Peanut oil is a popular cooking oil that is known for its high levels of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E.
It has a high smoke point making it ideal for deep-frying foods like chicken and turkey.
However, in recent years, there have been some concerns about using peanut oil due to reports that the allergen can be present in other types of oils.
For this reason, those who are sensitive to peanuts or have family members who are should consider substituting other types of oil when cooking with peanut oil.
In this article, we’ll discuss what peanut oil is, the potential risks associated with its use, and provide five of the best substitutes for peanut oil for deep-frying turkey.
What’s Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil that has a mild flavor and a high smoke point.
It is made by pressing peanuts and extracting the oil, and is often used for salads as well as for deep-frying foods like French fries and turkey.
Peanut oil’s high smoke point, which is around 450°F, makes it ideal for deep-frying turkeys as it allows the food to cook without burning or smoking.
Why Use Peanut Oil for Deep-frying Turkey?
Peanut oil is one of the best oils for deep-frying turkey.
It has a high smoke point and minimal flavor, which makes it an ideal choice for deep-frying foods like turkey.
Whereas other oils may burn or smoke up quickly when heated, peanut oil has a higher smoke point and therefore is better able to handle the high temperatures used when deep-frying.
The lack of flavor also means that it won’t leave behind any strong flavors that may interfere with the taste of the food being cooked — in this case, the turkey.
In addition to having a high smoke point and being mild in flavor, peanut oil is very shelf stable and can be stored for long periods at room temperature without going bad or turning rancid like some other types of cooking oil can.
This makes frying large amounts of food safer since you can continue to use your peanut oil multiple times without having to worry about it spoiling or oxidizing in between uses.
Most importantly, peanut oil is considered safe for those with allergies since it doesn’t contain peanuts that could cause reactions in susceptible individuals.
For those who cannot consume peanut oil due to allergies or dietary preferences, there are a variety of good alternatives listed below that can provide similar results when deep-frying turkey.
5 Best Peanut Oil Substiutes You Should Try
Since many people have allergies or concerns about consuming peanut products, there are some alternative oils available to substitute in deep-frying turkeys.
1 – Refined Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a top pick for deep-frying turkey.
It has a rich, golden color and a mild, nutty flavor that mixes well with the smoky taste of roasted turkey.
It is also high in monounsaturated fatty acids, meaning that it can handle high temperatures without breaking down or becoming bitter.
When deep-frying turkey, you should use an avocado oil with a high smoking point of around 520°F.
This will ensure that it retains its flavor and cooks the bird to perfection.
The downside of using avocado oil is that it can quickly become expensive, so make sure you buy from reliable sources and store it correctly to preserve its quality.
2 – Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is similar to corn, canola and peanut oil in that it has a high smoke point, making it good for deep-frying.
It is also considered one of the healthiest edible oils due to its low levels of saturated fat and high levels of omega fatty acids.
One of the biggest advantages of using safflower oil is its mild flavor — unlike corn, canola or peanut oil, safflower oil won’t overpower the flavor of whatever you’re deep-frying.
There are two types of safflower oil: one that is high in oleic acid (monounsaturated fat) and one that is high in linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fat).
The latter type is cheaper; however it has a lower smoke point than the oleic variety.
Whichever variety you choose, be sure to replace the cooking oil after 4-5 uses as this will significantly decrease its smoke point.
3 – Refined Soybean Oil
Refined soybean oil is another popular choice for deep-frying a turkey and is commonly used for its neutral flavor.
The high smoke point of this oil is well suited to high-temperature deep frying.
Refined soybean oil has a smoke point between 465°F and 485°F, which is appropriate for frying the turkey at 375°F.
Additionally, it also has a long shelf life with an expiration date of up to two years from purchase.
Refined soybean oil has been deodorized and decolorized before being packaged for sale, so it does not impart flavor to the food being cooked.
Thus, this oil can be used in virtually any recipe without impacting its taste.
4 – Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil has a mild flavor and is preferred by some health-conscious cooks.
Its unrefined version contains high levels of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant.
Sunflower oil has a medium profile in terms of smoking point, so it’s better suited for shallow-frying or stir-frying foods that don’t require long cooking times.
Sunflower oil also has a relatively low smoke point compared to other types of cooking oils so be sure to pay attention to the temperature when deep-frying your turkey.
5 – Canola Oil
Canola oil is the perfect substitution for peanut oil if you’re looking for a neutral-tasting oil for deep-frying your turkey.
It probably has the most neutral flavor among all possible substitutes of peanut oil and is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Canola stands up to high temperatures very well, making it a good choice for frying as it won’t smoke as quickly as other oils.
Additionally, canola is relatively inexpensive so you’ll be able to get more servings out of a single bottle or container of canola compared to other options.
When it comes to deep-frying a turkey, peanut oil is an excellent choice due to its high smoke point.
It gives food a wonderfully rich flavor and produces an even brown color.
However, for those individuals with peanut allergies, it’s important to have alternatives at hand.
Coconut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil and grapeseed oil are all great substitutes for peanut oil.
Canola oil is another versatile option that can also be used in frying turkey – however, it may produce a less golden color than the other substitute oils suggested here.
Ultimately, try out each of these oils to determine which one provides the best results for your particular taste preferences and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is peanut oil?
Peanut oil is a vegetable oil made from pressed peanuts.
It has a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep-frying foods like turkey.
What are the best substitutes for peanut oil for deep-frying turkey?
The best substitutes for peanut oil for deep-frying turkey are vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Is peanut oil healthy?
Peanut oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fat and can be used as a healthier alternative to other oils for cooking.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!