By Amy Brantley

Improper technique causes frying oil to splatter. If you use the right type of oil in the proper amount, maintain the correct temperature and remove moisture from food before cooking, you'll have no problem keeping oil in the pan. Errant frying oil isn't just a cleanliness, but a safety concern, as well; if you don't have the proper frying pan, don't attempt shallow or deep frying. Using a thin-gauge metal pan to fry creates hot spots within the oil that start smoking heavily and popping even though the oil temperature a few inches away falls in the acceptable temperature range.

Doughnuts preparation
credit: yula/iStock/Getty Images
Use clean oil for the best natural color on fried food.

Step 1

Fill a heavy-bottomed frying pan with frying oil. Shallow frying requires a 2- to 4-inch-deep pan and 1/2 inch of oil; deep-frying requires a 6- to 8-inch-deep pan and 3 to 4 inches of oil.

Step 2

Set the stove burner to medium and let the oil heat. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the oil temperature and adjust the burner as needed so the heat stays between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Pat the food dry with paper towels and season it to taste. Gently lower the food in the pan using tongs or a slotted spoon.

Step 4

Fry the food until golden brown or until it reaches a safe internal temperature. Cook fish and seafood to 145 F; cook poultry to 165 F; cook beef to 145 F.

Step 5

Transfer the food to a plate lined with paper towels using tongs or a slotted spoon and let it drain. Turn the heat off and let the oil cool to room temperature.

Step 6

Strain the oil through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can keep frying oil for 30 days or use it 10 times. If the oil develops an off smell or dark color, discard it and use fresh.