The Largest Buyer Of Peanut Oil In The U.S. Might Surprise You

Cooking is always an ingredients game, and the first step of making a great dish is the realization that cooking oils matter. Smoking point, fat composition, and numerous other factors greatly influence which oil you should use for a particular food, and choosing the wrong cooking oil can be a quite literal recipe for disaster. For instance, if you're about to fry something, you could do a lot worse than peanut oil. 

A respected all-star in the frying game, peanut oil is great for this type of cooking because it can withstand extraordinarily high temperatures, is healthier than many other oils, and doesn't commit the cardinal sin of soaking up and transmitting flavors. As such, it's the go-to oil of burger-master extraordinaire Five Guys, which exclusively uses it as its cooking oil. Knowing this, you'd think that it would be easy to guess who buys the biggest amount of the stuff — but, strangely enough, that instinct would be wrong. In fact, the largest buyer of peanut oil in the U.S. might surprise you.

Chick-fil-A is all about that peanut oil

The biggest peanut oil buyer in the U.S. is, indeed, a fast food chain, but it's not Five Guys. It's actually Chick-fil-A.

Yep, that's right. Per the company's own admission on The Chicken Wire, the chicken-themed fast food restaurant chain buys quality refined peanut oil like no one else, thanks to the fact that company founder S. Truett Cathy once discovered that the trans-fat-free stuff was the ultimate cooking oil for his chicken. "Like most things Truett did, he just made decisions that were good for our food and good for our customers," Culinary Senior Manager Shona Jonson explained. "I don't know what you'd call it — serendipitous or magical — but the peanut oil makes our chicken sandwich nearly impossible to replicate."

Considering that the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich is considered to be one of the chicken sandwich game, it's hard to fault this logic. Go, peanut oil!