Why Peanut Oil Is Commonly Used For Frying

Fries in deep fryer
Fries in deep fryer - Ahirao_photo/Getty Images

When it comes to picking the right oil to use for frying, there's avocado oil, budget-friendly corn oil, household staple vegetable oil, and safflower oil, which has a very high smoke point. Then there's peanut oil, which is actually very common to use for both pan frying and deep frying. Some fan-favorite chains like Chick-Fil-A and Five Guys use peanut oil to deep fry chicken and fries.

There are a handful of reasons why peanut oil is commonly used for frying by both professional kitchens and home cooks. The main reason is all about the smoke point, because you need an oil that can withstand the high temperature needed to fry. Refined peanut oil has a rather high smoke point around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, just like safflower and soybean oils.

Another benefit of frying with peanut oil is its health benefits — the oil is a solid source of vitamin E, but it's also high in unhealthy omega-6 fats. You might not mind the health factor when it comes to frying, but at least it offsets the breading and other ingredients. To be fair, it might be a bit more pricey than vegetable oil, but you can reuse clean oil after you fry with it.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

Peanut Oil Is Neutral And Won't Pass On Strong Flavors To Fried Foods

Cooking oil pouring into pan
Cooking oil pouring into pan - New Africa/Shutterstock

You'll want to use refined peanut oil to get that high smoke point, and that includes many major brands on the grocery store shelves. Another perk of refined peanut oil is that it's neutral, so it won't pass the flavor of peanuts onto the fried foods. And refined peanut oil might even be safe to consume for those with peanut allergies, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To fry foods with peanut oil, you'll use the same amount as any other variety, so follow your recipe accordingly. To pan fry foods like chicken cutlets, allow the oil to reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit before you drop the first batch. And to deep fry foods, you'll want a temperature around 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit so that the food evenly cooks on the inside and crisps on the outside. You might already have a recipe in mind that requires frying, which could be what brought you here to read about peanut oil to start with, but if not, check out these comforting fried food recipes like cajun andouille hush puppies.

Read the original article on Tasting Table