Best Oil for Deep Frying: Complete Guide

What is the best Oil to deep fry with
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Quick Overview

What you need to know when deciding which oils are the best for deep frying

  • Taste– Does this oil affect the taste of your food? Most oils deemed for deep-frying should be neutral based, because we want the food to dictate flavor, not the oil.
  • Cost– Everybody has a different budget level. Lets find the oil that makes the most sense for your wallet
  • Health– While oils in general are not deemed healthy, certain oils may offer health benefits, and some may come at a cost at other features within the oil
  • Smoke Point– This is ultra important for many reasons. The smoke point of an oil determines what temperature the oil can be heated up to without smoking, or eventually catching fire, along with other health issues that come along with going past the smoke point of an oil.
  • What are you deep frying– While most food can be deep fried at a low enough temperature, some foods are recommended to fry at higher settings. If you’re deep frying fries vs chicken, you may find you need to adjust your temperature, meaning you could need an oil with a higher smoke point.

Now, I’ll admit, if you’re clueless about deep frying, and you’re aware of the hundreds types of deep frying oils, along with even more sub-types of these oils, it can be a lot to take it. That’s why we’re going to simply this as much as possible for you. And how did we figure out what oil is best for deep frying? We gathered all the information regarding each oil, made a chart, looked at all the positives and negatives of each, and came to our conclusion. To help you guys out, we’re placing this in a well-organized table to help explain our answer.

Comparison Table of different Deep Frying Oils

Oil Name

Taste

Cost (Per Gallon)

Health

Smoke Point (F)

Vegetable Oil

Neutral

$4.86

++

400 ° F

Coconut Oil (Refined)

Mildly Sweet

$9.98

+

~350° F

Peanut Oil

Neutral - Mildly Sweet

$11.98

++

~440° F

Olive Oil

Mild to moderate olive flavor

~$21.00

++

~420-460° F

Avocado Oil

Mild avocado flavor

~$30.00

+++

~500° F

Soybean Oil

Neutral

Difficult to quantify

++

320-495° F

Canola Oil

Neutral

$4.86

++

400° F

Sunflower Oil

Neutral

$11.98

++

440° F

Safflower Oil

Neutral

Difficult to quantify

+++

450° F

*Note* A lot of this information may vary to some degree from time to time. Cost was figured out as best as possible based on Walmart.com and great value brands. Costs, smoking points, flavor, and health benefits may alter due to different refinement levels and mixtures depending on what brands you purchase from. This is more of a template to make an easy comparison before making a decision on the best deep frying oil for home use.

What Oil is best for Deep Frying?

If we're being honest to each other, you can click on 100 different pages and find different answers. Why? Because people weigh different factors as more or less important. To us over at The Cooking Expert, we try and cover the best answer for the majority of users. What does this mean?

  • We know in order to deep fry you have to completely submerge your food in oil. This means, you'll need a lot of oil. Because of this price does matter
  • health- While we will always encourage the healthiest choice, we also know some sites feed on whatever the newest health fab is. Truth be told, you can find health benefits to almost any food, drink, and yes oil. While some of it may be true, on the internet, everything looks real. We value health, but we also try not to over-analyze it.
  • Flavor- You may be able to cook with different types of oil, and that's great. We agree. However, deep frying a food is a whole new game. You're submerging your entire food into a specific flavor of oil. That being said, we'll value a neutral flavor oil when deep frying.
  • Smoke Point- Of course, we'll value a higher smoke point over a lower smoke point, but we also know, there aren't a lot of foods you'll be cooking above 400° F, so anything above this amount, feels like wasted energy.

Top 3 Deep Frying Oils (Results Ranked)

1) Vegetable Oil

Why? Vegetable oil offers a cheap purchase point, is readily available almost anywhere, offers a good strong smoke point, and offers a neutral taste. It's got everything the average household will look for when deep frying. It's also one of the most common oils to use when deep frying.

What is Vegetable Oil? The reason for its cheap price, is because vegetable oil is actually an efficient combination of several seed based oils. You'll likely to find oils from sunflower, corn, and safflower within any vegetable oil. Of course, you can find many more plant based oils based on the which vegetable oil you buy, they all offer similar but different refinement methods.

2) Peanut Oil

Why? If you're looking to a close match to vegetable oil but want a higher smoke point, then we would probably recommend peanut oil (as long as you won't be frying for anybody with peanut allergies of course). If you're concerned about allergies, peanut oil actually don't contain the same proteins that peanuts do. This means that allergies are much less likely to pop up. However, restaurants that use peanut oils will likely clarify the use of peanut oil to avoid any possible lawsuits. The bottom line: If you do have allergies, it's probably simply safer to stay away.

Overall, Peanut oil it is a bit more expensive compared to vegetable oil. The flavor offers a mostly neutral taste, with some possible sweetness (depending on the exact peanut oil that you buy), and offers about a 40° F higher smoke point than vegetable oil. 

Another benefit of peanut oil is it prevents a lot of flavor transfer. That means that if one day you cook fish, and the next day you deep fry french fries, your fries shouldn't pick up much of a fish taste. 

With a slightly sweeter taste, peanut is more popular with bread type of foods. Examples can include funnel cakes and funnel cakes. If you'll be deep frying foods that work well with sweetness, peanut oil is definitely a solid choice.

3) Safflower Oil

Why? We've given you a cheap solid option in vegetable oil while presenting you a similar slightly higher priced option in peanut oil. If we're making a balanced list, we have to give you an oil known for its health benefits. 

Even though, it'll be more difficult to find a good safflower oil large enough to deep fry with, it wouldn't be fair if we didn't list it. We were able to find a 32 ounce bottle for $12 on amazon, so it's still fairly reasonable priced for most. What makes it a healthier choice? Because it's higher in saturated fats and lower in unsaturated fats. Because, it has more good fats and less bad fats than other oils. And what does that mean for your health you ask? 

  • Is known to boost heart health and lower cholesterol
  • Is known to lower blood sugar levels
  • Soothes dry skin

That being said, these benefits work much better when consumed daily in smaller amounts than you'll find in a deep fryer. 

Conclusion

Deep frying can be a magical thing, especially if you know how to pick the best oil that fits your deep frying needs. Make sure to check out smoke points, flavor, costs, and health benefits before making a decision. If you're looking for a cost effective choice, we'd recommend the ever so popular vegetable oil. If you're looking for a well-rounded oil with a high smoke point, resisting taste transfer qualities, peanut oil is the way to go. Finally, safflower is our preferred choice when it comes to trying to pick the healthiest oil while remaining reasonably priced.

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