Peanut oil has a high smoke point which makes it useful for frying. The fat in peanut oil is approximately 50% monounsaturated and 30% polyunsaturated.
Peanut oil, an all-purpose oil derived from peanuts, is pale gold and subtly flavored with the richness of peanuts. It can be heated to high temperatures without smoking, which makes it suitable for deep-frying and sautéing. Clear oil pressed from peanuts; very useful in Chinese cooking. Peanut oil has a delicate flavor and high smoke point, making it perfect for deep-frying. American peanut oils tend to be mild-flavored, whereas Chinese peanut oils have a distinctive peanut flavor. Peanut oil will keep indefinitely if stored in a cool, dark place.
The peanut oil used in Asia is not the highly refined, flavourless oil we get in the West but an unrefined version of the same thing, full of pea nutty flavour. If this is too strong for your palate, try diluting it with a flavourless oil (grapeseed, maize, refined peanut, olive, sunflower). For deep frying, peanut oil is ideal as it may be taken to high temperatures without burning and absorbs very little taste or odour, making it suitable to strain and re-use. Good for stir-frying also. The flavour is especially appropriate for Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking, usually flavoured with a small proportion of oriental sesame oil.
Peanut oil is exceeded in world production only by soybean. World production of peanut oil, 1964-66, averaged 3,166,000 tons. In extracting the oil in the U.S., the cleaned nuts are passed through hullers or shellers to separate the kernels. The kernels, which contain 48 to 56 percent of oil, are then crushed, heated and pressed hot in hydraulic presses. The oil is used in the manufacture of margarines and shortenings, and as a salad and cooking oil. The press cake is used for cattle food.