Oil for Deep Frying

I've bee itching to share this with you since I started my online course about cooking. You all know that I love to eat and I love to dine out. What we eat in restaurants is not entirely as healthy as the food we can cook at home. Especially the deep fried food. But I got to admit, there are plenty of good food when it comes to deep fried. In fact, the list can go on and on and on. Even in Filipino dining table, there are many of this kind like the vegetable spring roll, fried chicken, lumpiang shanghai, fish, and many more delicious foods.

Photo by LifeisGood at Morguefile.com

As far as I want to avoid deep frying (believe me I really want to), I can't because I can't stay away from sumptuous dishes my nanay (mom) taught me. In this regard, I still prepare and cook few of my family's favourites but in healthier option there is.

Just to give you an idea, the ideal temperature on deep frying should be 176-190°C (350-375°F). So cooking thermometer is your best friend in deep frying (get the best one, I mean it). If food is fried in this temperature, the outside part cooks immediately. But it seals the food, make it impenetrable by the oil. What cooks the inner part is the steam created by the natural moisture of the food.

Temperature lower than 176°C  (lower than 350°F) will absorb the oil, thus making the food greasy. On the other hand temperature higher than 190°C (higher than 375°F) will oxidize the oil, giving dried or burnt food.

What if you don't have a cooking thermometer? No worries. Just grab a wooden spoon and dip the handle into the oil, bubbles will appear around the stick and you're good to fry. Another method is to drop a popcorn kernel and if it pops, the temperature is said to be between 350 and 360 °F. (I would like to know your techniques on this, just comment below.)

In choosing the kind of oil to use, I can narrow it down to three characteristics. It should be stable, palatable and available. Maybe you heard this many times but I will still say it anyway. When it comes to most stable oil, meaning oil that can withstand the heat of continuous deep frying. Oil with high smoking point level is better for our health.  Among these oils are refined olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil and almond oil.

Photo by deegolden at Morguefile.com

Smoking Point

  • Refined Olive Oil - 199° - 243°C (390° - 470°F)
  • Avocado Oil - 270°C (520°F)
  • Sunflower Oil - 227°C (440°F)
  • Almond Oil - 216°C (420 °F)

However, there are many claims that coconut oil is the healthiest option when it comes to deep frying. Sure is as long as it is refined. Why? Because it has higher smoking point (325-375°C ) compared to unrefined coconut oil. In addition to that refined coconut oil has neutral scent and flavour leaving your foods taste as it supposed to be. It can be used at continuous frying up to 8 hours at 365°C. Shop around first which is the best brand of coconut oil for you before considering it for deep frying.

How about the most common deep frying oil available and use such as vegetable oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), soybean and corn oil?

Some of these are not as expensive as the recommended types mentioned above but it is most likely to result in huge amounts of oxidized fatty acids and other compounds that is potentially harmful for us. 


The oil you choose to use for deep frying can affect the quality, taste and nutritional value of the food. It has to be neutral in taste and should have high smoking point. If you don't mind buying expensive cooking oil, the best one is refined olive oil. But it can be hard to find in grocery stores. On the other hand, sunflower oil is not that expensive and doesn't smoke unpleasantly. If you opt to use sunflower oil regularly, make sure get enough Omega 3s in your diet. Re-using the oil is until two to three times. Actually, this depends if the oil smokes faster as before, that oil is no longer good to use. Put in a sealed container and labeled it not good or better yet toss in the garbage bin right away (of course in a container and cooled). Not in the sink either unless you want to call a plumber. 

Our health is very important. What we eat dictates what kind of health we have. I'm not a nutritionist or something. But I don't need to be one to know what's best for me and my family.

All information written here is based on my own research. Lutoninanay admin do not intent to replace any advise of nutritionist, chefs or any professional who knows the topic. Lutoninanay admin just want to share her thoughts and knowledge learned along the way. Lutoninanay do not take responsibility on any decision you made based on provided information. 

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  1. I deep fry once in a while but never knew that the kind of oil we use will affect the quality of the food we're cooking. Learned a lot from this post. :)

  2. You are so true, and I've also heard about the benefit of using coconut oil as a substitute for frying foods

  3. I agree, the quality of oil we sue for cooking really affects the taste of the food. and maybe I should be looking for some thermometer used in cooking too :)

  4. I'm glad I was able to read this because I didn't know the oil temperature had anything to do with providing healthier fried food.

  5. U agree. Not only that home cooked meals are cheaper but a lot healthier also (depending on how you cook them of course). I love coconut oul but it is so expensive here.

  6. Such a lot information about oil. I know that Olive OIl has a high smokepoint but I didn't know about the other oils. Thanks for sharing.


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