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Thread: Cooking with tallow--greasy residue in mouth? page

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    mixie's Avatar
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    Cooking with tallow--greasy residue in mouth?

    Hey there Primal folks,

    I rendered a whole bunch of suet this weekend for storing and use during the year. Afterward I used a few pounds of it to make sweet potato and beet chips (American "chips", paper thin and crispy). These were *glorious* hot and fresh out of the pan, but after they'd cooled for a few hours, eating them left a greasy residue on the roof of our mouths.
    Could this be because the oil wasn't hot enough? Or is there some system of blotting/excess oil removal beyond just patting with a paper towel? Or is there something wrong with the tallow? It should have been grass-fed, but sometimes they slip "grain finished" products in if I forget to ask, does grass fed tallow handle differently than grain-finished?

    Thanks for any help you can give me--I don't deep fry stuff very often, but loved the idea of having good, home-rendered lard and tallow to cook with. I'm not sure I can convince my husband to eat stuff cooked in tallow if it's going to taste and feel like what we cooked this weekend, though!
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
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    I don't think that's anything specific to tallow. It could be partly because the oil wasn't hot enough (or was cooled by attempting to fry too much at once). In terms of frying, there's a tiny miniscule difference between grain-fed and grass-fed beef tallow (and grain-fed, with less polyunsaturated fatty acids, actually comes out as slightly better for high-temperature frying).

    But most likely, it's just an inevitable result of cooling fried food. While food is being fried, the water is being evaporated and so the constant steam pressure stops oil from sticking to the food. But as soon as the food drops below the boiling point of water (or if you overfry the food so that all the water is lost), the oil starts to be absorbed. Blotting quickly with paper reduces how much oil is left to be absorbed, but realistically there's nothing you can do. Just fry enough that you can eat while they're hot.
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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    mixie's Avatar
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    Hmm... I was using a cast-iron dutch oven, and maybe didn't let it re-heat long enough between batches, or over-fried them. I don't have much experience with deep-frying. Is there any handy secret for telling when something that thin is done? I couldn't tell by color. I kinda just waited until the bubbling mostly stopped.
    Last edited by mixie; 04-11-2011 at 06:23 PM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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    Doddibot's Avatar
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    A fry thermometer would help you, if you wanted to make sure it had re-heated or wasn't too hot.

    You probably want to pull them out just as the bubbling has almost stopped, and immediately blot on paper towels.

    I've also read that you can also improve the texture of deep-fried starchy vegetables by soaking in water (especially water that's above 60C) for a a few minutes (depending on the size of what you're cooking). Soaking in water removes excess starch, which would soak up the oil, and heated water gelates the starch molecules (essentially par-cooking them) which prevents the starch from absorbing oil as they go above 60C, as they've already absorbed water.
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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    mixie's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks!
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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    I fry my own chips with tallow. Tallow is solid at room temperature and will taste a bit waxy once it dries.

    If you were using a cast-iron Dutch oven, you probably didn't have a fry basket to let all the oil drain off when you pulled them out. You might try throwing the chips in a colander over the Dutch oven to drain off as much tallow as you can before letting them dry.

    Also, yes, you'll want a thermometer, as results are not guaranteed without it. I just use a Fry Daddy, which costs about $19, is temperature-controlled, and can be left in the refrigerator when I'm not using it.

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    mixie's Avatar
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    Doddibot--would blanching the sweet potato fries ahead of time be useful, you think? Or is a longer soak at a lower temperature more useful for drawing out the starch?

    I couldn't find a basket to use, but picked up one of those "spider" thingies, which is kind of the same thing. Smaller and shallower, so I had to remove stuff in scoops, but I shook 'em as best as I could and then tossed them onto a cloth napkin over a silicone mat and blotted them before salt & peppering.

    Fry daddy... check. It sounds glorious, and I wonder if I could keep one around without using it every GD day (mmm... sweet potato fries and beet chips). I do have a fondue set. Maybe we can have tallow-based fondue parties?
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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    J. Stanton's Avatar
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    I've never had any luck either soaking or blanching potato chips. My best results have always been with cheapo Russets run straight through the mandoline at about 3mm thickness and then tossed in the fryer.

    It's surprising how few potato chips you need to fill yourself up if you fry them in tallow. I'll have what I think is this giant pile of chips and it ends up being maybe 150-200 calories of carbs (though much more of fat, I'm sure).

    It actually helps to have a Fry Daddy because you can only make small batches at a time, and you can put it away without feeling like "oh, I got out the fryer, now I have to fry everything in the house before I put it back".

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