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How to Master Deep Frying Oil

Picking the right deep frying oil is one of the best ways to ensure deep frying success. After all, the oil ensures great taste and flavor, and helps your food become crispy and delicious. But with all the different cooking oils to choose from, how can you decide which one is right for you? We’ve gathered together all the important, need-to-know information about the different types of deep frying oil here to answer all your questions!

Deep frying safety: What’s a smoke point?

When you deep fry, you need your oil to get really, really hot—about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that you need oil that has a high smoke point: usually higher than 400 degrees.

But what’s a smoke point?

What's a smoke point?

A smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down, creating smoke and ruining the taste. If you keep frying past that point, you can reach the flash point, which is where the oil can start on fire. Certain oils don’t work well for deep frying because their smoke point is low. These are oils that are good for sautéing or roasting, but not necessarily for deep frying. Other oils are perfect for deep frying. Read on to learn more about which oils you want in your deep fryer!

What oils can you deep fry in?

Oils to deep fry in

Can you deep fry with olive oil?

Answer: Not a great idea.

While olive oil is great for sautéing vegetables, and is delicious over salads, it’s actually not a great choice for deep frying. This smoke point for olive oil is too low, and you’ll end up with bad-tasting oil and food.

Can you deep fry with canola oil?

Answer: Yep–it’s a great, inexpensive option!

Looking to keep your deep frying inexpensive? Canola oil is a great choice for a basic, cheap oil that will get the job done and leave you with crisp food.

Shop Our Top Rated Deep Fryers

Can you deep fry with coconut oil?

Answer: Yes–it’s the healthy option!

This is widely considered to be the healthiest choice for deep frying. It can handle continuous hours of frying without any change in the quality of the oil, and coconut oil has been found to have numerous health benefits, like killing off harmful bacteria.

Can you deep fry with peanut oil?

Answer: Definitely!

Most serious deep fryers agree that the best oil for frying is peanut oil. It has a smoke point of about 450 degrees F. That means you have lots of room for letting your oil get hot without worrying about the smoke point. Plus, it doesn’t taste like peanuts—or much of anything! Peanut oil is great for letting the natural taste of your food shine through. Fun fact: Chick-Fil-A uses peanut oil for their frying!

How much oil do you need to deep fry?

Most deep fryers should have a fill line indicating how much oil to put in your deep fryer. If your fryer has this fill line, try not to overfill past the line. When the oil heats up, it will expand in the fryer–and no one wants to deal with overflowing hot oil!

If you don’t have a fill line in your deep fryer, try to eyeball the halfway point as best you can. You don’t want to skimp with the amount of oil either, or else the food won’t have room to float around in the oil and might get stuck together.

How do you know when the deep frying oil is ready?

You have a couple options: a thermometer, an electric deep fryer, a wooden spoon, or rice (yes, rice!).

Oil Temperature Gauge

A thermometer tends to be the easiest option. If you want to be exact with the temperature, use a clip-on thermometer that hangs on the edge of the deep fryer and keeps track of the temperature. (This keeps your hands safe from hot oil!) You’re looking for a range between 325 and 400 degrees.

You can also buy an electric deep fryer, which has its own thermometer. This eliminates the guesswork of keeping the fryer at the right temperature.

You can also use a wooden spoon if you aren’t interested in purchasing a clip-on thermometer. Insert the wooden spoon handle into the oil. When the oil bubbles around the stick, it means the oil is ready for frying.

Finally, you could also toss a grain of rice into the heating oil. When the rice rises to the surface of the oil and begins to cook, you’re at the right temp!

Can I reuse my oil for deep frying?

You need a lot of oil for deep frying. It seems like a waste to use all that oil just once and then toss it out. Luckily, it’s easy to reuse oil. Simply find a secure container and store in a pantry, away from humidity or light. You can use a simple jar, or try an oil storage tank made just for deep frying.

When you’re prepping your oil to store, make sure it is fully cooled before you pour it into the container. We also recommend pouring it through a strainer so that any chunks of food don’t also make it into storage! Finally, remember that oil picks up the flavor of whatever food it fried. That means oil you used to fry fish should probably just be used to fry more fish…and not a batch of donuts.

When is it time to use a new batch of oil? If you see little bits of fried food floating around in it, or if the oil seems grungy or foamy, it’s time to get a new batch.

More Deep Frying Tips!