Use the proper cooking oils to savor the crispy perfection of handmade French fries. In the world of delicious food, choosing the ideal oil can make your fries look and taste even better. The journey starts with the correct oil in your culinary arsenal and ends with the delicious aroma and golden crunch. Come along for a delectable journey as we discover the best options for reaching the perfect crispness for French fries. Whether you prefer traditional russet potatoes or are experimenting with sweet potato fries, the key to discovering a symphony of flavors and sensations is grasping the subtleties of oils. Prepare yourself for a taste experience like no other, as every fry reveals a wonderful story.
Peanut oil delivers various nutritional benefits, making it a popular oil for cooking and making medicines. This oil works best for high-heat cooking because of its very high smoke point. The smoke point refers to the temperature a cooking oil starts to burn or produce smoke. Peanut oil’s smoke point is 450 degrees Fahrenheit, a very high temperature. Choose peanut oil for high-heat methods like stir-frying or deep-frying, or when making foods that require extremely hot oil, such as popcorn. Because of its high smoke point, peanut oil is one of the best oils for french fries. Peanut allergy sufferers must avoid peanut oil, as this oil is made from the peanut itself. Restaurants like Five Guys Burgers and Fries make their fries exclusively in peanut oil for a signature “buttery” taste.
Tallow is rendered beef fat or mutton fat, so it adds a lot of flavor to fried foods. It is essentially cow lard – but despite how that sounds, it’s healthier than many other cooking oils. At room temperature, tallow is a solid, but when heated it turns into an oil that is perfect for frying french fries. Because tallow is a natural fat and not a processed oil, it’s often considered the healthier option despite the fat content. Prior to 1990, McDonald’s used tallow to fry their french fries! It has a high smoke point of 400 degrees, and the fat adds lots of extra flavor to your fries. For the best results, get grass-fed beef tallow – or even try wagyu beef tallow!
Vegetable oil ranks as the most ordinary oil on this list. Choose this versatile oil for many applications, from baking to sauteing. This simple oil, made of a blend of soybean oil and other refined oils, serves as the frying oil of choice for the experts at Bon Appetit magazine for everything from pan-fried fish to french fries. This oil holds a very high smoke point, although not as high as peanut oil. Vegetable oil starts to burn at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your variety. Vegetable oil imparts no flavor into your meal and is among the most inexpensive choices available for cooking oils.
If you haven’t tried duck fat French fries, you’re missing out. Duck fat offers a great flavor when used as a cooking oil, and much like tallow it is a natural fat that isn’t processed like many cooking oils. When you make your French fries with duck fat, the outside of the fry ends up crispier and more flavorful. With a high smoke point of 375 degrees, you can cook your fries quickly to the perfect crisp. Duck fat is expensive, so you won’t find duck fat fries everywhere, but when you do it’s a delicious treat.
Sunflower oil also reaches a very high smoke point: 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This tiny seed makes a powerful cooking oil rich in antioxidant vitamin E and healthy fats. Sunflower oil is not flavorless and leaves behind a faint, nutty flavor similar to the taste of the seed. This oil fetches a higher price than any of the oils discussed in this article so far. Sunflower oil is a more delicate cooking oil, too, needing to be stored in a cool, dark place and used within one year. French fries cooked in sunflower oil deliver a crunchy treat with an interesting nutty flavor.
Canola oil and vegetable oil share many similarities. Each delivers versatile uses, from baking to making salad dressings, and as one of the best oils for french fries. The only difference is the purity of the oil. Canola oil sold in stores contains 100 percent canola oil, oil produced from pressing the rapeseed plant’s seeds. However, vegetable oil offers a blend of oils, with some canola most likely included. Some cooks prefer to know exactly the ingredients they are using and reach for canola oil over vegetable oil. There is no other difference in smoke point or kitchen use between these two options. Canola oil is a versatile cooking oil; as such, it is an excellent oil for cooking french fries.
Avocado’s healthy fats remain one of the best assets of this trendy food. Avocado oil delivers the benefits of this highly monounsaturated fat combined with an extremely high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a healthier cooking oil to choose. This oil produces a slightly sweet, buttery flavor for grilling, searing, sauteing, and drizzling over a finished meal. Home cooks can use avocado oil to make french fries for a heart-healthier spin on this treat. However, the price of avocado oil can disqualify this oil from a deep-frying technique. Avocado oil ranks as one of the most expensive oils, making filling up a deep-fryer simply too costly.
Corn oil became the healthier option during the transition to healthier oils in 1990s fast-food restaurants. This oil represents a very affordable option, including many institutions like Wendy’s, which buy in bulk. Corn oil is flavorless and does not influence the flavor of your french fries. Corn oil must be refrigerated, making it more challenging to store than other oils. Because corn oil is normally sold in gallon-size containers, it can often be unrealistic to buy, use, and store large quantities of corn oil. These factors make this oil a less popular choice for at-home french fries.
Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil contains many qualities similar to avocado oil. This expensive cooking oil holds a very high smoke point, at 490 degrees Fahrenheit. Rice bran oil works great for stir fries and also contributes a mild and nutty flavor to light, heart-healthy salad dressings. Using this cooking oil to make fries is possible but may not be the best oil for french fries. The cost of rice bran oil makes filling a deep-fryer impractical. Consider combining rice bran oil with vegetable or peanut oil to diversify the flavors and add healthy unsaturated fats and various antioxidants.