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Health concerns aside, it’s hard to beat deep fried food at snack time. Chicken, fish, fries, onion rings, even donuts! However, it’s not as simple as pouring the oil in and putting your food in there: there are several factors that can mark the difference between a tasty treat and a nightmare. Here, we present you with a variety of oils that cover several popular dishes, including one that will likely surprise you! Check out our breakdown of the best oil for deep fryers below.
Best Oil for Deep Fryers: What to Consdier
It may be tempting to use whatever oil you have in your pantry, but there’s actually more to it: what works just fine in the pan, might not cut it in the deep fryer. Here’s what makes a difference:
As the name implies, this is the temperature at which your cooking oil starts to give off smoke; aside from being scary, it also alters the oil’s flavor for the worse, and spoils your food. The higher the smoke point, the better, especially since the oil should be at proper temperature before your food goes in, so the result is crunchy and tasty instead of a soggy mess.
Usually, when deep frying you are going for a specific flavor; and all you expect from your cooking oil is to turn your food crispy, not act as a seasoning. Refined oils are inherently better for this kind of cooking, as their manufacturing process renders them flavor-neutral.
When you’re looking for the best oil for deep fryers, quantity is an important factor to consider. Since the amount of oil involved in deep frying is much higher than what you use for conventional cooking, it makes sense to buy as much as you can; it’s also cheaper that way. Just remember to make sure you have enough space to store it.
It may be more economical to buy in bulk than in small quantity, but there will still be price variations depending on the kind of oil you buy, which you will notice even more if you invest in a larger batch.
It’s valid to feel as though using a batch of oil only once is silly: if you invest in a whole gallon of oil, you want to really get your money’s worth. Any oil you intend to reuse at a later date needs to be strained, in order to remove any impurities that could otherwise render it unusable. You can greatly simplify this process with a bacon grease container like this one, which provides the fine mesh to strain the oil with, and the container to preserve it.
Before your next round of deep frying, sniff the batch; any rancid odor means goodbye. Other signs that it’s time to dump your cooking oil are:
- Darker color.
- Starts to smoke at a lower temperature than it used to.
A good rule of reference is to reuse cooking oil no more than twice. Any more might be pushing it.
The Best Choice: Peanut Oil
It’s fairly cheap, which makes it easier to buy it in bulk; and it is also very easy to find. The American Heart Association considers it one of the healthiest options to cook with. It’s neutral in taste; it won’t be transferring flavors anywhere. Its smoke point stands at 450°F, which enables it to handle just fish or your chicken; it’s also recommended for a keto diet. And to top it all off, this oil is the key to making a favorite treat even better!
The formula for superior fries
You definitely can use peanut oil only: it is, after all, the go-to even for bigger food franchises. However, there is one ingredient which makes this snack so good, McDonalds used to rely on it: beef tallow, which is like lard, but from beef. Multiple sources agree its flavor contribution to the fries cooked in it is simply unbeatable. Problem is, when heated up it tends to bubble up to the point that there is often a risk of it overflowing from its container. The optimal proportion is 90% tallow, 10% peanut oil; your fries will be quite tasty, and there won’t be any foaming. This tallow should serve you quite well.
What about my allergies?
Refined peanut oil is not made in the same way as say, butter or flour. During its manufacturing process, the oil is purified, bleached and deodorized, which removes the proteins that can cause a reaction. The end result is a product so pure, it doesn’t even have to be labeled as an allergen. Gourmet oils are another story: as they are unrefined, they are just as unsafe as any other peanut product to anyone allergic and, therefore, should not be used for cooking. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) offers more information here.
That said: it is always a good idea to check with your doctor about your risk of having an allergic reaction to peanut oil, refined or not.
Best Oil For Your Fryer:
The package and name may heavily imply that the main intended use for this oil is making popcorn, but it is equally good for deep frying. Multiple reviews praise it for its flavor neutrality, which leaves the food’s taste unaltered. The bottle you get is pretty big, and it should last you a while; it’s also affordable, so buying it won’t hurt your pocket. It’s also refined, which means it has been purified, bleached, deodorized, and therefore stripped of allergy-inducing proteins. No matter what you choose to put in your deep fryer, this oil will serve you quite well.
The Surprising Truth Of Deep Fried Vegetables
It’s no secret that deep frying is considered a poor choice for your well-being, which doesn’t stop many of us from enjoying this type of food. With that being said, what if I told you that cooking your veggies in this way can actually make them healthier?
It’s true! A team from the University of Granada conducted a study to verify if vegetables actually lost antioxidant properties when cooked in certain ways, as had been believed for some time. Their findings: deep frying vegetables in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) actually boosts levels of natural phenols, which are antioxidants that help prevent cancer, diabetes and other chronic degenerative diseases. Quite a positive impact on your health! An article posted by the University, in which they go over their procedures and results, can be found here.
It’s the right kind of oil, as mentioned by the UGR. It’s also fairly affordable, and available in a 2-pack. Its flavor has been described as smooth, with a hint of red apple, and a buttery, fruity aroma. Non GMO certified. Most opinions, ranging from the casual cook to the expert, give it high marks for any role this oil may be called to fulfill. Be it for your deep fried vegetables, your pan or even to season your salads, it might prove difficult to find a better choice. Now you’re ready to greatly enhance your cooking experience. Happy frying!