How to Fry Donuts and Potato Pancakes

The Food Network Kitchen shares tips and techniques for frying Hanukkah sufganiyots and latkes.

  1. Most experts suggest frying in neutral-tasting vegetable oil for the best results. If you do a lot of deep-frying, invest in a deep-frying thermometer (or a candy thermometer) to gauge the heat of your oil. For doughnuts of all sorts, a temperature between 360 and 375 degrees F will give you the best results.

  2. You're best off frying with fresh oil. Used oil has a far lower smoke point and, more importantly, a dangerously low flash point, or temperature at which it bursts into flames.

  3. A food processor fitted with a (medium) shredding disc takes the labor out of potato latkes and saves you from scraped knuckles. Once grated, place the potatoes in a strainer or a clean towel and squeeze out excess liquid.

  4. Fry sufganiyot or latkes in small batches to avoid lowering the oil temperature as much as possible. Otherwise, everything will end up soggy.

  5. For frying, nothing beats a cast iron pan. It maintains a constant temperature and its weight anchors it to the burner, reducing the risk of accidents.

  6. A good starchy potato such as the russet yields a crispier latke, but an all-purpose potato like Yukon gold will do just fine.

  7. Though latkes are always best hot out of the pan — with dollops of applesauce and sour cream on top — they can be made ahead of time, frozen, and reheated. You're best off freezing latkes on a cookie sheet before packing them into a freezer bag. Reheat in a 450 degree F oven and serve.

  8. The latke allows much room for improvisation. Grated zucchini, carrot, or apples are all welcome additions.
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