Frying turkey with peanut oil is an age-old tradition that captivates many home cooks.
It’s highly regarded as a flavorful, healthy choice when it comes to deep-frying your bird.
But what if you don’t have peanut oil in your pantry? If you’re looking for the next best alternative to fry up the perfect turkey, then look no further.
In this article, we’ll help explain how to use and serve different alternatives to peanut oil; from vegetable oil to avocado oil, there are plenty of alternatives that will make frying and enjoying a turkey hassle free.
Read on to find out the five best substitutes for peanut oil and learn how to use them for frying your Thanksgiving treat.
Why Use Peanut Oil for Deep-frying Turkey?
Peanut oil has long been a favorite among chefs and homemakers alike due to its high smoke point, making it an excellent choice for deep-frying turkey.
While other oils may burn more quickly and impart a taste that you won’t enjoy with your turkey, peanut oil lets you fry your bird without any problems.
But what else does it have to offer? Its light, neutral flavor enhances the natural taste of your turkey, and the aroma it produces while cooking is simply heavenly.
If you really want to make sure you fry up the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, consider using peanut oil.
Preparing to deep-fry a turkey is simple – start by pouring the oil into a pot or deep fryer until it reaches a depth of at least two inches before heating it over medium heat (about 350°F).
Then lower your bird into the hot peanut oil and allow it to cook through fully.
Ensure that your turkey is evenly cooked throughout by checking its internal temperature between 180°F – 185°F before serving.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Peanut Oil for Deep-frying Turkey
Peanut oil is popularly used for deep-frying turkey due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor, but it may not be ideal for everyone.
However, there is no shortage of options when it comes to selecting a cooking oil for deep-frying turkey that can deliver consistent results.
Here are five common substitutes for peanut oil when deep-frying turkey:
1 – Refined Avocado Oil
Using avocado oil for deep-frying turkey offers several advantages.
This oil is refined, meaning that it has been treated to remove any impurities and increase its smoke point.
Doing so increases the oil’s flash point without sacrificing flavor or nutritional content, which makes it a popular choice for deep-frying turkey.
Refined avocado oil has a very high smoke point of 520°F.
This means that you can fry your turkey at a higher temperature to produce crisper skin that seals in moisture and flavor while still safely avoiding any harmful compounds such as free radicals.
Furthermore, avocado oil is naturally high in healthy omega-9 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, making it an excellent choice if you are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still eating delicious fried foods.
2 – Safflower Oil
Safflower oil has one of the highest smoke points of any other vegetable oil.
It has a very mild flavor and light golden color, making it a great alternative for deep-frying turkey.
In addition to its neutral flavor, safflower oil is considered to be rich in antioxidants and highly stable for longer cooking times.
A suggested ratio when substituting peanut oil with safflower oil is 1:1 meaning that if the recipe calls for 2 cups of peanut oil, you can substitute it with 2 cups of safflower oil with no other adjustment necessary.
Safflower oil can also be an ideal choice for those trying to avoid or reduce the use of peanut oils.
3 – Refined Soybean Oil
Refined soybean oil is one of the safest alternatives to using peanut oil in deep-frying a turkey.
This oil is highly refined and contains no peanut proteins or other allergens.
Soybean oil is affordable, neutral in flavor, and has a fairly high smoke point of 465°F (240°C).
This makes it suitable for deep-frying a turkey at 375°F (190°C).
It also has a longer shelf life than many other cooking oils and can be stored for up to 12 months in its original container away from heat, light and humidity.
When you’re ready to use it for cooking your turkey, make sure that you discard any unused portions as old oil can become rancid over time.
4 – Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is a good replacement for peanut oil when deep-frying turkey.
It is a vegetable oil that is used in many commercial kitchens as a versatile cooking medium.
Sunflower oil has a very mild nutty flavor, which makes it great for deep-frying turkey as the flavor of peanut oil will be masked.
It has a high smoke point (450°F) so it won’t break down as quickly and will offer your cooked bird extra protection against burning or sticking to the surface when cooked.
Sunflower oil also resists rancidity better than other vegetable oils and can be used over multiple times without having to worry about it tasting off or souring.
It is available at most grocery stores in either its refined form, which is ideal for deep-frying, or an unrefined version you can use for other types of cooking such as sautéing and stir-frying.
5 – Canola Oil
This oil is a top choice for deep-frying turkey (or any other food) due to its light flavor and high smoke point.
Canola oil is created from crushed rapeseed, and the name “canola” was derived from the phrase “Canadian oil, low acid”.
The oil has a neutral taste, unlike some of the other cooking oils that have a more distinct flavor.
This makes it great for frying many types of food, including your turkey.
Canola oil also has one of the highest levels of monounsaturated fats and one of the lowest levels of saturated fat among cooking oils.
Its smoke point is around 400°F/204°C which means it can be used for longer periods without burning or smoking.
It is important to be aware of the health concerns that can come with deep-frying your turkey.
Peanut oil is an excellent choice as it has a higher smoke point than many other types of oil and isn’t as heavily processed as some of its alternatives.
If you’re looking for alternatives to peanut oil, there are several viable options available.
Overall, selecting the right cooking oil for deep frying turkey boils down to personal preference and budget considerations.
Because peanut oil does have an unusually high smoke point ($450F or 232C), it tends to be a favorite among professional chefs who fry large turkeys on a regular basis.
Whatever type of cooking oil you decide to use, pay attention to smoke points, burning temperatures, flavor neutrality, health benefits, and cost when making your selection.