Roasting is, without a doubt, the most popular way to cook turkey. However, it is not the only way.
Deep frying turkey is another option if you are looking for something different and do not want to spend hours preparing, roasting, and basting it.
The process of deep-frying turkey is relatively quick and easy and results in incredibly crispy skin and meat that won’t dry out as easily. There are a few things to consider though, such as using the right type of oil.
So, what are the best oils for deep frying turkey? Peanut oil is usually the oil of choice for deep frying turkey, but you can use any oil that has a high smoke point such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, rice bran oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and avocado oil.
Read on to find out more about the best oils for deep frying turkey and what to consider when choosing the best one!
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Oil For Deep Frying Turkey
When choosing the best oil for deep frying turkey, you need to keep a few things in mind such as:
The smoke point of oil refers to the temperature at which the oil starts to break down. The hotter it gets, the more it breaks down and eventually starts to smoke.
Different oils have different smoke points and certain oils are better suited for deep frying than others. An oil with a high smoke point can be heated to a relatively high temperature before it starts to smoke.
Heating oil past its smoke point will cause it to give off a burnt flavor to your food. It can also be dangerous as it could possibly start a fire.
Since deep frying turkey involves cooking it at a high temperature, you need to choose an oil that can withstand it.
Here are some of the most common cooking oils and their smoke points:
- Avocado oil: 570°F
- Safflower oil: 510°F
- Soybean oil (refined): 460°F
- Peanut oil: 450°F
- Coconut oil (refined): 450°F
- Sunflower oil: 450°F
- Rice bran oil: 450°F
- Corn oil: 440°F
- Canola oil (refined): 400°F
- Vegetable oil: 400°F
Type Of Oil (Refined And Light-Colored)
When choosing the best oil for deep frying turkey, or any other food, you need to consider the degree of refinement as the more refined the oil is, the higher its smoking point will be.
Refining removes impurities from the oil that can cause it to smoke, which means that, as a rule of thumb, lighter-colored oils have a higher smoke point than dark-colored oils.
One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing an oil for deep frying is its flavor and its effect on what’s being cooked in it.
Deep-fried turkey must be able to retain its natural flavor and the oil used to cook it must either maintain its original flavor or enhance it.
Neutral oils are your best bet in this regard as they allow the natural flavor of the turkey to shine through. However, although peanut oil imparts a nutty flavor, it works wonderfully with turkey and is one of the best choices for deep frying it.
Since deep frying involves using a lot of oil, you may want to consider the cost of the oil before choosing the best one.
Depending on the size of the turkey, you may need anywhere between 3-6 gallons of oil, which is a lot! Although you can reuse the oil, it is still a lot to begin with.
Refined sunflower and safflower oils are a good choice health-wise and in terms of their smoke point, but they can be a bit pricey. Avocado oil, which has a higher smoke point is even more expensive.
In terms of the cost, some of the best oils to consider include peanut oil and soybean oil.
The 7 Best Oils For Deep Frying Turkey
Taking into account their smoke point and how well they pair with turkey, here are 7 of the best oils to use:
1. Peanut Oil
Peanut oil tops most lists for the best oil for deep frying turkey, and all for good reason!
With a smoke point of 450°F, peanut oil has a mild taste and a good dose of healthy fats. It is also an affordable option and provides excellent results when used in a turkey fryer.
The high smoke point of the oil quickly and effectively seals the turkey on the outside so that the air and steam inside can cook the meat to perfection.
You can re-use peanut oil as it is less likely to degrade due to its high smoke point, but make sure to strain it to remove any impurities and store it properly.
The best peanut oil I’ve found is this one from Amazon, it’s also the best priced, just be sure to grab enough bottles!
2. Sunflower Oil
Made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting their oil, sunflower oil is used for a variety of cooking methods such as roasting, stir-frying, and deep-frying due to its high smoke point.
It has a mild flavor and is safe to cook on a high flame for longer periods, making it a great choice for deep frying turkey.
In addition to that, it is low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which make it a relatively healthier option.
Try the Healthy Harvest Non-GMO Sunflower Oil which is naturally processed to retain natural antioxidants and is ideal for cooking, baking, frying, and more.
3. Safflower Oil
Made from safflower seeds, this oil is mostly monounsaturated fats and has a high smoke point of up to 510°F making it ideal for deep frying turkey.
It can easily tolerate extreme high heat for longer periods and is mild-tasting, therefore not affecting the flavor of the turkey.
While deep frying may not be the healthiest form of cooking, safflower oil, if consumed in moderation, offers cardiovascular benefits by increasing good cholesterol.
Give the AVO Naturally Processed NON-GMO High Oleic Safflower Oil a try the next time you deep fry turkey.
4. Rice Bran Oil
Another great pick for deep frying turkey, rice bran oil also has a high smoke point of around 450°F, which is perfect for cooking at high temperatures.
Derived from the outer layer of the grain of rice, rice bran oil is considered a sustainable oil since it utilizes a byproduct of rice that would be hulled and procured regardless.
It has a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the turkey and is a healthier alternative to some oils since it has a low amount of saturated fats.
Try this Rice Bran Oil by Heavenly Chef that is all-natural, made from 100% non-GMO rice, is unfiltered, contains no trans-fat, and is heart-healthy.
5. Corn Oil
With a similar smoke point as peanut oil at around 440°F, corn oil is another good choice for deep frying turkey and what’s great is that it’s not heavy on the pocket either.
It has a light, neutral taste that lets the flavor of the turkey shine through. The only issue is that corn oil tends to retain the flavor of the food, which means you have to be mindful when reusing it to cook something else.
You can, however, reuse it a few times to cook turkey and other similar meats. Check out this Happy Belly Corn Oil by Amazon that comes in a giant 128 oz bottle to cater to your deep-frying needs.
6. Soybean Oil
Soybean oil is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils and the second most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world.
With a smoke point of 450°F, it is ideal for cooking at high heat. Add to that its neutral taste, inexpensive price, easy availability, and low amount of saturated fats, and you have an excellent choice for deep frying turkey.
Check out this Happy Belly Vegetable Oil that is made with soybean oil for deep frying turkey as well as other foods such as fried chicken, chicken strips, French fries, and cheese sticks.
7. Avocado Oil
Rich in healthy fats and having one of the highest smoke points (570°F) out of all the oils on this list, avocado oil makes a good option for deep frying turkey and other foods.
It can withstand high temperatures for longer periods and imparts a rich, buttery taste to the food being fried.
The downside with avocado oil is that it can be quite expensive, and considering the amount of oil you would need to deep fry a turkey, you’d be forced to think twice before using it.
You may also be tempted to reuse it multiple times, and while that is completely doable, make sure to not reuse it after a couple of times as the oil tends to break down over time and use.
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil is ideal for high-heat cooking, frying, and baking, and it comes in a bulk 2-liter bottle perfect for deep frying purposes.
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