Straighten Up and Fry Right

Grab your skillet, and celebrate the South's favorite way to cook.
Scott Jones
 Straighten Up and Fry Right

Foods to Fry:

If our region's famous for one cooking method, it's frying. And with good reason. Southerners are all about attaching emotion to their food, and nothing stirs feelings of comfort and nostalgia like frying. There's just something to be said about the crispy, golden-brown crust of a fried catfish fillet or the tender inside of an apple fritter. Is your mouth watering yet?

If you're new to frying, follow our tips and suggestions so you'll man the stove like an old pro.

What's The Difference?
The recipes for this story use one of two basic frying methods--pan-frying or deep-frying.

  • Pan-Fry: Items are usually breaded (a dry mixture) or battered (a combination of liquid and flour or starch), and cooked in enough oil--about 1/2 inch deep--to create a layer of fat between the items being cooked and the pan (example: chicken-fried steak, fried pork chops). Foods should be turned only once.
  • Deep-Fry: Items are usually breaded or battered and cooked in enough oil to completely submerge the item (such as hush puppies or beignets). Items are allowed to float to the surface and may be gently turned once for even browning.