We use the term “vegetable oil” to refer to different blends of plant-based oils since different brands use different blends to produce their very own version of vegetable oil. Nonetheless, all these oils share similar attributes and can be used for the same purposes. So, can you use vegetable oil in a deep fryer?
Yes, you can use vegetable oil in a deep fryer. It has a high smoking point of 450°F and can withstand the high temperature of a deep fryer. Since it’s stable at high heat, you can also reuse it. Its neutral taste and low cost are some of the other factors that make it a good choice for deep frying.
Let’s dig into this a little bit deeper.
Why Is Vegetable Oil A Good Choice For A Deep Fryer?
Unlike single-ingredient oils like soy oil, canola oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil, vegetable oil is a mix of oils.
Different manufacturers create their proprietary and cost-effective blend of vegetable oil using a variety of plant-based oils.
Oils like corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, and sesame oil can also be called vegetable oil because they come from plants.
Most vegetable oils in the market have sunflower, palm, canola, corn, and soybean oils in different proportions.
Now, you may be worried about how healthy it is. Well, the health factor will depend on the composition of the oil.
Vegetable oils are highly preferred as cooking oil for deep fryers because of the following reasons.
1. Vegetable oil is stable at high temperatures.
Deep frying is a cooking technique that uses high heat. Deep fryers operate at temperatures above 350°F.
These devices heat oil to a high temperature and maintain the temperature throughout their operation.
When you drop a cooking ingredient into the oil, the hot oil creates a crunchy crust on the outside that prevents oil from entering it.
The inside of the ingredient cooks in its moisture and remains soft.
So, the deep-fried food is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Now, oil has a smoking point, which is the maximum temperature it can withstand without breaking down.
If you heat it beyond this temperature, it will disintegrate and start smoking.
It will also change color and releases toxins at this stage.
When choosing oil for any type of cooking, you should avoid exposing it to temperatures beyond its smoking point.
This reduces your options when using a deep fryer since you must choose oils with a high smoking point.
Most varieties of vegetable oil have a high smoking point, above 400°F.
Since deep frying happens at 350°F to 375°F, you can safely use these oils in a deep fryer.
Recommended Further Reading:
- The Science Behind Deep Fryers
- Finding the Ideal Oil for Deep Fryers
- Is Olive Oil Suitable for Deep Frying?
2. Vegetable oils don’t have flavor or fragrance.
Certain oils like coconut oil and olive oil have a noticeable aroma and flavor.
When you use these oils for cooking, they impart this flavor to the ingredient.
However, deep-frying techniques are often chosen to highlight the natural flavors of the cooking ingredient, not the oil.
So, neutral tasting and aroma-free cooking oils are better suited for deep fryers.
During deep frying, the cooking ingredient remains submerged in the oil.
So oils with intense flavors will affect the natural flavors of the food and impart their characteristic fragrance and flavor.
This can prevent the original flavors of the main ingredient from shining through.
However, vegetable oil has no strong taste or flavor.
So it will not overshadow your dish nor add any unwanted flavors to the main ingredient.
3. Vegetable oil is inexpensive.
Deep fryers use massive amounts of oil.
Depending on the capacity of the deep fryer, you will need at least a liter of oil at any given time for proper deep frying.
If you don’t use enough oil, you can’t submerge and cook the ingredient properly.
This can cause uneven heating, and it may not cook thoroughly on all sides.
Additionally, the oil level will reduce with continuous use.
If you use your deep fryer frequently, you will have to replenish the oil all the time.
Fortunately, vegetable oil is inexpensive compared to most cooking oils.
So, you can save a lot of money by choosing it for your deep-fryer.
It also helps that this oil remains stable. So you can reuse it multiple times.
How Many Times Can You Use Vegetable Oil In A Deep Fryer?
Deep fryers need large amounts of oil. So changing the oil after each use can become very expensive.
It’s a common practice to reuse the oil in a deep fryer. However, it’s not always possible.
The number of times you can use a particular oil will depend on the type of oil, the ingredient you fry, how well the oil holds up after each use, and how well you store it.
The good thing about vegetable oil is that it has a high smoking point.
It can withstand high heat and doesn’t disintegrate too much when you heat it. So you can reuse the oil multiple times.
Nevertheless, the quality of the oil will deteriorate with continuous use.
The extent of decomposition will depend on what you fry in it.
Some cooking ingredients like chicken and meat cause the oil to break down faster than when you fry potatoes in it.
You can reuse vegetable oil in deep-fryers until you notice any of the following:
- The oil has become cloudy, changed color, or has foam on top.
- The oil smells off, and it makes the food smell different.
- The oil starts smoking when heated.
- You have reused it more than eight to ten times.
- It has been more than two months since you started using the oil.
Related Further Reading:
- Stopping Smoke from Deep Fryers
- What Does a Deep Fryer Smell Like?
- Can You Leave Oil In Your Deep Fryer? (When Should You Change?)
How To Store Vegetable Oil Between Uses?
Since oil is expensive, you will naturally want maximum use from every batch you add to your deep fryer.
For this, you must store it properly after each use.
Here’s how to make sure that your vegetable oil serves you for as long as is possible.
1. Strain it before storing.
You should take care to store the vegetable oil properly after each use. Wait for the oil to cool after using the deep fryer.
Then drain it and strain any leftover food particles.
This is crucial since any leftover bits can cause the oil to decompose rapidly when you heat it again.
You can use a cheesecloth or mesh strainer to remove uncooked or burnt bits in the oil.
2. Store the oil in an airtight container.
Transfer the oil into an airtight container and keep it away from moisture and heat to extend its usability.
You can either refrigerate it or freeze it until the next time.
But remember to thaw it and return it to room temperature before adding it to your deep fryer.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Exploding Deep Fryers – Causes and Prevention
- Do Chefs Prefer Gas Or Induction Cooktops? (Which One Is Better?)
- Is a Food Processor a Chef’s Tool?
3. Separate the oils.
Although vegetable oil doesn’t have any flavor, it takes on the flavors of the cooking ingredient.
So when you use the same oil for cooking different ingredients, it can impart unwanted flavors to the next ingredient.
To avoid flavor overlaps, use different batches of oil for different ingredients.
Store oils that you use to cook strong-smelling ingredients, like shrimp or chicken, separately from the oil you use to fry potatoes.
Label them to ensure that you don’t mix the oils accidentally.