Best Oil for Frying
Food is prepared in different ways. Food preparation may influence a person’s diet either positively or negatively. Everyone talks about diet and how important it is to them, but do they really understand what it entails? A diet is actually the sum of food consumed per individual. Diet may vary among individuals because it is a matter of choices and habits. A good diet is recommended by health practitioners because it is important in determining a person’s health, his or her quality of life and definitely the longevity. What qualifies as a good diet is one that involves ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. All these components of food are essential in good health. The common mode of food preparation is frying.
Frying is cooking of food whereby oil is used. Fried foods cook faster than boiled foods because fats have a higher temperatures than water at normal atmospheric pressure. Frying results in crispness and fat penetrates into the food causing lubrication, more flavor and calories. The techniques vary according to the amount of oil used, the cooking time and manipulation of food. The techniques include; stir frying, deep frying, shallow frying and pan frying. Below are the best oils used in different types of frying on a variety of delicacies.
Best oil for deep frying
Deep frying is where food is submerged in hot oil in a deep fryer. For this kind of cooking, the best oils are those that have a high smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke point is the temperature at which fat starts breaking down and release smoke due to the heat. Virgin olive oil fits has a smoking point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a monounsaturated fat that doesn’t break down when subjected to heat and it has healthy bioactive compounds therefore, it is best for deep frying foods. Olive oil is quite expensive and people have been using it mainly for salad. Extra virgin oil is not recommended for deep frying because its smoke point is 320 degrees Fahrenheit but it is highly recommended in non-heated uses like on salad as it contains bioavailable phenolic compounds that provide health benefits.
The whole process of deep frying is quite easy. First, you need to gather everything you need within your reach to avoid running around the kitchen. The next step is to heat the oil in a deep fryer to the right temperature and then submerge the food carefully in hot oil. Allow enough time for the food to cook then remove the food from oil and leave them to dry. The oil that has been used for deep frying should not be reused to cook other foods because oil starts to degrade even if they did not smoke. Oil that has degraded contains undesirable compounds like Trans fats which are harmful to the human body if ingested.
Virgin olive oil is best for deep frying foods because it is an oil with more health advantages compared to other vegetable oils. It also improves the nutritive quality of foods when used to deep fry. Olive oil has the highest oxidative stability and the bioavailable phenolic compounds can be retained for over six hours.
Best oil for frying chicken
Fried chicken is the all-American meal. Fried chicken is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually made from broiler chicken which have been flavored and then fried either through pan frying, deep frying or pressure frying. Good fried chicken have crispy golden crust. The best oil for frying chicken is peanut oil because of its rich oily nature and health benefits. Peanut oil has a neutral taste that will not affect the taste of chicken. The health benefits of peanut oil include; lowering harmful body’s cholesterol levels like LDL thus, protecting you from getting heart disease like atherosclerosis, increase levels of non-harmful cholesterol like HDL in blood which lower the chances of you getting a stroke.
Peanut oil has high levels of powerful polyphenol antioxidants which get rid of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are dangerous because they accumulate and cause serious illnesses like cancer thus, the need of antioxidants to eliminate them. Peanut oil also contains an antioxidant called resveratrol which helps improve cognitive function and interacts with hormones affecting blood pressure thus, reducing stress on the cardiovascular system and boosts the body’s immune system. Vitamin E contained in peanut oil is beneficial to the integumentary system as it prevents premature aging. Peanut oil has balanced fatty acids which is also a health benefit.
Fried chicken taste differently depending on the spices used to add flavor. Making perfect fried chicken requires skill and expertise because before you finally settle on a specific seasoning technique, you will have to experiment on all of them. Cast iron skillet is usually preferred when frying chicken because once you pour peanut oil, heat distribution is very even and cooking is reliable. The secret to having the best fried chicken out of peanut oil is evenly sizing the pieces of chicken to avoid undercooking, always monitor the cooking temperature to avoid greasiness that results from cold oil and always have patience whenever you are cooking because chicken require enough resting time after dredging because it helps the coating to stick and this prevents blotchy fried chicken.
Best oil for frying fish
Fish is a tradition delicacy of the southern region. Fried fish cooks within fifteen minutes and it is very delicious. The best oil used in frying fish is canola oil because it has high smoke point. Canola oil is made from crushing canola seeds. Canola oil has less saturated fat compared to other oils used in cooking therefore it does not increase harmful cholesterol levels in the blood, making the oil safe to a healthy heart. Canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid which is essential in the diet because our bodies cannot manufacture it.
Canola oil is not only best for frying fish but also in good for salad dressings, sauces, coating pans for nonstick baking and in marinades. Fish fillets are normally fried cast iron skillet because equal heat distribution is needed. The canola oil has to be hot before submerging fish fillets. The oil has to be about one inch deep in the cast iron skillet coming about halfway up the fish fillets.
Canola oil, just like any other oil undergoes degradation. The most common means of degradation of oils is thermal degradation. When canola oil is used to fry fish, the fish should be consumed within a number of hours because loss of alpha-linolenic acid begins. Another form of oil degradation is through oxidation. The exposure of oil to oxygen over a long time may lead to loss of the important unsaturated fatty acids. Fried fish should be consumed immediately so as to obtain the nutritional value of both the fish and the oil used to fry it.
Myth has it that fried fish is fattening. I can confidently oppose the myth because fish is high in protein, low in saturated fat, it is a source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This components are balanced and at no chance will they cause fattening unless the fish is fried with highly saturated oils. That is why when it comes to assessing the oils to use for frying fish, it is important to always use oils with less saturated fats like canola oil.
Best oil for frying French fries
French fries are made from potatoes. They are served hot with ketchup and salt. Most people take French fries for dinner but they are also available in a fast food menu so it can be a snack. It is pretty easy to make French fries because all you have to do is peel potatoes and cut them into even strips then you wipe them dry to remove the starch on potato surface and then you just fry them. French fries are fried mostly through two baths, the first bath is in hot fat that ensures that potato strips are well cooked is called blanching and the second bath in very hot fat so that the exterior can become crisped. The first bath always takes longer about three minutes than the second bath which only takes seconds.
The big question here is, which oil is best for frying French fries? Vegetable oils will always be good for high heat frying because of their high smoke points of about 453 degrees Fahrenheit. Mc Donalds have delicious French fries. The secret is that they use a blend of rapeseed and sunflower oil to fry their French fries. I guess that is the best oil to use for this kind of delicacy.
According to the statistics done in the US, analysis has proven that French fries cooked in saturated oils like corn oil contribute to the majority of obesity cases. Obesity predisposes a person to many illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. The best you can do to avoid being obese is regulating the intake of unhealthy foods like French fries. As much as they are delicious and fulfilling, always remember to put your health first. In this case, the choice of oil used to fry French fries has become a health decision.
Sunflower oil is a monounsaturated non-volatile oil compressed from seeds of sunflower and it is a healthy choice because it has the perfect balance of fatty acids to maintain various elements of human health and a high amount of omega-6. Sunflower oil is rich in antioxidants which eliminate free radicals from the body thus, reducing the risk of getting cancer. Vitamin E found in sunflower oil is good for skin care as it prevents harm to the skin by the sun and also enable faster healing of scars and also has anti-inflammatory capacity therefore, it can reduce the severity of asthma. Other health benefits are; a strengthened immune system and enough body energy.
Did you know that besides frying sunflower oil can be used in cosmetics? Well, if you had no idea, sunflower oil can be used for skin lightening, to cure acne and also to strengthen and grow human hair. Lastly, on healthy living, always remember to hydrate!