Deep-fried food is a guilty pleasure for just about everyone. The delicious, and crispy outside, giving way to a soft, juicy inside, means that just about everything you fry ends up tasting great.
If you want to give deep-fried foods a shot at home, the first thing you have to figure out if the type of oil to use. Not all cooking oils are created equally!
In fact, many conventional cooking oils are terrible for deep frying and can lead to a bad taste, and a fire hazard.
In this article, we're going to help guide you towards the right oils for deep frying, and give insight into which is best for you.
Let's get started!
What Is The Best Oil For Deep Frying?
Canola oil or peanut oil is best for deep frying. They yield foods that have great flavor, are affordable, and most importantly, they have a high smoking point.
Related Content: Best Home Deep Fryer
How To Choose an Oil For Deep Frying
If you want to know a little bit more about how to choose the best oil, let's dig into exactly what to look for when you're deep-frying food.
- Smoking point - By far, the most critical factor when choosing a cooking oil for deep frying is the oils smoking point. Most deep frying takes place around 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's essential to choose an oil that can withstand 400-degree temperatures.
- Allergy concerns - Nuts are one of the most common food allergies. Not all peanut oil is considered an allergen, though. Highly refined peanut oil is deemed to be safe, but if you have a peanut allergy, there's no point in risking it if you don't have to. Some peanut oils are mixed with other oils or are made in factories that make other peanut products, so proceed with caution.
- Taste - Each oil has a slightly different taste, and some have no taste at all! If you have a certain type of oil you like the taste of, check the smoking point of the oil, and make sure it's good for frying, and if it is, you're good to go!
How Does Oil Taste & Temperature Impact Your Food?
The process of deep frying involves submerging an often breaded food into a container of oil. The oil cooks the food by instantly cooking the outside, sealing in the moisture and creating a crunchy exterior.
If the heat of your oil is off, this process gets messed up and can dramatically impact the way your food tastes.
If the oil isn't hot enough, the outside layer won't be instantly cooked. This means oil seeps into the interior, bringing the oily flavor along with it. This also means the food will come out feeling greasy as well. Not good.
On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, it'll start smoking. Just like you can taste the smoke when you overcook a hamburger on the grill, you can taste the smoke when you use oil that's too hot. If you let it smoke too long, the oil will catch fire.
Finding the "goldielocks" zone for your oil is key to achieving tasty deep-fried foods.
Why Choose Peanut Oil or Canola Oil For Deep Frying
Peanut and canola oil are excellent choices for deep frying because they don't inject any flavor into your food, and have high smoking points. Peanut oil smokes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and canola smokes at 400.
Since most deep frying takes place between 350-400 degrees, these two oils are a great choice.
Since both oils have a neutral flavor, you can cook just about anything in them while maintaining the flavor of the dish.
Nobody is going to deny that deep-fried food is incredible. While it may not be the healthiest, it is without a doubt the tastiest.
There are many different oils to choose from, but not all of them are meant to be used to deep fry food. In fact, oils with a low smoking point, like unrefined oils such as flaxseed and walnut oil, can be downright dangerous to try to deep fry with.
If you opt for an oil with a low smoke temperature, you're going to have a fire on your hands.
We love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite cooking oil or favorite fried food recipe? Let us know what your favorite food to deep fry is and what oil you like best in the comments section below!