how to tell if oil is hot enough to fry

How to tell if oil is hot enough to fry, isn’t something too hard to figure out.

But since you may not know how, or are unsure about your method, this article furnishes you with sure ways.

It is inadvisable and consequential to fry your meals in either too hot or too cold oil. 

This article carries it all, all you want to know concerning using oil to fry.

The easiest and fastest way to tell whether oil is hot enough to fry is by dipping the end of a cooking stick into it and observing how it bubbles. When there are many bubbles around the area with the cooking stick, the oil is ripe for frying.

Why Does Oil Temperature Matter While Frying?

why the oil temperature matter

You must fry all your meals at the right temperatures.

Frying your meals either at low or very high temperatures affects the quality of cooking and your health.

Overheated oils will cause the food to burn faster on the outside. And this doesn’t leave enough time to cook on the inside.

Also, the fries will darken, and become very tasteless.

If the temperature of the oil is still low, the food begins absorbing the oil inside. 

It will taste greasy and oily, and this could cause stomach aches.

What Are The Right Oil Temperatures For Frying?

the right oil temperature

In the current age, there are countless types of cooking oil, all with varying temperatures and smoke points.

All the different types of cooking oil have varied cooking temperatures, depending on the quality.

The smoke point represents the temperature at which the oil starts to produce smoke, it stops glistening but instead begins to burn.

This makes the food you were frying develop an acrid smell and taste.

The right and best oil temperatures for frying and deep frying should hover within 350 to 375F. 

So, oils with a smoking point above 375F are the most encouraged. 

How To Select The Best Oil For Frying?

select best oil

Since there are all kinds of cooking oil all over, it is necessary to evaluate and select the best oil with the best cooking temperatures and smoke points to get the best out of frying.

Below are the various types of cooking oil, with their smoking.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is derived from the palm fruit of the palm tree. It is processed by squeezing the oil out of the fruit’s meat, milk, and wick.

It is solid at room temperature but melts at just 25 degrees. Coconut oil has a smoke point between 350 to 380F.

This rules it out as a potential oil for frying and deep frying.

Vegetable Oil

a vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is an extract of fruits, pressed out of their seeds and other parts. It is mainly extracted from soybeans.

You might then be wondering why it is referred to as vegetable oil. This name is just a marketing strategy.

This oil has a smoke point that ranges between 400 and 450F. It thus leaves us with the right deep frying temperatures of between 350 and 375 F.

Note: Vegetable oil is the most prominent due to its availability, and durability and is less costly.

Corn Oil

Corn has a smoke point similar to that of vegetable oil. It is extracted from the heart of the maize.

It is also a very preferred cooking oil due to its quality, high smoke point, and inexpensive.

Avocado Oil

an avocado oil

No type of oil has proven to have a higher smoke point than avocado oil.

It is found in the pulp of the avocado fruit, where it is extracted for frying.

It has a massive and exemplary smoke point of between 520 and 570F.

Thereby claiming its position as the best oil for frying and deep frying there is.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is also a  great oil for frying or deep frying. It has a higher smoke point of 400 – 450F.

All these oils will lose quality when used more than once, the smoke point will supposedly lower.

Tip: While shopping for oil, the smoke point stands out as the decisive factor you must put in mind. A higher smoke point is a quality assurance factor.

How To Tell If Oil Is Hot Enough To Fry

how to tell oil hot enough

Meanwhile, even before cooking oil attains its smoke point, it must go through a point at which it is hot enough for frying.

How do you tell when your oil is ready for frying? So that you do not fry your meals in very hot or cold oils?

Well, here are some ways how to tell if oil is hot enough for frying

Use The Kitchen Thermometer

Using a kitchen thermometer is the first, simple, sure, and quick way of reading the temperatures of your cooking oil.

The first thing you need to understand here is that the required temperature for frying or deep frying should range between 350 and 375F.

Kitchen thermometers are readily available in stores near you and all online stores.

All you need to do is to stick the thermometer into the already boiling oil and make the readings.

Put  A Kernel Of Popcorn

the kernel of popcorn

If you do not have the thermometer, then you still have more options. A kernel of popcorn serves you right here.

As the oil boils and comes to the right heat for frying, the kernel will pop, signifying that the temperatures are around 325 and 350F thus ready for frying.

Use A Cooking Stick

Also, your cooking stick comes in handy when you are trying to determine if the oil is hot enough for frying, or extremely hot.

What you will do here is, dip the end of the cooking stick into the boiling oil and look out for any bubbles.

When there are bubbles around the stick, then it is hot enough to fry.

However, when the bubbles are vigorous, then you will have t  limit your heat, for the oil to cool down again before repeating the process.

Use Water

use some water

Although this method tends to be dangerous, you must be careful while trying it out.

Use one or two drops of water, carefully add them into the oil and see how it reacts.

When it burns with a lot of noise, giving so much smoke, then the oil is too hot to fry.

Tip: Be extremely careful to not get a burn using this method.

Drop A Piece Of Bread

A piece of bread will also work anytime you want to confirm when your cooking oil is ready to fry.

Take a small piece of bread of about an inch size and drop it into the cooking oil.

drop piece of bread

When the cooking oil is ready, the bread crumb will turn brown in just thirty seconds.

If it takes it any longer, then know that the oil is yet to boil enough. However, if it darkens then it is too hot to fry and will have to wait for it to cool.

Tip: While heating cooking oil, set the burner to medium and make sure it heats for at least 5 or 10 minutes.


How to tell if oil is hot enough to fry is so easy. Cooking oil plays a critical role in culinary moments.

At least, every diet has to have food that went through frying.

It is quite disorienting eating greasy food that was fried badly due to low temperatures.

Or eating food that did not cook on the inside because the temperature was too high.

This article has cushioned you on how to know if oil is hot enough to fry and shows you how to test the right temperatures for frying.

You may not always have the thermometer, but you may have the cooking stick, popcorn, kernel, or piece of bread.