The Frying Oil Used by Buffalo Wild Wings
Fried foods have always been a beloved staple of American cuisine. Fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC are notorious for their fried chicken, but there’s one chain that specializes in juicy, crispy wings – Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW). With over 1,200 locations across the world, BWW has become a crowd favorite. However, with concerns about healthy eating on the rise in recent years, it’s important to know what exactly goes into our food.
The importance of frying oil
When it comes to preparing fried foods at restaurants like BWW, choosing the right type of frying oil is crucial. It affects the taste and texture of the food as well as its nutritional value. Many types of oils can be used for frying – from canola oil to vegetable oil to soybean oil. While some may be viewed as healthier than others, all oils will eventually degrade if exposed to high temperatures for too long.
Additionally, certain types of oils can cause health issues due to their composition and high levels of saturated fat or trans fats. This is why monitoring what kind of oils we consume is critical, especially when dining out or regularly eating fried foods.
Investigating Buffalo Wild Wings’ frying oil
So let’s investigate – what type of frying oil does BWW use for its famous wings? According to their website and numerous sources online, BWW uses a blend of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hydrogenation is a process that turns liquid vegetable oils into more solid forms that are easier to work with during cooking. Partial hydrogenation also gives the resulting product longer shelf life.
Partially hydrogenated oils raise many red flags among health-conscious individuals due to their tendency to contain trans fats that pose risks to heart health – they elevate bad LDL cholesterol while lowering good HDL cholesterol levels.
In January 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that all food labels must disclose how much trans fat is in a product – which meant big changes for BWW’s menu.
Thankfully, many fast-food chains have distanced themselves from partially hydrogenated oils due to their negative health effects. But despite being aware of these potential issues, BWW has yet to make any menu changes regarding its frying oil choice.
Results: What type of frying oil does BWW use?
As mentioned earlier, BWW uses a blend of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil to cook its wings. This type of oil is often used in food preparation because it also offers long-lasting shelf life due to its saturated state after partial hydrogenation.
Partially hydrogenated oils generally come with trans fats – “partially” indicating that not all the double bonds between carbon atoms are transformed into single bonds during processing, leaving intact double bonds that create trans fats. The FDA determined that there is no safe level of trans fats — they should be avoided as much as possible due to their danger for increasing heart disease risks
Consuming these oils can increase bad cholesterol levels and decrease good cholesterol levels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
However, BWW isn’t the only fast-food chain that uses partially hydrogenated oils in cooking. Companies like KFC and Popeyes also use it as well as other forms of vegetable oils containing unsaturated fatty acids, safflower oil, corn oil or soybean oil although some mixes may vary among individual restaurants depending on what supplies are most cost-effective regionally at the time.
Comparison with other restaurants
KFC is a nationwide fast-food restaurant specializing in fried chicken. They’re also known for using deep-frying methods rather than shallow ones like those favored by Buffalo Wild Wings. When comparing the two chains’ cooking preferences side-by-side, KFC’s solution tends to melt down solid cooking oils to its liquid form before adding it to the fryer. This results in a less uniform coverage of oil due to increased smoke points, which can easily lower nutritional value.
Many restaurants today realize the importance of using healthier oils in food preparation and have taken action to change their menus accordingly. Chick-fil-A switched from partially hydrogenated oils to peanut oil back in 2003. Sonic transitioned from using hydrogenated soybean oil to non-hydrogenated canola oil a decade later in 2012 as well as McDonald’s, which has shifted from frying their product with beef tallow until 1990s, now use vegetable oil blends free of trans fats mostly.
This raises the question – if other fast-food chains are making changes like these, why isn’t BWW taking action?
Criticisms and controversies related to BWW’s choice of frying oil
BWW’s continued use of unhealthy cooking ingredients hasn’t gone unnoticed by health advocates. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an advocacy group based out of Washington D.C., filed a lawsuit against BWW for using partially hydrogenated oils in their food preparation methods back in 2015.
However, according to CSPI director Michael Jacobson, there is little chance that the litigation will succeed due to its nature – CSPI is not seeking monetary damages or compensation but instead wants BWW merely to stop serving unhealthy saturated fat and trans fatty acids contained on their menu. Despite this setback, many people continue to avoid eating at Buffalo Wild Wings locations due to concerns about their use of unhealthy food preparation methods.
Conclusion: Is BWW’s choice of frying oil healthy?
In light of all we’ve uncovered here about partially hydrogenated oils and the risks associated with consuming them, it’s clear that Buffalo Wild Wings’ choice of frying oil may not be healthy in terms of promoting good heart health among its customers.
BWW’s menu is filled with calorie-dense, fat-laden dishes that can seriously impact health. When you add in trans fats and overconsumption of carbohydrates from breading on fried foods as possible metabolic stressors, it’s clear why many consumers are seeking healthier eating habits.
While BWW has yet to make any changes regarding its frying oil choice, they do offer non-fried options such as grilled or roasted proteins that can be enjoyed without the guilt of unhealthy food consumption practices instead.
It may be best for consumers to be mindful not just when and where they choose to eat but also what they choose to order – making healthier choices like choosing their newer options or grilling seems like a wise idea.
- Q: What type of oil does Buffalo Wild Wings use to fry their wings? A: According to their website, Buffalo Wild Wings uses a proprietary blend of soybean and corn oil to fry their wings to crispy perfection.
- Q: Is the frying oil used by Buffalo Wild Wings trans-fat free? A: Yes, the cooking oil used at Buffalo Wild Wings is free from trans-fats, making it a healthier option for those who want to indulge in some tasty fried chicken.
- Q: Does the type of frying oil affect the taste of the wings at Buffalo Wild Wings? A: While the choice of frying oil can have an impact on the flavor and overall quality of fried food, most customers agree that the unique seasoning blends used by Buffalo Wild Wings are what sets their wings apart from the rest.
- Q: Is there any information available about the sourcing and sustainability of the frying oil used at Buffalo Wild Wings? A: Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any specific information on where Buffalo Wild Wings sources their frying oil or whether they prioritize sustainable practices in their production process. However, they do make an effort to compost waste materials and implement recycling programs in their restaurants.