Chick-fil-A is an American fast-food restaurant chain known for menu items like their original Chicken Sandwiches, waffle fries, and milkshakes. But when it comes to what oil Chick-fil-A uses to cook their food, many people wonder – “does Chick Fil A use peanut oil derived from peanuts” to cook their grilled chicken and other dishes?
This question arises for a few key reasons. Those with an allergy to peanuts need to know, is peanut oil used since that could trigger a reaction. Some love the nutty flavor of peanut oil to cook their food and want to see if it provides that taste profile. Peanut oil is a popular choice, and this oil has been used for centuries for cooking. Also, peanut oil offers potential health benefits that make it attractive. However, anything cooked with or contain peanut oil is also known to cause severe allergic reactions.
Our guide’ll look at their history of using peanut oil, the switch to canola oil for certain menu items, and more. By the end, you’ll better understand that while Chick-fil-A does use peanut oil, steps are taken to remove proteins and cut down on peanut oil in its cooking. (Read Why Do Taco Bell Make You Poop)
Why Do People Wonder If Chick-fil-A Uses Peanut Oil?
There are a few reasons why customers may be curious if Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil in cooking:
The main reason comes from people with a peanut allergy. Peanuts are one of the most common food allergies. For individuals with peanut allergies, eating something cooked in peanut oil can cause a reaction if they eat at Chick-Fil-A or other fast food joints and use peanut oil in their cooking process.
Peanut Oil Flavor
Some people may wonder if Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil as peanut oil also has a lot of flavor. Peanut oil has a very distinct, nutty aroma and flavor. Those who enjoy that taste may speculate that Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil to cook their food.
Peanut Oil Benefits
There are benefits of peanut oil compared to other cooking oils. Peanut oil does contain beneficial fats and vitamin E. So some health-conscious customers may ask about it being used at Chick-fil-A.
What Type of Oil Does Chick-fil-A Use?
So does Chick-fil-A chose to use peanut oil in their cooking? The answer is no – Chick-fil-A has been cooking in different oils, offering fewer known allergic reactions than peanut oil. Chick-fil-A uses refined peanut oil without the reactions. This highly processed form of peanut oil has removed the peanut proteins, so it is safe for people with peanut allergies.
Here are the main types of oils that Chick-fil-A uses for cooking:
- Refined Peanut Oil: For fried menu items like chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Refining removes peanut proteins.
- Canola Oil: Used for baking products like biscuits and cookies. They also switched from peanut oil to canola oil to cook their waffle fries and hash browns.
- Soybean Oil: Found in some sauces and dressings.
- Hydrogenated Soybean Oil: Used for cooking potato crunchies.
- Blends: Chick-fil-A uses canola oil blended with refined peanut oil for some fried menu items.
So while peanut oil is used, it is refined to remove peanut proteins. This makes it safe for those with peanut allergies looking to eat Chick-fil-A. (Learn How Long Does Opened Spam Last In The Fridge)
Benefits of Peanut Oil Alternatives?
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy used refined peanut oil for frying chicken than cooked with peanut oil in the 1960s. Here are some of the benefits of using a refined kind of oil for cooking:
High Smoke Point
Refined peanut oil provides a high smoke point of 450°F, which means it can reach higher temperatures without burning or smoking.
Does Not Absorb Flavors
Refined oil also does not absorb flavors or odors from cooked food. This produces a consistent taste batch after batch.
Longer Lasting Oil
Peanut oil has a longer shelf life than many other oils. The refined version lasts even longer, making it economical for restaurants.
The refining process removes the nutty peanut flavor, leaving a neutral-tasting oil that doesn’t interfere with the flavor of fried foods.
Does Refined Peanut Oil Contain Peanuts?
A common question about refined peanut oil is if it still contains peanuts after refining. Highly refined peanut oil does not contain peanut proteins.
Here is a more detailed look at whether refined peanut oil contains peanuts:
- Crude peanut oil is extracted from raw peanuts and filtered, leaving behind solid peanut particles.
- Refined peanut oil goes through high heat and chemical refining, which removes almost all peanut proteins.
- Testing shows refined peanut oil contains only trace amounts of peanut proteins (under 10 ppm).
