Do not try to fry over a flaming fire or a deep bed of coals; the grease would likely burn and catch aflame. Rake a thin layer of coals out in front of the fire; or, for a quick meal, make your fire of small dry sticks, no thicker than your finger, boil water for your coffee over the flame, and then fry over the quickly formed coals.
If you have a deep pan and plenty of frying fat, it is much the best to immerse the material completely in boiling grease, as doughnuts are fried. Let the fat boil until little jets of smoke arise (being careful not to burn the grease). When fat begins to smoke continuously it is decomposing and will impart an acrid taste. When a bread crumb dropped in will be crisp when taken out, the fat is of the right temperature. Then quickly drop in small pieces of the material, one at a time so as not to check the heat. Turn them once while cooking. Remove when done, and drop them a moment on coarse paper to absorb surplus grease, or hang them over a row of small sticks so they can drain. Then season. The fry will be crisp, and dry enough to handle without soiling the fingers. This is the way for small fish.
Travelers must generally get along with shallow pans and little grease. To fry (or, properly, to saute) in this manner, without getting the article sodden and unfit for the stomach, heat the dry pan very hot, and then grease it only enough to keep the meat from sticking (fat meat needs none). The material must be dry when put in the pan (wipe fish with a towel) or it will absorb grease. Cook quickly and turn frequently, not jabbing with a fork for that would let juice escape. Season when done, and serve piping hot.
Fat used for frying fish must not be used again for anything but fish. Surplus fat can be kept in a baking powder can, sealed, for transit, with surgeon's plaster.
Chops, fat meats, squirrels, rabbits, and the smaller game birds are best sauted or fricasseed and served with gravy. A fricassee is made of meat or birds cut into small pieces, fried or stewed, and served with gravy. Sausage should be fried over a very gentle fire.