Fried Chicken > Can you cook fried chicken in vegetable oil

Can You Cook Fried Chicken in Vegetable Oil?

Fried chicken is a delicious, crispy comfort food that’s loved by many. Traditionally, it’s fried in oils like peanut or canola oil. But is it possible to get that same crunchy exterior and juicy interior using vegetable oil? Let’s take a look.

Can You Cook Fried Chicken in Vegetable Oil?

Yes, you can absolutely cook delicious fried chicken using vegetable oil. Vegetable oils like canola, soybean, corn, or sunflower oil work well for frying chicken at home. The key is heating the vegetable oil to the proper frying temperature of 350-375°F. This allows the oil to get hot enough to create that sought-after crispy, crunchy exterior while keeping the chicken juicy and moist on the inside.

Compared to alternatives like lard or shortening, vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and has a high smoke point. This means it can get very hot before burning, which is crucial for crisping up the batter or breading on the chicken. The vegetable oil imparts a light, neutral flavor that showcases the seasoning and spices in your fried chicken recipe.

Related post: Can you cook fried chicken in olive oil?

While peanut oil is often hailed as the best choice for frying chicken, it can be expensive and less accessible than generic vegetable oils that most home cooks keep stocked in their kitchens. Using canola, corn, soybean or other vegetable oil is an affordable option that still yields delicious, crispy fried chicken.

Follow proper frying techniques like drying the chicken thoroughly, maintaining oil temperature, and frying in batches, and vegetable oil will give you crunchy fried chicken very similar to recipes using peanut oil or other specialty frying oils.

Why Choose Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil is affordable, neutral in flavor, and readily available in most kitchens. Some common vegetable oils are canola, soybean, corn, and sunflower oil. Compared to frying oils like peanut or canola, vegetable oils tend to have a high smoke point, often over 400°F. This allows the oil to get hotter before burning, leading to an ultra crispy browned exterior on fried foods.

Another advantage of vegetable oil is its polyunsaturated fat content. While frying does increase the amount of saturated fat, vegetable oils are lower in saturated fat than alternatives like lard or shortening. For those looking to reduce their saturated fat intake, vegetable oil can be a healthier choice for frying.

Tips for Frying Chicken to Perfection

When frying chicken with any oil, follow these tips:

    • Use a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or cast iron pan to prevent hot spots that could burn the coating.
    • Use a thermometer and heat oil to 350-375°F. This ensures the heat is just right for crisping the batter exterior without overcooking the meat.
    • Pat chicken pieces very dry before dredging in flour mixture. Moisture causes splattering when chicken hits hot oil.
    • Fry in batches, being sure not to overcrowd. Chicken needs room to crisp up.
    • Allow oil to come fully back up to temperature between batches. This reheat ensures consistent results.
    • After frying, drain chicken on a wire rack or paper towels. Letting it sit a few minutes allows excess grease to drip off.

How Does Vegetable Oil Perform?

When heated to the proper frying temperature, vegetable oil can produce fried chicken with a wonderfully crunchy crust and moist interior just like peanut or canola oil. The flavor will be light, letting the seasoning on the chicken coating shine through.

One potential downside is that vegetable oil may produce darker browning on the chicken coating compared to other frying oils. This darker color results from impurities in the oil but doesn’t affect the flavor. If you prefer a lighter golden fried chicken, peanut or canola oil is a better choice.

Overall, neutral tasting vegetable oil is a fine option for frying chicken at home. For best results, use refined vegetable oils like canola or soybean oil which have higher smoke points above 400°F. Follow proper frying methods like preheating the oil sufficiently, and you can absolutely achieve delicious fried chicken using widely available and budget-friendly vegetable oil.

So, Can I use vegetable oil for fried chicken?

In summary, yes, you absolutely can use vegetable oil for frying chicken. Oils like canola, soybean, corn, and sunflower oil work well. They have a high smoke point to get hot enough for a crispy coating. Vegetable oil gives fried chicken a light flavor to let the seasoning shine. So, grab a bottle of vegetable oil and fry up some finger lickin’ good fried chicken tonight!

What oil is best for fried chicken?

While peanut oil is hailed by many as the ideal frying oil for fried chicken, vegetable oils like canola and soybean also produce great results. Their high smoke point, neutral flavor, and budget-friendly price make them excellent choices. As long as you dry the chicken first and monitor the oil temperature, you can make amazing fried chicken using readily available vegetable oils.

What is the best vegetable oil for frying chicken?

Refined vegetable oils like canola, soybean, and corn oil work well for frying chicken due to their high smoke points above 400°F. Avoid unrefined oils which burn at lower temperatures.

What’s the difference between vegetable oil and canola oil?

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil made from rapeseed. Other vegetable oils are sourced from soybeans, corn, sunflowers, etc. Both canola and generic vegetable oils can be used interchangeably for frying foods.

Can you use vegetable oil instead of canola oil to fry chicken?

Absolutely – general vegetable oils are a great substitute for frying chicken instead of canola oil. Oils like soybean and corn oil have similar properties to canola, like high smoke points and neutral flavors. As long as you heat the vegetable oil to the proper frying temperature, you’ll achieve very similar results using these interchangeable oils to fry up crispy, flavorful chicken.

Is fried chicken cooked in vegetable oil healthier?

There is little nutritional difference between frying in vegetable oil versus peanut or canola oil. Focus more on fried chicken ingredients and cooking method for health benefits. Use lean chicken pieces, light breading, and remove food quickly from oil to reduce fat absorption.

Can you pan fry chicken with vegetable oil?

Yes, vegetable oil can be used to pan fry chicken. Fill a heavy skillet with about 1/4 inch depth of oil like canola or corn oil. Heat it over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Pan fry the chicken in batches, maintaining the oil temperature. The chicken will cook up crispy brown outside and tender and juicy inside. Pan frying uses less oil than deep frying for a lower calorie but still delicious version.

Can I reuse vegetable oil after frying chicken?

It’s not recommended. Frying causes chemical changes which lower the smoke point of oils, making them unsuitable and unsafe for reuse. Discard vegetable oil after a single use.

Can you make fried chicken with vegetable oil?

You sure can make crunchy, flavorful fried chicken using vegetable oil. Heat oil to the right frying temperature and use a neutral-flavored oil like canola or corn oil. Coat the chicken well and fry in small batches. Vegetable oil allows you to achieve that signature crispy crust and juicy interior. With proper prep and frying methods, vegetable oils rival peanut and canola oil for frying up delicious fried chicken.

Can I use vegetable oil to fry?

Yes, you can use versatile, budget-friendly vegetable oils for frying all kinds of foods. For chicken, heat to 350-375°F and fry in small batches for a crispy coating and cooked inside. Let oil return to temperature between batches. Follow proper frying methods and generic vegetable oils like canola or corn will fry chicken with a crispy crust just like pricier specialty oils.


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