really?!  *counts to ten instead of biting his fool head off*
(As a side note, I am supposed to get an advance email notifying me when they will be coming, but…)

Well, I wasn’t about to be outside cooking food in a fog of fertilizer and weed killer, so I carefully moved the operation inside.  It was a blessing in disguise, because the stovetop controlled the heat much better and there was very little mess.  I’d always thought frying food got oil all over the stove, cabinets and countertop, so that was a pleasant surprise.

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Finished up the rest of the chips and now have a small stash to accompany our burgers.  They *should* keep fresh for a week to ten days, but we all know they won’t last that long.  😉

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We like the Terra Chips from our co-op, but they are pricey and I’m not keen on the canola oil.  I did some initial calculations, and I believe the price (excluding TIME spent) is comparable.  I am hoping that I will be able to re-use the oil to make it more cost-efficient, as that is the most expensive input.  At any rate, it was a fun project and I may do it again soon.

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