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A Guide to Healthy Frying: Can You Fry with Canola Oil?

canola oil frying


Canola oil is vegetable oil low in saturated and high in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Such fat profile makes it beneficial for our health and a healthy substitute for animal fat and trans fats. Canola oil is used widely in cooking nowadays, but can you fry with canola oil? The usage of any oil including canola oil for frying depends on several factors. Oil texture, odor, taste are important for future dishes. The smoke point of oil is important for our health, thus it is considered the main factor making canola oil suitable for frying.


Smoke point

According to Wikipedia the smoke point is a temperature when the oil starts smoking and boiling. Fats are destroyed, the smell becomes different and, what is worse, free radicals promoting cancer accumulate.  You can use canola oil for frying as its smoke point is high enough. It is equal to 400-450 degrees F depending on the type of oil. Canola oil is considered to have a medium-high smoke point suitable for deep-frying. In fact, any oil which smoke point is over 375 degrees F can be used for frying. Remember that every time you use canola oil for frying, its smoke point lessens considerably. That’s why avoid using the same oil repeatedly.

SEE ALSO: Is Canola Oil Gluten Free? 

Cooking uses of canola oil

As canola oil has a beneficial composition, light texture, neutral flavor and high smoke point it is one of the best oils for cooking. You can use canola oil not only for frying but also for:

  • salad dressings, marinades and sauces
  • grilling and, sautéing
  • baking and pans coating before baking
  • butter replacement
  • popping popcorn, etc. 

SEE ALSO: Cooking Tips: Can I Fry with Olive Oil? 

How to use canola oil for frying

  1. The proper temperature is needed for deep-frying with the oil to ensure food doesn’t make greasy absorbing too much oil. You should maintain the temperature not less than 375°F and not over 400°F. This temperature is ideal to form a protective coating on the food that will prevent too much oil from penetrating. Too high temperature will burn the coating and the oil may become smoking.
  2. Add salt at the end of cooking and even before eating. Salt lessens the oil’s smoke point so that the oil can break down at low temperatures. Moreover, salt attracts moisture to the surface and the food will splatter in hot oil.
  3. Fry potato chips and other frozen vegetables without unfreezing them. This reduces the absorption of fat.  However, before preheat canola oil to 400 degrees F or several degrees higher than needed. The oil will cool a little bit when you add cold food in it.

Described above is the traditional approach to the issue of using canola oil in cooking. Here is the article which describes absolutely different side of the question. In the end, it is you who decide whose side to take and to use or not to use canola (or any other vegetable oil) for frying and consumption.