Turkey Frying Oil Options
Peanut oil is typically used for frying turkey because of its higher smoke point and a more desirable flavor. However, what if you are allergic to peanuts and don’t care to use hydrogenated oils? Is there a tastier oil to use? What if you are simply looking for the healthiest alternative? The good news is there are alternatives to peanut oil that address these needs
The ideal frying oil would contain a higher amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with minimal or no saturated fats and trans fats. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the average intake of fat should be 30% of your total caloric intake. This fat intake should consist of balanced fat, which provides nutrients that are essential to sustain life. A Balanced fat intake should contain approximately 30% saturated fat, 33% poly-unsaturated fat, (containing Essential Fatty Acids) and 37% mono-unsaturated fat.
Comparison of Different Fats
The Good Fats
|Mono-unsaturated Fats||Mono-unsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increase the HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).|
|Poly-unsaturated Fats (Essential Fatty Acids)||Poly-unsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Fatty acids such as Omega 3 belong to this group.|
The Bad Fats
|Saturated Fats||Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).|
|Trans Fats||Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and lower HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).|
Comparison of smoke point and balance of fats in some commonly used oils:
|OIL TYPE||SMOKE POINT||MONO-UNSATURATED FAT||POLY-UNSATURATED FAT||SATURATED FAT|
|Rice Bran Oil||490º||47%||33%||20%|
|Grape seed Oil||485º||14%||77%||9%|
The most balanced and versatile oil on the market and closest to the AHA recommendations. Rice bran oil is a superior salad, cooking, and frying oil which leaves no lingering after taste. The high smoke point prevents fatty acid breakdown at high temperatures. Its light viscosity, allows less oil to be absorbed in cooking, reducing overall calories. It mixes better in salad dressings and improves the taste of baked goods, providing cholesterol reduction, nutritional and anti-oxidant value.
High mono fat, able to lower cholesterol but deficient in poly fat, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFA’s are truly essential to life as every metabolic process in your body depends on them. A low smoke point makes it a poor choice for frying, and its heavy taste makes it undesirable in many baked goods. Traditionally a good salad oil.
High mono fat with cholesterol lowering ability but there are concerns about the origin. “Canola oil” is a term coined by Canada to change the name of “rapeseed oil”. The rapeseed plant contains erucic acid making it toxic and is used as an industrial lubricant. It has been genetically modified and hybrid to produce a low erucic acid version. Commonly hydrogenated, it is extensively used in the food industry because of its low price. The hybrid plant would be the best choice.
A good balanced oil. This oil has good cholesterol lowering ability and a high smoke point, making it a good frying oil. It imparts a slightly earthy, nutty flavor. It lacks the anti-oxidants and micronutrients of Rice Bran Oil. A small percentage of people are allergic to nut oils.
This oil is a high poly fat. As recommended by the AHA your poly fat intake should be around 33% of your total fat intake. A high poly percentage is, an aid to tumors and cancer and should be carefully watched. Up to 80% of the oil consumed in the U.S.A. today comes from soybeans. Soybean oil is commonly hydrogenated and used in many processed foods.
A good frying and salad oil, but again high in poly fat. It does lower cholesterol because of the high unsaturated fat content but is way over the recommended 33% poly-unsaturated fat. Most likely will not find in the bulk quantities needed to fry turkey
Known for its buttery, nutty flavor, cottonseed oil does not require hydrogenation, therefore is trans fat free, allowing heavy use by food manufacturers for industrial frying applications such as potato chip production. It is also what Crisco is made from (Crisco meaning crystallized cottonseed oil. Although it offers a 2:1 ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids, it is the highest in saturated fats. Pure Cottonseed oil is not typically available at the retail level. Although, it is available to consumers in niche markets, e.g. in sporting good stores where turkey fryers are sold, likely under the generic name “frying oil”. Stick with Canola.
Comparison of natural antioxidants in edible oils
|OIL TYPE||VITAMIN E TOCOPHEROL (ppm*)||VITAMIN E TOCOTRIENOL (ppm*)||ORYZANOL (ppm*)||TOTAL NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS (ppm*)|
|Rice Bran Oil||81||336||2,000||2,417|
|Grape seed Oil||256||149||0||405|
|Cottonseed Oil||Claims to be high in vitamin E, although could not find reliable information|
* ppm. stands for parts per million