I made donuts.
I've been wanting to since this fall. I had some pumpkin baked, pulped and frozen, waiting for the right moment. Today, with Désirée home I thought "what a great activity to keep her occupied." Mixing up the batter together was fun, but I realised I didn't have enough oil so we headed down to the store to fetch it and she fell asleep in the stroller on the way home.
Which is just as well; hot oil and 2.5 year olds probably don't mix well.
The result: donuts which taste AWESOME! However, their texture is foul.
I blame 2 things: letting a batter containing baking powder wait on the counter for an hour. But mostly, my deep fryer. While it claims to up to 190C (~375F) during cooking I only highest I read was 135C (~275F) on my IR thermometer. So now we know why my fries take years to cook and are never crispy enough.
So, what should I do? Shell out $$$ to buy a new better deep fryer? Alton Brown claims none of them can get high enough temps. Fry in a pot on the stove and risk a spill and oil fire? While I am paranoid enough not to take my eyes off the pot, and my stoves hood and the granite counter top would probably prevent my house from burning down, I think I'll pass.
There is of course the third, geek option: modify the fryer. The problem is that the rheostat in it is sucktastic. Maybe I could add some resistance in series so that it would have a more favourable duty-cycle.
Or I could do what this guy did: short-circuit the controls in the fryer and use an external control, say a Lutron C-2000. What's more I could repurpose this for use with the heat plate, if ever end up building a smoker. The tech specs say "lights only, no appliances" but at 2000 watts, it should be more then enough to handle a fryer and would be WAY overrated for the hot plate, which is 600 watts according to my Killawatt.
Third option is of course a thermocouple, a relay and an Anduino.
Turns out a new fryer might be the cheapest option.
Now, about the title of this post. While googling I came across the KFC forum. It seems a bunch of people are obsessed about what Colonel Sander's original 11 herbs and spices were. Very few people knew. Until the Internet, a PR goof and many (I assume) test batches of chicken. And now everybody may know.