Macheesmo

Cooking with Confidence
The Setup.
Chicken, Seafood

Deep Fry Party

by Nick

Last Saturday I went for a three mile run which was the longest I’ve ran in awhile. I also did some push-ups, stretched, drank a lot of water, and ate a salad.

That’s because on Sunday I knew that I was hosting a deep fry party. You have to prepare for that kind of thing.

For the last two years now, I’ve hosted this event at the group house where I used to live. The premise is very simple: You bring it. I fry it.

There’s a lot that could go wrong with a party like this, but luckily everything went right. I thought I would share a few photos of friends and fried things!

The Setup

So you want to host a deep fry party eh? It’s really pretty simple. You’ll just need the following things:

The Setup.

The Setup.

Deep Fry Party Setup:

- Outdoor space! You can’t do this kind of thing inside or even in an enclosed area. It is much, MUCH too messy. Hours of hot splattering oil will basically ruin any surface so hopefully if you do this, that surface is dirt.
- A turkey fryer. That’s the basic version, but if you are going to be using it a lot, I recommend the one with all the bells and whistles. I have this exact model and it works fantastic when you need to heat up 4 gallons of oil. These kits also come with a bunch of accessories but most importantly it comes with an industrial thermometer which is essential.
- 4 gallons of oil. That’s about the right amount to fill up the pot. I think peanut oil works best. You can buy 2 gallon jugs of peanut oil from Home Depot or probably other department stores.
- Propane. You can get the refillable jugs most likely from the same place you get the oil.
- A Fire Extinguisher. Just in case.

Ok. So maybe that’s a lot of work for one party. But you can use this setup for all kinds of other things like a clam/crab boil, actually frying a turkey, or even making beer.

The People

I think that this type of party works best with an intimate group. If you get more than 20 or 25 people then you probably can’t produce food fast enough for people to eat it.

We had about that many people and it was great. A few of the characters… there was me:

Deep in thought.

Deep in thought.

There was my special lady fiancee friend, Betsy.

Check out those guns!

Check out those guns!

And there were lots of other friends!

Ok. Creepy.

Ok. Creepy.

Timeout: Yes. There was a mildly creepy old man who watched us for about 2 hours from a few houses down. Maybe he thought he was invisible? He had a six pack and he sat on his stool and sung Spanish songs to us. I tried to be nice at one point and offer him a plate of food (It’s the host in me!), but he didn’t want our food. In hindsight, I’m not really sure what he wanted, but I’m 100% sure that I couldn’t help him.

Back at the party, I thought something was apparently very funny.

Various others.

Various others.

My friends Rex and Liz were being very careful when exchanging a beer for a jar of pickles. Rex, I’m pretty sure you got screwed on this exchange.

What is going on here?

A delicate exchange?

The Technique

So if you have ever fried anything you’ll know that the safe way to fry something is to gently lower it into the very hot oil using a basket or tongs so there is zero chance of your hands coming in contact with the oil.

When you have literally a pile of food to fry that 20 people have brought over, this is the only technique that works:

Expert hands.

Expert hands.

The Food

There was a lot of food. Even after just one year of experience, people were getting the hang of this thing.

We started with two whole chickens. Those went fast.

Then there was catfish with Cajun seasoning, coated lightly in cornmeal.

Catfish.

Catfish.

There was cheese. Oh there was cheese.

Cheese curds.

Cheese curds.

And these were probably my personal favorite. Onion strings!

Onion strings. Like whoa.

Onion strings. Like whoa.

Someone brought okra and I’m glad they did.

Okra aplenty.

Okra aplenty.

There were lots of fries (normal and sweet potato) and various other veggies like tomatoes and mushrooms.

These were maybe the crowd favorite. Oreos in a light pancake batter:

There is an Oreo in there somewhere.

There is an Oreo in there somewhere.

And we had to do a Twinkie:

Had to do a Twinkie.

Had to do a Twinkie.

Basically there were no recipes for things. I mixed up a few batters like pancake batter (minus the chocolate and cherries and plus a bit more milk to make it slightly more runny), or beer batter and had some bowls of seasoned flour (just salt and pepper) or corn meal and people could just pick and choose.

The only thing I purposefully prepared was the chickens which I just salted the night before and the onion strings that I soaked in buttermilk the night before and then tossed in the seasoned flour right before frying. The key on the onions is to slice them as thin as you possibly can.

This was a really fun party even though it started to rain at one point. We got through all the food though except the Snickers! Oh well. We’ll just have to do those first next year!

Thanks to my friend Yasmin for the beautiful photos.