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Jun 28, 2012 09:03 PM

Deep frying = XX extra calories. Anyone????

I just purchased a seriously cool deep fryer and I'd LOVE to know how many calories deep frying adds to food.

I can't believe, if fried properly, a deep-fried item is THAT evil. No one in my internet searches seems to have any concrete formulas for calculating this - not even Leslie Beck. I asked her but she didn't reply... I guess her sponsors didn't like the question.

Measuring the remaining volume of oil after, as compared to before frying wouldn't be accurate as there is evaporation... Remember those Crisco commercials? "All but one tablespoon..."

Someone.. anyone... please educate all of us... Thanking you in advance.

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  1. it's going to depend what you're frying. a battered item will soak up a lot more oil than an unbattered one. there is probably a formula you can figure out to adjust for evaporation (ie heat same amt of oil at same temperature for same amount of time and measure evaporation, then apply same adjustment to item).

    1. Which seriously cool deep fryer did you buy?

      I'm curious about the response as well--I limit wheat and sugar, so frying isn't necessarily evil in my book, but I still need to keep an eye on unnecessary calories.

      1. Look for the 2 shows Alton Brown did about deep frying. I remember the assertion that d-f added Less Fat than pan frying due to searing and temp.
        But are you wondering about how much fat d-f adds to "plain food" or vs. other frying?

        2 Replies
        1. According to the data found here:

          The difference between simple flouring and frying and battering and deep frying is about 90-100 calories, almost all of it from fat. The extra 10 grams of fat (14 vs 4.1) at 9 cal/gram is 90 calories.

          Every tablespoon of oil is 120 calories, regardless of type.

          14 Replies
          1. re: AMarshall

            I know that oil is 120 calories per tablespoon, but does the 90-100 calories count for the entire batch of fried food? For instance, if I fry 1 pound of potatoes, does that mean that in addition to the calories of the food I'm frying, I would add 90-100 calories and divide that by the calories per serving of my item and come up with a total in calories and fat?? Example: if there are 400 calories in 1 lb of potatoes, would that mean, fried = approx 500 calories... If I divided 1 lb into 4 servings, then that would mean 100 calories per serving??? This is my big question... Does that make sense?

            1. re: Moimoi

              What about "measure before, measure after"?

                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                    Yes... my deep fryer is closed/sealed... I would probably use at least half of a 3 litre jug (sounds kind of icky when I put it that way...) for a few frying sprees...

                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      Was thinking about your question today. Yes, it's sealed, but it's not hermetically sealed... it does have a vent for air, but the whole operation is much more efficient than say an uncovered stainless pot. I still believe there has to be a more exact science to this, although I appreciate the variables too.

                1. re: Moimoi

                  That 90 calories was for a single piece of fish.

                  In french fries, deep frying roughly doubles the calories. That will vary somewhat by the thickness of the cut. Thinner cut have more surface area to absorb the oil.

                  1. re: AMarshall

                    Okay, so say for example that a single piece of fish is 150 calories. If you fry it it will be 240-270 calories? Also, a thicker cut french fry would absorb less oil?

                    1. re: Moimoi

                      Those values seem reasonable. Yes, a thicker cut potato should absorb less oil. I don't know if it is a significant difference, though.

                      Remember it is a function of surface area. For example, if you take a chicken breast and coat it and deep fry it, it will absorb a certain amount of oil. If you decide to use the same chicken breast to make homemade "popcorn" chicken like you might see at KFC, so the chicken breast gets cut up before coating and deep frying, there will be substantially more oil absorbed.

                      1. re: AMarshall

                        Incidentally, it is not only a function of surface area, but even also determined by how well-done you cook the batter. Cooks are commonly advised to make sure their oil is hot enough, because (as the myth goes) when you undercook the batter, it gets greasy and absorbs more oil. Actually, the opposite is true. Batter that is cooked crispier absorbs more oil than undercooked batter (it is actually water moisture that makes undercooked batter soggy).

                        The point of the matter - for any given dish, it is very difficult to come up with an easy method of determining how many calories you add by deep frying that you can use at home. You can try to make your own bomb calorimeter if you want.

                        And it's impossible to give an accurate answer to how many calories you add by deep frying in general. There are just too many factors that vary by cook and by recipe - the surface area of the food, the kind of batter used, how thoroughly the batter is cooked, how much of the batter sticks to the food being fried. Any figure would be an estimate, plain and simple.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          Agreed. I was just trying to point out that there is a lot of extra calories and fat.

                          1. re: AMarshall

                            You were right. Not trying to contradict. Just riffing off your post.

                          2. re: cowboyardee

                            I get what you're saying, but how does any food manufacturing company that sells deep fried foods (say McCain's) come up with their measurements? They hire professional food science gurus. I wonder how they calculate this stuff...

                            1. re: Moimoi

                              I think they basically use updated versions of the bomb calorimeter I mentioned earlier. Basically, it burns food and sees how much energy that generates. Not super easy to do at home, but if you're dead-set, it's not impossible.

                2. I don't know how much extra calories the frying cause. But, I do know that we fry turkeys, which are not battered just marinated, we get the majority of the oil back. We fry several turkeys at a time and we lose less than a cup of oil. Don't forget I am saying not battered. The first time I brought the turkeys to my doctors they didn't want it saying it would be to greasy and fatty. Then they tasted it, and they wanted more. If you do it right you use very little oil and it is not greasy. Coindentally, we learned to fry from one of our doctors. If you are going to fry a turkey or chickens I suggest that you inject them with a marinade it really makes a difference. Enjoy.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: paprkutr

                    Even half a cup of oil is close to 1000 calories.

                    1. re: AMarshall

                      There are 1909 calories in 1 cup of Peanut Oil. 1927 in 1 cup corn oil.
                      However, in an deep fried turkey, an extra 1000 calories is going to be distributed through a number of servings : )

                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                        Exactly... just what I was going to say...

                        The 1000 calories is not for one portion. If you divide up the 1000 calories between the number of turkeys paprkutr is talking about... let's assume four turkeys, then divide those four turkeys conservatively into four individual portions, the 1000 calories doesn't work out to too much per serving. Also, the turkeys won't absorb all that oil... which goes back to the original question...

                    2. re: paprkutr

                      I have always wondered about the effect of deep frying 'naked', unbattered meats like turkeys, chicken wings and hot dogs. Sometimes, after straining and saving the oil, there seems to be the same amount or even more fat leftover in the pan. The natural fat renders out and the tight structure of the meat doesn't seem to absorb very much fat back in. I almost feel like you would end up with fewer calories in the finished product. Or am I fooling myself?