An Ultimate Guide for Batter and Breading Basics for Deep Frying
Have you ever dropped naked skinless chicken pieces into a deep fryer or pan? Certainly not. People love deep-fried food for its absolute crunch and crispiness. If you put a chicken or fish fillet in a deep fryer without dredging it in a flour-based batter or a bread-crumb breading, it will not have the delicious taste as well as crunch or crisp you want.
Whether you call it chicken-fried steak, breaded chicken fillet, crispy fried chicken, or crispy hot shots, there is something irresistible about a piece of meat that has been dredged in a beaten egg and flavorful bread crumbs or flour batter.
However, even if you get the deep-frying part right, your fried food will be soggy and bland if your batter or breading has some flaws. It might be quite disappointing to work on a dish and waste your ingredients only to have a coating taste bland, soggy, or not even cover the meat properly.
Many cooks often struggle a lot while preparing the right batter for their fried food. Do you fall in a similar category? Well, keep reading to learn the basics for batter and breading of deep-fried foods.
What is a batter?
Batters are made by combining flour with a liquid (mostly egg or buttermilk) to form a thick batter that evenly coats the meat. If food is dipped in a flour-based batter and then deep-fried, it will form a thick, crispy layer.
Most fried food varieties are dipped in a flavorful batter for an absolute crunch and crispiness. If you want your fried food crust not to taste bland, you must season your batter perfectly.
What is breading?
Breading is another technique to prepare a flavorful coating for your fried food. If you want your fried food to be slightly crispy, you must go for bread coating. Breading consists of multiple layers. Generally, a single layer of flour is directly applied to the food to ensure its surface is rough and dry. Later, a liquid binder - beaten eggs or a dairy product is added to make it sticky enough to bind the third layer well.
The final layer- bread crumbs will give the perfect texture to the fried food. You can also go for crackers or breakfast cereals for an extra crunch.
4 breading and batters for deep-fried food
Not sure which breading or batter you should use for your fried food? Well, here are a few breading and batters that will help you level up your deep-fried food game. From the classics to innovation, we have everything on the list.
Flour dredge is undoubtedly one of the most common and favorite breading for deep-fried foods. If you are fond of trying deep-fried food at home or restaurant, you must have tried flour-dredge breading. Whether frying chicken wings, fish fillets, or any other type of meat, this breading will go with any food you like.
Most cooks love this breading for its simplicity and versatility. Not only will it make your fried food taste delicious, but it will give it the right amount of crunch that most fried food lovers look for.
All you will need to do is soak your piece of food in buttermilk and then toss it in seasoned flour. After frying it at a high temperature in a high smoke point oil, you will have crispy and crunchy fried food.
It may get a little too messy and reduce the lifespan of deep-frying oil too soon. However, if you want to avoid reducing the lifespan of your deep-frying oil, you must strain or filter it after frying. Now, you must be wondering what type of fried food this batter complements the most? Southern-fried chicken, wings and chicken-fried steak.
Crispiness level - 8/10
Another classic coating for deep-fried foods is bread-crumb breading. If you want your fried food to be slightly crisp yet quite flavorful, bread-crumb breading will be the perfect coating choice for you. It will give your fried food a crispy, solid, and airtight crust that absorbs sauce quite well.
Therefore, if you want to prepare a top-notch restaurant-quality chicken parmesan or schnitzel, you must opt for bread-crumb breading. However, sometimes home cooks purchase bread crumbs that are too flavorful to be used as a coating. Therefore, the better choice would be to go for standard bread crumbs or make them at home.
Crispiness level - 5/10
Panko bread crumb breading
Do you like the bread-crumb breading but want a more crispy texture for your fried food? Panko bread crumb breading is the perfect choice for you. Like four-dredge coating, it is quite versatile too. However, it works best with Japanese-style fried chicken or pork cutlets.
Panko bread-crumb coating is quite similar to the standard bread crumb coating. The only difference is that after the food is dredged in flour and dipped in beaten eggs, it is tossed in panko bread crumbs. With this type of bread crumb breading, your fried food will have a much crispier crust.
Crispiness level: 9/10
Do you want a unique batter for your fried food? You can dip it in a beer batter to form a lighter but crispier crust. You can use it to coat any type of fried food, but it works exceptionally well for delicate foods like fish. Therefore, if you are unable to find the perfect batter type for your fish fillets, you must give the beer batter a try.
All you need to do is mix beer with already seasoned flour to create a thick, pancake-like batter. The beer will help the fried food get a perfect brown color as well as a crispy crust. However, for some foods, this batter might not work at all.
Crispiness level: 5/10
Finding the perfect breading or batter for your fried food variety can be a daunting task. It can make or break your dish, no matter how great a recipe you follow. Therefore, you must be extra careful while choosing the batter or breading for the fried food you are making at home. With these breading and batter options, you will find a perfect batter or breading for any fried food you like.
However, if you want to save yourself from the hassle of choosing the right one and preparing it perfectly, Southern Fry Kings has a perfect solution - Chicken and Seafood Fry. With these dry batter mixes, you will have a perfectly seasoned as well as the crunchiest crust for your fried foods! Just dip, fry, and enjoy