To Clarify Fat place it on the stove in the frying-pan, and heat it slowly. When the fat is melted, set it where it will simply bubble, and keep it there until there is no motion and all the sediment has fallen to the bottom of the pan. Then drain and set away for use. Many persons object to the odor of clarifying fat and, therefore, place the frying-pan in the oven to melt the fat. This method is fully as successful, but the oven should not be too hot, and it should be left open to air after the pan has been removed. After fat has been used a number of times, and has become darkened, it may be cleared thus : Place the fat in a kettle with about six times its quantity of hot water, and boil twenty minutes. Turn the liquid into a large pan and set in a cool place. When cold, the fat will be found in a solid cake on the surface of the water, but must then be clarified in the manner already described.
The secret of successful frying is to have the fat hot enough to instantly harden the surface of the article fried and thus prevent the fat soaking in. The fat should be heated slowly, and when blue smoke arises from the center of the liquid, drop a bit of bread into it; if the bread browns in one minute, the fat is hot enough. Only the experienced can know what is meant by the words "hot fat" ; the unskilled in housekeeping will have to learn by tests. The word " boiling " as applied to fat is misleading, as it would imply a motion of the liquid. When fat does not contain any foreign substances, there is no motion to it at this degree of heat. The novice can best tell by watching for the smoke to rise from the center when the fat is hot enough. Coffee sprinkled on the stove while frying is being done will disguise the unpleasant smell, but it is a matter of taste which odor is to be preferred.
The frying-basket is fast gaining a place in every kitchen. After placing in the basket the articles to be fried - not, however, crowding them at all - lower the basket gently in the fat. When the food is cooked, lift the basket, drain well, place in on a plate and remove the articles cooked. Lay them on brown paper that has been spread in a warmed pan. If properly cooked they will hardly stain the paper. Doughnuts, oysters, croquettes of all kinds and many other dishes are cooked in this way. The frying-basket is illustrated in the kitchen utensils.