On a recent episode of one of those cooking reality shows that I know we all watch, one of the contestants was criticized for cooking a rib-eye steak in the deep fryer. The judges made a lot of indignant noises, but none of them could quite explain why they had a problem with it — they just acted like it was some sort of crime against meat.
Deep frying: dry-heat cooking.
Photo © James Ellsworth
Now, if the steak was overcooked, that would be one thing. But it wasn't — at least, no one said anything about it being overcooked. Instead, they simply dismissed the very idea of it, as if no one in their right mind would ever do such a thing.
But let's think about this for a moment. Deep-frying is a form of dry-heat cooking, just like grilling and broiling. And dry-heat is indeed the appropriate technique for preparing a tender cut of beef like a rib-eye steak. Deep-frying cooks hot and fast, creating a flavorful brown crust on the exterior of the meat. As long as you don't leave the steak in the hot fat for too long, it'll come out juicy and medium rare.
What about you? Would you cook a steak in the deep fryer?
Update: The comments below confirm what I suspected, which is that those judges were just blowing hot air.