Fried chicken is at its best when it is golden and crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. If you never manage to get this result, you are probably using the wrong oil to fry your chicken with.
What is the best oil for frying chicken? The best oil for frying chicken is an oil that has a high smoke point. We recommend avocado, vegetable, or peanut oil, but you can also use sunflower oil, high oleic safflower oil, and oil blends.
Read on to learn what makes these oils the best for frying chicken and find the one that suits your taste.
How to Choose the Best Oil for Frying Chicken
There is such a wide variety of oils that sometimes it becomes overwhelming to choose one for a specific purpose.
While some oils are good to drizzle salads or use to make a vinaigrette, others are suitable for frying.
If you are on the hunt for a good oil to use for frying chicken, whether it is for pan- or deep frying, here is what you should take into consideration.
The oil temperature for frying chicken should be around 350°F (around 175°C). Thus, when choosing oil for frying, you should learn about its smoke point.
For deep-fried chicken, in particular, it is key to use oil that has a high smoke point.
Every oil has its smoke point. Once a certain temperature is reached, the oil starts smoking and thus, burning. This results in rancid oil.
When oils go rancid, not only do they lose many of their good properties but also taste off.
If you don’t want your fried chicken to taste burnt, pick an oil that has a high smoke point.
Many people prefer their frying oil to have no flavor, especially when they are putting a lot of effort into the seasoning. For these people, there are many ‘flavorless’ oils.
Others, however, don’t mind some extra taste to the chicken. A slightly nutty flavor to the chicken is what some people like.
The Best Oil for Frying Chicken
From organic avocado oil to the most neutral safflower oil, the key is the smoke point. Here are our top 7 picks for you:
|1.||BetterBody Foods Pure Avocado Oil||500°F|
|2.||Happy Belly Vegetable Oil||450°F|
|3.||LouAna Peanut Oil||450°F|
|4.||Native Harvest Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil||475 - 520°F|
|5.||Chosen Foods Organic Blended Oil||490°F|
|6.||Oléico - High Oleic Safflower Oil||450°F|
|7.||Mazola Pure Corn Oil||450°F|
1. BetterBody Foods Pure Avocado Oil
BetterBody Foods Pure Avocado Oil is certainly not for those who are looking for a neutral flavor.
Avocado oil has a slightly nutty flavor that will transfer to the chicken when being fried in it.
This avocado oil is suitable for pan and deep-frying chicken due to its high smoke point.
Another thing that makes this oil stand out is that it is naturally refined. The latter is the process of refining oil not by means of chemical processes but by mechanical ones.
Being naturally refined, the BetterBody Foods avocado oil will have a longer shelf life, which is certainly a plus.
Here’s what makes the BetterBody Foods Pure Avocado Oil one of the best options:
- It’s gluten-free
- There are no GMOs in this oil.
- The flavor is mild and smooth, enhancing the taste of other ingredients.
- It has a diversity of usage. You can use this oil not only for frying but also for sautéing, in salad dressings, etc.
Smoke Point: 500°F
Benefits: Due to its very high smoke point, avocado oil is considered to be one of the safest for frying and in high heat cooking in general.
Thus, it is a healthy choice if you are someone that makes fried chicken often.
Another benefit of avocado oil is that it has more than 50% monounsaturated fats. This makes avocado oil suitable for frying as it is more stable.
Monounsaturated fats, unlike polyunsaturated ones, don’t react with oxygen when exposed to the heat. The latter is what makes the oil harmful when deep frying.
2. Happy Belly Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a good option for those who own a deep fryer. Deep fryer temperature for chicken may go up to 375°F.
However, vegetable oil may be heated up to 450°F. So, you may not even reach the smoke point.
While vegetable oil has many varieties, the Happy Belly vegetable oil is made from soybeans.
This oil is a perfect choice for those who want an oil with a neutral flavor.
Thus, when frying chicken with this soybean oil, you can season the chicken or the butter with whatever spices you want and the taste will be ‘clean’.
There will be no added flavor from the oil.
Keep this vegetable oil hot enough and you will get fried chicken that is not greasy. If the oil temperature is high enough, which in case of the Happy Belly soybean oil is not a problem, your chicken wings or thighs won’t absorb much of it.
Here’s why you should try the Happy Belly Vegetable Oil for frying chicken:
- It is light-tasting.
- It is suitable for deep frying and other cooking purposes.
- This soybean oil is claimed to be non-greasy.
Smoke Point: around 450°F
Benefits: While vegetable oils are not the healthiest for deep frying, there are certainly multiple reasons why many people choose it over other oils.
First off, vegetable oil is more cost-effective. When fried chicken is a favorite dish for the family, using budget-friendly oil is always a good idea.
Being tasteless, vegetable oil is not something that finds many uses in the kitchen. However, this same property makes it ideal for frying chicken without overshadowing the taste of the meat and butter.
3. LouAna Peanut Oil
LouAna peanut oil is a 100% pure peanut oil.
Having a high smoke point, this oil is suitable for deep-frying chicken, turkey, or fish.
Unlike other oils, such as canola oil or soybean oil, peanut oil does have a flavor. However, it is nothing of the harsh kind.
As expected, peanut oil has a very mild nutty flavor. You may or may not notice it. However, many people prefer peanut oil over other oil types because of its light nutty taste.
Here’s what makes LouAna peanut oil so good for frying chicken:
- There are 0 grams of trans fat per serving.
- It is 100% percent pure with no additives.
- The high smoke point makes it perfect for deep frying chicken.
Smoke Point: 450°F
Benefits: Peanut oil is generally one of the least pricey oils. This is definitely a point to consider if you are using it for deep frying.
