This Easy Hack Tells You if Your Oil Is Ready Without a Thermometer

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When it comes to cooking, getting oil to the right temperature is key. Think about it: If the oil is too hot, it will quickly cook the outside of your food, leaving the inside uncooked. But if the oil isn't hot ​enough​, the food will take longer to cook, potentially throwing off the entire meal. The solution? Pop a kitchen thermometer into the oil — or, if you don't have one, use a clever TikTok hack.

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According to a TikTok video by user @mamainthekitchen, you can use a wooden spoon to check if your oil is ready. Simply place the spoon's handle into the oil, then look for bubbles around the handle. If there are no bubbles, it means the oil isn't hot enough. But if there's a moderate amount of bubbles around the handle, it means you're good to go.

And if it bubbles ​too​ much? The oil is likely too hot, so you'll want to slightly lower the temperature and let the oil (literally) simmer down. After a short while, check the temperature again with the spoon's handle.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some TikTok users commented on the video saying that you can just add a few drops of water to the oil to see if it's ready. And while this is true, it's also unsafe. If the oil is too hot, this method can make the oil splash onto your skin, potentially causing a burn. No, thank you.

All that said, a kitchen thermometer is still a useful cooking tool. But if you don't have one on hand, a wooden spoon can get the job done.

Other tricks to make cooking easier:

For more ways to improve your cooking skills, try these handy kitchen hacks:

While you're at it, keep that wooden spoon clean with this gross but satisfying wooden spoon cleaning hack.

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Kirsten Nunez is a writer and author who focuses on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, Martha Stewart, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.