General Question

flo's avatar

What are the kinds of oils to fry with, and never to fry with?

Asked by flo (12974points) January 22nd, 2016

canola, peanut, safflower,vegetable shortening and lard? Good
Olive oïl never, right?
Anything else one needs to know?

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19 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

both Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo always fry with olive oil in their videos.
Never use motor oil though.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I use olive oil, just have to remember to cook at a lower temp.

Buttonstc's avatar

Any of the chefs who do cook with Olive oil (including Mario Batali) know to avoid too high a temperature. However, most of us don’t have the years of experience to know precisely when that “too high” temperature is reached.

So, I’m happy to leave the Olive oil frying to the pros and just use either Peanut or Coconut Oil.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Avocado oil has a high smoke point but as taste (yes like avocados), Peanut oil has a high smoke point and neutral taste, if you are not allergic to peanuts. Coconut is probably the best.

cazzie's avatar

Do you mean deep fat fry or just pan fry? There is a big difference.

ibstubro's avatar

@cazzie asks the question left unanswered.
Are sauteing or deep fat fry.

All I know for sure is that @ragingloli is absolutely correct that motor oil is a poor choice for either.

Cruiser's avatar

I like canola oil as it is light in flavor and a healthy oil to use for almost all cooking. Next I will use light olive oil when I want to add a smidge of flavor to Italian dishes or veggies. I will also use avocado oil for salad dressings, and lastly I will use coconut oil for poultry dishes to give them that Caribbean flavor.

For high heat cooking I always use Grape seed oil as it is low flavor and low smoking at high temps.

Strauss's avatar

In general, if an oil has a hearty flavor (olive, coconut, sesame, or any infused oil) , I usually cook with it if I want to impart that specific flavor to the recipe. Olive oil does need a fair bit of experience to cook with so it doesn’t burn or smoke. A high-temperature oil like peanut oil is good for deep frying, especially large projects like turkey I use butter (or a good buttery spread) for low temperature applications, such as eggs. I don’t usually use lard to fry, although it is an acceptable substitute for bacon grease drippings. When I do use bacon fat, it is to impart the bacon/smoke flavor to whatever is being cooked.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Not all olive is the same….Olive oil is OK to fry with. Virgin olive you can maybe get away with but you really shouldn’t use extra virgin olive oil to fry stuff. Also I’d avoid cooking with medical olive oil….

flo's avatar

Thank you all but I wish I had indicated that I’m asking for the health side not so much flavor, convenience, etc. We’re supposed to try and bake, roast, broil methods and still make food taste fried.
I’m definitely not referring to deep frying to answer @cazzie‘s question.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It depends on what I’m cooking. I mostly use olive oil. I also use the fats that I skim off top after cooling the meat bases for soups. Chicken fat is always good. From a health standpoint it important to know that all unsaturated fats become saturated fats at 400F. If it’s solid at room temp, it will be solid in your arteries.

ibstubro's avatar

Another train wreck of a question.

Wherever would you get the idea that olive oil is not healthy, @flo?

Lawn's avatar

I tried to research this and came away with inconclusive results… it’s actually a complete mess. I suppose it depends on the rest of your diet, what temperature you cook at, and whether or not you have high cholesterol or a high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Olive oil is generally considered a good fat to use in your diet in a non-heated form. When you start frying, things get confusing.

As mentioned by @ARE_you_kidding_me, @Tropical_Willie and @Yetanotheruser, the temperature matters.

Apparently the “smoking point” of olive oil is about 280 degrees Fahrenheit while coconut oil is 350 F and avocado is 500 F. Cooking above smoke point releases free radicals and a substance called acrolein which is toxic. This is why many avoid olive oil for cooking over approx 250.

To make matters more confusing, like @Lightlyseared mentions, not all olive oil is the same – different types have different smoke points and properties…

To further complicate matters, not all coconut oil is created equal. It can vary in variety of coconuts, type of processing—these factors will impact the health benefits. Many commercial coconut oils are refined, bleached, and deodorized and contain chemicals used in processing. Organic does not.

Another factor that is a complete mess is the controversy about saturated fat. More than 85 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. However, not all saturated fats are equal. The main type of saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is one of the same fatty acids present in human breast milk.

Buttonstc's avatar

Which is precisely why I prefer to leave cooking with olive oil to the professionals. Someone like Mario Batali has logged in so many hours at the stove that he can tell instinctively if it’s getting too hot. But just because he can doesn’t mean I can.

ragingloli's avatar

You all act as if cooking is some sort of arcane magic art that can not be learned with a bit of practice. The knob has indicators, and you can see the size of the flame.

ibstubro's avatar

Oils break down at a certain temperature, which is known as their smoke point, @ragingloli. Meaning when you reach the smoke point, the oil is already degrading, and the damage is done.

Cooking properly with maximum health benefit isn’t magic, but it can certainly be an art.

On the other hand, my mom frying catfish from the Mississippi River over a smoking vat of lard in the 1970’s didn’t exactly kill me. lol

HermantheGerman's avatar

No olive oil when frying meat, I prefer rape or safflower oil.

flo's avatar

@everyone thank you, esp. @Lawn

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