Mozzarella sticks are a delicious snack that you can make at home with a few ingredients. However, it’s important to use the correct oil since the outcome of your cooking efforts will depend on the oil you use for frying. So, what oil do you use for frying mozzarella sticks?
The best oil to fry mozzarella sticks is the one with a neutral flavor and high smoking point. Oils used for deep-frying, like vegetable oil and canola oil, are suitable for frying mozzarella sticks. You can also use coconut or peanut oil, but they will impart their flavor to the mozzarella sticks.
Let’s talk about this in more detail now.
How To Choose The Right Oil To Fry Mozzarella Sticks?
Mozzarella sticks are made by deep-frying string cheese with a breadcrumb coating. The main ingredients for this recipe are mozzarella cheese strips, Italian breadcrumbs, and hot oil.
The first step to make mozzarella cheese sticks is to cut the string cheese into bite-size pieces. Then, roll them in a breadcrumb coating.
Traditional recipes use Italian breadcrumbs for the coating. However, modern versions use different variants of bread or batter for the coating.
Mozzarella sticks are a popular item on the menu of fast-food joints. These joints usually use dedicated deep fryers for cooking mozzarella sticks.
However, you can prepare them at home without a deep fryer. A frying pan that is deep enough to hold the oil will do.
In both methods, bread-coated string cheese is dropped into hot oil at a temperature of 350°F to 375°F.
It’s cooked for several minutes till it develops a beautiful golden crust. The resulting snack is delicious, with a crunchy coating and a soft and cheesy interior.
How Does The Choice Of Oil Affect Mozzarella Sticks?
The main requirements for good-quality mozzarella sticks are mozzarella string cheese and tasty Italian breadcrumbs.
The quality of your mozzarella sticks will depend on how good these ingredients are. Additionally, the oil used for frying also determines how the snack finally turns out.
Let’s find out why.
1. Flavor And Smell Of The Oil Impacts The Outcome
During the deep-frying stage, mozzarella sticks remain submerged in oil. It causes the cheese to absorb the flavor and smell of the oil. When you choose neutral or mild-flavored oils, they don’t alter the taste of the snack.
Some oils like coconut oil and peanut oil are well-suited for deep-frying. However, they have a distinct scent and flavor. When you use them for deep-frying, they impart a strong flavor and aroma to the cooking ingredients.
Since their nutty flavors seep in, the original flavors of the cooking ingredients are altered. If you don’t mind this change in taste, you can use these oils for deep-frying.
2. Smoking Point Of The Oil Affects The Flavor
Another factor to consider is the stability of the oil at high temperatures.
For frying mozzarella sticks, the oil is heated to a high temperature of 350°F to 375 °F. This allows the bread coating to crisp up and form a crunchy exterior while the inside remains soft and gooey.
Unless the oil has a high smoking point, it will disintegrate and release harmful smoke and carcinogenic compounds. If you use an oil with a low smoking point, it will break down when heated. This will compromise food safety.
When oil breaks down, it develops a rancid, unpleasant taste that spoils the flavor of the mozzarella sticks.
Which Oils Are Best For Frying Mozzarella Sticks?
Choosing the right cooking oil plays a role in producing crispy and delicious mozzarella sticks. It’s equally important for food-safety reasons.
Fortunately, there are various neutral-flavored oils with high smoking points. Let’s take a closer look at some of these oils.
1. Safflower Oil
Safflower oil has a high smoking point of 475°F. It doesn’t have any flavor, so it doesn’t alter the taste of foods fried in it.
Due to its high smoking point, you can use it several times before it breaks down and must be discarded. The only problem with this oil is that it’s expensive.
2. Soybean Oil
Soybean oil has a smoking point of 450°F, which makes it suitable for deep-frying mozzarella sticks. It’s inexpensive and readily available.
This oil doesn’t have any strong flavor. Hence, it allows the flavor of the primary cooking ingredient to shine.
3. Corn Oil
Corn oil is one of the most affordable oils for deep-frying.
It’s neutral-flavored and has a high smoking point of 450°F.
4. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil has a high smoking point of 450°F. Although it has a slightly nutty flavor, it’s not overpowering.
Hence, you can use it for frying mozzarella sticks. This oil is readily available and affordable. It’s an affordable choice for deep-frying snacks in large quantities.
5. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a multi-purpose cooking oil with a relatively high smoking point of 400°F.
It’s a good choice for deep-frying mozzarella sticks when you need an affordable, good-quality oil without strong or overpowering flavors.
Can You Fry Mozzarella Sticks In Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil has a high smoking point. Depending on the blend of oils used in the vegetable oil, the smoking point can range from 400°F to 450°F. It’s stable at high temperatures and hence widely used for deep-frying.
You can fry mozzarella sticks in vegetable oil because it’s a stable oil. Additionally, it lacks any strong flavor and will not affect the taste of the mozzarella sticks. It’s also inexpensive and hence an affordable choice.
How Do You Make Mozzarella Sticks Without Deep-Frying?
Mozzarella sticks are a protein-rich snack because they contain cheese.
However, like other deep-fried snacks, they’re not entirely good. They’re high in calories, fat, and sodium.
The good news is that you can prepare them using other cooking methods like the following.
You can prepare mozzarella sticks in a convection oven by baking them at 450°F for eight to nine minutes.
This method is great because it uses less oil. Oil is only needed for brushing the surfaces of the sticks.
To prepare the mozzarella sticks, you must arrange them on a baking tray in a single layer in the middle rack of the oven.
Turn the sticks halfway through baking to ensure that both the sides cook thoroughly.
Mozzarella sticks made in the oven turn out crispy, golden, and less oily. They have a soft and melting cheese center that contrasts with the crunchy exterior.
Another great way of cooking mozzarella sticks is in an air fryer. This method also uses little to no oil but produces crispy, golden mozzarella sticks with a deliciously crunchy texture.
To air-fry mozzarella sticks, preheat the fryer. Place the frozen or freshly prepared mozzarella sticks inside the basket of the air fryer in a single row.
Allow enough space between the sticks for air to circulate during operation. Use cooking spray to brush the surface with oil.
Air-fry the sticks for five to seven minutes. Turn the mozzarella sticks over halfway through the cooking to ensure both sides cook evenly.