Deep Frying at Home is a BAD IDEA

In general, I think that deep-frying food
at home is a really bad idea. For me. Your situation may indeed be different, but I reckon
that my situation is pretty darn common. To explain why I think deep frying should
be left to the pros, I’m actually gonna give you a french fry recipe; the one time of year
when I do deep fry here in my own kitchen. Oh hey, I want to thank ExpressVPN for sponsoring
this video. If you’re looking to use the internet in a secure and nonrestricted way, go to
and get three months free with a one-year package. After that, it’s less than $7 a month
with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Alright, here’s the one time of year when
I do deep fry here in my kitchen at home. For the last three years, I’ve planted potatoes
in the backyard. My older son’s favorite food is French fries, and I just wanted to
show him where they come from. So, every summer, we all go out back with the pitchfork. Digging
up potatoes is like a treasure hunt. It’s great to do with kids. “Whoa, another one!” “That’s a lot. Here, take that one. Pull it
off.” “OK, I’ll get that potato.” “Nay-noh!” “Go help mommy.” “Oh my — yeah, reach in and — here, put
it in here. Put the potato in there.” OK, now let’s turn these into fries. First
dilemma: What do you fry in? My biggest pot is my 7-and-a-half quart dutch oven. Unless
you really want to buy a tabletop deep fryer, I figure something like this is probably gonna
be your best option. It’s really heavy, which helps to maintain a consistent temperature
of the oil. But even in this huge pot, the most oil I can safely fry in is two or three
quarts. You have to leave space for the displacement of the food, and enough headroom at the top
for things to be able to slosh around without spilling over the sides. Compare that to the deep fryer at my friend
Saralyn’s restaurant here in Macon — Grow. She mostly serves healthy stuff here, so as
commercial deep fryers go, her’s is really small, and yet it still holds 20 gallons.
That’s 53 of these. One reason you want to fry in a lot of oil
is that it allows delicate ingredients to float around in their own personal space without
getting bumped into other objects before they are strong enough to take it, i.e. when they
are crispy and rigid. If you wanted to fry dainty, long, thin fries, you gotta fry them
in tiny little batches, otherwise you’d bash them apart while you stirred them around,
or they’d stick to the bottom of the pan, or they’d stick to each other. So, when I fry fries at home, I use relatively
small potatoes, like these ones from the garden, and I cut them up into wedges. The wedge is
a very structurally sound shape. Look at that beautiful purple breed. I love those. You always want to cut fries way bigger than
you want them, because they do shrink a lot when cooked. Then you gotta get your oil up to temperature.
There’s lots of ways of making fries, but the basic, time-tested method is to fry them
twice, first at a low temperature, like 275ºF, but you gotta overshoot the mark when you’re
heading it up, because look what happens when you put this much cold mass into such a small
volume of hot oil. The temperature plummets. When you fry in a ton of oil, like you can
in a restaurant, the oil temperature is gonna be way more stable. At home, you gotta mother the temperature
like crazy, and that’s especially tough on an electric range, which takes a long time
to heat up and cool down. I’ve gotta move those to keep them from
sticking, and if they were dainty little fries, they’d be breaking apart right now. Hey, let’s think for a second about how
insanely dangerous this bubbling caldron of death is. I only let Freddie look at it for
a minute, with me hovering right over him. Not only does oil get far hotter than water
can, it is sticky, so if it splashes or spills on you, it’s gonna do incredible damage. This stage, called “blanching,” I did for
about 10 minutes. Fries take a long time. Now, you might be thinking, “Man, couldn’t
you have solve all your problems here by just frying in way smaller batches?” Well yeah, but fries are only good if you
eat them right away. What’s the point of perfectly frying a tiny batch of fries if
they’re just gonna get soggy while they sit there and you fry the rest? What the cookbooks generally tell you to do
now is take all the fries out and drain them on a rack, which is a really messy and time-consuming
proposition. Then you crank the oil temperature up about a hundred degrees hotter, and then
put the fries back in in batches to crisp them up. I think that makes a lot of sense
if you’re blanching several batches and then frying several batches, but again, that’s
a messy, time-consuming pain, and it results in a whole bunch of tiny batches of fries
that are not all done at the same time when you want to eat them. So I just do one big
batch, and then when you do that, you really can just leave them in there while you crank
up the heat around them. I’m looking for 375ºF. Again, it’s really hard to hold
any temperature in there consistently. This here is a good draining method. Towel
goes in a big bowl. Lift the fries out with the spider and the towel will absorb the excess
oil. Whip the towel out, put in a bunch of salt, and then toss everything in the bowl.
