The Mistakes Everyone Makes When Frying Donuts

Donuts can be found nearly everywhere these days, from popular chain coffee shops to grocery stores and fairgrounds. In fact, according to Dawn, a large chunk of people in the U.S. enjoy the food once or more every single month. According to Smithsonian Magazine, donuts became popular fairly quickly during World War I. In 1920, Adolph Levitt added donuts to the menu of his New York City bakery, and crowds from surrounding theaters overwhelmed him with business. He continued to develop his machines and eventually made $25 million a year making donuts.

Per Dawn, pinpointing the origin of the popular fried delicacy is a bit complicated. In the 1700s, Dutch settlers familiarized America with olykoek, or oil cakes. Though that could be the official start of fried dough in America, many cultures have created similar desserts. Today, we have shops such as Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts that pioneer the field of commercial donut making. However, if you decide to make your own at home there are some common mistakes you can avoid.

Common kitchen mishaps

If you love donuts you might be interested in making your own, but there are a few things to look out for before grabbing your ingredients and hitting the kitchen. Per Kitchn, one of the first common mistakes is using a pot that's too small. Because donuts expand when heated, it's best to utilize a pot, or a Dutch oven, that holds at least 2 quarts of oil. 

Secondly, Between Carpools suggests using a candy thermometer to measure accurate temperatures. These thermometers are great for hot oil frying because they measure temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Third, temperatures will drop too fast for efficient frying if you overload the pot, so it's best to separate your donuts into batches. You also don't want to fry at too-low or too-high temperatures. 365 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended starting temperature — keep in mind, this number will drop when donuts are placed in the oil. 

Another way to ensure temperatures don't fall while cooking: According to Between Carpools, make sure you don't flip them too many times. Rest assured, it only takes about a minute on each side for donuts to fry. For a crispier donut, it's key to drain each pastry twice before cooling and coating, per Kitchn. You can first drain donuts over the pot before moving them to a cooling rack for the second drain. With these tips, you'll be frying great-tasting donuts from the comfort of your home.