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What oil for frying latkes?

I've never made potato latkes before, and looking on the internet was surprised to see that Ina Garten fries them in clarified butter. I'm going to make some this week, and would like to know what oil folks recommend. Also, my largest frying pan happens to be a non-stick. Is there any reason not to use this for frying the latkes?

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  1. I like to fry mine in schmaltz (chicken fat). If I don't have enough I will add a little vegetable oil to stretch it.

    Have you friend anything in your non stick before? I only use cast iron for frying as it gives me that crispy crust I love. I never seem to be able to duplicate that in a non stick pan but I understand some of the new non stick pans (scan pan, etc) can still produce a nice crust so if you have successfully fried in yours before you should be fine. Maybe you can test run a small batch and if it doesn't work borrow a pan from a friend?

    1. Great way to start an argument around the Hannukah table! There are those who say nothing will do but olive oil (from the Sephardic tradition) and those who say use any oil BUT olive. Corn and canola are often recommended, too. Never heard of using clarified butter. Sounds goyishe to me. But I agree with foodieX2. Schmaltz is the way to go if you've got it. I also do mine in cast iron so have no advice on the non-stick query.

      1. I do 20lbs of potatoes each year with Canola oil in a non- stick and they work out fine. Make sure your pan is very hot, then add oil, let it heat up until very hot but not burning. Add your mixture in small spoonfuls and then leave it alone. Do not flip until you can see that it has browned on the bottom side. Then flip and leave it alone. in my pan, about 3-4 minutes per side. if i rush it they come out a soggy oily mess. The first batch may burn if you don't control the temp of the oil by adjusting the temp on your stove but don't be tempted to turn down the temp too much as they won't brown. I also find that my smaller fry pan works better as it just covers the burner ( I have a small electric stove) and so I get no cold spots in my pan

          1. I LOVE latkes! The shredded NOT the grated kind. I shred the potatoes and use them raw, with a bit of onion, a bit of flour, potatoes rinsed and drained a bit, but trying to repurpose a bit of the potatoe starch rather then much flour. Sometimes they do not seem cooked enough.

            Has anybody tried duck fat.?

            Swoon.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Shrinkrap

              I have made regular and sweet potato latkes fried in duck fat before and they came out great. I have a pan with straight sides that is not cast iron or non stick that I use for frying.