Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My apologies if this question is misplaced, but I've always wondered: what causes the oil to bubble and sizzle when you fry something in it?

It's always intrigued me that I could take a totally inert-looking pan of hot oil and turn into a frenzy by dropping a piece of potato (or something else) in.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The oil is bubbling very simply because of the water inside the object (eg: potato) that is rapidly vaporized when come into contact with the very hot oil.

Incidently this is a very good thing as done right, all the water coming out of the object keeps it from taking on too much oil, which would cause you to have over-greasy food.

Edit: Also note as @SF commented below, that this can also be a very BAD thing if you put something with too much water into hot oil. Adding this in so nobody burns themselves.

share|improve this answer
3  
I would say "rapidly vaporized" more than 'instantly"--instantly would cause the item to explode! :-) –  SAJ14SAJ May 21 '13 at 7:36
1  
This is also why you shouldn't try to fry overly wet foodstuffs, or add water to oil. Water is heavier than oil and sinks to the bottom, then boils and the steam bubbles rising to the surface splash the hot oil everywhere. –  SF. May 22 '13 at 14:08
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.