Cooking With Peanut Oil: The Dos And Don’ts

Peanut oil has a reputation for being a versatile oil that can be used in high-temperature applications including stir-frying and deep-frying. It has a set of unique properties that make it one of the more valuable cooking oils, but you will only get its benefits if you know how to use it. Here are some of the best ways to use peanut oil.

Do learn the differences between the peanut oil varieties.

There are several peanut oil varieties and each has different benefits and drawbacks when used for frying. The most common peanut oils are refined peanut oil and virgin (AKA cold-pressed) peanut oil. Refined peanut oil has been processed to remove compounds that give it flavor and color. The virgin variety will still contain flavor-producing compounds.

Do use refined peanut oil for high-temperature frying.

Refined peanut oil is world-renowned for its high smoke point, which is the temperature at which it starts burning and generating toxins. Its smoke point is usually listed as being above 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232.22 °C), which makes it perfect for deep-frying and stir-frying. Because it doesn’t burn, it has a reputation for not giving food off-flavors, which often happens with canola and other cooking oils.

Do use refined cooking oil if you are concerned about peanut allergies.

While virgin or cold-pressed peanut oil may pose a danger to someone with a peanut allergy, the refined oil has had its allergens removed and is safe to consume.

Do use virgin or cold-pressed peanut oil if you want the peanut flavor.

This oil has not been processed to give it a neutral taste, so it will be able to give the peanut flavor to dishes. This is the kind of oil that you will want to use for Asian recipes that call for peanut oil.

Do reuse peanut oil.

The high smoke point of peanut oil keeps it from transferring burnt flavors to food. As a result, a batch of peanut oil can be reused multiple times depending on what was cooked in it. Its reusability is what makes it perfect for commercial use.

If you plan to reuse peanut oil, filter it to remove food particles and store it correctly between each use. Ideally, you should keep it refrigerated, but you may not have room in your fridge for a large batch of used cooking oil. If refrigeration is not possible, keep it in a cool dark cupboard in an airtight container.

Do use peanut oil if you want a heart-healthy cooking oil.

While there are healthier cooking oils, peanut oil does have some important health benefits. Some of these benefits come from the phytosterols it contains, which can help to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, which can heighten your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The vitamin E it contains can also be beneficial for fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation. Many diseases including heart disease and cancer are related to inflammation and free radicals.

Do store unopened peanut oil correctly.

While a bottle of peanut oil can last for years if unopened, you will still have to store it correctly. Keep it in a cool, dark location.

Don’t use refined peanut oil if you want an oil that actually gives your food flavor.

Because it has been processed to remove the flavor-producing compounds, its flavor is close to being neutral. You don’t want to use it in Asan dishes that rely on the peanut flavor. Use it as a general-purpose deep-frying oil and for mildly-flavored dishes.