Types of Cooking Oil

Choosing the Right Cooking Oil

Choosing the right frying oil for your operations is the first step to building and implementing an effective oil management program.  There are several different types of oils used for frying. When choosing an oil, you should consider smoke points, the type of food you are frying, your budget, and the type of fryer you are using.

An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it begins to burn and degrade. At this temperature, the oil will start to smoke. When this happens, the oil will produce off-flavors and loses nutritional value. It is important to select an oil with a smoke point higher than the temperature that you will be cooking. Oil smoke points can vary based on the oil’s refinement, sediment, acidity, and quality, so be sure to check with the manufacturer for an accurate measurement. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how an oil’s taste may affect the taste of your fried foods.

  • Canola Oil ($) – Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from a variety of rapeseed that is low in erucic acid and has a light, neutral flavor. It is one of the most affordable oils. Canola oil has a high smoke point ranging from 350-400°F.
  • Coconut Oil ($$) – Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, slower to degrade. It is one of the more expensive oils, and it has a mid-range smoke point of 350°F.
  • Corn Oil ($) – Corn oil is extracted from the germ of corn and is generally less expensive than most other types of vegetable oils. It has a mild flavor that does not impact the taste of fried food. Corn oil has a high smoke point ranging from 320-450°F.
  • Cottonseed Oil ($) – Cottonseed oil is derived from the seeds of cotton plants. It is light in color, has a mild flavor, and is one of the more inexpensive options. Cotton oil has a very high smoke point of 420°F.
  • Lard ($$) – Lard is obtained by rendering the fatty tissue of pigs. Solid fats like lard require a fryer with a melt cycle. Lard has a high smoke point ranging between 350-420°F.
  • Palm Oil ($) – Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of oil palms. It is semi-solid at room temperature and has a neutral flavor. Palm oil has a very high smoke point of 450°F.
  • Peanut Oil ($$) – Peanut oil is a vegetable oil derived from peanuts with a neutral to sweet flavor. Highly refined peanut oils are safe for people with peanut allergies. Peanut oil has a very high smoke point ranging from 440-450°F.
  • Soybean Oil ($) – Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It has a neutral flavor and is one of the most affordable oils. Soybean oil has a very high smoke point ranging between 420-485°F.

Choosing the right oil for your fried product, in combination with proper oil management and fryer maintenance, will ensure you are serving the highest-quality product to your customers.|

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