And, you know, those are pretty good. But now, what do we have? We have a big plate
of fries. We have nothing to eat them with, because imagine trying to grill some burgers
while you’re cooking those fries? I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s
hard. I don’t want to do it. Imagine trying to make fish and chips at home. You’ve fried
the fries, now you gotta fry the fish, and that’s gonna take another 15 minutes. Whichever
thing you fry first is gonna be soggy by the time you sit down to eat. It’s not like
a restaurant deep fryer, which is big enough to prepare an actual entire meal to order
— hot, crispy, done all at the same time. We don’t have that, so we have one big plate
of fries and nothing else. We also have a giant pot of hot oil, sitting
on the stove, making the whole house smell like a county fair. Really, the smell is gross,
and it lingers for days. And you gotta let the oil cool for hours before you can dispose
of it, and how do you do that? You can’t just pour it down the sink, because it’ll
clog your pipes. It clings to the sides. In my fried chicken video, I talked about
burying my fry oil in my garden. I should have emphasized that only works for very small
quantities. Too much oil will make it impossible for your soil to grow anything. So what do you do with half a gallon? You
gotta pour it back into the bottle whence it came, which is gonna require a funnel,
and in the end, I still end up spilling a bunch. Stay out of the shot, Ragusea, stay
out of the shot! Sigh, messy business. Then, what do you do with the bottle of used
oil? Well, you could keep it, and fry with it again. Fry oil does arguably get better
with multiple uses. But if you’re gonna go that, then you really wanna strain it, right?
And unless you fry really often, it’s gonna get yucky hanging around the kitchen, and
I’m sorry, I just throw it out. Back over at Saralyn’s place, they use the
same fry oil for days and days and days before they change it, and think of all the portions
of food that they get out of that. It’s so much less wasteful. Also, a company actually
pays the restaurant to come pick up the old grease and recycle it into biodiesel. I want to emphasize again that my house smelled
for days after I made those fries. I smelled like a carney. I get that fried food is delicious. I get
that it can be really fun to make. I make it sometimes, but really, mostly just for
fun, for the novelty. In general, I think it should be left to the pros. And, you know,
I think that’s just fine. Pan-fried chicken is a totally different animal from deep-fried
chicken, and I really prefer it. The flavor is less oily and the crust adheres better.
It doesn’t crack off in big brittle shards. I have a recipe for oven fries that’s easy
to make at home, and is far better than any plate of “real” fries I’ve ever produced
in my kitchen. I will link to that recipe video in the description once I’ve uploaded
it. This is gonna get a little high-concept now,
but I do think that in my rapidly advancing age, I have figured out one secret to success
and happiness, and that is to stop fighting the fundamental nature of things — of everything,
but especially of yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not. I mean, unless
you’re a sociopath, in which case, please, fight it. This goes for cooking, too. My advice to you
is, don’t just think about what you want to eat or what you want to cook. Think about
what you and your kitchen are particularly well-suited to cook. And for most of us, I’m
sorry, I just don’t think that that’s gonna be deep-fried food very often. There are,
I think, actually, many things that are better made in a home kitchen than they are in a
restaurant. Unless you’re eating out at a really good place, I think that you are
far more likely to find a good plate of risotto in your own kitchen than you are in a restaurant.
Ooo, that gives me an idea for another video. Gotta put that on the list. Once again, I want to thank ExpressVPN for
sponsoring this video. As a working journalist for basically all of my professional life,
I am a person who definitely appreciates secure and private usage of the internet. I mean,
now, I guess I don’t need to be worrying about people stealing my potato recipes, but I’m
looking at you, Babish. That was a joke, but seriously, without a VPN, your credit card
information can be wide open to hackers on your network when you’re shopping online.
And even if the only person on your network is you in your house, something to think about
is that your ISP can still totally monitor everything that you’re doing online, and they
are legally allowed to sell that information — perhaps even my oven fries recipe! So, this is why ExpressVPN encrypts your data
— to keep other people on your network from sniffing around what you’re doing. Shop online,
or leak information to a journalist, securely and with confidence using ExpressVPN. It’s
great. It’s consistently faster than other VPN providers. They’ve got servers located
in over 94 countries, giving you plenty of options to choose from, all with 24/7 customer
support, so you can get help when you need it. Go to and get three
months free with a one-year package. Or, click the link in the description, because my last
name is impossible to spell.