- The FDA exempts soybean and peanut oil mixes from being labeled as an allergen.
Is Chick-Fil-A Safe For People With Peanut Allergies?
Eating out at restaurants can feel like navigating a minefield for people with peanut allergies. So is Chick-fil-A a safe place to eat for those with peanut allergies?
The good news is that Chick-fil-A restaurants are generally considered safe for people with peanut allergies.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Chick-fil-A fries all fried menu items like chicken and waffle fries in refined peanut oil, which contains extremely low levels of peanut proteins.
- Non-fried menu items are cooked in oils like canola without peanut proteins.
- Chick-fil-A restaurants do not serve peanuts or peanut products. Cross-contamination is minimal.
- Employees are trained on food allergies and follow precautions in the kitchen.
- Chick-fil-A restaurants have procedures for changing gloves and equipment if an allergy is reported.
Has Chick-fil-A Always Used Peanut Oil?
While peanut oil may be synonymous with Chick-fil-A now, it wasn’t always that way. Chick-fil-A has evolved in the types of oils used over the years.
- In 1946, founder Truett Cathy initially used shortening to fry his chicken breasts after experimenting with different oils.
- In the 1960s, Cathy switched to using a combination of 50% vegetable oil and 50% beef tallow.
- By the late 1970s, Chick-fil-A restaurants transitioned to using 100% refined peanut oil for frying.
- In the 1980s, the chain began using a blend of peanut oil and canola oil. This helps extend the life and improve the performance of the peanut oil during frying.
- Today, the primary oils continue to be refined peanut oil and canola oil, along with smaller amounts of soybean and hydrogenated soybean oils.
So while Chick-fil-A built its signature fried chicken taste profile around peanut oil, it took some experimentation over decades to settle on its oil blend. (Read What To Do With Leftover Kfc Chicken)
Does Chick-fil-A Fry Food in Other Oils?
As mentioned, Chick-fil-A fries most of their fried chicken menu items in a blend of refined peanut and canola oils. However, they do use other oils for cooking certain menu items:
- They fry Waffle Potato Fries® in canola oil rather than peanut oil.
- Hash browns are also cooked in canola oil.
- Their Cobb Salad and other salads use vegetable oils like soybean oil for dressings.
- Baked goods like cookies and biscuits are made with canola oil as well.
Chick-fil-A does incorporate other oils into their menu for variety. This allows people who want to avoid peanut oil, even highly refined, to still find menu options like waffle fries and salads cooked in alternative oils.
Conclusion: Will Chick Fil A Use Peanut Alternatives?
Chick-fil-A does not use peanut oil in its recipes; they use a refined version derived from peanuts yet removes all the harmful peanut proteins. Their menu items are made with heat-processed peanut oil, which ensures that people with a peanut allergy can enjoy the food without peanut oil worries.
The founder decided to use peanut oil for frying chicken because it can reach higher temperatures without burning. Chick-fil-A combines peanut and canola oil to create its unique and delicious fried chicken flavor. Chick-fil-A has recently shifted to canola-blend oil, and in addition to Chick-Fil-A, many other restaurants are cutting back on the use of peanut oil.
FAQs: Does Chick Fil A Use Peanut Oil in Cooking?
Does Chick-fil-A cook their chicken in peanut oil?
Yes, Chick-fil-A has become a trendsetter and uses a blend of refined peanut oil and canola oil to fry their signature breaded chicken sandwiches. The peanut oil is refined to remove peanut allergens.
Why doesn’t Chick-fil-A fry their fries in peanut oil?
Chick-fil-A uses 100 percent canola oil. This gives the fries a lighter taste that pairs well with entrees.
Is cold-pressed peanut oil safe for people with allergies?
Cold-pressed peanut oil is not refined, so it contains peanut proteins and is generally unsafe for people with peanut allergies. Always look for highly refined peanut oil. (Learn How Long Is Custard Good For In The Fridge)
What oil is best for frying chicken at home?
Refined peanut, canola, vegetable, or a blend are good choices. Avoid unrefined olive or extra virgin olive oil, which can burn at high frying temperatures.