Are you scared of deep-frying? That question isn’t meant to be goading or insulting. I will fully admit to being apprehensive when it comes to boiling oil at temperatures once specifically designed to scald our fellow human beings as punishment. I also value my ability to maintain a clean work surface and a stovetop that doesn’t look like a dog shook off all over it after playing in an industrial tub of lard. So I don’t deep-fry anything at home—I leave it to the experts.
Even home cooks who love making salty, crispy foodstuffs might have switched to air fryers in the years since they’ve become an ascendant kitchen appliance. As we’ve said many times, an air fryer isn’t actually a fryer; it’s a tiny, high-powered convection oven that cooks food hot, hard, and fast. But often, it approximates fried foods decently enough that it cuts down on the inconvenience of oil splatter and drippy thermometers.
But I personally do not own an air fryer. And despite my fear of oil bubbling away on my stovetop, I know that without dabbling in frying, I’ll always hit a ceiling of what I can achieve in the kitchen. Without this skill, so many of my favorite foods will remain out of reach! So, how much deep frying do you do at home? Was it a struggle to learn how to do it, and most importantly, to grow comfortable with it?