Frying is a process in the course of which many compounds harmful to our health may arise, hence the use of this cooking technique is usually discouraged for preparing meals.
Due to the extremely attractive taste and aroma of dishes prepared in this way, few people are able to completely give up eating fried dishes, so it is important to know how to fry, to reduce the formation of undesirable substances to a minimum. The appropriate selection of fat used for heat treatment is a key issue in this context. In one of the previous articles, I mentioned fats that are absolutely not suitable for heat treatment. This time I will give some attention to fat products that are worth using for frying.
Coconut oil is excellent even for long-term frying at high temperatures.
At room temperature, it has a solid form, which is associated with a very high proportion of saturated fatty acids, which, due to the lack of double bonds, are thermally stable and, unlike unsaturated fats (whose coconut oil contains traces), does not oxidize during frying. Saturated fats contained in coconut oil are largely medium chain fatty acids (MCT) that do not show any tendency to influence prognostic indicators of cardiovascular disease risk such as the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL) fractions. The advantage of coconut oil is also the lack of cholesterol, which can undergo undesired oxidation during thermal processing.
Clarified butter is a type of fat that is obtained by heating butter over low heat and removing scum accumulating on its surface and sediments that appear on the bottom (this process is called clarification). The final product is characterized by a high fume temperature, contains a significant amount of saturated, moderately monounsaturated and low polyunsaturated acids, making it resistant to high temperatures and is even suitable for long-term deep frying. In contrast to conventional butter, it practically does not contain lactose and casein, which significantly enhances its functional properties. Dishes prepared with its use gain a pleasant, desirable, buttery aftertaste. The disadvantage is the presence of cholesterol, which does not tolerate well the effect of high temperature and is susceptible to oxidation.
Lard is an extremely underrated source of fat, while it has quite universal properties that makes it suitable for both heat treatment and raw eating, and at the same time it is ridiculously cheap. In lard, monounsaturated acids (55% oleic acid) predominate, and among the saturated acids a significant part is stearic acid, which does not adversely affect prognostic indicators of cardiovascular disease risk such as the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL). Lard excellently tolerates the effect of high temperature, due to the low content of polyunsaturated acids, which, however, is higher than in butter and coconut oil and on average is about 10%, and some sources indicate that due to the type of industrial feeds it can be even greater.
You can read also: What oil is the healthiest for frying?