What kind of oil is best for deep frying anything at home?

Crispy layer, juicy interior, mouthwatering golden brown color, audible crunch from every single bite, these are the things that can make anyone hunger-bit. But, choosing the wrong oil can easily make those appetizers rancid. So, to cook those desired foods in your kitchen you need to know what kind of oil is best for deep frying.

Home fried foods are healthier than those that are fried at restaurants and fitness enthusiasts always look for the healthiest option. So, almost all the home cooks make deep fried dishes for their friends and family members and when they fry, they try to make the foods

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  • Absorb minimal fat from the oil
  • Lose minimal moisture to ensure juicy interior
  • Attractive golden brown color
  • Crispy coating and
  • No off-flavors imparted from the cooking oil

Moreover, you should never compromise on quality when it comes to cooking food. So, you must need the best deep frying oil to cook tasty as well as healthy deep fried meals.

What kind of oil is best for deep frying

Among the thousand ways of cooking, frying is the most common one. You can fry your desired foods in three ways, these are – stir-frying, pan-frying and deep frying. Oil is needed in each frying but it requires a bit more concentration and deep consideration while deep frying. It’s because to deep fry any food, oil has to be extremely heated and all oils aren’t equal. Essentially refined oils are best for deep frying and here’s why-

As you know, deep frying is high-temperature cooking. But, some oils start to break down at high temperatures and start to give off acrid flavor. The temperature at which oil starts to break down and oxidize is called the smoke point and refined oils materially come with a high smoke point. So, this kind of oil is best for deep frying.

What is deep frying

Deep frying is a hot-fat cooking method in which oil is preheated up to 400°F in a deep fryer, wok or dutch oven to completely submerge your desired foods into that super hot oil. No food is more appetizing than the taste and sounding crunch that comes from biting on the crispy piece of golden brown fried foods. Deep frying brings that glittering color to your food, forms that crispy coating and makes the food so delicious.

The hot oil dehydrates the surface of your food and creates an incrustation to prevent the food from absorbing oil. So, the food never becomes excessively greasy if the deep frying is performed evenly. A non absorbable layer is created on the surface which makes the trapped water within the food steaming. This steaming prevents oil from entering into the food and hot oil prevents this steam from coming out.

This cooking method helps you cook food quickly and evenly as cooking oil has a higher rate of heat conduction than boiling water. Thus in deep frying, the exterior of the food turns into a golden brown crispy layer but the interior remains juicy and perfect temperature is the key factor of this cooking method.

Less than the perfect temperature will make your food greasy and oily as it can’t prevent the food from absorbing extra oil and more than the proper temperature will eventually burn the surface and dry out the interior of the fried food.

So to ensure perfect frying, heat should be between 365°F – 375°F. But, the food you put in the hot oil at a time affects the temperature. That’s why it’s suggested to preheat your oil at least 25°F higher (400°F) than that temperature range and the smoke point of your oil have to be even higher to ensure safe deep frying.

Things to consider before choosing the best oil for deep frying

There’s only one moon in the sky, but you’ll get dozens of different cooking oils in your nearest grocery store all of which may be a good choice for deep frying. Or none of them can help you deep fry your foods evenly. Even the internet search or YouTube videos on this issue can easily lead you down a rabbit hole. So, you need to consider the following key features to choose the best oil for deep frying

Know the required temperature

Deep frying is a high-temperature cooking method. But, all foods don’t require the same heat. The temperature at which chicken thighs or breasts are being fried will surely burn your thin sliced potato chips. However, you don’t have to put on your shoes to know the required temperature of your desired foods.

You can easily come to know about it from your recipe book. Cooking blogs and YouTube videos also will tell you about the cooking time and oil temperature. You can also have a look at this cheat-sheet if you’re going to deep fry any of these hot favorite foods.

Desired Food

Oil temperature

Required Time

Egg Rolls

350 °F

4 to 6 minutes

Catfish nuggets

365 °F

3 to 5 minutes

Chicken wings

375 °F

8 to 10 minutes

Chicken strips or chicken tenders

350 °F

3 to 5 minutes

Churros

375 °F

2 to 4 minutes

Crispy Fried Chicken

375 °F

12 to 15 minutes (finish cooking in a 200 °F oven, if needed)

Doughnuts

375 °F

2 to 4 minutes

Battered fish

365 °F

3 to 5 minutes

Empanadas

360 °F

2 to 4 minutes

Falafel

350 °F

4 to 6 minutes

French fries

325 °F then 400°F

First blanch at 325°F for 3 to 4 minutes & then fry at 400°F for another 3 to 4 minutes

Mozzarella sticks

350 °F

2 to 3 minutes

Hush Puppies

365 °F

2 to 3 minutes

Onion Rings

375 °F

2 to 4 minutes

Oysters

375 °F

1 to 2 minutes

Prawns

350 °F

3 to 4 minutes

Potato chips

375 °F

8 to 10 minutes

Samosa

350 °F

8 to 10 minutes

Vegetables

375 °F

1 to 2 minutes

Turkey

375 °F

3 to 5 minutes per pound

You’ll need a long-stem fry thermometer to measure the temperature. Don’t forget to preheat your oil 25 °F higher than the required temperature and always add your food into the hot oil in small batches.

Know the smoke point of your oil

Now you need to know the smoke point of your cooking oil to enjoy a dish full of evenly fried foods. You can use rice bran oil or safflower oil to deep fry any foods because both of these oils can be heated upto 500° F. Here’s a list of the smoke points of a few more cooking oils.

