To cut a long story short, you can. You just need to learn the secrets of induction cooking… so here’s everything you need to know!
Maybe you’re remodeling your kitchen and you want the best—and nothing but the best—for Home Kitchen 2.0. Or maybe your old stove gave up the ghost this week, and you’re kinda forced to give the most important appliance in your kitchen a tech upgrade.
Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure: One or two models with induction are already at the top of your consideration list.
Induction cooktops heat your pans and pots fast, allow you to control the temperature of cooking with precision, and use up significantly less energy than their gas and electric counterparts.
Factor all of these in, and it’s no wonder induction cooktops are all the rage these days.
But here’s the thing…
If you love deep-fried foods (and, let’s be honest among us here, who doesn’t?) and you’ve never used an induction cooktop before, it’s only natural to think to yourself, “That’s all well and good, you know, but can I deep-dry my favorite foods on it just like I used to do on my old stove?”
Considering how much these things cost, this is an important question to ask. And it’s good that you’re asking such questions before you spend a small fortune on a brand new cooktop!
So let’s not waste any more time and help you figure it out.
Can You Deep-Fry With Induction?
If you’re wondering whether you can deep-fry foods with induction, I have good news for you.
Absolutely yes, you can deep-fry foods on an induction cooktop! All you need is an induction-friendly pan or pot, a generous amount of cooking fat or oil, and moderate heat.
Let’s break each of these down to understand how cooking with induction is similar to—and yet different from—cooking with gas or electricity.
An induction-friendly pan or pot:
By now, I probably don’t need to tell you that you need special cookware for an induction cooktop.
The reason behind it?
An induction cooktop works differently than a gas or electric stove.
Unlike its gas and electric counterparts, an induction cooktop doesn’t give off heat. Instead, it uses magnetic induction to heat your pans and pots from within by causing the iron particles in them to vibrate intensely.
The thing about induction cooktops is that they don’t work with every pan or pot. Your cookware must have enough iron in it for the magnetic induction to work. Otherwise, it won’t heat up at all, or it will heat up but very slowly and unevenly.
Technically, this type of cookware is called ferromagnetic.
But to make their product descriptions and labeling more consumer-friendly, cookware manufacturers use the terms “induction-friendly” or “induction-compatible” instead. Always look for these when buying pans and pots for an induction cooktop.
What about the pans and pots that are already in your cabinets?
Cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel cookware is generally compatible with induction cooktops. Ceramic and non-stick pans are only suitable for induction if the manufacturer specifically states so.
If you are unsure about a particular cooking vessel, you can easily test it to see if it will work with your induction stove. Just place it on the stove, turn up the heat to medium, and see if it heats up. If nothing happens, you have the answer.
A generous amount of cooking fat or oil
I probably also don’t need to tell you that, to deep-fry, you need a generous amount of animal fat, like lard, tallow, and duck fat, or cooking oil.
As a rule of thumb, avoid extra-virgin olive oil. It has a low smoke point and it burns too quickly. Opt for an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil, instead.
All in all, the amount and type of oil to use is nothing new or different from deep-frying on a regular cooktop. So let’s move on to the part that is new and different.
When you cook on an induction cooktop for the first time, I guarantee you you will be struck by how powerful it is—and just how much it heats your pans and pots.
I know I was!
Stovetop cooking is an act of energy transfer. The energy from the electricity grid, the gas hookup, or the propane tank gets transferred to your food through your cookware.
As a method of transfer, magnetic induction lets very little energy get lost along the way. This means that more heat goes directly to your pan or pot for every unit of energy consumed by the appliance.
Generally speaking, you want to use 25% less heat than what you would on a gas or electric stove, or you will overheat the oil and burn your food.
Let me give you a personal example:
I’ve been cooking on induction for two years. Before that, I used to cook on a radiant cooktop. My induction and radiant cooktops both have heat levels from 1 to 10. While I used to deep-fry on level 7 on the radiant cooktop, I now deep-fry on level 5 on the induction cooktop.
To put it simply, turn down the heat. This is the only “secret” to deep-frying with induction that you need to know.
How to Deep-Fry With Induction
Fill your cooking vessel with enough fat or oil to completely submerge the food, then put it on the cooktop and crank up the heat to medium. Use a fat or oil with a high smoke point.
Allow time for the oil to heat to the desired temperature. Use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. If you don’t have one, stick a wooden spoon into the oil—if bubbles form around it, you can assume with confidence that the oil is hot enough.
Dip your food in the oil and let it let until golden brown. If the breading or batter starts to blacken and burn, reduce the heat one notch. If it does not brown properly, increase the heat.
Remove food from heat and pat dry with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.
You can deep-fry foods with induction, and they will turn out just as delicious as when cooked with gas or electricity. The trick is to use the right kind of cookware (“induction-friendly” or “induction-compatible” cookware) over moderate heat.