100 comments on “Deep Frying at Home is a BAD IDEA”

  1. Adam Ragusea says:

    Q: So are you saying that deep frying is bad because you're bad at it?
    A: Yes. I think home cooking should be easy, especially for someone like me who is pretty practiced. To quote MPW, "Cooking should be a pleasure. If it's a job, get a takeaway." (Takeaway is British for takeout.)

    Q: Do you realize those are potato wedges, not fries?
    A: I think that's a distinction without a difference. Long, deep-fried pieces of potato are fries. You want to cut yours into more traditional shapes, go for it. I think the wedge shape is convenient to cut and structurally sound for home frying.

    Q: What if I like deep frying at home? I've made the necessary equipment investments and I'm good at it.
    A: Cool! I'd love to come over for dinner. I'll have to jet before clean-up, tho.

    Q: Are you actually this angry/upset about deep frying?
    A: No, not really. I mean what I say, but I also mean it all in good fun.

    Q: Did you throw that bottle of used oil in the recycling bin?
    A: No, in Macon the green bins are trash, the blue bins are recycling.

    Q: Why don't you buy a cheap tabletop deep fryer?
    A: The money is not the barrier. If I bought a specialized piece of equipment for every cooking task that could use one, I would run out of counter space very quickly. I'm already out of counter space. Also, they seem kinda yucky. If you come from a culinary tradition where you deep fry several times a week, I totally understand how that's a good investment for you. It's rather like a rice cooker; if you eat rice with most meals, sure, makes sense to have one on your counter. That's not my situation, and I'm hardly alone in that regard.

    Q: Wait, aren't you the guy with the three-day lasagna recipe? And fries are too hard for you?
    A: A few points here. 1) As I said in the lasagna video, that's a special occasion recipe for me; 2) While that recipe is time-consuming, I don't find it to be wasteful, smelly, messy, dangerous or unpleasant to make. I find deep frying to be wasteful, smelly, messy, dangerous and unpleasant; 3) That lasagna recipe makes 18 adult portions of food that are all done at exactly the same time. That is not possible without a commercial-scale deep fryer; 4) That lasagna is amazing. I have rarely had Italian-American food that good at a restaurant. In contrast, amazing fries are pretty easy to find at restaurants, which are able to produce them at scale easily and cheaply, unlike me.

  2. Ariadlus Daedaladne Enigmus Proximo says:

    *Laughs in Indian! 😂
    (We got Flame Stoves & Special Utensils at every home just for frying!)

  3. thy_savior says:

    Use vetillation.

    Get a foreman grill use it along a stovetop fryer setup or get a fryer unit (safer).
    Easy simultaneous cooking.

    Let oil cool, poor it through a metal strainer and funnel into a container. Put oil in fridge for longer life.

    Clean the fryer by emptying the oil into another container, put some dishsoap and water in the fryer plug it in and turn it on. Boil out the fryer for a minute or two but watch so the bubbles don't go over. Pour it out, rinse the fryer, good as new.

    If the oil is going to splash out of the fryer place cardboard or newspaper around it (can't do this with stovetop fryer obviously).

    Used to work with restaurant deep fryers and thought alot about accommodating the process to home.

  4. Talha Shah says:

    Yo adam i dare you to make a good tasting soup with white wine but you cannot use water alright no water only any wine

  5. youwillbeimpressed 6 says:

    2:00 that fryer is gross clean that shit

  6. White Corruption says:

    Hi me Phil swift here, with FLEX OIL

  7. Mark Gomez says:

    What happened to your other method? I thought you don't want to deep fry cuz it's a pain in the ass cleaning the oily pot?

