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  • What fat is best to test an old electric skillet?

     music-city-missy updated 2 weeks, 1 day ago 8 Members · 16 Posts
  • marilynfl

    Member
    March 5, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    I know many people have used these, but my mother never did: everything “fried” was fried in a heavy metal Dutch oven. And throughout my life, I haven’t fried much, but have bought tabletop deep fryers THREE TIMES (for sopapillas, then fish tacos, then ricotta donuts) yet haven’t been happy with those. I’d give it away then go buy another one 2 years later.

    So today I found a electric skillet for $6.50 at the thrift store which had a label that said: “TESTED. WORKS”. I asked at the desk what that meant? It means they plug it in and if it heats, it’s sold. So while the Sunbeam skillet displays a twist dial that ranges from WARM to 420 degrees, it may not actually reach any of those temperatures.

    So back to my question: What would be the cheapest fat to test to see if the thermistor is working properly since I’ll need at least an inch of fat to test the ranges with my digital probe.

    It’s 10″ x 10″ x 1.5″ deep. Also includes a 1.5″ high lid.

    PS Reason: I have an electric stove and have NO CLUE how to keep a fat temperature constant once the temperature rises the recipe value, say 350. Then how do I KEEP IT THERE? That’s why I’m looking into electric versions.

    Sunbeam Controlled Heat Automatic Frying Pan

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/JbkAAOSwEvJfzXF1/s-l64.jpg

    • This discussion was modified 1 month ago by  marilynfl.
    • This discussion was modified 1 month ago by  marilynfl.
  • tess

    Member
    March 8, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Not helpful on the type of fat to use…

    But perhaps using an infrared thermometer would give you better information on whether the skillet is working properly. Hots spots, part of the heating element isn’t working right, etc.

    I have a gun version (IRK-2) – got it on a realllly good sale. But I see they have a baby/pocket size one….. 😀

    Infrared Thermometers | ThermoWorks

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  tess.
    • marilynfl

      Member
      March 8, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      Oh. Would that work on the empty pan?

      I planned on using my digital Thermapen (not the one that has infrared) but by dipping it in the heated oil across the different temperatures.

      • tess

        Member
        March 9, 2021 at 9:03 am

        Oh yes. I play – I mean I use – the IR all the time. Testing the surface temps of things.

    • judy-mass

      Member
      March 9, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      I decided that I “need” one of these, so I checked them out.

      The pocket size model has an upper temp limit of 230 degrees F. That really doens’t help me much as I’m hoping to know what temp my griddle is for cooking English Muffins. It should be 325 degrees.

      So, I guess I will gift myself with the IRK-2 which I see is 30% off for a short time.

      Thanks for the heads up!

      • tess

        Member
        March 9, 2021 at 11:24 pm

        Good to know about the pocket size model. What good is only going to 230???

  • tess

    Member
    March 9, 2021 at 10:48 am

    OMG. This just came in my email today. I swear these devices are listening. 🕵️‍♀️

    • judy-mass

      Member
      March 9, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      That is what I just ordered!

      • marilynfl

        Member
        March 10, 2021 at 5:11 pm

        So tempted. I have $100 free money sitting in my Amazon acct and had decided to buy a vacuum sealer to go along with my sous vide. Now I’m pondering….

  • mistral

    Member
    March 9, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    I thnk the cheapest fat/oil to use to check your frying pan would be what is labeled “cooking oil” or whatever is cheapest at your local store.

    Nice to be back here!

    • marilynfl

      Member
      March 10, 2021 at 5:10 pm

      Mistral, you’re right. I’ve only bought expensive olive oils and Crisco blocks for the past few years. The oil I use for almost everything since I don’t fry stuff. The Crisco is for my oatmeal cookies and a bit for pie pastries. The heat-range for those blocks would work, but are ~$4 each and I figured I’d need several to get the depth I needed.

      Went to Walmart and, low and behold, the generic “vegetable oil” was only $2 for 48 oz. That will be plenty to test out the electric skillet and I can just dump it when test is over. (Something I didn’t realize. You can dump “food grade oil” in the ground as it will break down, unlike petroleum-based oils. Since I have 1.5 acres of nothing but weeds, I’m good with that.

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  marilynfl.
      • mistral

        Member
        March 11, 2021 at 7:39 pm

        I just bought a big ol’ bottle of cooking oil for $1.75 at a local SmartNFinal store.

        Wait, you’re only going to use the oil to test heat? If you don’t burn the oil, you could cool it and save to cook something. Something like donuts. Or hand pies. Or Tortillas for tacos. Fish and chips?

        Of course you could always bake with it if it is not smelly or broken down. Carrot cakes and such, you know, oil cakes.

  • mariadnoca

    Member
    March 11, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    All I know is we “fried” chicken and made pancakes in mom’s electric skillet (which I still have). To make pancakes put some veggie oil in the pan, heat, and if you flick water in the pan and it skidders across, it’s hot enough. That’s probably 325-350F.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  mariadnoca.
    • music-city-missy

      Member
      March 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      I tried for years to fry chicken that would be satisfactory for my Ohio raised husband. I tried everything. I am from Mississippi, I have been frying chicken since I was a tot all joking aside. I can’t remember why, but one day I pulled out my Grandma Ladocia’s harvest gold Sunbeam electric skillet & I hit paydirt. He had told me how his mother did it but never said that she fried it in an electric skillet & put the lid on to sort of steam it. I am so scared of what I am going to do when it finally gives up the ghost. It has to be one that has the lid that is about twice as high as the bottom is deep. The few I have seen at estate/garage sales are going for $20-$30 around here.

  • melissa-dallas

    Member
    March 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    I have’t fried chicken in years, but I used to always use my electric skillet and crisco shortening. Works well for frying anything. Electric skillets are really nice during the summer when it is hot for pot roasts and braises because it won’t heat up your kitchen.

  • marg-cdn2

    Member
    March 22, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Ouch…my left hip. I am getting lopsided.

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