Deep fried food is delicious. Hardly anything beats those funnel cakes you get at the local county fair, the juiciness of deep fried chicken, or warm beignets from New Orleans.
There are a myriad of foods you can throw in a deep fryer, and the likelihood of yummy meals is quite high.
If you are a first-time deep fryer, you may wonder what kinds of oils are best to use inside it. The choice of which oil to use for deep frying is important because the oil will have an impact on the final result.
Oils such as canola oil and sunflower oil are suitable, but people often wonder if you can use vegetable oil in a deep fryer? After all, vegetable oil seems like the most accessible oil in supermarkets these days.
The short answer is: absolutely!
Vegetable oil is a great all-rounder oil for deep frying pretty much anything. It has a high smoking point which means that it can tolerate higher temperatures. Vegetable oil also doesn’t have a forceful taste, so it will not overpower the flavor of the food you deep fry.
Read on to understand the more technical elements of why vegetable oil is the best option for deep frying, to learn about other oils, and more.
But First, What Exactly is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil is a mixture of many different types of plants or vegetation. Any oil that is extracted from plants, nuts, or seeds is technically considered vegetable oil. What one usually gets in the bottle is a blend of canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and corn oil.
You can buy vegetable oil in any grocery store, and sellers use that term mainly so they can interchange whichever commodity they prefer.
Vegetable oil is the best oil to fry in for a few different reasons, but mainly because it is:
- Has a neutral flavor (which is integral for deep frying)
- Has a high smoking point (more on that later)
Want to enjoy fried foods while using less oil? Consider getting an air fryer! Read: Philips Air Fryer VS Tefal Actifry [Which Air Fryer You Should Buy]
A Quick Recap on Deep Frying
If you are new to deep frying, have no fear. Here is a quick recap on what to consider if you are looking to deep fry using vegetable oil.
1. Keep a Few Extra Kitchen Tools On Hand:
When you are deep frying for the first time, it is useful to have a few utensils on hand.
Remember you will be dealing with boiling oil. Utensils help you out by protecting you and preventing burns.
Cooking goggles are very useful. When deep frying, hot oil can sometimes splatter and the last thing you want is hot oil getting into your eyes.
2. Prioritize Your Safety (and Those Around You):
Trying new techniques in the kitchen is exhilarating. It’s important to keep safety at the forefront of all your cooking escapades.
Remember the golden rule of cooking:
Water and oil do not mix.
Hold onto that thought while cooking and you’ll avoid splattering oil all over the kitchen –– and potentially a few burns as well. Be mindful of every single element that will go into your deep fryer.
3. Use the Best Type of Oil:
A key tip to remember is use the best oil when deep frying. The best oil for deep frying is vegetable oil due to its high smoking point, low cost, and neutral flavor.
Remember that when deep frying, the flavor of the oil is not the main focus. The aim is to cook the food thoroughly, and achieve the crispy brown texture. You can achieve all this by using vegetable oil.
You may also like: Can You Put Oil In An Air Fryer? [How To Do It & FAQ]
What You Should Know Before Deep Frying With Vegetable Oil
Before you try your hand at frying with vegetable oil, it’s useful to know a few fundamentals. Don’t worry, we will explain how to deep fry with vegetable oil a little further down.
Tip 1: Know the Oil Smoking Point
We have touched on this point briefly before about certain oil smoking points.
A smoking point is the temperature where the oil starts to smoke. Generally, you’ll want to deep fry with oils that have a higher smoking point.
Vegetable oil has a high smoking point, which makes it suitable for deep frying. When an oil reaches its smoking point, then it starts to break down.
For reference, vegetable oil’s smoking point is around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very high compared to oils like olive oil which has a lower smoking point.
Oils with high smoking points tend to fare the best for deep frying, because deep fryers reach enormous heat levels.
Tip 2: Know the Idiosyncrasies of Your Kitchen
To be perfectly honest with you, deep frying food at home is a little scary. Especially if it is your first time.
Before you start deep frying, you will want to clear a space, read over the how-to manual, and avoid using any kitchen tools that are prone to breaking.