  8. Oshony says:

    Ya second point was dumb… ur stovetop has more than one burner cmon

  9. firehandszarb says:

    way too dramatic. You really want an extraction hood above the cooker even in a home kitchen, failing that open a window when you are cooking. millions of brits are cooking fries at home (sadly many more dont know how to cook at all but thats another conversation).

  10. Call me Val says:

    Laughs in Southern

  11. The free market of ideas hur durr says:

    So true

  12. The free market of ideas hur durr says:

    It’s a potato thanks

  13. Tommy Kelly says:

    6:30 I thought you were consern

  14. Sebastian Tippett says:

    Why I use high sodium content fertiliser for the garden where I grow my potatoes instead of seasoning my fries

  15. jmakk says:

    Hey Adam can you do a video of your garden and what you like to grow please

  16. LennyGalaxy says:

    This guy talks too much

  17. Nervein Z says:

    Splash ? Maybe you can get a , you know . Close it ? Like a normal person?

  18. Grandmaster Kush says:

    Sorry, I will always make Schnitzel and nothing can stop me!

  19. Charlie Fox says:

    10 minutes of absolute whining about your one experience making fries incorrectly. cool.

  20. mikefire98 says:

    This video is a whole 10 minutes of how to fry fries incorrectly.

  21. David Feuer says:

    French fries at home probably aren't worth it, but fried chicken (once or twice a year) and sufganiyot (once a year for Chanukah) are another matter. At least, I think so. Nothing beats home-made sufganiyot, and it's pretty hard to find decent, let alone awesome, kosher fried chicken around here.

  22. Tesla Op says:

    My dumbass sister once tried to fry her fries in olive oil
    She was 12
    Thank god I caught her

  23. JifeLacket says:

    Cool story

  24. Drake Pitts says:

    I love the wisdom bomb at the end "don't fight the fundamental nature of things, and instead embrace them as they are".

  25. starlord says:

    meanwhile like an asshole im eating fried chicken and fries i fried myself…and i have a fan on my microwave that keeps the oil from smelling ^^

  26. Tyler Blevins says:

    Pan fried steak to go with the fries. Do it right next to the pot…

  27. gsahrens says:

    If you are that picky about the fucking fries, just buy a frier. It costs 30 bucks for fucks sake.

  28. Phil Larkin says:

    why i season my throat, not my food

  29. Daniel Conrad says:

    I agree 100% lol. I like deep fried goodies, especially general tso's chicken.

    A lot of work, a lot of monitoring, a lot of cleanup, and the danger of a vat of hot oil.

    And I too have had your problem of not having anything to go with the fries. I solved that problem a while back. I prepare chili about a day before frying potatoes.

  30. Haris boi says:

    or you just buy mcdonalds…

  31. singhpharoah says:

    Unsubscribe. I don't like winney amateurs. Alex the French guy would find a way.

  32. Tina Gaspard says:

    Really enjoying your videos…this one especially because it reminds me of how explicitly and passionately you shared opinions about the music of Billy Joel on “We Didn’t Start the Podcast”…of which I’m probably the biggest fan. Please do more like this…cooking techniques, most necessary/best pantry staples, specific cookware/utensils, proper fork/knife holding…anything like that. 🙂

  33. ~[Ματ2468χκ] says:

    "I'm look at you, Babish!"

  34. Nov Tagailo says:

    Bottomline: his kid loves french fries but he hates cooking them. 😆

  35. WAREWOLF says:

    Oil spils on me

  36. Silly Goose says:

    I think you’re totally right. I’ve been cooking for 25 years at home and deep frying (anything) is something I dread and seldom do for absolutely all the reasons you cited. And if you have children it even becomes scary. Very good points, all.

  37. School Name says:

    Why I season my oil, not my potatoes

  38. The asshole Who is an asshole says:

    I wouldn't be surprised if babish got your potato recipes and made it out of spite XD.

  39. Martynaxyz says:

    That "the beatles" shirt stole my heart xD

  40. Tim Snortin' says:

    I think ur over exaggerating how quickly it gets soggy. At home, I’ve never had an issue with this

    Also, I used to be a fry cook in a restaurant and a big bowl of fries would be good to stay under the heater for up to 15-20 minutes at a time

  41. Mark Giblin says:

    Frying twice increases the risk of food poisoning.

