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Dec 12, 2003 02:34 PM

Oil for Latkes?

  • p

can anyone tell me the most appropriate oil for frying latkes? thanks!

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  1. What do you mean by appropriate?

    If you are looking for what they might have used in days gone past, I would say olive. But that flavor can be a little heavy for some.

    My mom fried in vegetable or canola and they are awesome too with little oil taste.

    Of course, there was the couple of times my mom cooked them in chicken fat. Now that was the best. But not appropriate for Chanuka i guess..

    1. Olive oil. It's part of the whole symbolism of the oil in the lamps, etc., etc. And it tastes amazingly good.

      6 Replies
      1. re: mimi-dc

        You think? I always thought that b/c of Olive Oil's low smoke point, it wasn't good for high heat frying.

        Maybe I'll try it this year.

        1. re: das
          binyamin katz

          actually my family which hails from lithuania and is now a hasidic sect that lives in berwyn illinois uses chazer oil to fry latkes in.

          1. re: binyamin katz

            That reminds me of the food writer (was it in the NY Times?) who found that horse fat was best for making french fries. He was besieged by folks who were just horrified at the idea slaughtering horses for food.

            1. re: binyamin katz

              You lost me. Is chazer oil pig fat? If so, what type of Chasidic sect would use this in their food?

          2. re: mimi-dc

            Remember that the hotter you fry something, the less oily when it comes out. If you fry in really hot veggie oil (I sometimes buy the cheap stuff from Wal-Mart or whatever - it normally has an OU) - it will make a huge mess but also come out crisp and not oily.

            Just one man's opinion.

            1. re: mimi-dc

              I always use peanut oil because it can tolerate high heat before burning - but make sure none of your guests have a peanut allergy!!

            2. your best bets are probably either canola/vegetable or peanut oil. the canola is best if you're most concerned about your health, and works well with small batches. peanut has a much higher smoke point, and will certainly taste the best, and give you the most cripy, consistent results.

              keep in mind that no matter which oil you use, you'll want to fill your pan generously so it keeps its temperature as you add the cool batter. counter-intuitive, but the more oil you use, generally the less the latkes absorb. peanut holds its temperature better, especially when you're making a large batch.

              good luck!

              1. I would say shmaltz(chicken fat) is the best but not the most healthy or clean and it stinks up the house.
                Butter is also a great option or a butter/oil mixture but obviously that can be a problem if you are eating it with meat.
                My mother always used either pure butter or a butter/oil mix and they were unbelievable.