The most important decision to make before you deep fry is which oil to use. For everyday use, we recommend using the most popular choice – vegetable oil. However, there is no shortage of options.

Before you start choosing an oil, have you chosen the right deep fryer? Countertop deep fryers are a great place to start – as they are easy to add to any commercial kitchen. 

What to consider when selecting an oil

When choosing which oil to use, there are a few things to consider, including flavor, smoke point, and price. Let us explain:

Flavor

Oil either has a flavor, or it doesn’t. Frying in a neutral oil is typically the best practice – as you don’t want your food to take on the taste of your oil. However, specific recipes can call for frying in avocado or peanut oil to create a particular flavor profile.

Smoke Point

The smoke point is the temperature at which oil starts to burn and create smoke. If your oil gets too hot, it will fill your kitchen with smoke and could potentially create a dangerous situation. Every oil has a different smoke point, so consult the chart below before you start frying! For more information on smoke point, check out this informative article from Serious Eats.

Price

Deep frying requires a large amount of oil, as food needs to be covered entirely to fry effectively. Due to the high volume – most restaurants and home cooks choose to deep fry with cheaper oil to keep costs down.

When you take these three factors into account, you are ready to choose an oil for deep frying. There is no right answer for everyone but here are a few recommendations from your friends at Central Restaurant Products.

Deep frying with vegetable oil

If this is your first time deep frying, we recommend you start with old faithful – vegetable oil. You may wonder, what exactly is it? Vegetable oil is typically a mix of different plant-derived oils that are blended to create an affordable, neutral oil. 

 While you won’t want to use it as a salad dressing or dip for bread, vegetable oil is an excellent choice for frying. It starts with a high smoke point, which makes it easy to use in any kitchen. The high smoke point, combined with a neutral flavor and low price, make it the go-to oil for deep frying.

Deep frying with canola oil

If vegetable oil is option #1 for deep frying, then canola oil would be option #1A. Similar to vegetable oil, canola oil has a very high smoke point, neutral flavor, and is more cost-effective than other oils. 

Canola oil also has the added benefit of being low in saturated fat, which makes it a healthier option for making typically unhealthy fried foods!

Deep frying with peanut oil 

The first thing to consider when using peanut oil is that some peanut oil can be an allergen. Highly-refined peanut oil is considered safe for most people with a peanut allergy. However – cold-pressed, expelled, and extruded forms of peanut oil are dangerous for those with a peanut allergy. If someone in your family has a peanut allergy or you are cooking for a large group, it’s safer to avoid peanut oil. 

If allergies aren’t a concern, then peanut oil’s high smoke point and low saturated fats make it an attractive option for frying. Just consider that it does not have a neutral flavor, and it costs more than vegetable or canola oil, so it isn’t the best first choice for everyday frying.

Oils not to use while deep frying

While cooking using an oil with a low smoke point is possible under the right circumstances, we don’t recommend it, especially in a foodservice kitchen where foods are being cooked in larger quantities. 

For this reason, we recommend that you avoid low smoke point oils like olive oil, soybean oil, and corn oil for deep frying. 

How do different oils compare? 

There isn’t one correct answer to which oil you should use for deep frying. Every situation and recipe could call for a different option. Here is a handy chart that should help you select the right oil for you.

 

  Neutral Flavor? Smoke Point Unit Price (per fl oz)
Vegetable Oil Yes 400-450°F .06 – .09
Canola Oil Yes 400°F .07 – .09
Extra Virgin Olive Oil No 325-375°F .25 – .39
Peanut Oil Yes 450°F .15 – .21
Sesame Oil No 350-410°F .62 – .70
Avocado Oil No 375-400°F .33 – .35
Grapeseed Oil Yes 390°F .31 – .37
Coconut Oil No 350°F .33 – .41

Food Guide 

There isn’t one correct answer to which oil you should use for deep frying. Every situation and recipe could call for a different option. Here is a handy chart that should help you select the right oil for you.

Different foods cook better in different types of oil. While it isn’t always necessary to use a specific kind of oil, here are some frequently asked questions about food-pairing in deep frying.

  • What is the best oil for deep frying chicken? Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying a turkey? Peanut Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying french fries? Peanut Oil or Canola Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying fish? Canola Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying doughnuts? Peanut Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying vegetables? Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil
  • What is the best oil for deep frying egg rolls? Peanut Oil or Canola Oil 

 No matter which oil you choose, make sure you are following the right safety procedures for deep frying and have all the correct equipment to make the process safe and easy. 

If you’re looking to try in your restaurant kitchen, we’ve got a full selection of commercial deep fryers to choose from!