Module 5 – Chips & Russian Sausages

a.  Preparation to Fry (Both Russians and Chips): 

i.  Remember that separate products always need to be fried in separate oil.  Never fry different products in the same oil as this can cause cross-contamination. 

ii.  Russian sausages and chips both use oil and are prepared in a similar way.  Always fry the Russians in separate oil and in a separate basket to the chips. 

iii.  Ensure the fryer is clean and has no traces of detergent left on the surface, this can be done by using a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice on a clean damp cloth, to gently wipe down the internal surface of the fryer after cleaning. 

iv.  Never switch on the fryer when it is empty, this will immediately burn out the elements. 

v.  Ensure the elements in the fryer are submerged in oil prior to fully heating the oil. 

vi.  Ensure that the oil reaches the correct frying temperature for the product being cooked.  Use a thermometer, do not depend on the fryer thermostat as these are often incorrect.  

vii.  Dependent on the type of oil used, there are different methods to check the frying quality of the oil.  

        1.  Sunflower oil is generally checked by a visual look at the colour of the oil and the product fried.
        2.  Palm oil is checked using a more scientific method using test strips, this is since, palm oil when heated turns the oil very dark and so a visual check will never be accurate.

b.  Temperature and Time 

i.  The ideal temperature for chips & samoosas is around 180 degrees Celsius for 2.5 minutes – 3 minutes 

ii.  The ideal temperature for Russians is around 170 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes to allow it to cook through 

c.  Moisture: 

i.  Ensure any loose moisture is removed from product by shaking the basket over a sink before frying. 

ii.  Never place chips or russians into the frying baskets above hot oil; this is extremely dangerous as any free moisture will cause the hot oil to splatter, this is of particular importance when using frozen French fries. 

d.  Filling the basket/s: 

i.  For chips, the basket should as a maximum be 50% full; this will result in a better-quality product with a crispy oil-free mouth-feel and will in fact be a much quicker frying option than filling the basket and constantly shaking it in the oil in the hope that it will regain its frying temperature. 

ii.  DO NOT over fill the basket, this will rapidly drop the oil temperature causing the product to BOIL in the oil – and not FRY. 

e.  Removing, draining & storing: 

i.  Once the product is fried to perfection, remove the frying basket and drain any surplus oil from the product, by gently tilting the basket over the frying oil in the fryer and turning it left and right whist draining the oil from the corners of the basket. 

ii.  Once the product is drained, DO NOT hang the basket with the product in over the hot oil, this will result in the product steaming and all the crispness will be gone. 

iii.  Place the drained chips into a chip dump or absorbent paper to maintain its crispness.  Russians can be removed and placed immediately into the display warmer. 

f.  What to know about using oil: 

i.  Before frying another batch of product, first skim the surface of the oil to remove any fried particles, otherwise this will damage the oil quality very quickly 

ii.  Let the oil come back up to frying temperature between batches. 

iii.  Never leave oil unattended, it can overheat and become a fire risk

iv.  Oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down while it is heated. At this temperature, the oil will start to smoke before it eventually catches fire with increased temperature. When oil begins to smoke, it starts to taste “off” and loses much of its nutritional value. 

v.  Because deep frying requires your food to be submerged in oil for its entire cooking process, using oil with a strong taste can impact the flavour of the food you’re frying. 

g.  When to change your oil: 

i.  Change your oil if: 

        1.  If it smokes at lower temperatures than usual.
        2. If it darkens in colour
        3. If it begins to smell off-putting 
        4. If it becomes thickened and foamy at the surface 

ii.  These are all signs that your oil is breaking down and is no longer usable. This being said, do not wait for all of these signs to change your oil. Any one of these changes can make your oil difficult or unsafe to work with, so it is best to keep your oil fresh. 

 h.  Can I Leave Oil in My Deep Fryer? 

i.  While it is best to store oil outside of your fryer when it is not in use for long periods of time, you can leave oil in your deep fryer for short periods. However it is important to first filter the oil to ensure that any food debris does not spoil while in the fryer. Additionally, you should always keep your fryer covered and cool when it is not in use because light and heat are two of the major factors in oil spoiling. 

ii.  Ideally, you should store your oil in a cool, dark place. Storing filtered oil in an airtight container that does not let in light can help extend the life of your oil and save you money. 

i.  How to Dispose of Deep Fryer Oil 

i.  To properly dispose of used cooking oil from your deep fryer, you can find disposal companies that recycle the cooking oil. Some areas have organizations that collect oil for recycling, and they pay you for your contributions.  These organizations will come to your business and take away your oil for you. 

ii.  Please ensure when using these that they can show their certification certificate and they sign off all oil uplifted. 

iii.  Old oil is extremely toxic and can cause serious health issues. NEVER give away to staff members or unregistered collectors. 

iv.  While it may be tempting to dump your cooking oil down the drain, disposing of your oil this way could be against municipal laws. Never pour deep fryer oil down your drain, even with hot water. The fat particles in your oil may solidify and block your pipes, causing major problems with your plumbing system. 

j.  Merchandising: 

i.  Chips will remain in the chip dump until served.  The need to be kept warm and prevented from drying out. 

ii.  Russian’s need to be displayed in a warmer with a minimum of 3 variants (eg:  chili, cheese and plain) in 3 ceramic dishes of the same size.