You can deep fry pretty much anything and it’s going to taste amazing. It’s an important method of cooking in cuisines from all over the world – not just fast food.
Of course, deep frying can be one of the unhealthier ways to prepare food. However, depending on the oil you choose, it doesn’t have to be so bad. There’s a wide variety of cooking oils to choose from at your grocery store.
Depending on your dietary needs and preferences, there’s bound to be one best suited for you and what you’ll be cooking. It’s important to know your options so that you can make the best choice and get the results you want. In this article, we’ll show you how to choose the best oil for deep frying.
Best Kinds of Oil for Deep Frying
An important thing to keep in mind when picking out what type of oil you should use for deep frying is the smoke point. It’s pretty simple actually: the smoke point signifies the temperature where the cooking oil will begin to smoke.
When it begins to smoke or smell, it’s a sign that the oil is beginning to break down and become unstable. The thing about deep frying is that you need high temperatures so that it cooks the outside of the food.
However, this needs to be done quick enough in order to prevent oil from seeping into the food. This is why it’s so important to pick the right oil when you’re going to be deep frying anything.
Peanut oil is one of the most popular choices for frying. It’s considered to be a healthier option than some because it’s high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Peanut oil is great because of its high smoke point and neutral flavor, which make it unlikely to affect the taste of the food you’re cooking.
Coconut oil is an excellent choice for deep frying. It’s a very high-quality oil that can withstand being heated for very long periods of time, while still maintaining its integrity. It is all thanks to its high saturated fat content.
Coconut oil also offers many health benefits, like antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also helps support a healthy body weight.
Palm oil is often a good choice when deep frying because it’s mostly made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats. Its flavor is pretty neutral, especially if you get the red palm oil, which is unrefined.
However, this type of oil is a bit controversial due to concerns about whether there are more sustainable ways of harvesting it.
Avocado oil is growing more and more popular lately, as its mostly made of monounsaturated fats and a moderate amount of polyunsaturated and saturated fats.
It offers a nuttier taste than most oils and has an incredible high smoke point, which makes it great and healthy for deep frying.
Olive oil is widely known as being one of the healthiest oils out there. It’s got an extremely high amount of monounsaturated fats, which allow it to have a very high smoke point. As a result, it can be heated for several hours before it begins to break down.
Olive oil offers a great robust flavor, but if you’ll be heating it for an excessive amount of time, the flavor might begin to suffer a bit. Some brands might have a stronger taste than others.
How the Oil Affects the Taste
When food is being deep fried, it’s completely submerged in the cooking oil. Since it is essentially soaking in the hot oil, it’s pretty obvious that your food will most likely take on some amount of the oil’s flavor.
Again, the type of oil you choose can affect the flavor, but also the way you maintain your oil can have an impact.
Flavor of the Oil
Like previously mentioned, different oils have different tastes. Some are fairly mild, while others can be more prominent.
Some oils’ flavor – like coconut and palm – might vary in intensity, depending on which brand you buy and how it was derived.
Age of the Oil
If you’ve used the same oil for several fries, it might begin to affect the flavor of your food. Eventually your oil will begin to smoke faster, at lower temperatures. You might even begin to notice that the smell is much stronger and the oil will become thicker.
Especially if your oil already has a more prominent taste, it might begin to leave a more apparent, less appealing flavor on your food. In other words, it’s best to keep the oil fresh.
You can use it a few times, but don’t let it get to the point where it’s going to negatively affect your food. Take it out of the fryer when you aren’t using it and store it in a closed container.
How to Choose the Best Oil
If you’re planning on deep frying something and need to pick up some oil, it’s possible you’ll be overwhelmed by the huge selection at your local grocery store. Here’s a few factors to keep in mind before you make your purchase:
Of course, the price is always something to consider. There’s a pretty broad spectrum when it comes to the pricing of different oils. Typically, the more affordable ones will be vegetable oils (soy, corn, etc.) and more synthetic oils.
The healthier, finer options – like coconut, avocado and olive – are typically pricier. If you’re not going to be deep drying too often, it might be nice to invest in a good, high-quality oil, one that you can keep around for special occasions.
