Craving something crispy and salty? The will hit the spot. This may seem like a complicated process, but it really isn't. Deep-frying anything is a bit time-consuming, but it's definitely not difficult. And I promise, it's worth it!
Get out all your equipment.
When deep-frying, it is important to have everything ready to go before you begin. This will enable you to give your full attention to frying and significantly decrease your chances of burning yourself or your food.
Attach your thermometer to the side of your Dutch oven or pot. It needs to go all the way to the bottom.
Add a full quart of tallow to the pot and turn the heat to medium-high.
Begin melting and heating the tallow.
The tallow needs to reach between 350 and 370 degrees Fahrenheit before you attempt to fry.
If desired, peel the parsnips.
With a knife, cut off the bottom, thin part of the parsnips, and the top where the greens were.
Make sure you leave both ends round enough in diameter that you can easily spiralize them without a lot of waste. My parsnips were 3 to 4 inches in diameter at the top and 2 to 3 inches in diameter where I cut them off.
Spiralize your parsnips (here's a quick video on Instagram).
Using scissors, cut the parsnip strings a couple of times so they're not two or three feet long. Anywhere from 6 to 18 inches is fine. There's no need to be exact.
Combine all desired seasonings in a bowl, ready to be sprinkled on fried parsnips.
Check the temperature of the tallow.
If it is between 350 and 370 degrees Fahrenheit, you're ready to go!
Using the tongs, gently place a portion of your parsnip strings into the hot oil.
Notice on your thermometer that the temperature immediately decreases significantly. Don't worry — it will go back up slowly.
Keeping a close eye on your parsnips, fry them until they are golden in color.
Too white, and they won't be crisp.
Too brown, and they're burned.
Turn them a couple of times during frying for even cooking.
If it helps, set a timer for 3 to 4 minutes.
When they are the perfect golden brown, carefully remove them from the pot to your paper-towel lined cookie sheet to drain.
Immediately sprinkle with whatever blend of seasonings you've chosen.
Use the slotted spoon to fish out any small bits that the tongs missed.
It is very important to remove all the parsnips before you allow the oil to reheat and start the next batch. This will keep your oil clean and will prevent burning.
Working in batches, repeat these steps until you've fried all your parsnip strings. If, during the process, you feel your pot needs more tallow, add a cup or two more.
Bring the tallow up to temperature and keep working.
This made enough parsnip strings to make 3 meals over 3 days for our family of 4. Store in a zip-top bag for up to 3 days. No need to refrigerate. Our parsnip strings stayed crisp until they were all gone!