There are many factors to consider while choosing an oil for deep fryers. It should be stable at high temperatures, not impact the taste of the food, and be cost-effective. Now, olive oil is hailed as one of the healthiest and most beneficial oils for cooking. So, can you use olive oil in a deep fryer?
You can’t use olive oil in a deep fryer because overheating removes the trace elements that affect the flavor and fragrance of the fried items. Olive oil’s moderate smoking point of 374°F to 405°F and relative stability at high temperatures make it suitable for deep frying but not for deep fryers.
Let’s talk about this in more detail now.
How Do Deep Fryers Work?
Deep fryers operate at high temperatures in the range of 350°F to 375°F.
They cook food by submerging it in hot oil.
To use a deep fryer, you add oil to the compartment and plug in the device.
The oil begins to heat, and once it reaches the desired temperature, you can add the food.
As soon as the food hits the hot oil, bubbles begin to form as the moisture on the surface of the food quickly evaporates.
Once the exterior of the food dries out, it forms a crust. This crust seals the inside of the food from the oil.
Now, the food continues to cook in the high heat of the oil engulfing it.
Thus, the insides of the food will cook thoroughly and evenly.
Once the bubbles stop forming around the food, you can remove it from the oil and serve it.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Utilizing a Deep Fryer: Types, Oils, and Use
- Discovering the Perfect Oil for Deep Fryers
- Eliminating Smoke from Deep Fryers
How To Choose The Right Oil For Deep Fryers?
Proper deep-frying results in food with a crunchy crust and soft inside.
To achieve this perfect texture, the oil should reach a high temperature.
It’s a tricky balance to achieve the exact temperature at which you get a golden crust but don’t burn the food.
Now, we already mentioned that deep-frying happens at high temperatures of 350°F and above.
So the oil you choose should be able to withstand this temperature without disintegrating.
So, how do you know if an oil is suitable for a deep fryer?
You should look at the following factors while choosing an oil for deep fryers.
1. Smoking Point Of Oil
The smoke point temperature or smoking point of an oil is the maximum temperature that an oil can tolerate without disintegrating.
If you heat the oil beyond this temperature, its molecules break down.
As a result, the oil will produce smoke and poisonous fumes and release free radicals.
At this stage, the oil ceases to be stable.
Food cooked in such oil tastes terrible. It’s also a health risk since it can contain carcinogenic compounds.
Oils with saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are generally stable at high temperatures.
Meanwhile, those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids will easily break down when heated.
Hence, they are unsuitable for deep fryers.
Cooking oils with high monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids have high smoking points and are suitable for deep frying.
Olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, and palm oil are some examples.
2. Taste And Flavor
Neutral-tasting oils are preferable for deep fryers.
During deep frying, the food remains submerged in oil.
If the oil has a strong flavor, it will seep into the fried item and affect the taste of the dish.
Some oils like coconut oil and peanut oil are stable at high temperatures.
However, they have a distinct nutty flavor.
If you use these oils in a deep fryer, the flavor of the oil can mask the taste of the ingredient used for cooking.
So the fried item can end up with an unexpected and distinct taste that you might not expect.
Oils like palm oil don’t impart any flavor and are ideal for deep fryers.
Related Further Reading:
- Is There an Odor Associated with Deep Fryers?
- What Causes a Deep Fryer to Explode?
- Can You Use Vegetable Oil In A Deep Fryer? [How Many Times?]
- Can You Use Olive Oil In A Deep Fryer? (What Oil To Use Instead?)
Is It Safe To Use Olive Oil In A Deep Fryer?
The most important factor when choosing an oil for a deep fryer is its stability.
The stability of an oil depends on its smoke point.
In general, olive oil has a moderately high smoke point in the range of 375°F to 405°F.
The smoking point of olive oil is not as high as many vegetable oils, like canola oil.
Nevertheless, heat-resistant monounsaturated fats and saturated fatty acids form 87% of olive oil. Hence, it holds up at high heat.
Now, the quality and type of olive oil will determine its smoking point and ability to withstand high temperatures.
Depending on the extraction process, there are different types of olive oil.
We can broadly classify olive oil as extra-virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and pomace oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil as it undergoes minimal processing.
The other types of olive oil are more refined.
Pomace oil is a by-product of olive oil extraction.
It is a hot-pressed oil and is a refined version of olive oil.
Refined oils have smaller amounts of trace nutrients and free fatty acids.
Hence, they usually have higher smoke points than pure oil.
So, pomace oil and virgin olive oil are better suited for deep fryers than extra-virgin olive oil.
Does Olive Oil Affect The Taste Of Fried Items?
Olive oil is generally stable at high temperatures. So you can use it in a deep fryer.
However, remember that olive oil also contains trace elements and antioxidants.
While the oil itself is stable at high heat, we can’t say the same for these antioxidants and vitamins.
When you expose olive oil to high heat, some of the antioxidants and vitamins are lost.
These trace elements are also responsible for the flavor of the oil.
Since they are heat-sensitive, they may be lost during deep frying.
So, the fried item may miss the distinct flavor and fragrance of olive oil.
Interesting Further Reading:
- How Many Amps Does An Electric Oven Use? + Amps Rating Effects
- Can You Use Canola Oil In A Deep Fryer? [Or Pure Canola Oil?]
- How Long Until an Oven Cools Down?
Should You Use Extra-Virgin Olive Oil In A Deep Fryer?
Extra-virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil. It is extracted by cold-pressing olives and is least processed.
This type of olive oil has more polyphenols and antioxidants than regular olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil also tastes fresher than refined olive oil.
The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is not as high as refined olive oil.
Nevertheless, it’s within the recommended temperature range for deep frying.
So, you can use it in a deep fryer. It doesn’t oxidize at high temperatures or go rancid.
Deep frying foods in extra-virgin olive oil brings out the flavors of the ingredients.
The pure flavors of the oil will also make the dish taste more rounded.
The only downside of using extra-virgin olive oil is that overheating can impact the flavor.
It loses trace elements like Ocenthal at high heat, which are responsible for the flavor and fragrance of the oil.
So, you may miss the flavor of the oil in the fried food.
However, if you are consuming olive oil for its health benefits, you will be better off drizzling it on your salads, adding it into sandwiches, or using it to sauté food.
Pomace oil and refined olive oil are better for deep fryers since they have a higher smoke point.