Best oil for frying

frying potatos with olive oil

One of the most appetizing delicacies used in many countries since antiquity, is a good fry. A cooking technique that is very healthy if done properly and with a good oil. However, with the large amount of oils we have on the market, doubts arise. Which oil for frying to use? This oil that we are going to use is going to be subjected to high temperatures, so it has to be the best. Also, why an extra virgin olive oil ist the best oil to fry.

Index of the article:

  1. What is the frying process?
  2. Best  oil for frying
  3. Recommendations for frying
  4. Oil marks for fryers.
  5. Special oil for frying and coconut oil

Summary: Frying is one of the delicious and very healthy culinary arts if quality oils are used and with appropriate cooking methods. Here, we give you some basic tips for a healthy frying. We also analyse which are the best oil for frying. Why extra virgin olive oil of the picual and cornicabra variety are the best. Finally, you have at your disposal the best selection of oils for frying in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid.

Other related articles: Where to buy extra virgin olive oil. Important characteristics of olive oil. Benefits of hydroxytyrosol, an oil compound. Mild or intense olive oil, which is better? Acidity of olive oil, what do you need to know? Unfiltered olive oils or olive branches. Composition of olive oil: are the fats good? Some useful homemade tips. How can I get delicious fried fish? 4 myths surrounding olive oils. Herbs to spice up the oil.

1. What is frying process? Which is the best oil for frying?

Frying is a culinary process that consists of introducing a food into an immersion of oil or fat at high temperatures. It is recommended that the temperature of the oil or fat should never exceed 180ºC to conserve the properties of the food. The result of good frying is a food product with a crispy crust . At the same time, the inside remains tender, warm and tasty.

In summary, this is the process of how a food is fried, when it is done well:

  • Firstly, during the frying process, there is a rapid formation of a superficial crust on the food, which prevents the infiltration of the oil inside into the food. In this way, an interface is created between the oil and the food, ensuring that the temperature inside remains constant and practically around 100 °C. When the water reaches this temperature, it reaches its boiling point, evaporating and keeping the temperature constant.
  • Once the product has been cooked and taken its golden colour, you should remove it from the fire. If we leave it any longer, the food can burn. Because, once the food has completely evaporated its internal water, the crust overheats, suffering the risk of burning its outside. Charred and burnt foods are no healthy, they can produce cancer.
  • Therefore, if the food is properly fried and not left to burn, frying does not cause thermal damage to the product. The culinary techniques of frying are more beneficial than other cooking techniques according to science.

a) The importance of good frying oil

Finally, we must take into account that the oil in the frying process also deteriorates with time and use. In other words, the oil degrades also and forms harmful substances for the health. This happens rapidly if the oil is used a lot, it is subjected to excessive temperatures (when it starts to smoke) and many hours of cooking. Cases that occur sometimes in large industries and restaurants.

botella de Cas

Photo 1: Castillo de Canena’s olive oil

3. Best frying oil

According to the latest research, the oil that is capable of maintaining its stability for the longest time, without producing alterations and forming toxic compounds, is extra virgin olive oil. In contrast, the first to degrade in frying are the seed oils.

This is because extra virgin olive oil, due to its high composition in oleic fatty acids (monounsaturated) and its high content in antioxidant compounds. For these reasons, thi oil is the most stable at high temperatures. The University of Granada has also demonstrated that when frying vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, a transfer of polyphenols from the extra virgin olive oil to the food is produced.

However, seed oils are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and very low in antioxidants, which deteriorate easily at high temperatures.

a) The Cornicabra and Picual variety

Therefore, extra virgin olive oil is the most stable for making healthy and tasty fried food. Among all the varieties, we always recommend the picual and the cornicabra, which are thebest for high heat frying . Also, these could be reused up to 10 times, as long as they are properly filtered to remove the remains of the last fried food and then stored well.

The other varieties of olive oil can also be used, but they cannot be reused so many times. However, many more times than other types of oil, including olive oil, a refined oil with no antioxidants.

