And The Best Oil For Deep Frying Is?
Today I want to tackle the question of the best oil for deep frying, not least because since posting on cooking with olive oil, you’ve let me know how much bad information there is out there – plenty of good as well but picking it out is a different matter altogether.
I’d guess a substantial number of folk are aware there are both health and safety issues surrounding the oil you choose, but there is so much confusing and contradictory information that they are no better off after an hour of reading, other than to know there are definitely plenty of opinions – but which is right?
The Smoke Point Of Oil
Every single thing you need to know about using oil in deep fryers centers around the smoke point, which is when oil reaches the maximum temperature before breaking down and emitting toxins – and each type of oil has a different smoking point.
Please don’t worry overmuch at the word toxins when used in connection with natural oils like canola, grapeseed, corn oil or olive oil – I’ve looked very hard to find evidence of humans being harmed by them and there simply isn’t any, we are well adapted to ward them off, but note the words ‘natural oils’ here.
It’s the hydrogenized fats which really are toxic – avoid them like the flu- though you shouldn’t come across too many, most governments have banned them from store shelves and are getting them out of processed foods.
The smoking point of olive oil is quite a bit lower than the others at 365°F to 420°F and for this reason it’s not suited to deep dryers, but don’t be afraid to pan fry and roast with it so long as you don’t whack the heat to high – you’ll always see olive oil begin to smoke when it begins breaking down – the post on uses for olive oil in cooking is waiting for you if you’d like to know more.
How Often Should I Change Deep Fryer Oil?
When cooking oil is heated it begins the breaking down process and each subsequent time you heat that oil it breaks down further and faster. The smoke point given as a guide is for new unused cooking oil and it reduces each time you use it – I can’t find any reliable source of just how much.
My friend and colleague is a high school science teacher and she knows about these things. Over the weekend I asked her and Liza reckons use it no more than 5 times before changing or earlier if the oil begins to darken – when that happens the oil is on the way downhill. As you can see, the oil below in my deep fryer is fresh unused corn oil and a light translucent golden color – the fries were awesome by the way.
What’s The Best Oil In Deep Fryers?
I’d choose refined corn oil for most everything as it has a high smoking point, well beyond what you’d need to deep fry pretty much everything I can think of and In my opinion it makes the best oil for fries by leaving no oily taste behind – it drains off food well too. Pressed from corn germ, it’s okay to heat to 450°F so can be safely used for deep fryers, pan frying and grilling – be aware unrefined corn oil has a lower smoking point at 350°F.
The best alternatives are canola at a smoke point of 375-450°F, and grapeseed oil which smokes at about 420°F. You can find the smoke point of cooking oils here and download the chart – well, copy past it anyway, and keep in the kitchen drawer.
What About Safety For Deep Fryers?
You can find all you need to know about staying safe using deep fryers here – its on a post about Masterbuilt Fryers, so scroll on down – it’s also mostly about using common sense.
Should you want more information on which deep fryers to use at home click the link to find out what’s popular with others and what is maybe best left on the shelf – they really do vary a lot.
You Still Haven’t Mentioned Palm Oil?
Hmm palm oil. Well it may be natural, it may have a high smoke point at 455°F, it also has a lot more saturated fat per tablespoon of all the others – it’s a waistline thing as much as a health thing, so no, I don’t use it and frankly, on the subject of conservation orangutans everywhere would be better off if nobody did.