    You want proper chips / fries, you need to have sugared and salted water and soak for an hour and fry in high heat ONCE ONLY and perfect fries.

  42. X123Monster EX4 says:

    My parents and family do it all the time. IT HURTS WHEN IT POPS. AND I HATE IT. I’ll never do it …E V E R .

  43. Manoj Kumar Shrivastava says:

    Have you heard about an Indian dish "pudi" or "pakoda" or "fafda". …if not then do check

  44. dLimboStick says:

    Protip to viewers: Don't take advice from people who don't know what they're doing.

  45. Alexis Bleh says:

    I love this guys chaotic energy

  46. Polly Tikal says:

    U sound like the Fact Verse guy.

  47. Jean Dowdle says:

    how to cook…..just don't….That is a man in the kitchen…

  48. ivy says:

    does adam have autism

  49. sengin says:

    In the country turkey, you can bring your used oil to schools, there are containers special for used oil. Then they collect all the oil and make bio diesel.

  50. D3 PRODUCTIONS says:

    My family has used a Wok and that worked pretty well size wise

  51. ben5056 says:

    Just do multiple batches, if you make the fries right they’ll stay crispy. Especially if you store the batches in the oven while the others cook.

  52. ghostbirdofprey says:

    As a professional, I can vouch for the risotto thing.
    A proper risotto takes about 20 minutes to cook starting from uncooked rice, and that's what you want to do to get ALL of the starches out of the rice into the liquid for a good creamy risotto. There are very few restaurants where customers will allow that sort of time (and maybe 20 minutes doesn't sound so bad, but food doesn't magically start cooking the second it's asked for, and the food doesn't teleport from the pan to the table either), so restaurant risotto tends to be cooked about halfway, so you've lost some of that starchy creaminess.

    Can also agree with the deep frying thing. A professional deep fryer is great. You turn it on and it's hot all day, can cook a lot of stuff and the shape of the well is specifically made to allow for displacement of the oil. Even WITH a home deep fryer, it sucks. Have to heat it up for one meal, it's tiny, and doesn't work nearly as great, then it has to be cooled down, the oil filtered or tossed. A huge pain in the ass, and that's WITH the specific kitchen gadget designed to make it easier.

  53. брэндон says:

    tell her to clean the fuckin fryer that’s disgusting

  54. Masterlehand says:

    millenials: they complain way too much. have you ever thought frying in a wok. Try it it'll give you another perspective, and yeah sometimes good cooking gives work

  55. Wei4Green says:

    I don’t deep-fry because I think it’s a waste of oil and money.

  56. Run says:

    I personally love deep foods. Just hate cleaning up lol

  57. Eddie Mathews says:

    His eye sockets are small

  58. Stones says:

    Why I season the soil not the potatoes

  59. Sky Kang says:

    Air fry?

  60. Shalj says:

    You're like the Bill Burr of food, you complain about every little thing.

  61. Snow_Bitzz says:

    woah ok your kid is wearing a beatles shirt?? ive gained tons more respect for you

  62. Nikelfight says:

    I season my hands not my fries

  63. Reece Yee says:

    Deep frying a home is also a bad thing..

  64. ShiningBOT says:

    God he's unsufferble

  65. vexonica 02 says:

    When you all of sudden yell to yourself "stay out the camera" I've got minutes heart attack

  66. Gustav! says:


  67. Cameron McCarle says:

    Or I could just use It for a couple pieces of chicken when I'm feeling hungry.

  68. MOOSE SOCKS says:

    Ok but why did he put the container full of OIL IN WITH THE RECYCLING!?🤦‍♀️

  69. thomas smith says:

    Get a fryer not an fing pot, you reuse the oil, you have a lid and much more control, even cheap ones are safer that a pot and they most likely cost less than a good Dutch oven also you fry the fish and chips in the same batch you dim c*nt, why do you think everyone who isn’t a chef only fries once, sausages you can fry them, oil should be changed ever 2 months in a normal fryer, also when I fry I don’t get any smell so I haven’t the slightest clue what smell you’re talking about also shallow frying is a lot more dangerous due to you having to flip what you have in the pan, you need to be close and don’t be a wuss oil doesn’t hurt, and just nitpicking but a lot more things in everyday life get hotter than water, for instance a cooker gets to higher temps than water, do you still let your kid near it?

