Is It Dangerous To Use Avocado Oil For Deep Frying

Most of us enjoy deep-fried food. Perhaps this is an understatement because, between French fries and potato chips, Americans eat 11.2 billion pounds of deep-fried potatoes a year (via Grit). This doesn't take into account fried chicken, Doritos, donuts, or the myriad of other unsuspecting foods we will drop in the deep fryer. 

We know that fried food isn't exactly health food, but why exactly is that? Most would say it's too fatty, and it's true. Three ounces of deep-fried chicken breast has a whopping 11 grams of fat as opposed to the 2 grams contained in a grilled chicken breast, per HealthiNation. There's more to it than that, though. 

Another health-threatening aspect of fried foods are the free radicals created when oil is overheated (via The Seattle Times). It stands to reason that it's easier to overheat an oil with a low smoke point, but where does avocado oil stand? 

Pros and cons of frying with avocado oil

The good news is that avocado oil has a 520 F smoke point, according to Bon Appétit, which makes it a great oil for deep or stir-frying. In addition to that, it's a healthy fat. It contains unsaturated and monounsaturated fats and a plethora of omega acids, including oleic acid (via WebMD). Its nutritional components are considered beneficial for heart, skin, and eye health. Better yet, these health benefits are not affected adversely by high heat, per Healthline.

The only difficulty you might have using avocado oil to fry with is the cost. This is especially true if you usually use vegetable oil, which is around six to nine cents an ounce, per Iowa State University. In comparison, avocado oils weighs in at anywhere from 30 to 60 cents an ounce. However, you can do a couple of things to make it a little less pricey. 

How to make avocado oil less pricey

Though the smoke point is lower with each use, according to Food & Wine, you can reuse your frying oil. So, you'll need to be conscious of not overheating it when you cook with it again. Also, be sure to strain it after each use and store it in a cool, dry place.

Another way to cut the cost of using avocado oil to fry is to choose the right kind. There are two types available, cold-pressed extra virgin and refined, per Cook's Illustrated. Cold-pressed is more expensive and doesn't have quite as high a smoke point. It's better as a garnish or to make a vinaigrette with. Refined avocado oil, on the other hand, has the higher smoke point of the two and is less expensive, per Cocavo. So, if you are indulging in homemade hot wings or churros and want to bump up their nutritional value and avoid free radicals, splurging on refined avocado oil may help you enjoy them even more.