Cooking Oil

Smoke Point ºF

Neutral

Refined Avocado Oil

520ºF

No

Safflower Oil

510ºF

Yes

Rice Bran Oil

490ºF

Yes

Refined Olive Oil

465ºF

Yes

Soybean Oil

450ºF

Yes

Peanut Oil

450ºF

Yes

Ghee or Clarified Butter

450ºF

Yes

Corn Oil

450ºF

Yes

Refined Coconut Oil

450ºF

Yes

Safflower Oil

440ºF

Yes

Refined Sesame Oil

410ºF

Yes

Vegetable Oil

400-450ºF

Yes

Beef Tallow

400ºF

No

Canola Oil

400ºF

Yes

Grapeseed Oil

390ºF

Yes

Unrefined or Virgin Avocado Oil

375ºF

Yes

Butter

302ºF

No

Chicken Fat

375ºF

No

Duck Fat

375ºF

No

Vegetable Shortening

360ºF

Yes

Unrefined Sesame Oil

350ºF

No

Extra Virgin or Unrefined Coconut Oil

350ºF

No

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

325-375ºF

No

Now let’s see how these charts can help you choose the right cooking oil to deep fry your favorite foods. For example, you have extra virgin olive oil in your kitchen and you want to deep fry chicken wings.

The required oil temperature to deep fry chicken wings is 375 °F and the highest smoke point of your cooking oil is also 375 °F. But, this oil is not the right oil to deep fry your desired foods because you’ll need to preheat your oil around 25 °F higher than the required temperature and smoke point of your oil should be even 15 °F higher.

So, the cooking oil that comes with 415 °F or higher smoke point can be the right oil to deep fry chicken wings. Also, any of the first 10 oils from this list can be the perfect choice to deep fry chicken wings.

Flavor of your oil

Another important thing to consider is flavor. Most of the professional cooks avoid refined avocado oil to deep fry because this oil is not neutral in flavor. Flavor is important because you want to taste your chicken wings like chicken and not like avocado.

But, sometimes some flavors become favorite to some foodies. For instance, green coconut oil, and grapeseed oil bring a strong, savory flavor to the foods and sesame oil adds a distinctly Asian flavor. So, there’s nothing wrong with choosing those flavorful oils if you like to impart the distinct flavor to your fried dish. However, generally neutral oils are the best cooking oil for deep frying.

Stability is the key

stability in deep frying oil

It’s also a very important thing to consider when choosing your cooking oil for deep frying. Stability depends on the kinds of fats which are present in the oil. Four types of fats can be found in the oil among which polyunsaturated and trans-fats are harmful for health and saturated and monounsaturated fats are not so harmful (these fats contribute to heart disease).

Oil that contains polyunsaturated fat has a very low smoke point and starts reacting with oxygen when heated. So, this kind of oil is not suitable for deep frying. On the other hand, cooking oil containing saturated and/or monounsaturated fats in a higher level doesn’t react with oxygen even at high heat.

Not because of the smoke point, but because of the presence of polyunsaturated fats, you should not use these cooking oils regularly for deep frying- Safflower oil, Sunflower oil, Sesame oil, Rice bran oil, Grapeseed oil, Cottonseed oil, Corn oil, Canola oil and Soybean oil.

These are the major things to consider before taking down your deep frying oil from the shelf. But, budget customers also think twice about the cost as deep frying requires a huge amount of oil and this excellent cooking hack will show you a topcellent way to ensure proper utilization of your oil.

Keep your oil fresh

To deep fry your chicken wings or any other desired foods, you’ve to fill up your deep fryer with oil. It may need 2 quarts or even more. But, deep frying consumes a very little amount of oil. So after finish frying, there’ll be a huge amount of leftover oil in your fryer which you can reuse if you keep it fresh.

Though reusing oil for cooking is not a good idea because, the longer you heat cooking oil the lower the smoke point becomes. But, there is nothing wrong in reusing leftover deep frying oil one or two times and if you like to reuse, you’ve to keep the oil fresh.

It’s very easy to keep the leftover cooking oil fresh. Let the oil come back to room temperature after cooking, strain through a chinois to remove any food residue, pour into a pitcher or glass jar, tightly seal the jar and store it in a cool dark place. You can also wrap the jar with aluminium foil so that you can use this oil again to deep fry your favorite foods. And you can use a fryer oil filtration system if you need to filter a large batch of oil.

So, when to change deep frying oil

Sometimes you can reuse only once and sometimes more than once. It depends on the quality and cleanliness of the oil. You should immediately change if it starts reacting at lower temperature than usual, if the color becomes dark or if your leftover oil begins to smell. Any of these changes will make the oil unhealthy as well as unsafe to fry with.

Never do this mistake with your damaged oil

You shouldn’t pour the rancid or damaged oil down the drain. It may cause blockages in your pipes and thus can create serious problems with your plumbing system. The best way to dispose of your damaged cooking oil is to pour it into a sealable plastic bag and put it in the trash can. Make sure there are no rips or punctures in the bag.

To conclude

Maintaining the proper temperature while deep frying, you can make your deep fried foods a bit healthier than the restaurant fried foods. But, this type of food must be avoided if you’re on your weight loss mission, or if you’ve any major health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease etc.

But, if it’s almost impossible to stop eating deep fried foods, you can use an air fryer instead of a deep fryer to deep fry any foods. And if you’re healthy enough to enjoy the golden brown color and audible crunch of the deep fried appetizers, then you already know what kind of oil is best for deep frying.

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