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As I've always known, or at least this is the habid in Hungary: adding covering meat slices with breadcrumb (after the flour and the egg) is necessary, even the frozen but previously deep-fried turkey meat slices are made this way.

Why is it necessary? I've already eaten deep-fried meat covered with flour and egg only, that's almost the same! Maybe the surface is more plain (obviously because that had no crumb on it)

Maybe it changes the taste? Or prevents burn while frying?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The nature of deep frying, contrary to expectation, is that it is a dry cooking method.

The heat from the oil vaporizes water at the surface of the food. The steam coming of the food pushes the oil away from the food, and keeps oil from soaking in during the main frying process. This is also what causes the bubbling.

The consequence of this is that by its very nature, deep frying rapidly dries out the surface of whatever is being cooked.

From some foods, including some meats, this would leave the outside of the meat dry, tough, and rubbery. A coating of breading prevents this by providing a barrier between the hot frying oil and the meat.

The breading itself also browns, which adds flavor and crunchiness that can greatly enhance the appeal of the food item. It may also have spices or other flavors or seasonings in the breading to compliment the food.

Still, not all meats have to be breaded before deep frying. For example, chicken wings are often deep fried plain. The skin browns and bubbles and gets very crispy.

So, the main reasons for breading are:

  • Protect the food product
  • Add brown, delicious crunch
  • Add flavor through other seasonings
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Wait, I've been in a KFC already and I swear that chicken is not deep-fried there plain. Actually, here deep-frying doesn't happen is deep pots of anything, at least at home we use a simple frying pan for it, but that would be hard with chicken wings, so we usually cook that in oven instead. Thank you anyway! –  Zoltán Schmidt May 25 '13 at 22:01
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@ZoltánSchmidt deep frying doesn't have to mean "fried in a deep pot" it refers to the act of submerging a food in hot oil. Doing it with a shallow frying pan would be "shallow frying", etc. And by plain, it means just the chicken wing with the skin on rather than breaded. –  Brendan May 28 '13 at 19:12

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