These Are The Best Oils For Fried Rice

Fried rice technically should be one of the easiest dishes to make. It's incredibly hard to overcook, it's a good way to get rid of leftovers, it's done in minutes, and you can make it with whatever you have on hand. With so many cooking oils to choose from though, how do you know which ones will take your fried rice from good to great and which ones will ruin your meal? 

According to culinary blog Foods Guy, the key to picking the right oil is the smoke point—you want it to be high, because if you're making your fried rice right, you should be using a lot of heat. From there, it's a matter of deciding whether you want the flavor of the oil to enhance your rice, or whether you want to go with a flavorless pick so that it doesn't get in the way of the flavor of the dish itself.

The top oils to use in fried rice, and which to avoid

If you want an oil with a neutral flavor, go with canola oil. For a mildly nutty flavor, you'll want to pick peanut oil. If you want your oil to infuse your fried rice with a rich flavor, go with avocado oil, macadamia oil, or sesame, depending on what taste you're going for. 

Not totally clear on what a smoke point is, or why it matters? It's the temperature at which the oil starts smoking, as the name implies, which suggests that the oil is breaking down (via MasterClass). This can lead to a burnt flavor, and it may make your food contain dangerous free radicals. So, if you're cooking at a high heat, you generally want to be sure that you're using an oil with a higher smoke point, like unrefined avocado oil or peanut oil. Oils with the lowest smoke points, ones which you'll definitely want to keep out of your fried rice, include extra virgin olive oil and unrefined coconut oil. For more tips for nailing your recipe, there are plenty more tips and secrets for mastering your fried rice.