The Best Tools For All Your Hanukkah Frying

From Dutch ovens to cheesecloth and the right thermometer, these kitchen must-haves will help you make delicious fried food.

The Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah to mark the miracle of a one-day supply of oil to light a lamp in temple lasting eight whole days. In addition to lighting the menorah (with candles in our modern times), the miracle is further honored by eating fried foods such as jelly doughnuts or potato pancakes. But anyone who has ever labored over sufganiyot and latkes knows they require the right tools and a steady hand with hot oil.

We went to the experts to find out exactly how to achieve the perfect crisp latkes and golden sufganiyot this Hanukkah (other than calling Bubbe and Zayde to fly you some). Here are the top tools the pros recommend for all your frying.

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A carbon steel frying pan
Made In
“Carbon steel is my material of choice for frying. I find you get better browning, and don’t end up going through as much oil in the process,” said Jake Kalick, the co-founder of Made In cookware.

If a cast iron skillet and stainless-steel fry pan made a baby, you’d get this tool. It provides optimal heat retention and heat control for frying, plus it’s much lighter than a cast-iron skillet.

Get the blue carbon steel frying pan from Made In for $81.
A food processor
Your Bubbe likely hand-grated her latkes, but today we have food processors to do the heavy lifting. A high-quality food processor is the fastest and easiest way to get to golden fried goodness.

“Choose a food processor with a coarse grating disk; you want those long strands of potatoes,” Kalick said. “If you want to go all-out, Robot Coupe is the best.” But since a Robot Coupe can cost $1,162, you'll probably prefer something like a solid Cuisinart.

Get the Cuisinart 8-cup food processor from Amazon for $99.95.
A frying thermometer
Ensure you don’t burn your holiday treats with a fry thermometer. “A long-stem thermometer is a great tool for frying," said Dario Jurcevic, junior sous chef at the Elm Hurst Inn and Spa in Ontario, Canada. “Frying at the right temperature results in crispy and golden brown latkes and sufganiyot each time.” The 12-inch stem is ideal for larger, deeper pots, and an adjustable clip keeps this tool securely in place.

Get the long-stem fry thermometer from Amazon for $11.06.
A solid Dutch oven
Enameled cast iron is an excellent material for heat distribution and retention, making it a solid choice for maintaining oil temperature while frying foods. “I use a Dutch oven for frying,” Jurcevic said. “The high walls prevent oil from spraying everywhere, and they hold heat very well. I prefer the enameled cast iron Dutch ovens because they prevent food from sticking.” With a light-colored interior, it’s easier to monitor your fare.

Get the 7-quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven from Amazon for $404.
A fish spatula
“I use a fish spatula for nearly everything, but it is perfect for latkes!” Kalick said. Heat resistant to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, the Mater fish spatula is ideal for dipping into hot oil and flipping those delicate latkes. The tool is one solid piece and slotted to drain any excess fat.

Get the Mater fish spatula from Amazon for $15.48.
The key to a crisp latke could be in the cheesecloth. “You need cheesecloth for wringing out the potato and onion mix. You want all the moisture out!” Kalick said. Made of 100% unbleached cotton, this cheesecloth is food-safe and reusable; simply wash with a mild detergent.

Get 5 yards of Olicity cheesecloth from Amazon for $12.95.
Cooling racks
“A cooling rack leaves space around the food you made, which prevents it from becoming soggy,” Jurcevic shared with HuffPost. These racks are oven- and dishwasher-safe. Pop your hot goodies onto a rack and into the oven to keep them toasty before supper. The grid design prevents these fried foods from slipping through and breaking.

Get the set of two cooling racks from Amazon for $13.99.
A digital scale
“In my opinion, a scale is the most important tool to have in a kitchen," Jurcevic said. "Weighing a recipe is the most accurate way to do it. Using a scale to portion your cookies, doughs, latkes or anything else will ensure the same cooking time for all." Chargeable via USB, this scale measures in grams, ounces, pounds, kilograms and milliliters.

Get the kitchen scale from Amazon for $20.49.
Perhaps the most underrated and affordable kitchen tool, chopsticks especially work wonders in any frying situation, Kalick said. “Chopsticks are so ideal to have for flipping the sufganiyot!” he added. These are made of natural bamboo and are varnished with food-grade lacquer to prevent the transfer of smells or stains.

Get 10 pairs of bamboo chopsticks from Amazon for $6.99.

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