Deep fried foods are found across a wide variety of menus and restaurants, and establishments. Knowing the proper maintenance techniques and choosing the right oil is a key aspect in producing higher-quality fried foods and saving on bottom line costs. Use this article as your step by step guide to selecting the right deep fryer oil, proper cleaning and filtering techniques, when you should change your oil, and the best commercial restaurant equipment to use.
Choosing the Best Deep Fryer Oil
While many experts agree that peanut oil is the best oil for using in a deep fryer, there are many other oils with high benefits as well. Choosing the best deep fryer oil comes down to a few different factors, such as smoke points, what you are cooking, what your budget is, and the type of deep fryer you have.
The smoke point is the temperature at which oil starts to burn, produce smoke and rapidly degrade. This is where the quality of the food coming out of the deep fryer drastically reduces and starts to develop a burnt flavor. It is important to select your oil so that the smoke point is higher than the temperature of the oil in the deep fryer. Different types of oil degrade at different rates, this can depend on a multitude of factors ranging from, the amount of sediment they collect, to processing methods used by the manufacturer. We will show you how to combat all this later on in the article.
Type of Food Going Into Your Deep Fryer
Cooking foods with strong flavors or a large amount of breading and spices can rapidly degrade your deep frying oil and the quality of your product. It is important to choose the right oil for your product, paired with proper filtering techniques and the best deep fryer oil savings equipment, you will ensure only the best comes out of your deep fryers.
Different Oils Commonly Used in Deep Frying
|Oil Type||Description||Smoke Point|
||Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a vegetable oil derived from peanuts. The oil has a strong peanut flavor and aroma. Even with peanut oil being made from peanuts, not every peanut oil is an allergen. Quality, highly refined peanut oil is safe for people with peanut allergies. Look out for expelled, extruded or cold pressed peanut oils as these ARE consider to be an allergen.||High smoke point ranging from 440 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Canola Oil||Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from a variety of rapeseed that is low in erucic acid. Canola oil is typically highly refined giving it stability when cooking at high temperatures.||High smoke point ranging from 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Coconut Oil||Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize which makes it an optimum choice for deep frying at lower temperatures as it takes much longer for coconut oil to degrade. Keep in mind it is one of the more expensive choices.||Mid-range smoke point of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Grapeseed Oil||Grapeseed oil is processed from the seeds of grapes, which are a byproduct of wine making. While not a commonly used cooking oil in a commercial or restaurant setting due to its high cost, there are some debates as to the health benefits of frying with grapeseed oil.||Very high smoke point ranging between 420 and 485 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Soybean Oil||Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. Due to its low price point it is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils.||Very high smoke point ranging between 420 and 485 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Lard||Lard is generally derived from pig fat, when using lard in your fryer it is important to have the temperature at the right setting. There is a common misconception that it is not as healthy to fry foods in lard. However with your fryer set to the right temperature this is not case. It actually has a low absorption rate when it comes to deep frying.||High smoke point ranging between 350 and 420 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Corn Oil||Corn oil is oil extracted from the germ of corn. Its main use is in cooking, where its high smoke point and low price point makes refined corn oil a valuable frying oil||High smoke point ranging between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Cottonseed Oil||With a mild flavor and low cost, Cottonseed oil is a very popular option when it comes to restaurants. It has a very light color to it that allows the coloring of the food to really come through.||Very high smoke point ranging between 428 and 446 degrees Fahrenheit.|
Deep Fryer Oil Pricing
Deep frying oil’s vary in price, you should carefully consider this when selecting which oil is best for your establishment. Here is an outline of the average costs for the most popular oils used for deep frying :
|Oil Type||Avg. Cost||Unit|
Maintaining and Cleaning Your Deep Fryer Oil
Make sure your oil is cool before attempting to do any maintenance. Once you are dealing with cool oil, remove any food particles or debris from the surface of the oil using a skimmer.
Best Way To Filter a Small Batch of Deep Fryer Oil
- Use a cheesecloth over a colander. This will remove the tiny food particles left in the oil.
- Next position your colander over a funnel and container large enough to catch all of the oil.
- From there slowly pour to oil through the colander and cheese cloth.
Best Way to Filter a Large Batch of Deep Fryer Oil
If you are dealing with large batches of deep fryer oil that require filtering, considering purchasing a commercial fryer oil filtration system might be your best bet. You can choose between either a manual or electric filtration system. Pair this with the use of a negative ion oil savings solution and you will guaranteed get the maximum possible life out of your oil. Which in turn will save you thousands.
When to Change Your Deep Fryer Oil
As we have extensively covered in this article, the life of your oil depends on a number of different factors. What food you are frying, proper filtering, temperature, and what kind of oil you are using. The most common ways to determine whether or not its time for an oil change are:
- The quality, taste, and color of the food coming out of the fryer.
- The color of oil. Very dark oil is often a sign to change, however you might be changing too early. Using commercial oil testing kits is a great way to ensure you are not prematurely discarding your oil.
- Smoking or frothy oil. This is generally a major indicator its time to change.
- Rancid odor coming off the oil or food. This is another tell tale sign to discard the oil.
As we went through in the last section of the article, proper cleaning and maintenance of your frying oil is paramount to its longevity. There are currently a number of commercial deep fryer products on the market that will help make your oil last longer and ultimately save on bottom line costs. Using them inline with the above information is your guaranteed ticket to higher quality food.