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What's the healthiest oil for deep frying?

If there is such a thing? I want to fry fish and French fries. No to olive oil right? Also, olive oil is expensive for frying, no?

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      1. re: ipsedixit

        Grapeseed oil is not healthy, IMO.

        The Omega 6 oils, of which grapeseed oil is one, are problematic because they interfere with
        Omega 3 absorption.

        Of course, all the sellers of grapeseed oil would like you to believe otherwise.

        Disclaimer: I was a hired consultant by two grapeseed oil manufacturers to research the chemistry and nutrition issues, and ultimately, to break the bad news to them.

      2. As far as saturated fats, I'm thinking Canola oil is the lowest maybe at 6% or so...It is low cost, and available in almost all retail grocery markets. ~~ That being said, I personally can't stand the stuff...smell nor taste...even though it is said to be a neutral tasting oil. ~~ For deep frying I reach for peanut... sometimes corn, not the healthiest, but it's what I like. ~~ Fried food is really not that bad for you, but bad fried food is. HTH

        12 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          I will support your advice to SKIP the canola oil!!!!!!

          1. re: sandylc

            Cannot stand, either, canola oil. Fishy. Even if it doesn't smell fishy, it does when heated, especially when heated to high temps that are well below the smoke point. Vile stuff.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  and the CANOLA is related to the NAUGA!!

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Does anybody else find this to be true with Canola? I have used it once or twice, and find that it spatters a whole bunch more than any other oil I've ever used.

            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Glad to hear someone else say that about canola oil. It has never tasted neutral to me. It always tastes rancid, even a newly opened bottle. I just can't stand the stuff, and refuse to use it. Maybe some day we'll find out there's a genetic trait to tasting canola oil, kind of like how some people (not me) think cilantro tastes like soap.

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Are you guys talking about rapeseed oil?
                I must say I have never noticed anything off tasting about that. Are we talking about the same stuff here? I've read several places that it's supposed to be both neutral and healthy. I certainly subscribe to "neutral".

                1. re: Grunde

                  Yes, canola oil is rapeseed oil. It tastes and smells vile, especially when heated. Also, there are plenty of people easily found online who claim that it is NOT healthy for you. From what I have read about it, the rapeseed plant is highly toxic and its oil must be highly processed to make it edible.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Not exactly. The oil from the original rapeseed plant was ... well, not highly toxic, but high in a compound called erucic acid. The the rape plant was then hybridized by conventional plant breeding techniques to reduce the acid content of the oil (supposedly "canola" comes from "Canadian oil low acid").

                    Since then, however, most strains of canola in North America are GMO. In addition, many people do find the taste offensive.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      The name canola is from as follows:

                      "The name canola is a contraction of Canada and ola, meaning oil"

                      From the Canola Council of Canada.

              2. What about coconut oil? Thanks for the replies.

                8 Replies
                1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                  I'm not an expert, but I think coconut oil's smoke point is too low. I use Rice Bran oil because it has a higher smoke point, and there are health benefits.

                  Do a quick google search, you'll find heaps of info!

                  1. re: ursy_ten

                    Different people worry about different things when they say "healthy." If anyone is worried about added hexane to their diet, Rice Bran Oil is a particular one to avoid. Some Grapeseed Oils are a problem as well, but I've never found a RB Oil that wasn't processed with hexane, where as some Grapeseed Oils are alcohol extracted.

                    1. re: thatwhileifound

                      Thank you - hadn't heard of hexane before. So much you have to look out for, I can't keep up!

                    2. re: ursy_ten

                      'Unrefined' cc oil has a smoke point of 450 F.

                    3. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                      I like coconut oil for frying fish. I just, for the first time, read the entire label on my container of coconut oil and it says do not use for deep frying. But, I've never had a problem with it. I love it for frying chicken as well.

                      The brand I buy is Louana. Nowhere on the package does it say hydrogenated. It stays solid at 76 or below. It does not smell or taste like coconut at all. It acts like Crisco in the frying pan - which means the food doesn't absorb as much oil as corn oil or canola, as long as you have it hot enough. The other oils leave things greasier.

                      As to how healthy it is? Don't know.

                      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                        Coconut oil has a pretty high smoke point, actually, but it's quite expensive, IMO, for deep frying. I use peanut, or if I'm really being a cheapskate, corn oil. I don't know if either has any real health benefits, but as I don't deep fry that frequently I don't worry about it too much.

                        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                          Unrefined coconut oil is the only oil I use for deep frying. Works great.

