Why do we use cooking oil to fry food?

Why use cooking oil and not something else used to fry food? According to Science ABC, everyone has a hard-to-describe joy when it comes ...


Why use cooking oil and not something else used to fry food?

According to Science ABC, everyone has a hard-to-describe joy when it comes to food and cuisine. In particular, in some areas of the United States, people often love the foods prepared by frying. However, anyone who really loves this kind of food knows that it is not the healthiest choice for life, especially for cardiovascular health.


Eating lots of fried foods can be very tasty, but it can cause major health problems. This raises the question, is frying food in oil the only way to achieve the crispness of food? Before we go to the answer, we should understand why we use oil to fry food so far?

Fried foods

Fried foods are at least 2,500 years old. Yes, in ancient Greece, everyone enjoyed the joy of fried chicken long before Colonel Sanders came up with the idea for KFC. This food phenomenon is also part of Western European culture for more than 700 years. Although it may not be as popular as fried food today.

The first question many people ask about fried foods is why use oil in the first place? Although oil is certainly more precious than water and always is. But there are certain characteristics of the oil that make it much more feasible than water. While water may boil, like the oil needed to fry, it is difficult to get water at a temperature above 100 degrees Celsius. Unless it is under tremendous pressure. That temperature is simply not high enough for food to ripen and create the right flavor. So water is not selected. Various types of vegetable oils, such as: linseed oil, cotton seed oil and coconut oil. All of them can be used to fry food efficiently. Mostly due to their chemical composition. Mostly, the boiling point and smoke of oil are significantly higher than water.


When food is fried, several different things happen at the same time. First of all, fried foods are often wrapped in some kind of barrier. Usually cornstarch or flour, it will quickly crunch when exposed to higher temperatures of frying oil. Between 140 and 160 degrees C, a reaction called a Maillard reaction will occur. This causes a delicious taste and a golden brown appearance of fried food. At the same time, the water inside the food will start to boil and turn into steam. It makes food ripen from the inside out and enhances the dry crust surrounding the food. The crunchy crust will also help to retain part of the steam to make the food more even.

Basically, the short answer to the question: "Why do we use oil to fry food?". That's because it has the ideal chemical composition for proper reactions to create a delicious dish.

Can we use anything other than oil to fry?

Now you understand why we use oil to fry food. The next question is: With health risks associated with fried foods and their significantly higher calorie intake. Is there any other option to fry food and still keep the taste good?
Unfortunately, if you want a food that is fried properly, oil and natural fat are the only viable options. But that doesn't mean that all oils and fats are created the same.

Coconut oil is considered the best oil for health to cook. Although creating it is quite expensive. Coconut oil is mainly composed of saturated fat, which has very high heat resistance. This means that the same oil can be used repeatedly without degrading quality. When choosing any oil to fry your food, you should choose a high saturated fat content compared to unsaturated fat.


In addition to coconut oil, many of the oils mentioned above can be used, such as linseed oil, cotton seed oil. It will change a bit in cost and taste. But it will create the golden brown look you're looking for. If you don't want the taste of your food to be affected, aim to use a mild or neutral flavor oil.

Olive oil, peanut oil and avocado oil are also great alternatives to boring vegetable oils if you want a slightly healthier option, in terms of fat balance.

Vegetable oils are preferred, but animal fats can also be used for frying. Animal fats (eg lard) have been used throughout history to fry food, which can create many delicious flavors. But this also means you have added more fat to your meal.

Risks of fried foods with some oils

Although you can experiment a little with oils, some types should be avoided absolutely because their polyunsaturated fat content is very high. They are often called industrial vegetable oils. They are less resistant to heat and are able to release toxins when used in frying at high temperatures. Some oils you should always avoid include safflower oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.

The last word

While delicious fried food is undeniable, it should only be added to your diet on a certain occasion. Cooking food in other ways can be healthier, and you can better control the calories and fat you have in your diet.

According to Science ABC
Ms. Phoenix

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High Tech Brain: Why do we use cooking oil to fry food?
Why do we use cooking oil to fry food?
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