Best Foods for Deep Fry Cooking Method Outdoors: Perfect Picks for Al Fresco Dining

Best Foods for Deep Fry Cooking Method Outdoors

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Identifying the best foods for the deep fry cooking method outdoors can elevate your al fresco dining experience. Begin with hearty vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes, which can withstand the high temperatures of deep frying and emerge with a satisfying crunch. Choose proteins like chicken wings, shrimp, and fish fillets for their ability to cook quickly and develop a golden, crispy exterior.

These selections not only thrive in the intense heat of the oil but also complement the casual, convivial atmosphere of outdoor dining. When selecting foods for deep frying, prioritize those that will maintain structural integrity and absorb the rich flavors associated with this outdoor cooking method.


Outdoor deep frying presents a unique opportunity to cook poultry with a crisp, flavorful crust and juicy interior. Key considerations include the type of poultry, oil temperature, and cooking time to ensure a perfectly fried dish.

Whole Turkey

Frying a whole turkey is a holiday favorite. Before beginning, ensure your turkey is completely thawed and dry to prevent oil splatter. You’ll want to heat your oil to 350°F and cook the turkey for 3 to 3.5 minutes per pound. A standard 12-pound turkey will take approximately 36 to 42 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to verify that the thickest part of the thigh has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.

Chicken Wings

For chicken wings, they are a crowd-pleaser with a balance of crunchy exterior and tender meat. Begin by patting the wings dry, then season them to your liking. Heat the oil to 375°F. Fry the wings in small batches to maintain oil temperature, usually for about 10 to 12 minutes per batch, or until the wings are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are a quick and easy option. Start by dredging the tenders in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs. Heat your oil to 350°F. Fry the tenders for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown, ensuring they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F before serving. For a crispy effect, let them rest on a wire rack for a few minutes after frying.


Outdoor deep-frying seafood brings a unique texture and flavor profile that is difficult to replicate with any other cooking method.


Shrimp is a small, decapod crustacean. You should coat shrimp with seasoned flour or a simple beer batter before deep-frying to achieve a crispy exterior. Heat the oil to 350-375°F (175-190°C) and fry the shrimp for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

Fish Fillets

Fish fillets pertain to boneless pieces of fish. To deep-fry fish fillets, a popular method is using beer batter which includes flour, salt, and beer. Submerge the fish fillets in the batter, then fry in oil heated to 365°F (185°C) for about 3-4 minutes, or until the coating is a crispy golden-brown.


Squid is a cephalopod mollusk commonly known as calamari when cooked. For deep-fried squid, slice it into rings, coat with flour, and deep fry at 375°F (190°C) for less than 2 minutes. Squid should be fried quickly to avoid becoming rubbery.


An oyster is a bivalve mollusc with a rough shell. Fry shucked oysters in hot oil at 375°F (190°C) after dredging in seasoned cornmeal or flour. It typically takes about 1-2 minutes for oysters to become crispy and cooked through.

Dough-Based Foods

Dough-based foods are perfect for deep-frying outdoors as they tend to cook quickly and can be eaten with ease while on the go.


Doughnuts are a sweet treat made from dough that’s typically deep-fried and sweetened with sugar. For cake doughnuts, the dough is leavened with baking powder. Begin by heating your oil to a precise temperature of 365°F. This ensures a crispy outside and a soft interior. Make sure to turn the doughnuts midway through frying for an even golden-brown color.


Churros are a popular dough-based dessert, originating from Spain, made from choux pastry. They are best enjoyed when rolled in cinnamon sugar. First, pipe strips of churro dough into hot oil. Fry until they achieve a golden-brown hue, usually for about two minutes on each side. Roll the churros in cinnamon sugar promptly after frying for a delicious coating.


Beignets are a French dessert; square-shaped doughnuts without a hole, often covered with powdered sugar. Start by placing beignets in oil preheated to approximately 360°F. Fry until they puff up and become a light, golden color. Once done, immediately dust them with powdered sugar to serve a classic beignet as found in New Orleans.


Empanadas are savory, dough-based appetizers, typically filled with meats, cheese, or vegetables. To perfectly cook empanadas, seal them tightly to prevent the filling from leaking. Fry in oil heated to around 350°F until the dough is golden and crispy, usually taking about three to four minutes per side.


Samosas are a beloved Indian appetizer, featuring a spiced filling encased in a triangular dough. For samosas, ensure the oil is steady at 350°F to avoid soaking the dough. Fry them until the samosas turn a rich golden color, indicating a crunchy exterior with a well-cooked filling inside.


