best cooking oil

What is the Best Cooking Oil for My Restaurant?

What is the best cooking oil for deep frying chicken? What is the best oil for pan frying fish? What is the most versatile oil my restaurant can buy? What type of cooking oil will last the longest in my restaurant?

There’s a lot to consider when you’re purchasing cooking oil for your restaurant. First and foremost, you need to consider taste.

Do you cook a lot of different types of foods using the same oil? In that case, you’ll need an oil that isn’t going to muddy up the flavors.

Next, you need to think about the cooking oil’s longevity. Cooking oil can be a big expense for a restaurant, and you need to consider how long your cooking oil will last before it’s time for it to be recycled.

Smoke points of the best cooking oils for restaurants

You may find oils that say they’re good for frying or they’re good for sautéing or making salads, but you’re probably not going to find an oil that’s labeled as the very best balance of price, longevity and flavor for your exact menu. In fact, many large restaurants use blends of several oils to achieve the balance of flavor, price and longevity they’re looking for. When you’re considering what your restaurant needs, start by looking at the oil’s smoke point.

If your oil starts smoking while you’re cooking with it, the flavor can change dramatically. It can make your food taste burnt. Many flavorful oils and fats are used in cooking, but not in frying because they have flavorful components that add quality to the food but easily burn. The higher the smoke point of oil, the more versatile it is.

Safflower oil has one of the highest smoke points followed by rice bran oil and refined light olive oil. After those three, soybean, peanut, and corn oils along with clarified butter all tie. Sunflower, vegetable, canola and grapeseed oil come next. After that, we get into the types of fats that are better used for other jobs in your kitchen such as making sauces and salad dressing such as butter, shortening, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil.

A higher smoke point oil will also last longer than one with a lower smoke point. Frying at 450F will break down your oil much faster than keeping your fryers at 375F. 

With proper filtration, you can reuse it several times before its flavor breaks down, saving your restaurant money. 

What do the high volume chains choose for their cooking oils?

Burger King uses a blend of soy and cottonseed oils. McDonalds uses a blend of soy, canola and corn. KFC uses a blend of hydrogenated soy and canola. By blending oils, restaurant chains get the characteristics they want in an oil at the best price. Those competing properties of taste, longevity and price get balanced out in a blend.

 And if one type of oil becomes scarce or too expensive for a chain they can change the blend to meet their needs. Cargill, among others, offers custom blended oils to large purchasers to “achieve the correct physical properties and performance characteristics.”

Is the best cooking oil pricey?

Cooking oils derived from agricultural commodities and commodities change prices constantly. During the pandemic sunflower oil skyrocketed because Ukraine produces about 50% of the world’s supply and Russia produces 25% .  Needless to say, war drove sunflower oil prices skyward and wrought havoc on fish and chip shops worldwide.

Similarly, drought in Canada and South America have dropped production of soybeans sending prices higher.

Maintaining purchasing flexibility with several blends can provide significant cost savings to a high volume restaurant.

There are numerous ways to extend the life of your cooking oil, which will be the topic of a future blog.

Once you can no longer reuse your oil, be sure to contact Detroit Grease or call/text (313) 769-8645 to recycle your used cooking oil. We offer competitive rebates that can help your bottom line, along with the most reliable service in the Detroit region.

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