Frying is the cooking of food in fat. Foods can be fried in a variety of fats, including lard, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. To fry in olive or vegetable oil is seen as healthier than doing so in lard. A variety of foods may be fried, including the meat, potato chip, bread and eggs. Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying and deep frying are all standard frying techniques.
Fats can reach much higher temperatures than water. So, frying is the fastest way to cook, as it is the most efficient way to transfer heat into the food. Through frying, fats can sear or even carbonize the surface of foods while caramelizing sugars. Depending on the food, the fat will penetrate it to varying degrees, contributing richness, lubricity and its own flavor, as well as calories. After frying, the food has a characteristic crispness and texture.