To deep-fry chicken, you need a lot of oil. And while in many sources you will find that reusing oil is not as harmful as some people claim it to be, not reusing it is a healthier option.
Thus, with peanut oil, your wallet won’t suffer as much.
Another thing that makes peanut oil one of the best for frying is that there is no flavor transfer when using this oil to deep fry.
Flavor transfer is when flavors from fried food stay in the oil thus transferring it to other items you will be frying after. So, with peanut oil, you can fry chicken, French fries, and onion rings in the same batch of oil.
4. Native Harvest Sunflower Oil
The Native Harvest sunflower oil is another great option for those who are looking for a neutral-tasting oil.
This Native Harvest sunflower oil is expeller pressed. This means that no chemical solvents are used to produce oil.
The latter is extracted by means of an expeller press, which squeezes the oil physically.
This oil production method also results in higher oleic content in sunflower oil, which is an added point to make you prefer it over solvent expelled sunflower oil.
As a result of this production method, this sunflower oil is better for you than conventional sunflower oil.
The Happy Belly expeller pressed sunflower oil has lower levels of trans fats which makes it a healthier but slightly pricier choice.
The Native Harvest sunflower oil is a good pick for frying chicken as it is:
- free of GMOs and 100% naturally-derived.
- it contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats which make it more suitable for high heat cooking.
- it has a delicate flavor that won’t affect your dish.
Smoke Point: 475 – 520°F
Benefits: One of the main benefits of sunflower oil is that it has almost no flavor. Thus, sunflower oil is a perfect choice for frying chicken if you want to feel only the taste of the crispy skin and juicy chicken.
Another selling point for sunflower oil is its high smoke point.
As frying chicken requires high heat, you need an oil that can do the job well, without burning or turning rancid.
The Native Harvest sunflower oil, having a 475 – 520°F smoke point, is one of the best candidates for frying chicken.
5. Chosen Foods Organic Blended Oil
If you are on the hunt for a unique oil for frying chicken, then this Chosen Foods Organic Blend Oils what you need.
This blended oil is a mixture of safflower oil, organic avocado oil, and organic coconut oil. With all of three suitable for high heat cooking, the Chosen Foods blend oil is more than perfect for frying chicken.
The Chosen Foods Blend Oil is one of the best for frying chicken and there is more than one reason for it:
- The flavor is light and mild.
- This oil blend is full of healthy fats. It contains omega-9 fatty acids.
- There are no genetically modified ingredients and artificial preservatives in this oil.
Smoke Point: 490°F
Benefits: It is no wonder that this oil is suitable for high heat cooking as all of the oils in this blend have high smoke points.
The smoke points of safflower oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil are 510°F, 520°F, and 450°F respectively. All of them taken separately to make a good choice for frying chicken. Thus, the blend of all three makes things even better.
As we have already mentioned, avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats and is very stable to be used it high heat cooking.
Coconut oil is another healthy alternative for deep frying chicken. More than 90% of the fatty acids in this oil are saturated. Thus, it is doesn’t produce unhealthy elements when exposed to high heat.
Last but not least, the safflower oil in this blend is a perfect addition to the two flavorful oils. It has no taste and a high smoke point – the two properties that make oil suitable for frying chicken.
6. Oléico – High Oleic Safflower Oil
Oléico safflower oil is a good option for those who are looking for possibly the most neutral oil to fry chicken with.
The Oléico Safflower oil is expeller pressed. This makes it healthier than other vegetable oils that are not derived using this method.
As a result of this method of squeezing oil from the safflower seeds, this oil is rich in healthy fats.
Here’s why Oléico safflower oil is a good pick for you.
- It has over 75% monounsaturated fats which makes this oil very stable and suitable for high heat cooking.
- There are no genetically modified organisms in this safflower oil.
- It is not only flavorless but also odorless.
- This safflower oil is enriched with vitamin E.
- It is versatile. Even if you are looking for oil to fry chicken with, it is always good to be able to use it for other purposes, including baking and using in vinaigrettes.
Smoke Point: 450°F
Benefits: High oleic safflower oil is a great alternative to use instead of oils exposed to hydrogenation.
Hydrogenated oils, as opposed to this expeller pressed oil, are high in trans fats.
The Oléico safflower oil, being derived without any usage of chemicals, contains 0 grams of trans fat.
Another benefit of high oleic safflower oil is that it has a quite long shelf life. So, if you are not someone that fries chicken very often, this oil may be the one for you. You can keep it in the pantry with no rush of using it up.
7. Mazola Pure Corn Oil
Mazola Pure Corn Oil is corn oil suitable for both deep-frying and stir-frying.
It is one of the most commonly used oils for deep frying due to its wide availability and suitable properties to be used for high heat cooking.
While the recommended temperature for the Mazola Pure Corn Oil is 375°F, the smoke point is much higher. Thus, the chances that you will burn it are very low.
The capability of this oil to heat up to high temperatures is what will make your chicken light and crispy.
Here’s what makes the Mazola corn oil a good choice:
- It is cholesterol-free.
- There are 0 grams of fat per serving in this oil.
- It is 100% pure and there are no additives.
Smoke Point: 450°F
Benefits: Corn oil, aside from having a high smoke point, is also a favorite for many due to its mild flavor. It has a delicate buttery taste.
While corn oil is not a front-runner on the list of the healthiest oils for frying, it does contain vitamin E which slows down the oxidization process. The latter takes place when corn oil is on high heat for a longer period of time.
Corn oil is also very versatile. You can use it not only for frying but also in salad dressings, baking cakes, and other goods.
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