The Best Way to Keep Fried Foods Crispy

updated Nov 30, 2022
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Lots of recipes for fried foods (like fried calamari or fried chicken) call for placing them on paper towels, brown paper bags, or even newspaper to drain excess oil, but unfortunately, this doesn’t help keep that nice crispy texture you worked so hard to achieve.

There’s an easy way, borrowed from restaurants that deep-fry food every day, to keep your fried foods crispy and delicious! The best way to keep fried foods crispy? Just place them on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

If you’re frying multiple batches, throw the whole setup into a low oven to keep everything warm as you keep frying and adding to the rack.

Cooling racks are usually used to quickly cool down baked goods, like cookies and muffins, but they also prevent steam from collecting underneath and making the food soggy. In much the same way, putting fried food on a cooling rack means the excess oil will drip off, but there’s enough air circulating underneath the food that the bottoms don’t get soggy.

If you’ve ever seen a high-volume restaurant or fast-food chain kitchen in action, you’ll notice that they keep deep-fried foods like crispy, fried chicken wings on perforated trays that act in much the same way as the cooling rack and baking sheet combination.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

So the next time you make doughnuts, fried chicken, fries, egg rolls, latkes, or whatever deep-fried deliciousness you’re craving, give this tip a try! This even works with keeping non-fried foods like waffles crisp. Also, don’t forget the dipping salts with your fried foods.