                          1. re: LMAshton

                            Not very neutral in flavor. I use it but only in certain applications

                        2. On today's Dr. Oz show, red palm oil was recommended as having a very high smoke point, hence resistant to breaking down into harmful compounts. Never heard of the stuff.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: greygarious

                            Whole Foods sold red palm oil years ago, I haven't checked lately.

                          2. Whats more important than the type of oil you use is proper frying technique.

                            If the oil is properly heated and the food is removed at the right time you can DRASTICALLY reduce the calorie count/fat intake. The rapid escape of steam in proper frying keeps your food reasonably "healthy", but underheated oil or food left in the fryer too long soaks up all the oil like a sponge.

                            1. I don't consider deep-fat frying "healthy," no matter which oil you use, but my favorite is rice bran oil -- high smoke point, never goes rancid, and is cheap compared to other good frying oils. (I order it in gallon jugs from www.essentialpantry.com.)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Well of course it's not healthful -- if you do it ever day.

                              2. I have never thought of this problem. I say any oil which has a decent smoke point is good for deep frying.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Yes -- water, the main constituent of most foods that are fried boils at 212F; cooking oils much higher. Thus, as long as the frying oil is the proper temperature for its smoke point, frying "flash steams" the food -- driving out the water in the food as steam without admitting the hotter oil. Nothing unhealthy about that technique.

                                2. I just saw a segment on Dr. Oz the other day about the health benefits of red palm oil, cold or cooked. Supposed to be one of the new Superfoods and is neutrally flavored like peanut oil (and has a higher smoke point than peanut oil). I found the report intriguing. I'm sure his website has a lot of information about it.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: Patrincia

                                    in another week he'll be touting something else/

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      You got that right! People watch and jump on to everything like it's the gospel. One week it's pomegranate, next it's some rare berry-mushroom-oil-vitamin....

                                    2. re: Patrincia

                                      Oz makes it up as he goes along. He's driven by promotion opportunities.

                                      As far as "healthiest" ...fish oil!

                                      1. re: sal_acid

                                        Sorry, but you cannot fry in "fish oil."

                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          Didn't you hear?

                                          Fish lard is going to be the hot new trend for 2014.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                If you don't buy the Mainstream View that Sat. fat from natural sources is demonic, beef tallow is the best compromise between smoke point (~400 degree F), flavor (Mcdonalds built their empire on beef tallow fried french fries before the food police got on them), the amount of pufas that are easy to oxidize (~3-4%), and price (no one wants the stuff because of the evil sat. fat). Be sure to get Organic/pastured beef tallow for extra meat hippie points.

                                                As for frying being healthy or not, I believe frying actually has advantages over other cooking methods with things like AGE creation. I think the health pitfalls of frying are more to do with the choice of fat, handling of the cooking fat and the breading than the use of the evil fats.

                                                1. re: shezmu

                                                  The whole "saturated fat" phobia was invented by the shortening and margarine industries. Now, THOSE guys are demonic!

                                        2. Healthiest? That is up for debate. I use peanut oil most frequently, but I sometimes use lard or coconut oil.

                                          1. California Rice oil...check it out against any other oil

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jgsf0606

                                              Yes, I have heard that rice bran oil is particularly good for deep frying owing to its high smoke point temperature.

                                            2. What's the healthiest oil for deep frying? NONE
                                              If there is such a thing? NO
                                              I want to fry fish and French fries. But, you don't have to....
                                              No to olive oil right? RIGHT
                                              Also, olive oil is expensive for frying, no? N/A

                                              Dear LuluTheM! I understand the delicious flavor of fried foods - mmmmm. But fried food is not healthy. And, although there are health benefits to plant-based fats, once the oils are removed from the source, they must be used in moderation.

                                              I love red palm oil and coconut oils - organic and UNrefined. I use them, and olive oil, both in cooking and raw, in small amounts. Some brands, such as Louana, are highly refined and just bad.

                                              Canola, or rapeseed, oil is mostly GMO and chemically polluted. Any oil that is chemically extracted should be avoided (Hexane, anyone? gaaaaak!)

                                              If you want to include healthy fats in your diet, eat plenty of raw and organically produced vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some tropical fruits, such as avocado and durian, also have healthy fats.

                                              4 Replies
                                                1. re: KitchenAlchemist

                                                  I'm calling BS here. This question asked for cooking advice. Instead, we get the disaster cries of what Julia Child called the "nervous nutritional Nellies...who treat food as if it were medicine."

                                                  Fried food is just fine as long as it isn't the staple of your diet.

                                                  Elitist thinking like this is what makes people afraid of food. First world problem -- we're AFRAID OF FOOD.

