Simple question. I just found an old electric wok in the back of my cupboard but I don't wanna use peanut oil or any not any veggie oil if I can help it. I google lard and get confused. Same with tallow. What can I use?
What fat/oil you use really just depends on the temperature.
In general, mostly polyunsaturated fats should not be used to cook with (they should be stored with as little heat/oxygen exposure as possible too), monounsaturated fats can be used for sauteing and stir-frying, and saturated fats are best when frying and high heat cooking is involved.
This is a link to a chart that clearly breaks down the predominant fat type and smoke point for many popular cooking fats/oils...http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/SmokePointOil.htm
I have some nice grass fed tallow but I don't think it's suitable for high heat. I use it at medium-low and I still see occasional light smoke. Coconut oil, though, would be perfect in a wok because it's fine with heat--that's why they used to use it for theater popcorn.
Can you use Ghee, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, or Macadamia Nut Oil?
You might also want to get a deep-fry thermometer and check how hot your fat/oil is getting. I have and Admetetior from Amazon - pretty inexpensive about $7. I rarely use it, but it's a way of tracking.
Between tallow and lard I'd take the tallow, which should work up to 450F, about the same as light olive oil. My experience is on an electric stovetop, and to tell the truth I smoke them all because I have no temperature control. I try to cook hot and fast and keep the oil as light-colored as I can.
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