What is the Best Oil for Deep Frying?
There are so many options when it comes to choosing an oil for deep frying. You’ve got the taste to consider, the temperatures and safety factors and the price. In this quick guide we’re going to run you through the best oil for deep frying and give you some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
The Best Oil for Deep Frying
The best oils for deep frying are those that can get to high temperatures without breaking down. Different oils have different combinations of saturated and unsaturated fats and other solids. These different combinations affect the way in which the oil reacts to being heated. The different ways oils react are very important to using oil to deep fry something. The most effective oils are going to be refined oils like peanut oil, canola oil or vegetable oil. This are the oils that can reach the highest temperatures without breaking down.
When an oil breaks down it has reached it’s ‘smoke point’. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil breaks down and loses its structural integrity along with its taste and nutritional elements. And obviously it’s when it begins to smoke. Raw oils like extra-virgin olive oil and some sesame oils will have a very low smoke point and will degrade without much heat applied to them. This is why extra-virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used for cooking as it will degrade with and start to smoke.
So, the best oils are going to be those that are high in saturated fats, that take more heat energy to break down. Such oils include, peanut oil, vegetable oil and some sunflower oils. These will generally produce crispier results and will also have the longest lifespan.
We recommend sticking to peanut oil, we’ve had best results with it and aren’t going to change our oil any time soon. If you’ve only got vegetable oil or sunflower oil in the house then use that but we think it’s worth investing in some peanut oil if you want to use the best deep frying oil and get the best results.
The brands of deep fryer oil we like are:
You get a gallon of one of the best oils on the market for a very reasonable price. This deep fryer oil is well rated, can withstand high temperatures and gives a great taste. It’s perfect for any foods that require very high temperatures such as French fries, chicken wings or even a deep fried turkey in your turkey fryer.
If you can’t, or don’t want to use peanut oil then we’d recommend using sunflower oil. This still has a high smoke point so can withstand high temperatures. It also has a good lifespan and won’t break down after a few fries.
Not only is this good for a great taste but it has the added benefits of being a very healthy oil. It’s high in Omega-3 acids and low in trans-fats so is idea if you’re conscious of your health.
Can you Re-Use Deep Fryer Oil?
In short, yes you can. There is no correct answer for how many times you can use different types of oils but most can be re-used multiple times before you have to dispose of it. This also means you have to pay attention to what is happening with the oil when you’re cooking. If the oil is starting to smoke at lower than normal temperatures, then something might be wrong. If it’s starting to look darker or becoming a bit claggy then there might be something wrong. If it smells bad then there might be something wrong. There can also be a sort of foam develop on the surface, again, if this happens then it’s time to get rid of it. If it doesn’t look like what it used to then don’t risk it and use some new deep fryer oil.
If you’re looking for less hassle then we’ve done a complete guide to the best oil-less fryers. This might be just what you’re looking for.
How to Make the Most of Your Deep Fryer Oil
So now you know that you can re-use the oil you might be wondering if there are things you can do to prolong the life of the oil. Well, yes there are!
- Firstly, you’ll want to store your oil in a secure container away from any direct heat or light sources. Humidity can also have an effect on the oil so it’s best to keep your used deep fryer oil in a cool, dark place. We recommend a pantry or the back of a cupboard that is away from your oven.
- Next, we recommend for you to clean your oil after every use. This is in fact quite simple so we suggest getting into a habit of doing at least this after every deep fry. After a deep fry pour the oil through a very fine sieve to remove any food debris that might be floating around. Be careful not to allow any dirty flour-filled oil from the bottom of the fryer get in. This should be easy to stop and is best to discard. Then cover the oil and let it cool. Once it’s cooled, place it back into the original container (if you still have it) and place it in a cool, dry storage compartment.
- Use a thermometer! We recommend a deep fryer thermometer or an instant read thermometer. This will allow you to maintain the optimal temperature for your oil and for the food you’re cooking. Temperatures are everything so get yourself a quality thermometer. If you over heat the oil it is likely to break down faster than you expect. If you under heat it, it will increase the cooking time. Aim for the idea temperature of your food and oil. You should be able to find optimal temperatures for your specific oil and food online.
Even with all these tips there are still a lot of variables that can affect your oil and your deep fryer. We recommend for you to keep deep frying with these tips in mind and soon you’ll get a feel for good and bad oil. Also, you’ll have loads of delicious, fried food to eat!
Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips or if you think we’ve missed something important.