Not all oils are created equal. Some oils are high in saturated fats or in trans-fatty acids – not good for general health. Some are partially hydrogenated and should be avoided for good health. Then there are the ones which may cause allergic reaction like peanut and soy oils. Many times, peanut oil is used for high-temperature cooking – but it’s not the only oil good for that purpose.
Refined oils are extracted from clean-oil cakes by solvent extraction for refining into a clear oil that is free of rancidity and foreign matter. They are used for medium-temperature cooking (225 degrees to 350 degrees Fahrenheit), high-temperature cooking (350 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and deep-frying (temperatures greater than 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
If the oil you select is bland in flavor and pale or clear in appearance, you can be sure it has been refined. This type of oil – while refined, bleached and deodorized – is good to use in delicately flavored dishes where the oil must support another flavor or used for baking and sautéing, stir fry and searing or deep frying.
Refined Oils Which Can Be Used For Deep Frying
- Avocado: Mostly used as a novelty for gourmets, this oil makes for a flavorful addition to dressings. It is low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturates. It smokes at a high temp, but since it is expensive, it is not preferred for deep frying although it could be used.
- Canola or rapeseed: It has the least amount of saturated fat and a high smoke point, which makes it good for all types of cooking. Used for salads because of its mild flavor and aroma. It can easily be used for deep frying.
- Corn: Almost tasteless and excellent for cooking and frying because of the high smoke point. It is high in polyunsaturated fat. This is a good deep-fry option.
- Olive: A monosaturated oil, this oil ranges from light amber to green depending on processing. It is graded on the degree of acidity and process used for extraction. While it has a high smoke point, it is not used for deep frying because it is expensive.
- Safflower: Almost flavorless, this oil is good for everything, including deep frying. Also, it does not solidify when chilled, which makes it good for salad dressings.
- Sesame: While this oil has a high smoke point, it is expensive and has a very strong flavor. Even the light variety has a detectable flavor which can be good for some types of cooking. So while it can be used for deep frying, you will rarely see it used.
- Sunflower: Light, odorless and nearly flavorless, this is a good all-purpose oil, including for deep frying.