Why does my frying always have these burnt spots?

Am I cooking with the heat too high? When I see others, it’s perfect golden brown.

I think you need to be using more oil. Should be going half way up the sides of the meat also maybe the oil wasn’t as hot as it could have been.

If your doing multiple batches you might want to strain the oil into a clean to get rid of the shmutz on the bottom of the pan


Luluthemagnificent…here’s the reality. We all get those darker spots on our fries, we just choose the better looking pieces to take photos of.

There are several reasons why you could be getting dark spots.

  • Your frying pan/skillet/saucier could be distributing the heat unevenly causing some parts to cook faster than others. Conversely, whatever you’re trying to cook may not be sitting flat on the surface of your pan which would cause those parts that are in contact with the surface of the pan to cook more quickly than the parts that aren’t

  • Is you pan sitting flat on the grate over the gas or on the coil if electric? If the pan tilts or wobbles it won’t be conducting heat as evenly as it could, or should

  • How high is your heat. Your problem could be as simple as turning down the heat and cooking for a longer period of time. If I’m cooking something like a milanesa where the meat is fairly thin and breaded, I want the heat and the oil hot so that the breading and the meat will cook at approximately the same rate. If I’m cooking something like a pork loin chop, of boneless skinless chicken breast where the meat is thicker. I generally sear on both sides over a moderately high heat and then turn the heat down to finish, or even finish in the oven

  • What’s in your seasoning mix. Some seasonings tend to brown or discolor when heated. Also sugar based seasonings will cook quickly as the sugar carmelizes and then go over the edge and burn. My experience has been that red spices, such as paprika, tend to discolor when cooking, but I’ve also had granulated garlic and granulated onion get dark too.


Yep, yep & yep.

For me temp is key. I’ve been frying chicken for years and never do it without my thermometer: I use peanut oil and keep it at 350-365 at all times.

A few other tips - I whisk Louisiana hot sauce in the eggs, use self-rising flour and keep a lid on the pan. Yep, a lid - it comes out crispy & juicy. I got these tips from a southern grandma… not my southern grandma. If you asked my grandma what’s for dinner she said “Reservations”.

Happy Frying!


Even if I was just browning the pork chops?

This was a clean batch of oil. Oddly enough the other side had much less spots.

haha. love this.

I don’t think this is it because it was a brand new Le Creuset pan.

This might be it. Will check it!

That could be it too.

This could be it too. Will watch out for all these things.
Thank you! so thorough!

I have never done this. what thermometer do you have?

Thanks everyone.


That sounds like uneven heat. A pan with a copper or aluminum layer will give you more even heat distribution than cast iron. Or use a diffuser.

Also possible that the chops were unevenly floured.

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It’s hard to say with out being there. Sorry if the advice is less than useful.

To me -what I’m seeing is 1) a lot of breading falling off on the bottom of the pan 2) looks like the breading is absorbing the oil -which tells me the oil might not be hot enough 3) the breading is cooking unevenly

I’m sure it was tasty either way!


Sorry @Luluthemagnificent!

I’m blind. I thought those were chicken thighs. I love a good pork chop but don’t cook them often. When I do it’s usually with a dusting of flour (no egg or batter), quickly pan-fry (few mins on each side depending on thickness) in my CI on med-high with less oil.

For deep frying I use a fry/candy thermometer. If you’re cooking in a dutch oven you can clip it to the inside for constant temp so you know when to raise or lower fire. Mine broke and I tried to use my meat thermometer recently and almost burned my finger off, lol. I’ll post the new one when I get it.

Happy Frying!

Le Creuset is an enameled cast iron pan. Cast iron is marvelous in many ways; practically non-stick, browns better than true non-stick pans, and holds heat longer than other cookwares, but it doesn’t heat evenly - see @robert’s comment above.
With cast iron, or carbon steel which has almost the same characteristics, I will heat the pan until it vaporizes water, and then add my cooking fat. This seems to alleviate the uneven quality of cast iron pans, and creates a non-stick coating. There is a Chinese phrase for this which this channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/ChineseCookingDemystified/featured, mentions in practically every video.
If you did this and still had burned spots I apologize for being pedantic, and I am not sure why this is happening.

Hi lulu . If you have a nonstick pan . Put a half tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pan . You dont have to even use any oil . Salt and pepper well . Put the burner on medium low . Skin side down .I cover the pan for the first 20minutes Leave it like this . Takes a while at least 40 minutes. Turn over for 10 more minutes to finish when the juices run clear .
All chicken, pans , and stoves are different. Pan chicken thighs tonight for me .


fwiw, thomas keller maintains that one should start with cold oil in a hot pan when sauteing, which is how i’d categorize this.

and while your reply was quite comprehensive, one thing you neglected to suggest was ensuring that the breading be completely dry as moisture could result in uneven browning.


2 good points.

I generally do preheat my pan before adding oil, but I then heat the oil before putting the food I want to cook into it.


I would argue that she is pan frying, with that amount of oil. Pan frying is also traditional with breaded cutlets.?

This thread inspired me for some breaded pork (fresh grated sansho on top)


show off. I kid, I kid.


I know, I’m a jerk!


you would be using the term incorrectly, which happens a lot on FTC. i generally don’t bother to correct people on such incorrect usage of terms like aioli, braising, etc. (i studied french cuisine in france a couple of lifetimes ago) but frying is defined as immersion in hot fat. which is not the same as a saute, which comes from the french verb sauter meaning “to jump” (hence the term saute used in ballet) as what’s cooking literally jumps as it comes into contact with the heat from the pan; the primary source of heat in a saute comes from the pan, not the fat (nor the heat source underneath). the primary purposes of the fat in a saute are to prevent sticking (which is why you should start with cold oil in a hot pan)/provide flavor.

keller seems to think that people use too little oil when they saute. now, it is possible for your vegetables to look greasy, but it’s not too much fat, it’s not enough water. remove a couple of tablespoons of the fat and add a couple of drops of cold water. the greasy appearance will usually go away.


We’ll have to agree to disagree then. From my old culinary school text


Am I wrong or are y’all conflating pork cutlets with pork chops (which is what I think @Luluthemagnificent made)? I always think of cutlets as breaded and fried like @aaqjr’s and chops floured and pan-fried?

This subject makes me realize we all think of these terms differently. I think of pan frying as less coating, less oil and lower heat (closer to sautéing) and even though I don’t submerge fried chicken (or a cutlet) all the way in oil I still think of it as closer to deep frying because I use more oil & higher heat. :thinking:

It’s all cooking and it all tastes good!


It’s true that hers is bone in and mine is boneless but pan frying vs saute is less about what is cooked or how it’s breaded than the amount of oil & heat in the pan.

I’m not trying to be pedantic but it’s important to be on the same page as to the cooking method or its difficult to be able to help. Which in the end is what we all are trying to do.