Tip 3: Familiarize Yourself With the Recipe
Some recipes do better with certain kinds of oil. Before you attempt to deep fry, ensure you understand what ingredients you will need.
Most deep fried recipes do call for vegetable oil, however, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Tip 4: Understand the Costs Involved
This useful tip is to help ensure you understand the costs associated with frying oil. When deep frying, you will need to use a substantial amount of oil.
You cannot go wrong with using a trusted generic vegetable oil. It will cost a lot less than using peanut oil or canola oil.
Are you looking to purchase a deep fryer?
Check out the latest price for the Presto GranPappy Deep Fryer (currently Amazon’s Choice) on Amazon.
Important: Even if you are a seasoned chef, remember it is never a good idea to deep fry ice. Read about the turbulent chemical reaction in our article, What Happens When You Put Ice In A Deep Fryer? [Quick Answer & Top Tips].
How Do I Deep Fry With Vegetable Oil?
Deep frying with vegetable oil is relatively easy. Keep reading to go through the various steps to successfully deep fry with vegetable oil.
Heating the Oil
After you place the oil in the deep fryer, start to heat it gradually until it gets to about 340 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chef’s Tip: To accurately check the temperature of your oil, look for a digital temperature gun to ensure your oil is the correct temperature.
Add in an item of food (perhaps some bread or a piece of chicken) to see the reaction.
If you don’t have food on hand, simply place a utensil in the oil and see if bubbles appear. If there are bubbles then you’re ready to deep fry!
Immersing the Food
Once you’re confident that the vegetable oil is at the correct temperature, place the food inside and fry as per instructions. Let the food cook for about six to eight minutes in the deep fryer, ensuring you check it periodically.
Once the food floats to the top, that is a good sign that your food is ready.
Letting it Rest
Gently take out the food with durable tongs. Place the food on a paper towel and let it rest. This allows the excess oil to seep out of the food and absorb into the paper towel.
Enjoy Your Food!
Once your food has rested, take out your favorite ketchup or mayo and dig in.
Overall, frying is a great way to add flavors to your food. One of my favorite foods to fry up with vegetable oil are eggs. Have them with delicious buttermilk pancakes and you’ve got breakfast for a champion.
Deep frying food is a great way to make food mouth-watering and interesting. Some of my favorite kinds of meals require some form of deep frying (have you ever heard of fried mozzarella balls? They are fantastic).
Vegetable oil is the best oil for deep frying. Since deep frying requires a lot of oil, vegetable oil is the most economical oil option. In addition, vegetable oil has a high smoking point which allows it to withstand very high heat.
Deep frying with vegetable oil is relatively easy, and the oil won't overpower the flavor of your food.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding deep frying and other related topics.
Are Vegetable Oil and Sunflower Oil the Same?
The short answer to this is: kind of but actually no.
Any oil that derives from a plant is technically a vegetable oil. You’re probably thinking of olive oil, linseed oil, etc. — and you’re correct. However, we are talking about very specifically labeled vegetable oil which is a mix of different plant-based oils blended together for cost effectiveness.
Sunflower oil is plant-based, but is not a mixture of different oils. Sunflower oil is oil that comes from pressurized sunflower seeds.
Does Oil Alter the Taste of Deep Fried Foods?
When you drizzle oil over foods, you can taste the flavor. For example, if you are eating nice focaccia bread then you will want to pair it with a deeply flavored olive oil.
When you are deep frying, the aim of the game is to cook the food all the way through.
Is Deep Frying Healthy?
Any kind of fried food will be less healthy than if you were to prepare it via oven, stove top, or air fryer. The reason is because deep frying adds calories to food, and vegetable oil contains trans fats.
Everything is okay in moderation, even eating deep fried foods! Some of the healthiest oils one can use include: coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
How Long Can You Use Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying?
Oil starts to lose its novelty and potential at around the six month mark. A common rule to go by is to switch oil out after every eight to ten uses.
Keep in mind that when you reuse oil for deep frying, the oil has already started to break down. Add in a little bit of new oil for each batch to keep the oil fresh and up-to-date.
Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API