Oven frying

PCC Taste | January 2014

Healthy eating doesn't mean you're doomed to a bowl of steamed vegetables — far from it! Oven frying offers an easy way to get your crunch on. Using a small amount of healthy fat and a light coating, this simple technique creates great texture in a wide variety of ingredients.

Simple tips for a crispy crunch

  • Prepping To ensure that everything cooks properly, cut your ingredients into pieces of nearly identical size. Boneless meats cook a little faster, which keeps them from drying out.
  • Heating 425° F is the right temperature. Give yourself plenty of time for preheating, to be certain that the oven is fully hot.
  • Dipping Pat ingredients dry before dipping into flour. Meats do best with four layers: flour, egg white, a coarser coating like cornmeal, and a final spritz of cooking oil.
  • Placing Oven moisture can steam your food — the last thing you want when the goal is crispiness. Use baking sheets lined with wire racks, and leave space between the pieces.

Great ingredients for great results

Best oils

Fat adds flavor and crispness; be sure to oil the wire racks so the food won't stick. Some labels display the phrase "high-heat" if it's a good choice. Ours are GMO-free.

  • Refined sunflower
  • Refined grapeseed
  • Refined canola
  • Refined peanut

Best foods

Dense potatoes need only a light coating of oil, while meats and wetter vegetables will benefit from being patted dry and getting two layers of coating.

  • Salmon or halibut
  • Skinless chicken breasts
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant or zucchini

Best coatings

Apply a finely ground flour as the base coat. Then, for a crunchier exterior, dip in egg whites and finish with a coarser coating like crackers or almond meal.

  • Cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour
  • Almond meal
  • Crushed crackers

More about: cooking techniques, cooking tips, oils, seafood

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