With more and more choices on grocery shelves, it becomes difficult for consumers to choose the best oil for their needs. With their many distinctive characteristics, each oil has a unique composition that is important to know in order to make the best choice.
When it comes to frying, not all oils are good to use. Some are healthier than others, while some are just not suitable for high heat cooking. Here are the best oils for frying.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is excellent for frying foods. It has a very high smoke point, well above the ideal temperature for frying (180-220°C/356-428°F). The olive oil then undergoes no significant modification and better retains its properties (antioxidants, oleic richness). The advantage of frying your food with olive oil is that it forms a layer on the surface of the food, which prevents it from penetrating. Therefore, foods fried in olive oil have a lower fat content than those fried in other oils. It is also the one that will give the best taste.
Pure olive oil
Pure olive oil is also an excellent choice for frying. It has a slightly higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil (220-240°C / 428-464°F) and is much less expensive. Its taste is neutral, compared to extra virgin olive oil which has a slightly more distinctive taste.
Avocado oil has a very similar composition to olive oil. Its smoke point is 270°C/520°F, which is very high. Although it is better to consume it raw so that it retains all its properties, it is consumed as much in cooking and represents a healthy alternative to prioritize. Rich in vitamins, its light nutty taste distinguishes it from other vegetable oils.
High oleic sunflower oil
Higher in monounsaturated fat (oleic acid) than regular sunflower oil, oleic sunflower oil has a high smoke point and is much more stable when subjected to heat (250°C/482 °F). However, it should not be reused more than 2 to 3 times.
Peanut oil is very popular for frying, probably because it is economical, has a neutral taste and a high smoke point of 230°C/446°F. It also does not absorb the taste of food, so it can be reused many times. However, due to its high level of saturated fat, it is bad for cardiovascular health.
Canola oil is very common in frying because it has a good concentration of monounsaturated fats, so it is stable when subjected to heat. Its smoke point is high, at 240°C/464°F. However, due to a high content of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, it oxidizes easily, giving the oil a slight fishy taste when used.
Oils not recommended for frying
Although grapeseed oil has a neutral taste and a smoke point high enough for frying, it has a high level of polyunsaturated fats, which makes it very sensitive to oxidation. While not such a bad choice, there are better ones out there!
Among others, fish oil, linseed oil, hemp oil and camelina oil are oils that we strongly advise against for frying.
Finally, we strongly recommend that you take the necessary precautions when frying your food to avoid fires and physical injuries.