How to Fry Donuts Without a Deep Fryer (And Avoid Mistakes)

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Even if you don’t have a deep fryer, you can still enjoy freshly made donuts from your own kitchen. There is a way to cook your donuts without using a deep fryer, and it is a rather simple approach, but it will take some time to perfect.

So, without a deep fryer, how can you cook your donuts?

You may cook your donuts in a saucepan with little oil instead of a deep fryer. If you want to get this process correct and produce the ideal doughnuts, you must watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as drain the donuts twice.

What are some of the pitfalls to avoid while frying donuts without a deep fryer? What are some donut-making suggestions from professionals that you can use throughout this procedure to guarantee you receive the tastiest donuts?

Let us find out!

Methods of Frying Donuts Without a Deep Fryer

If you don’t have a deep fryer in your house, you can still produce delicious and crispy donuts that taste like they were prepared by a professional. Making donuts without a deep fryer is simple, but it will take some practice to get it perfect, which means you get to make more doughnuts!

Without a deep fryer, the simplest method to cook your own donuts is to fry them in a pot with some oil, which seems fairly simple, right?

Well, there are more processes than if you have a deep fryer, and if you want to produce the greatest donuts at home, you will need some more equipment that you must be comfortable with. Let us go through how to cook your doughnuts in a saucepan with oil.

Classic Oil Frying

You’ll need a deep saucepan that can carry at least two quarts of oil with room to spare for this procedure. If you want the best results, you’ll need the oil of your choice, a slotted spoon, paper towels, a cooling rack, and a food thermometer.

There is the method:

  • 3 of the pans are empty.Pour the oil into the deep saucepan, being careful not to fill it all the way to the top.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat; if using a gas burner, ensure sure the flames do not extend beyond the width of the sauce pan, since this might provide a fire danger as the oil warms up.
  • Heat the oil to between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit, and use a food thermometer to check the temperature if you have one. If you don’t have or don’t want to use a food thermometer, test the oil with a piece of bread and drop it into the oil; if it becomes golden-brown in 15 seconds, the oil is ready for the donuts.
  • Place the doughnuts into the heated oil with a slotted spoon, being careful not to let them splash.
  • Cook the doughnuts for approximately two minutes on each side, rotating them gently so that no hot oil is lost from the pan.
  • When the donuts are golden brown, remove them from the pan and drain them.
  • Allow the oil to cool fully in the saucepan before straining it through a sieve and storing it in a jar to be reused later. The oil is reusable three or four times.

Mistakes to Avoid When Frying Donuts Without a Deep Fryer

If you’re not accustomed to all the labor necessary in getting the donuts ideally golden-brown, frying them without a deep fryer may be a difficult process. It may take some practice to get this perfect, so don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time you attempt it.

However, following is a list of frequent blunders that individuals make in their first few doughnut frying attempts. If you can avoid these few blunders while frying your donuts, you will be well on your way to eating the ideal handmade doughnuts!

Frying the Donuts at a Temperature That Is Too Low

When you are frying your donuts and are ignorant of the temperature of the oil, this might create complications. The oil must be at the proper temperature to ensure that your donuts come out golden brown without being doughy on the inside or greasy on the exterior.

Many individuals will attempt to prevent problems with their donuts by keeping the oil temperature low, but this is not a good idea since it may lead your donuts to become hard on the surface and soft on the inside.

This may also cause your donuts to get incredibly oily, to the point where eating them is unpleasant. To prevent these issues, maintain the oil temperature between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a Saucepan That Is Too Small for the Donuts

Hot oil is a risky substance to deal with, and you don’t want it spilling all over your stove, so keep the size of the pot you use to cook your donuts in mind. When you drop the donuts into the oil, they will displace the oil more than you anticipate.

The reason for this is because when the donuts begin to cook, they expand due to the heat of the oil, therefore you’ll need a pot large enough to accommodate this expansion. To prevent hot oil from spilling on your stove or, worse, on you, choose a saucepan that can contain at least two quarts of oil.

Not Adjusting the Oil’s Temperature as You Fry the Donuts

When frying donuts in oil, the temperature of the oil will regularly change throughout the frying process. When you drop the donuts into the oil, they will absorb part of the heat from the oil and begin to cook.

However, if you do not account for this and change the temperature properly, the temperature of the oil will fluctuate, increasing the cooking time. You may notice that when you first set the donuts in the oil, the temperature of the oil drops, requiring you to raise the temperature of the burner to maintain the oil at a consistent temperature.

Remember that if the oil is empty, the temperature will soon increase and burn the first doughnuts you set in it. So, keeping an eye on the temperature throughout the process is essential for creating excellent doughnuts.

Not Using a Food Thermometer When Frying the Donuts

When frying donuts in oil, make sure the oil is at the proper temperature before putting the doughnuts in it to cook. If the oil is not at the proper temperature, it might cause a variety of issues with your doughnuts.

Fortunately, we live in the modern age, and food thermometers can help you regulate the temperature of the oil during the whole doughnut cooking process. Food thermometers are widely available, and you may acquire one from an internet retailer if necessary.

Food thermometers available in a variety of price ranges, forms, and sizes, but if you bake donuts often, it is a smart investment to acquire a higher-quality food thermometer, even if the price is somewhat more.

Not Draining the Donuts Correctly After Frying

Knowing how to properly drain your fried donuts might be the difference between a soggy doughnut and a nice crisp donut. The procedure utilized by numerous bakeries is the finest when it comes to draining your donuts after frying.

