When it comes to producing crispy, golden fried chicken, choosing the best oil to fry chicken is crucial. In this article, we will delve into the topic of the best oil for frying chicken. We will discuss the key factors to consider when selecting an oil for deep frying, explore different types of oils suitable for frying chicken, highlight the optimal oil temperature for frying, provide useful tips for achieving great results, and explain why vegetable oil, specifically palm oil, is an excellent choice for frying delectable chicken dishes.
Is Palm Oil the Same as Vegetable Oil?
In determining the best oil to use for frying chicken, it is important to note that palm oil is a type of vegetable oil, but not all vegetable oils are palm oil. Here’s how palm oil differs from other vegetable oils:
Palm oil is derived specifically from the fruit of oil palm trees – it is not the same as palm kernel oil. It is extracted from the flesh of the palm fruit, while other vegetable oils can be sourced from various plants such as soybeans, canola, sunflower seeds, corn, or a combination of these.
Palm oil has a unique composition compared to other vegetable oils. It contains approximately 50% saturated fats, 40% monounsaturated fats, and 10% polyunsaturated fats. The high saturated fat content of palm oil contributes to its semi-solid or solid state at room temperature.
While palm oil is often criticised for its high saturated fat content, it is important to note that not all saturated fats are the same. The saturated fats in palm oil consist mainly of palmitic and stearic acids, which behave differently in the body compared to other saturated fats. Palm oil also contains vitamin E tocotrienols, carotenoids, and Coenzyme Q10, which provide additional nutritional value. All of this makes it one of the healthiest oils for frying!
Palm oil is known for its stability and high smoke point, making it suitable for various cooking methods, including frying and sautéing. Its neutral flavour allows the natural flavours of the food to shine through. Other vegetable oils may have different flavour profiles and smoke points, which can influence their culinary applications.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Oil for Deep Frying Chicken
Before selecting an oil for deep frying chicken, it is important to consider a few factors that contribute to the overall frying experience and the quality of the final dish. Here are some key considerations:
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it begins to break down and produce smoke. The best oil to fry chicken is one with a high smoke point to ensure that it can withstand the high temperatures required for deep frying without developing off-flavours or burning.
While some oils have distinct flavours that can enhance certain dishes, it is generally recommended to choose a neutral-tasting oil for frying chicken. This allows the natural flavours of the chicken to shine through without being overpowered.
Look for oils that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, like palm oil. These healthier fats contribute to a more balanced diet when consumed in moderation.
Best Types of Oil for Deep Frying Chicken
When it comes to the best oil to fry chicken, several types of oils are suitable for the task. However, palm oil stands out as an excellent choice due to its properties and culinary benefits.
Palm oil is a semi-solid vegetable oil that contains a balanced ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats. This composition provides stability during frying and helps achieve a crispy, evenly browned exterior while retaining the moisture of the chicken. Its natural antioxidants also contribute to the oil’s longevity and resistance to oxidation. Moreover, palm oil is versatile and can be used for different cuts of chicken, including breasts, cutlets, and wings.
Palm Oil Nutritional Values
Palm oil, derived from the fruit of oil palm trees, offers not only culinary benefits but also significant nutritional value making it one of the best oils to use when deep frying chicken. Here are some key aspects of palm oil’s nutritional profile:
Palm oil consists of approximately 50% saturated fats, 40% monounsaturated fats, and 10% polyunsaturated fats. While saturated fats have received scrutiny in the past, recent research suggests that not all saturated fats are equal, and their effects on health may vary. The balanced ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats in palm oil contributes to a well-rounded fat profile.
Vitamin E Tocotrienols
Palm oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin E tocotrienols. These compounds are potent antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Tocotrienols have been studied for their potential health benefits, including cardiovascular support, cognitive health, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Palm oil is also abundant in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and alpha carotene. These plant pigments function as provitamin A, meaning they can be converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune function, and cell growth and differentiation.
Palm oil contains vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health. Adequate vitamin K intake is necessary for proper coagulation and maintaining strong bones.
Palm oil contains Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a compound involved in energy production within cells. CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress.
Oil Temperature for Deep Frying Chicken
Maintaining the correct oil temperature is crucial for achieving perfectly fried chicken. The ideal temperature range for deep frying chicken is typically between 350°F (175°C) and 375°F (190°C). Here’s why temperature control matters when determining the best oil to fry the chicken:
The high temperature of the oil helps create a crispy, golden exterior while sealing in the juices of the chicken, resulting in moist and tender meat.
When the oil is too cool, the chicken absorbs more oil, leading to a greasy product. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, the chicken may cook too quickly on the outside, leaving the inside undercooked.
Use a cooking thermometer to monitor the oil temperature accurately. This ensures that the oil remains within the optimal range, allowing for consistent and desirable results.
Tips for Deep Frying Chicken
To achieve the best results when frying chicken, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:
Always preheat the oil before adding the chicken. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and prevents excessive oil absorption. Here’s how to tell when oil is ready for frying.
Breading and coating
Properly coat the chicken in a seasoned flour mixture, breadcrumbs, or batter. This helps create a flavourful crust and adds texture to the fried chicken. Here’s a great batter recipe for deep fried chicken.
Fry in small batches
Avoid overcrowding the frying pan or deep fryer. Fry the chicken in batches to maintain the oil temperature and allow for even cooking.
Drain excess oil
After frying, place the cooked chicken on a wire rack or paper towels to drain off any excess oil, ensuring a lighter, less greasy result.
Season the chicken with salt and any desired spices before frying. This enhances the flavour of the chicken and adds depth to the final dish.
Getting the Best Oil for Deep-frying Chicken
Since 1954, Frymax has been the top option for premium frying oil in the UK. Even though our dedication to sustainability has grown over time, the quality of the ingredients used in Frymax has remained constant. We are still dedicated to providing verified sustainable palm oil from suppliers that share our commitment to the RSPO’s values. If you’re looking for a stable frying oil that will cook your food in minutes, choose Frymax. Our sustainable, premium-grade palm oil is relied on by chippies across the country to serve up high-quality fried foods. If you’d like to learn more, get in contact with Frymax.
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