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Old 07-28-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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Question What type of oil do you use for frying?

Or do you use vegetable shortening, or lard? I used to use Crisco oil, but have switched to corn oil since it supposedly is better for your health. It also used to be cheaper, but now that the price of corn has skyrocketed, it's more expensive than Crisco. Crisco is also better for baking. I've tried Canola, but it leaves a funky aftertaste to fried foods, and does horrible in baking.

I'm getting adventurous and thinking about making a funnel cake - I have no idea what oil to use. Recipes I've seen used hot fat, which I guess would be lard (?). I'm kind of wary of lard - who knows where or what it came from? Do you think vegetable shortening would work for something like this?
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
 
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Gosh, I use olive oil unless a recipe specifically calls for something different.

But for something sweet like funnel cake, you may be better off with a plain vegetable oil.

"Fat" can refer to any kind of oil, or butter, or margarine, as well as lard.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
 
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Oh, and yes, vegetable shortening would work, as long as it was sufficiently heated to liquefy for frying.

Lard comes from animals. It's a slaughterhouse by-product. I personally find the whole idea of it revolting.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
 
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Gosh, I use olive oil unless a recipe specifically calls for something different.
Me too, but that's shallow fry, tops. Usually just saute. I don't think I ever deep fried something myself in my life.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
 
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I thought olive oil didn't get hot enough without smoking for frying?
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:18 PM   #6
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I have olive oil for stir-frying, but don't use it for much else since it has a strong taste compared to other oils. It's also pricey as hell. I paid $6 for a small bottle of fancy-pantsy olive oil that ended up being rancid. The clerk didn't believe me either because the date was good. I told her to drink it and see for herself. That experience soured me on olive oil.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:23 PM   #7
 
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I thought olive oil didn't get hot enough without smoking for frying?
Depends on the olive oil. Light is higher smoke point.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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Oh, and yes, vegetable shortening would work, as long as it was sufficiently heated to liquefy for frying.

Lard comes from animals. It's a slaughterhouse by-product. I personally find the whole idea of it revolting.
Oh, I never knew if lard came from animals only or if it was a vegetable/animal combination. The tubs just say "LARD" in big green letters. Not very appetizing!
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
 
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Lard
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
 
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peanut oil
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:18 AM   #11
 
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Or do you use vegetable shortening, or lard? I used to use Crisco oil, but have switched to corn oil since it supposedly is better for your health.
Not to be snarky, but if you're deep frying something, it's not going to be healthy no matter what. I'd say use what tastes best to you, but limit it to only a small indulgence every once in a while, not a regular occurance.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #12
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Or do you use vegetable shortening, or lard? I used to use Crisco oil, but have switched to corn oil since it supposedly is better for your health.
Not to be snarky, but if you're deep frying something, it's not going to be healthy no matter what. I'd say use what tastes best to you, but limit it to only a small indulgence every once in a while, not a regular occurance.
Lol, I know, but high amounts of polyunsaturated fats are linked to cancer, and monounsaturated fats like corn oil and olive oil are much healthier if you consume large amounts of oil. I'm struggling to maintain my weight right now since it's summer and also a more stressful time with work so I will take a high fat diet over a very healthy one for a little while. I try my best to stick to "good fats," but am often too busy or tired to worry with it. I'm very concerned about keeping on weight and will eat what I crave to avoid losing my appetite entirely (which has happened before). I also have very dry skin and scalp and drink 2 tbsp. of corn oil every day, so I'm really interested in healthier oils. I've found that corn oil has a good taste for frying and is relatively healthy compared to other oils. Sometimes I mix it with Crisco if it's something like fried chicken that I'm really particular about the taste. I'm open to other options though.

Webjockey, I've heard that peanut oil is really good for cooking Asian food. Can you use it for frying meats like chicken or pork chops? Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #13
 
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Expeller-pressed coconut oil (no coconut flavor) because it's a saturated fat and doesn't oxidize like unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats, especially at higher temperatures have a tendency to form harmful free radicals.

Personally, I also try to steer clear of GMO foods and most crops of corn, soy and canola in the US are genetically-modified. In addition, in the US, labeling is voluntary and not required by law. Unless a product's labeled organic or you're getting it from a local farmer you can trust, it's most likely GMO.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:45 PM   #14
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Expeller-pressed coconut oil (no coconut flavor) because it's a saturated fat and doesn't oxidize like unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats, especially at higher temperatures have a tendency to form harmful free radicals.

Personally, I also try to steer clear of GMO foods and most crops of corn, soy and canola in the US are genetically-modified. In addition, in the US, labeling is voluntary and not required by law. Unless a product's labeled organic or you're getting it from a local farmer you can trust, it's most likely GMO.
Well, I don't think I have the money to buy only organic foods. I hardly have the money anymore to buy basic food items. I've also read that the FDA doesn't monitor the labeling of organic foods, and anyone can get by with putting "organic" on the label. I figure the safety of all food is going down the toilet unless it's something grown in your backyard, but that's going to happen when you have a large and demanding population wanting things quickly and cheap. It's an unintentional form of population control, I guess. I try to do the best I can, but there is so much controversy over what is healthy anymore that I just go with what sources I trust say and hope for the best. I've always heard that coconut oil is the absolute worst healthwise when it comes to frying oils because of all that artery-clogging saturated fat. It does make food taste very good, though - movie theaters used to use it for their popcorn.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:56 PM   #15
 
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Well I'd say peanut oil is great for frying meats since I've had a deep fried turkey and it's Delicious! best skin ever and moist tender insides! It fries for about 40 minutes.

I think for old school fry daddy stuff I'd use crisco or vegetable oil. I recently fulfilled my fried dough craving at a local festival. It's festival and fair time up here so pretty much once a weekend you can find something.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:44 PM   #16
 
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what you want to look for is a high smoke point. The higher the smoke point, the higher the temperature you can fry = crispy outside + fast cooking + relatively low oil content for food.

Peanut oil has a very high smoke point and a neutral flavor.

If you're a costco member, they just put out grapeseed oil, which I hear has a nice flavor and also a high smoke point. I haven't tried frying with it as yet.

If you are looking to spruce things up a bit you can first bring your oil up to the smoking point, add some fresh herbs, take them out before they burn, and then fry your meats. The quick fry of the herbs releases some of the flavor into the oil.

Another option is to add a tiny bit of bacon fat to your oil. This will reduce the smoking point slightly, so add very litte
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