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How Do I Choose the Best Peanut Oil?

An allergy to peanuts can be life-threatening, so avoid peanut oil when cooking for or in the vicinity of anyone with peanut sensitivities.
When shopping for peanut oil, look for varieties that are mechanically pressed and avoid those that are chemically processed.
Although peanut oil is the best choice for frying a turkey, it can be costly.
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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Wiml, Danr13, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
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Peanut oil offers more than great taste. Due to its high smoke point, meaning that it can be used at high temperatures for longer periods of time, it tends to be a favorite option for creating delicious fried foods. This popular oil even offers few health benefits that other oils cannot. It contains a high concentration of “good” fats, and is therefore preferred over many other varieties. Be aware that peanuts can cause very serious allergic reactions and make sure not to use peanut oil when cooking for or near anyone with peanut sensitivities.

Oils, including peanut oil, have long been extracted from plants in a variety of ways. The main methods today are chemical extraction and mechanical extraction. For those who are trying to maintain healthier lifestyles, choosing mechanically extracted oils will likely be a better choice than purchasing those that are chemically processed. Look for these or “pressed” oils in health food and specialty stores or in the health food section of your favorite supermarket.

When turkey fryers were new, people dashed out to buy gallon after gallon of cooking oil, especially peanut oil. There is a good reason for that. Turkey, deep fried in peanut oil, creates a memorable meal. It can also make for a somewhat expensive Thanksgiving dinner, so look for lower priced brands, coupons, or sales.

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There are less costly oil blends, and while they can be decent, blends are not the same quality as pure peanut oil. They may not be appropriate for higher temperatures. They may also contain more “bad” fats, so choosing a pure option is generally best.

In large fryers such as fish or turkey fryers, peanut oil works very well, but as noted, it can also be somewhat expensive. This popular oil is frequently more economical to purchase in a large container, two gallons or more, than it is to purchase in one gallon or less sizes. Compare prices and check for sales before a choice. Also note that peanut oil often goes on sale just before Thanksgiving.

Due to its longer shelf life and fairly high cost, some people try to strain the oil — long after it has cooled — so they can re-use it at a later date. Doing so is not generally recommended due to potential food contamination issues, so try not to use more than necessary. While any unused peanut oil still in the container can be safely stored for several months, it is best to keep it in a cool place away from light sources. Refrigerating the oil is the best method for long-term storage.

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