                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                    Okay, so fat is bad, sugar is bad, carbs are bad, e-additives are bad, ratificial colors are bad,....
                                                    That leaves us with protein and fiber. Hello ketosis..!

                                                    I'm mostly with you jmckee, although I'll have to give the guy some points on cheap, chemically altered, hexane oils.
                                                    Fatty food is NOT unhealthy in and of itself. I have friends that are lumberjacks, fishermen and farmers. They burn 4-5.000 calories a day on a regular basis, They do not get that by eating organic apple peel and almond milk.

                                                    One of the distinct features (and success factors) of the human species is that we are omnivores.
                                                    People who like spending half their life worrying about every little molecule in their food are free to do so. Just don't bother us normal people with it.

                                                    Most likely it is not the food you eat that will kill you in the end. Far more likely it will be the fact that you didn't get your lard-ass out of the sofa to burn that fat, instead stuffing your head with crackling and KFC by the bucketfull.

                                                    1. re: Grunde

                                                      Correlation doesn't equal causality, but every time I see morbidly obese people in the grocery store checkout aisle, they're buying cases and cases of diet soda. "Diet" seems to be a trigger word for "consume five times as much."

                                                      The best health advice I've seen on these boards is: Eat food that rots. Eat it before it rots. Eat less of it.

                                                2. If you make and eat fried food only occasionally, just use the one that tastes best to you. As a once in a while thing, it scarcely matters what you use.

                                                  With that in mind, for deep fry I use either home-rendered lard or grapeseed oil.

                                                  1. Generally speaking, you will need an oil that has a higher smoke point than your cooking temperature (greater the difference, generally the better). Peanut oil probably has the best balance for frying.

                                                    While oils such as olive and coconut can have a relatively low smoking point, there are ways to refine (purify) them to produce higher smoke points, but typically at a higher cost.

                                                    Unless you are using small amounts, refined coconut & olive oils would probably be too high in price for frying, especially in the quantities usually needed for fries, etc.

                                                    It's one thing to coat an item for oven frying, another for deep frying.

                                                    1. I'm trying to decide which oil to use for frying chicken schnitzel. I want something with a neutral taste. Schnitzel has to be cooked at fairly high heat so its crispy and golden. Oh and I want an organic oil so plan to check Whole Foods tomorrow. Does peanut oil taste like peanuts?

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: foodsnobz

                                                        No, peanut oil does not taste like peanuts. Has a "neutral" flavor

                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                          We used Spectrum unrefined peanut oil to fry our chicken schnitzel and it was great. No more canola oil for me! Our fire alarm kept going off tho and then I found out I should be using refined oil for high heat frying. It worked out fine with the unrefined tho.

                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                            Peanut oil from an Asian market, like Lion and Globe brand, tastes and a
                                                            Ells decidedly peanutty

                                                        2. I don't deep fry that often, so I usually just use lard because IMO it gives superior texture to fried foods than any liquid oil product.

                                                          I do use peanut and coconut oil for other cooking though.

                                                          1. I recently learned that refined Avocado oil is great for deep frying.
                                                            Smoke point 500 plus if I recall correctly.
                                                            Plus when it's refined it basically just adds a rich buttery flavor. Not avocado-flavor like cold pressed would.

                                                            I have a jug of it from Costco that I bought to make my mayo with but found it didn't get very firm in the fridge.

                                                            So I'm trying avocado oil the next time I make French fried.

                                                              1. <<"No to olive oil right? Also, olive oil is expensive for frying, no?">>

                                                                We use olive oil exclusively in our home.
                                                                Don't bring a pot of olive oil over 325F - 350F and it's reusable within a few days or a week.

                                                                Anybody steering you clear of olive oil is selling you snake oil ;-)

                                                                1. Hi all.
                                                                  I found this page that lists all of the usual suspects with their uses, smoke points, flavor characteristics and nutritional/health characteristics. You can find it here:

                                                                  http://www.fitfrying.com/select-the-r...

                                                                  1. Thanks for commenting about Deep frying

                                                                    1. Ghee or Coconut Oil... Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Lard or Churned Butter (no margarines) are good choices too when used right. Nut oils are very healthy for you but do not stand up to heat and go all chemical when used in high heat. Seed Oils like Canola Oil (Rapeseed Oil), Grapeseed Oil and such have great heat resistance but are not good choices for health because they take intense processing to make them into oils, including hazardous chemicals. Palm Oil is great too, but it may not be a very environmentally friendly oil to harvest.

                                                                      http://authoritynutrition.com/healthy...

                                                                      http://healyeatsreal.com/healthiest-c...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: cookingwithmilton

                                                                        Peanut oil holds up to heat better than almost any other oil. That's what I use.