What You’re Doing Wrong With Your Breading

How do you get crisp perfection?

IMAGE Patrick Martires

What is the perfect breading for you? We've listed down some problems with breading that might be keeping you from achieving crispy food: 

1 You don't dry the surface of your food first.

Want an even coat? Always dry the surface of whatever you're cooking first. For breaded vegetables, it's best to sprinkle some salt that will draw out water, then dab it dry with some tissue. For meat, simply dry the outer layer with a tissue or a paper towel.

Photo by At Maculangan

2 You skip the pre-coating.

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Pre-coating is the step after brining, or dry rubs, in which you completely dredge your pieces of food in a seasoned cornstarch or flour mixture. This step primes the surface for the next step: the egg. The mixture draws out the water and dries out the surface of your food so that the next step, the egg wash, will have something to cling on. Skipping this step might lead to your egg or batter sliding right off.

Another tip for the coating to work even better? After coating and dusting off the excess, let them sit on a drying rack on a tray in your refrigerator, uncovered. This will further dry the surface out and make sure that it's coated well.

3 You don't get rid of the excess egg before breading.

After dipping in egg, gently squeeze to wring out the excess egg. Too much egg will lead to a soft, eggy, breading that can dull flavors and textures. This also leads to you wasting too much breading as the excess egg will make clumps out of your breadcrumbs.

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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

4 You stick to just one kind of breading.

You can use a variety of breadcrumbs: Japanese, Italian, or plain. You may also skip all that and use nuts, cereal, crackers, or even potato chips. Explore and discover how this choice affects the taste and texture of your food.

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5 You don't season your breading

It doesn't matter if you've got it all crisp if it doesn't taste nice! Salt goes a long way. You may want to experiment with spice powder mixes on the breading, but don't go too heavy. It's better to incorporate those complex spices with the coating, brine or marinade. Since the breading goes in direct contact with heat, you run the risk of burning and wasting those flavors into the oil.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons. Takeaway.

6 Your oil isn't hot enough

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The fear of hot oil has caused a lot of greasy fried food. There's nothing to be afraid of especially if you've followed the steps before and your final goods have dry surfaces. Water molecules are the main culprit to oil splashes so just make sure it's dry!

You must use oil that's hot enough. This will make sure that the oil cooks the outside, seals it, and doesn't penetrate inside. If the oil gets in, this will lead to a soggy mess.

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