The Best Oils for Frying

When you have to cook different foods, it’s important to have the right supplies.

Today, we are going to focus on oils for frying.

We can find a great variety of oils at the supermarket. We tend to think that they all work in the same way and we can choose any oil for practically any recipe. However, this is not the case when it comes to frying.

What Should Oils Have?

When it comes to frying, the first thing a good oil must have is a high smoking point. This is a key feature. It’s important to keep in mind that once you reuse the oil, it will have a lower smoking point.

Refined oils usually have higher smoking points, so they are considered the best oils for high-temperature frying and pan frying. Refined oils include:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sunflower oil 
  • Canola oil

Olive oil is used for dressings, finished dishes or low-temperature cooking. Even though olive oil and butter oil both taste great, they have low smoking points, so they are not the best options for frying. Butter oil is perfect for baking and for spreading on several hot dishes. You can also mix it with other oils.

How Does Frying Work?

Frying means to cook in heated oil. The perfect temperature for frying is between 250 and 375°F. If you cook at this temperature range, the food’s surface cooks fast, almost immediately. This works as a sort of seal that prevents oil from penetrating the food as it continues to cook.

When you fry food, its natural moisture becomes steam. Steam also keeps the oil from penetrating the food.

Oils for Each Food

Some fried foods, like breaded fish, vegetables or shrimp need the oil to be at the temperature range we’ve mentioned above to get that crispy layer without getting soaked and oily. You should use oils with a high smoking point for these foods. One of the best options is canola oil because it has a neutral flavor and it won’t interfere with the foods’ own flavors.

Some Advice to Keep In Mind

When you are choosing an oil for frying, it’s important to keep in mind that some oils withstand higher temperatures than others. Besides having a high smoking point, oils must be stable so they don’t react with oxygen during the heating process. The most stable oils usually have higher levels of saturated fats. Saturated and monounsaturated oils are considered the best oils for frying.

Coconut: A Healthy Alternative

Nowadays, there are plenty of alternatives available on the market. Some of them are highly recommended for being healthy to use for making food. One of these alternatives is coconut oil, an option that’s becoming more and more popular these days.

Several studies have shown that coconut oil can maintain its quality even after hours of non-stop frying. In general, at 365°F, over 90% of the fatty acids present in the coconut oil are saturated and the oil remains heat-resistant. You should also keep in mind that coconut oil may have health benefits, so it’s a highly recommended option.

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