Finally, what we do not recommend is to use so-called special oils for frying or from seeds. They are much less stable and deteriorate quickly at high temperatures, with the exception of the high oleic sunflower, that is high in monounsaturated fats.

3. The 7 recommendations for deep frying

Furthermore, we give you some recommendations to help for getting delicious flavorful and crunchy coating.

  1. Always use a high quality extra virgin olive oil of the year
  2. The temperature for frying, depending on the need of the food, must be between 150 and 180 °C and never the oil can smoke.
    It is a good idea to stir the hot oil with a wooden spoon to homogenise the temperature of the oil.
  3. The container used for frying should have a large bottom, to allow heat circulation by convention. This way, the hottest oil that is in contact with the bottom rises and when it rises, it cools down and falls again, allowing the heat to be homogenised. Consequently, the heat does not concentrate on one surface of the container and the oil is not burnt.
  4. Do not mix used oil with new oil to increase the volume of the pan.
  5. Do not use old oils or oils that are not for preferential consumption. Old oils or oils that are out for consumption should not be used for frying either, as these oils are already deteriorated. Putting them in at high temperatures will increase the oxidised compounds and therefore damage our health.
  6. Filter the used oil and store it in a jar or grease container to protect it from contact with air and humidity. In this way, we will prevent the oil from oxidising and forming trans acids.

Video 1: Best oil for frying

4. Fryer oil brands

There are thousands of brands of extra virgin olive oil of the picual and cornicabra variety on the market. However, I would not be too concerned with whether it is from one brand or another. What is important is to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil of the year. Therefore, buying an olive oil from any cooperative or oil mill would be a good option.

The oils you can buy in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid are very suitable for frying and other uses. As you would expect and it is a good oil, we recommend our San Benito extra virgin olive oil. An olive oil of the picual variety from Jaen.

Finally, olive oils from large surfaces are usually mixed with very low quality olive oils. They do this because they seek to lower the price of the oil. As a consequence, we do not recommend these oils for frying.

Extra virgin olive oil of picual olive, the best oil for frying

Photo 2: Picual extra virgin olive oil from a cooperative in Jaén

6. Special frying oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil

Extra virgin olive oil when fried, especially if it is the first time it is fried with it, will leave a taste in the product. However, oils that are specially sold for frying, sunflower and coconut oil, leave less flavour in the product. However, these oils are made up of unsaturated fatty acids and have hardly any antioxidants, so they can withstand temperatures much worse. This means that they deteriorate more quickly and as a consequence, they form toxic products for the organism.

Large food chains and restaurants that are looking for taste, without caring about the quality and health of the customers, use these types of oil. In addition, many of these places, refuse in excess these oils, making them even more harmful to health.

In short, extra virgin olive oil is the most suitable for frying. Among all the varieties, the picual and cornicabra, are the ones that can best withstand the temperatures. Likewise, in the first frying, the oil will leave an aroma in the product and it will leave more with the following frying. Therefore, we should always use for all the extra virgin olive oil.

Kind of fat
Smoking point
Almond oil Unrefined 216ºC
Avocado oil 190-204 ªC
Avocado oil Refined 271 ªC
Butter Unrefined 177 ªC
Rapeseed oil Unrefined 107 ºC
Rapeseed oil Semi-refined 177 ºC
Rapeseed oil Refined 204 ºC
Coconut oil Refined 232 ºC
Corn oil Unrefined 178 ºC
Corn oil Refined 232 ºC
Olive oil Extra virgin 160 ºC
Olive oil Virgin 216 ºC
Olive oil pomace 238 ºC
High quality olive oil Extra virgin 207 ºC
Soya oil Unrefined 160 ºC
Soya oil Refined 232 ºC
Sunflower oil Unrefined 107 ºC
Sunflower oil Semi-refined 232 ºC
High oleic sunflower oil Refined 232 ºC

Table 1: Smoking points of different edible oils

Smoke points are higher for refined oils, however, we must take into account that extra virgin olive oil is much more stable to degradation and its antioxidants protect it. For this reason, we should always use extra virgin olive oil for everything.


La revista Olive Oil Times The best oil for frying

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