From the equipment, to the oil, to the narrow temperature window, many things go into that perfectly crisp home-fried coating.
Even if you aren't a frequent fryer, a few pieces of equipment are necessary to own if you fry food at home. A deep pot is required to hold the oil, and a slotted skimmer works best to remove the food once it's cooked. A baking sheet lined with a brown paper bag or paper towels, then topped with a cooling rack, is ideal for draining.
Most frying jobs call for the oil to be heated to between 350- and 365-degrees, so an accurate thermometer that goes to that heat range is a must. Either a clip-style or a handheld thermometer works, just be sure the probe goes deep enough for an accurate reading. Deep-fry thermometers are available, and they can usually be used to make candy as well.
As far as oil goes, you'll need one with a high smoke point — otherwise it can burn at the high temperature necessary for frying. Vegetable oil is the most common choice, and it's likely to be the least expensive. Peanut oil is another option. It will give a crisp coating and greater depth of flavor — but it may be costly.