What Oil Does McDonald’s Use? (FAQs+)

If you’ve ever eaten at McDonald’s, you’ve probably noticed that their French fries are perfectly crispy, even after being served cold from the bag hours later. This characteristic is owed to the oil that they cook their fries in.

The food at McDonald’s is cooked in canola-blend oil to ensure that it’s crispy and hot – just the way you like it. It is a mixture of canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil. A vegetable oil blend is used for cooking chicken nuggets at McDonald’s.

What Types of Oils Does McDonald’s Use?

Here are the oils that McDonald’s uses.

Canola Oil

French fries from McDonald’s are made with canola rather than vegetable oil. Because of the high smoke point of canola oil, McDonald’s fries can be cooked at a higher temperature. Rapeseeds are the primary source of canola oil. Various processed foods are also made from this oil.

Corn Oil

The corn oil used by fast-food restaurants has a variety of uses. Companies that make fast food use corn oil for flavoring because it makes their food taste better. This oil has a higher smoking point than others and is cheap.

Throughout history, fast food chains have used a variety of vegetable oils, but corn oil consistently appears to be the most popular. In comparison to other types of oil, corn oil offers a unique flavor. To improve the taste of their food, fast-food restaurants experiment with various types of oil.

Why Doesn’t McDonald’s Use Unhealthy Frying Oil?

McDonald’s is widely known for serving fast food, but did you know that many of their foods aren’t always cooked? Most of their burgers and chicken sandwiches are grilled over an open flame, but when it comes to French fries and other fried foods, McDonald’s does not have much use for a grill. 

Instead, they deep fry everything in high-temperature vegetable oil. While there are many oils, most restaurants use soybean or canola oil as a healthier alternative to animal fats like lard or butter. 

However, McDonald’s has its secret ingredient – and it isn’t soybean or canola! If you read their website carefully enough, you will notice that they don’t even list what type of oil they use! 

What Makes McDonald’s French Fries Taste So Good?

Shortening companies that delivered McDonald’s vegetable oil in the 1950s could not afford to hydrogenate the oil, which extended its shelf life. Consequently, according to NPR, the supplier provided a blend of oil and beef fat instead.

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McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants have linked their signature fry taste with beef fat over the years. Fast food restaurants removed the ingredient from their menus in the 1980s when health advocates blasted the amount of “bad” saturated fat it contained.

Rather than use beef fat, McDonald’s came up with a solution without sacrificing its signature beef flavor. The fast-food chain has recently added “natural beef flavor” to its vegetable oil to make its fries more irresistibly meaty.

What’s In The Oil That Fries Our Foods?

You may have heard a big difference between vegetable oil and cooking oil—and it may seem odd that vegetable oil could come from anything other than vegetables. Yet soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, and more are all made from plants. 

Vegetable oils are sometimes refined through a chemical process called hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into semi-solid fats like shortening or margarine.

This makes them less likely to spoil at room temperature but also means they’re higher in trans fat (which we now know is bad for our health). 

Many of these partially hydrogenated oils contain high omega-6 fatty acids (like linoleic acid), while others have high omega-3 fatty acids (like alpha-linolenic acid). For more information on how oil is processed and what makes it healthy or unhealthy, check out our post here.

5 Things To Know About How Frying Oil Affects Our Health

Frying is one of cooking’s greatest pleasures, but it’s not always a healthy one. Deep-frying can yield delicious results when done correctly (with olive oil, for example). 

But when fried foods are cooked in unhealthy oils like vegetable or corn oil, their high heat and long cooking time can damage these common fats and cause them to oxidize. 

This whole process creates free radicals that can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Here are the five things you should know about how frying oil affects our health. 

Oxidized Fat Can Cause Free Radical Damage

When we fry food at very high temperatures—whether in liquid oil or dry with a flour batter—the fat molecules break down into smaller fragments known as free radicals.

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These unstable molecules can then attach themselves to other molecules throughout your body, creating chain reactions that lead to cellular damage and may promote cancer growth. 

Unsaturated Fats Are More Susceptible to Oxidation than Saturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are more susceptible to oxidation than saturated fats because they have double bonds between their carbon atoms, making them more vulnerable to attack by free radicals. This is why choosing healthy oils like olive oil when cooking over high heat is essential. 

A Good Antioxidant Can Help Prevent Free Radical Damage 

Some antioxidants can help prevent free radical damage from occurring during frying. Garlic, for example, contains an antioxidant called allicin that has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in rats. 

Olive Oil Is One of Healthiest Oils for Deep-Frying 

Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils for deep-frying because it contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), less likely to oxidize than polyunsaturated ones (PUFAs). Plus, olive oil contains antioxidants like oleocanthal and oleuropein that help fight against free radical damage. 

Don’t Overdo It!

While olive oil is better for you than vegetable or corn oil, there are some drawbacks to frying foods in any oil. For instance, you might want to limit yourself to just a few pieces of fried chicken each week since fried foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients.

And if you’re trying to lose weight, keep track of how many calories you consume from different types of fried foods so that you don’t go overboard on calories each day.

Is It That Bad For You To Eat At McDonald’s Or Any Fast Food Restaurant?

While fast-food restaurants are known for adding unhealthy amounts of fat and sugar into their meals, they serve a purpose in our society. They provide an inexpensive way for many families to feed everyone all at once. 

Many families cannot afford to eat healthier, natural foods regularly, and fast-food restaurants offer choices that can save them money. While eating at these places regularly is not recommended, there are some good things about these establishments.

  • First, you can get large portions of food for a low price. 
  • Second, most locations have drive-thru windows, so you don’t even have to leave your car. 
  • Third, most locations are open late, so if you work late or want something quick after dinner, then it’s very convenient. 
  • Finally, many locations also offer free WiFi so you can do work while waiting for your order or take care of other business while waiting on your family members’ orders.
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Frequently Asked Question

Here are some frequently asked questions.

Does McDonald’s Fry It’s Fries In The Same Oil That It Fries Its Meat?

McDonald’s French fry suppliers enrich the par-frying oil used at the potato processing plant with minimal beef flavor before delivering the fries to individual outlets. 

Are McDonald’s French fries cooked in beef fat?

No. Not at all. McDonald’s does not use fats or other animal products in our fries. After the fries have been prepared in the restaurant, they are automatically cooked in non-hydrogenated sunflower and rapeseed oil that is 100 percent suitable for vegetarians.

Is McDonald’s Going To Have Vegetarian Fries in 2022? 

Since the fries are flavored with milk and beef, McDonald’s fries in the United States are not vegetarian. The company used to cook McDonald’s fries with animal lard but recently switched to vegetable oil, compromising their flavor.

What are McDonald’s Oil Cleansing Practices?

The oil made by McDonald’s can be reutilized after it goes through the filtering process. This system allows McDonald’s to filter oils in the correct order, so they don’t mix. In contrast to frying chicken nuggets or other foods, McDonald’s pie crust oil is stored in its vat.

Why are McDonald’s Fries So Expensive?

Mainly because the oil they use for frying is so expensive, the fast-food chains typically use lighter vegetable oils while McDonald’s sticks with beef-based oil. Traditionally, beef tallow was used in it, a clarifying method of cooking beef suet with an extremely high smoke point.

Does McDonald’s use beef in their fries?

As part of the par-frying process at potato processing plants before shipping fries to individual McDonald’s outlets, McDonald’s French fry suppliers add a slight beef flavoring to the oil. After reaching the restaurant, the potatoes are cooked in vegetable oil.