Deep-frying vegetables outdoors brings out rich flavors and textures, enhancing your outdoor cooking experience. This cooking method quickly cooks the vegetables, while a crisp exterior contrasts with a tender interior.

Potatoes (French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries)

A potato is a root vegetable, the Solanum tuberosum. You can slice potatoes into sticks to create French fries. To fry, heat your oil to 350°F (177°C), then submerge the potato sticks for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. For Sweet Potato Fries, follow the same method, appreciating their natural sweetness and vibrant color.

Steps for frying potatoes:

  1. Slice potatoes into equal-sized sticks.
  2. Heat oil to the correct temperature.
  3. Fry until they achieve the desired crispness.

Onions (Onion Rings)

Onions, when cut into rings and battered, result in Onion Rings. To make onion rings, dip the slices into a batter, ensuring each ring is well-coated. Fry in oil heated to 375°F (190°C) for 2 minutes, or until they turn a golden hue.

Onion ring preparation:

  • Slice the onion into rings.
  • Coat thoroughly with batter.
  • Submerge in hot oil until perfectly crisped.

Green Beans

Green beans are the unripe, young fruit of various cultivars of the common bean. You can fry them directly after a light dredge in flour, making sure your oil is approximately 375°F (190°C). They will be ready when they float to the surface and are lightly browned, generally taking less than 2 minutes.

For frying green beans:

  1. Dredge green beans in flour.
  2. Fry in hot oil until they float and turn lightly brown.


To fry mushrooms, choose those with firm, smooth caps. After cleaning, batter or dredge them as desired. Use oil around 375°F (190°C) and fry for 1–2 minutes until they’re golden and crispy.

How to fry mushrooms:

  • Select firm mushrooms.
  • Clean and coat with batter or flour.
  • Fry in hot oil to achieve crispiness.

Peppers (Jalapeño Poppers)

Jalapeño poppers are made from hollowed-out jalapeño peppers that are stuffed, often with cheese, and then breaded or wrapped in bacon. To deep-fry, heat the oil to 350°F (177°C) and cook until the exterior is sufficiently crispy and the inside is hot, typically 3–4 minutes.

To make jalapeño poppers:

  • Hollow out the jalapeños and stuff with cheese.
  • Bread or wrap them, as you prefer.
  • Fry in oil until they exhibit a perfect crunch.

Snacks and Others

Deep frying outdoors enhances the flavor of snacks and others with a delightful crispiness. The high heat and quick cooking time seal in the unique tastes of various foods without significant oil absorption when done correctly.


Fritters are small cakes made from battered or breaded fried food. When you make apple fritters, use a batter mixed with chopped apples, then fry until golden. Avoid crowding in the fryer to ensure even cooking.

Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are a popular deep-fried appetizer with a wheat flour wrapper encompassing a variety of fillings. To achieve the perfect crispiness, submerge the egg rolls in hot oil using tongs and turn them occasionally. Do not let the rolls touch each other to prevent sticking and ensure even browning.

Potato Chips

Potato chips are thin slices of potato that are deep-fried until they are crispy. To produce homemade potato chips, slice potatoes thinly, fry in small batches to avoid crowding, and season while hot.

Corn Dogs

Corn dogs are hot dogs coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep-fried to a golden-brown perfection. Insert sticks into the hot dogs before dipping into the batter for secure handling with tongs. Double-dipping the batter before frying will yield a thicker coating.

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls feature thin pastry wraps filled with vegetables, meat, or seafood. When frying spring rolls, make sure the oil is hot enough to cause an immediate sizzle. Use tongs to gently place the rolls in the oil, keeping them separate to prevent them from sticking together.

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Rob Orr

Robert David Orr is the pitmaster behind Rob's culinary experience and knowledge is built on a rock-solid foundation of years spent perfecting the craft of grilling, starting with his vast hospitality experience at 15 and continues today. His passion for the craft of open-fire cooking is matched only by his fervor for sharing his experience and knowledge with other foodies. Rob has an infectious enthusiasm for all things culinary that truly defines the heart of this site. Whether you're seeking the secrets to the perfect brisket or the nuances of wood chip selection, Rob is an outstanding resource for those who take outdoor cooking seriously. Rob's philosophy is simple: Many of life's best experiences revolve around food and the most memorable are about simplicity and authenticity: great food, great company, and enjoying it all in the great outdoors.

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