  70. Kili Kalani Kane says:


  71. Michael Scalisi says:

    Why you should fry your oil instead of your food

  72. Pacho Dominguez says:

    @1:59 Sara Lin doesn't clean that kitchen too often

  73. Stevie Desmond says:

    LOL…I think Adam needs a xanax when it comes to deep frying. Boil some vanilla or diffuse some essential oil or burn a candle. Vanilla is really good at removing cooking odors.

  74. Ginny D says:

    Finally someone who understands me

  75. Harrison Lichtenberg says:

    I've legitimately never found deep frying to be difficult. It's just like boiling only way hotter. Safety isn't an issue as long as you take appropriate cautionary measures.

  76. Caesar Ho says:

    My solution to your problem, get a fucking air fryer.

  77. N B says:

    I’m with you. Deep frying at home sucks which is why I don’t do it. Plus, the smell inside my house isn’t worth whatever I made.

  78. tomáš Martínek says:

    Babiš? What did he steal in your country? 😀

  79. Eric says:

    not the best video name for the click baiting

  80. Ginger Lee Girl says:

    I am the same way, I make French fries once a year. I can’t stand the smell. And I work in a kitchen.

  81. Daniel Foster says:

    This guy is icky

  82. Trung Lùn says:

    Video: Deep frying at home is a BAD IDEA.
    7 year old me, who deep fried with a frying pan: W R O N G .

  83. Mark Deardorff says:

    How would I make eggplant parmesan without deep frying it? Pay high restaurant prices on a fixed income? What a pussy.

  84. Easypyse says:

    3:51 I N C R E D I B L E D A M A G E

  85. Isabelle Keyzer says:

    From the Fries country Belgium, the fries have to cool between the two fryins. This makes a big difference in the crispyness and taste. You can even do the first frying session the day before

  86. 1992 YAMAHA Golf Cart says:

    i think u need to do ur fries in batches instead of putting them all in at once

  87. Matt Lathrom says:

    Problem: temperature reduction
    Solution: cast iron

    Problem: oil disposal
    Solution: use shortening. Easy to scoop out of pot and store for multiple uses. Easy to toss out when done.

    Problem: smell
    Solution: not an issue if you’re fast

    Using these methods, I can make make fries in 15 minutes flat from starting the stove to eating the fries.

  88. tarasoxfan says:

    Your friend's restaurant has an absolutely filthy kitchen. That fryer looks like it has not been cleaned in ages. I'm not just talking about the oil itself. The baskets and the unit were covered in crusted on food. I don't care how busy they are, that is weeks, possibly months worth of filth.
    The walls in the kitchen are just as dirty. Gross. Can't believe she would allow that to be filmed.

  89. valouxxx5 says:

    I went to see your videos to change my mind and run away from my problems and 7 min later here I am getting lectured about happiness and my poor life choices

  90. wollf92 says:

    Adam: You shouldn't deep fry at home.
    Dutch people: EXCUSE ME?

  91. L40P says:

    Has anyone found a serious comment yet?
    Edit: If so dont tell me about it

  92. gloriakmm says:

    Why not just but a small deep fat fryer? Keep a window open and if you can’t recycle pour the oil in the garden in a shallow layer. Sorry to
    mess with your concept, but it’s really not that complicated!

  93. arctan says:

    Here is why I season my deep fry oil not my fries.

  94. Blue Roots Denver TV says:

    Well stated

  95. name name2 says:

    It is way easier


    I have a deep fryer in my home and it helps greatly and i only clean it and filter it once a month or once every 3 months it depends on how much times it used and how dark the oil is and i only cook fries or dumplings in it i cook my chicken in a wok or high wall skillet because the chicken makes my oil super dark its not a bad idea to deep fry at home if you know what you're doing

  97. Dooske Hooske says:

    Ok but deep frying isn't that difficult :/ I make some nice fried chicken every other week or so.

    No jokes in this comment, nothing about frying in crude oil or injecting peanut oil into my veins.

  98. Cringy dabs says:

    "*I'm looking at you babish*"

  99. FN Edits says:

    Why I eat my oil, not my fries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *