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Although you could put fatty products like lard in a deep fryer, most people prefer to use cooking oils. With so many cooking oils on the market, however, it’s often difficult for customers to choose the “best” product. Don’t worry; in this post, we’ll share a carton-full of oily info to help you pick a fabulous cooking fat.
In general, you should only use cooking oils that have a smoke point of above 400° F in a deep fryer. Which oil you choose will depend on your taste preferences, the temperature required to fry your food, and your budget. A few of the most popular oils used in deep fryers include:
- Peanut oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Rice Bran oil
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these and other cooking oils, as well as a few hot tips for reusing cold oil.
What Oils Are Best For The Deep Fryer?
We’ll begin our oil investigation by explaining what “smoke point” means and why it’s so important in the world of deep-frying. Afterward, we’ll detail some of the most popular cooking oils you could safely use in your deep fryer.
Never Neglect An Oil’s Smoke Point
When choosing a cooking oil for your deep fryer, the most significant feature to research is the product’s smoke point. As the name suggests, a “smoke point” refers to the temperature necessary to cause fats to smoke. It’s easy to tell when you’ve reached the smoke point because your oil will give off an unpleasant “burnt” smell.
Since deep fryers usually operate between 350° F to 400° F, you don’t want to use an oil that breaks down at lower temps. Burnt oil doesn’t just make your food taste bad; it could release potentially harmful carcinogens.
So, the higher your oil’s smoke point is, the better. If possible, go with an oil that has a smoke point of at least 400° F.
The Best Oils For Deep Frying: A Quick Rundown
Now that you know the basics of picking a cooking oil let’s run through four of the most popular products used for deep-frying.
1. Peanut Oil
With a smoke point of 450° F, it’s no wonder peanut oil is a staple in the fast-food industry. Fans of this oil claim the slightly nutty taste adds a fantastic flavor to their favorite fried dishes.
A few deep-fried foods that often use peanut oil include fried chicken, French fries, and, of course, fried turkey. Speaking of fried turkey, don’t forget to read through our thorough guide entitled, “How Much Oil To Deep Fry A Turkey?”
If you’re interested, you can purchase the acclaimed La Tourangelle Roasted Peanut Oil.
2. Canola Oil
Along with peanut oil, canola oil is one of the most popular cooking oils in the deep-frying industry. Although canola oil has a slightly lower smoke point (400° F), it has many pros worth considering.
You can now buy the highly-rated Happy Belly Canola Oil online.
3. Sunflower Oil
Interestingly, sunflower seed oil shares a lot of similarities with peanut oil. Both of these oils have a slightly nutty taste and an average smoke point of 450° F. One difference, however, is sunflower oil tends to have more heart-healthy monosaturated fats.
Although you could experiment with numerous dishes, sunflower oil is frequently used as a complement to fried peppers.
By the way, you can pick up the Healthy Harvest Sunflower Oil on the Internet.
4. Rice Bran Oil
Although it’s not as well known in the West, rice bran oil is a popular cooking oil in many Asian countries. However, as more chefs learn about this oil’s high smoke point (450° F) and light flavor, it is gaining serious attention in the global deep-frying community.
Chefs frequently use rice bran oil to compliment Asian or Indian deep-fried dishes. Give rice bran oil a try if you’re cooking Japanese tempura, fried wontons, or onion bhaji.
You can now buy Baja Precious Rice Bran Oil for your deep-frying needs.
Can You Use Vegetable Oil In A Deep Fryer?
Yes, you can use vegetable oil in your deep fryer. Vegetable oils are usually made with a refined mix of oils such as sunflower, corn, and soybean. Since all of these oils have high smoke points on their own, vegetable oil tends to have a smoke point in the 400° F range.
Besides its high smoke point, vegetable oil is usually a very cheap option. Plus, most vegetable oils have a neutral taste. Therefore they won’t affect the flavor of your food.
FYI: you could now purchase the popular Happy Belly brand of vegetable oil online.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Oil: Tips On Reusing Oil
Buying oil for a deep fryer can get pretty expensive, so it’s worth your time and effort to reuse cooking oil. Here are a few pro tips on how to reuse oil properly.
How To Reuse & Store Oil: A Basic Method
For your safety, please do not start pouring your oil until it has thoroughly cooled. When the time is ready, strain your cold oil through a mesh strainer lined with a few layers of cheesecloth. Most cooks prefer storing their oil in glass jars, but you could use any sturdy sealable container.
Once you’ve strained all of your oil, place your container in an area that’s reliably cool and dark (e.g., a cabinet). Although many people store oil near the stove, the heat from this location will quickly degrade the quality of your oil.
How Often Should You Change Fryer Oil?
As a rule of thumb, you should only reuse fryer oil three to four times if you cooked heavily battered foods. If you cooked non-battered foods in your deep fryer, then you might be able to reuse oil up to eight times.
Remember, these numbers are only rough estimates. No matter how few times you’ve used your oil, always inspect it for warning signs like a cloudy appearance or rotten smell.
To learn more about reusing your oil, be sure to check out our previous post, “Can You Reuse Oil After Frying Raw Chicken?”
Can You Throw Old Oil Down The Sink?
It’s never a good idea to throw reused oil down the sink. Not only is this an ecological nightmare, but it could also cause significant damage to your drains.
If possible, bring your old cooking oil to a local recycling facility for proper processing. You can also seal your oil in a carton and toss it in the trash.
Experiment To Find Your Perfect Oil
Peanut and canola oil are fantastic standards, but you shouldn’t feel compelled to work with these oils. As you could see above, there are plenty of alternative cooking oils that work well in the deep fryer. Have fun experimenting with different oils on your deep-fried delights.