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Advantages to Deep-Frying in a Wok

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2014

In some applications, using a wok for deep-frying has advantages over other more common approaches.

We’ve always used a Dutch oven for deep-frying, but we recently discovered that a wok can work just as well—and in some applications, such as French fries and doughnuts, can be more efficient.

In both cases, the shape of the wok—with its sloped sides and shallower depth (a 14-inch wok has a 3-inch wider diameter than a 7-quart Dutch oven)—made it easier to retrieve the food. And since lightweight foods like doughnuts float to the surface as they fry, the wok’s broader surface allowed us to use about 30 percent less oil and still have sufficient space to do the job in the same number of batches. Note: Heavier foods, such as chicken, are not good candidates for frying in a wok, as they will sink and cluster in the vessel’s narrow bottom.

SAVE SOME OIL: When frying foods that float (such as doughnuts, beignets, and hush puppies), you’ll need only about 4 cups of oil, compared with the 6 cups required for a Dutch oven.