Make a simple frying batter using flour, milk and egg. Alternatively, make beer batter with egg, beer and flour. This creates a light batter that has extra flavor, thanks to the beer.
For the basic batter, sift 5 1/2 cups flour into a large bowl and slowly pour in 2 1/3 cups whole milk. Whisk the mixture while pouring in milk. Add a single egg once the milk and flour are combined, then whisk until the mixture is smooth. The batter's texture changes if it is whisked too much, so avoid whisking excessively. Store leftover batter in the refrigerator for up to one day.
To make beer batter, combine 1 cup beer with 1 beaten egg. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup cake flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon paprika. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, stirring until the batter is smooth. Before coating an item in batter, cover it with a thin layer of flour to help the batter cling to it. A stronger-flavored beer creates a stronger-flavored batter, while the beer's carbonation ensures that the batter maintains a light texture.
For best results, avoid overcrowding the fryer with food items, as this can lead to uneven cooking. Use a food thermometer to ensure that meat is fully cooked before serving.