How Much You’ll Be Using
Depending on your plans, consider buying just a small bottle or look for one that you can buy in a gallon size.
When thinking about how much you’ll need, also consider whether you want one that can be reused several times before breaking down. If you’re planning on cooking a large amount of food, you won’t want to be having to change out your oil in the middle of everything.
In that case, it’s best to choose one that you can just simply strain out and keep using.
If taste is a big concern for you, you’ll want to pick something with a milder taste. However, you might like a more pungent flavor. If it will complement your dish, choose something with a more distinctive flavor.
How Healthy Is It?
If you’re pretty concerned about health, you’ll want to be mindful when picking an oil to deep fry with. There are some good options available, but there are as many, if not more, not so healthy options. Keep an eye out for fat and cholesterol levels.
If you’re trying to make a healthy choice, avoid all industrial vegetable oils (i.e. canola, soy and corn oil). They are highly processed and contain dangerous trans fats.
Top 5 Products
If you’re on the market for a great oil to do some deep frying, here are a few good options to consider:
Baja Precious offers an excellent, all-natural cooking oil. It’s a 100% pure, expeller-pressed avocado oil. Its extremely high smoke point makes it perfect for deep frying, but it’s also great for baking, dressings and more.
If you’re trying to be health conscious, this one is a good option, offering plenty of vitamins and healthy essential fatty acids.
- This avocado oil can be bought in bulk or smaller sizes, so you can buy the appropriate size to meet your needs
- Comes with a pilfer proof cap to prevent spilling and leaking
- Some buyers have reported that it can spoil quickly
This super healthy oil is amazing for deep frying and for really any of your cooking needs. It is 100% pure olive oil that’s free of trans fats, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, gluten and GMOs.
Unlike some olive oils, which can have very prominent, robust flavors, this extra light one offers a delicate and subtle flavor.
- Neutral, light flavor makes it great for frying both savory and sweet foods
- Offers a lighter texture than extra virgin olive oils
- The company has been making olive oils for over 150 years
- This oil is packaged in a plastic bottle, which some might not appreciate
This pure peanut oil is a favorite of many experienced cooks, especially when it comes to cooking poultry. What’s more, it’s 100% pure with no additives.
It offers a great flavor to your food the oil can be maintained for multiple uses without breaking down, which saves you money in the long run.
- Adds extra flavor to your food by locking in any marinades you may have used
- Doesn’t leave a greasy feel
- Available in bulk and smaller-sized bottles
- Peanut allergies are very common and can be serious, so it might not be the best option when cooking for groups
This healthy sunflower seed oil is excellent for deep frying. It’s processed naturally without chemicals or hydrogenation. You’ll also feel good about using it for your fried foods because it has no trans fats. It’s got a neutral flavor, which makes it ideal for deep frying a variety of foods.
- It offers a good amount of essential fatty-acids, antioxidants and Vitamin E
- You can trace the origin of this oil back to the farm
- It has a long shelf life, which can save you money
- Some customers have reported a cloudy appearance upon receiving this oil
This oil has a subtle, delicate flavor, which makes it great for deep frying, sautéing and more. It’s got a very high smoke point, so it’s undoubtedly great for the deep fryer. Grapeseed oil also provides a healthy dose of polyunsaturated fat and Vitamin E.
- Gives your deep-fried food a light and crispy finish
- 100% pure grapeseed oil
- It is versatile and can even be used on your skin and hair
- Grapeseed oil can spoil faster than other oils if you keep it for too long
Not only are there plenty of good, healthy oils available, but they all offer their own unique flavors and touches to your food.
When you’re browsing through the many options out there, consider the price, how much you’ll be using and if there’s a particular flavor you’re wanting (or not wanting). Deep frying doesn’t have to be associated with just fast food.
There are so many amazing foods from all over the world that use the deep-frying method. However, deep frying has gained a somewhat bad reputation in the past because of its reliance on oil.
Sure, there are plenty of oils out there that aren’t so great, ones that should be avoided at all costs. However, there also plenty of healthier options that you can use to make a tasty, guilt-free, deep-fried dish every now and then. For more advice on healthier food choices, read our article here.