This procedure involves draining the donuts twice before cooling and coating them. This process keeps the doughnuts crisper and produces donuts that taste similar to those sold at your favorite bakery.

First, using a slotted strainer, dry your donuts over the pot you cooked them in, then for the second round of drying, set the donuts on a cooling rack with some paper towels beneath the cooling rack for the oil to drain into. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, glaze them.

Quick Tips for Frying Donuts Without a Deep Fryer

Now that we’ve covered the pitfalls to avoid when frying handmade donuts without a deep fryer, let’s go over some short recommendations to assist guarantee your donuts are as good as they can be. These recommendations are simple to apply and adhere to while preparing doughnuts.

They do not contradict the doughnut recipes or the frying process described above, but they assure that your donuts look and taste fantastic!

Do Not Over Crowd Your Pot or Pan

When you drop donuts into heated oil, the cold dough begins to cool the oil down by a few degrees. This may have an impact on how the doughnut cooks and how long it takes to cook.

Overcrowding the pan or pot used to cook the dough donuts might cause the oil in the pan to cool too quickly. This will effect not just the amount of time the donuts need to be in the oil, but also the flavor of your donuts, as they will be soggy and greasy from being in the oil for too long.

This is a great illustration of why using a food thermometer while frying donuts is a good idea, since you can test the temperature and only allow it to dip by 5 or 10 degrees, allowing you to know how many donuts you can cook at once.

Use the Right Fat or Oil to Fry the Donuts

When frying your donuts in oil or fat, choose oil or fat that has natural tastes. This ensures that the flavor of the oil does not overpower the donuts to the point where you only taste the oil and not the doughnuts themselves.

Peanut oil and safflower oil are two fantastic oils to use to fry your donuts since they can tolerate high temperatures without burning and are neutral oils, so they don’t have a strong taste, leaving the doughnuts to be the stars of the show.

Cook the Donuts Two Minutes per Side

When you initially drop the donuts into the oil, they will sink to the bottom. The free water within the doughnut dough will begin to transform into steam and leave the dough, allowing the donut to expand and have pockets of air inside it, resulting in a fluffy donut on the interior.

When the steam has left the donut, it will rise to the surface of the oil, where it will begin to brown. This normally takes two minutes; before draining, flip the donuts over to brown the other side.

The doughnuts should only be cooked for around two minutes on each side, since this is the best cooking time for them. Cooking them longer increases the likelihood that they may burn or become hard.

Final Thoughts

It might be irritating not to have deep frying equipment to prepare your doughnuts, but this does not mean you cannot enjoy freshly produced handmade donuts without one. You may cook your donuts in a skillet with oil, which is a reasonably simple procedure.

You’ll need to practice to get it properly, but that means you’ll be eating a lot more donuts in the future, which isn’t a terrible issue to have! Good luck with your doughnut frying.


How to fry donuts safely?

With a long-handled slotted spoon, gently ease a doughnut into the hot oil, being careful not to let the oil splatter. Fry the donuts in the oil two or three at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once. With a slotted spoon, remove the donuts and let the excess oil to drip back into the fryer or pan.

Why are my donuts falling apart when frying?

Overproofing occurs when the doughnut crumbles when handled. Shortening should be heated to 375° F (190.5° C) before frying. Allow at least five minutes for the donuts to dry before cooking. Allow the bottom to get golden brown (55-60 seconds), then flip and finish the second side.

What is the best pan to fry donuts in?

To properly fry doughnuts, you’ll need a pot big enough to hold a couple of quarts of oil and a few donuts. Something thick, hefty, and broad is ideal. A Dutch oven or a very large saucepan are both good, but J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt uses a wok, a solution that makes a lot of thermal sense.

Can you shallow fry doughnuts?

Shallow frying reduces spatter and oil burns and makes frying in small amounts much easier. Simply cook your wonderful tiny donuts and donut holes for approximately 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown and puffy.

Can you fry donuts without a deep fryer?

You may cook your donuts in a saucepan with little oil instead of a deep fryer. If you want to get this process correct and produce the ideal doughnuts, you must watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as drain the donuts twice.

Do you fry donuts in oil or lard?

“If the fat is too hard, it may leave a waxy feeling on the palate, so a happy medium like lard or tallow is preferable.” They do not polymerize or develop gums as easily as liquid shortenings and are more stable in continuous high heat cooking applications.”

What is the best temperature to fry donuts?

350F. For this, I’d suggest a sugar thermometer (they’re inexpensive and take the guessing out of deep-frying), but if a 2cm cube of bread browns all over in 60 seconds, the oil is ready.The ideal temperature for frying is 180 degrees Celsius.

What temperature do you fry donuts at?

You should constantly keep the oil temperature between 365 F and 380 F. If it begins to approach 400 degrees Fahrenheit, add some cold oil to cool it down. If the temperature falls below 350 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the doughnuts briefly to enable the oil to rise again.

How deep should oil be for frying donuts?

Heat roughly 2-3 inches of oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pan to 375 F. Lower a few donuts into the oil at a time, removing them off the parchment paper before frying. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, or until browned. Cook for 1 minute on the opposite side, or until golden.

Is it better to fry donuts in oil or shortening?

Fried foods absorb more fat, which stays liquid and is experienced as oiliness or greasiness. The frying fat of choice for the doughnut business is shortening, which is created by hydrogenating vegetable oil to make it behave like a solid, saturated fat.

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