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Ever wondered what causes foaming? And how can it be avoided? We explain a few reasons why your frying oil may be foaming as well as offer some frying tips to ensure your oil is always in tip-top condition.

When frying your fish and chips, foaming oil can be a problem. That frothy type foam that sometimes builds upon the surface of frying oil not only looks unpleasant but can be a symptom of poor oil management or even oil contamination.

Why does oil foam?

Foaming is caused by oil degradation or contamination, which is often the result of frying with oil on too high a temperature, overusing the oil or frying with poor quality oil that contains impurities. Oil foaming can be caused by any of these factors and is often a combination of more than one issue.

When frying with oil, some foaming is likely. The moisture in food is heated when it is placed into frying oil, and the resulting steam naturally rises to the surface. It’s this effect that creates the characteristic bubbling of frying food. As the oil heats up in the pan, it becomes thicker, which traps an increasing amount of moisture and air. After repetitive use, the moisture, air, starch and other impurities that come from the food items, or are already present in the oil, build up on the surface and creates foam.      

How do you decrease foaming?

⭕ Make sure your pans are clean and dry before use. Water never plays well with oil, and any detergent residues will degrade oil and encourage foaming.

⭕ Skim your oils regularly after each fry. 

⭕ Remove batter bits as soon as you possibly can, this reduces the moisture from the pan and allows the pan to recover faster.

⭕ Filter your oils regularly; we recommend twice a day.

⭕ Avoid using any copper cleaning materials or utensils; copper is prone to oxidisation.

⭕ Avoid excessive moisture on the surface of the food.

⭕ If you fry a lot of breaded foods or meat products, consider a countertop fryer.

⭕ Turn off your pans when they are not in use, newer frying ranges allow you to set each pan to eco mode. 

⭕ Avoid using oils high in polyunsaturated fats. 

It has been known for foaming oils to be a manufacturers issue. However, these occasions, because of quality control, are much rarer than you would expect. If you believe you have done all the above, then I would suggest you get in touch with your oil supplier if there is an issue.

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