What Oil Does McDonald’s Use For Frying?

McDonald’s has a vast menu, with most of their menu options being deep fried. However, out of curiosity or more, have you ever wondered what oil McDonald’s uses for frying? You’ll get that answer, along with a lot more, all in this informative blog post! 

McDonald’s uses a canola-blend oil to fry all their food items. Although they started with beef tallow, peanut oil, and vegetable oil for frying, they switched to canola-blend oil after a few changes.   

McDonald’s food used to have a distinctively delicious flavor due to beef tallow. But, since people objected to the same, they did many experiments with the oil while also managing to retain the flavor of fries to how they used to be. How has McDonald’s managed to achieve the same? Read further, and you’ll surely get every answer you need! 

Different Types Of Oils That McDonald’s Uses

Different types of oils that mcdonalds uses

McDonald’s mainly uses canola-blend oil for most of their deep-fried food items, like French fries, hash browns, and patties. However, they use a slightly different blend made with canola oil for their chicken nuggets.

Currently, McDonald’s has settled on a few different types of oil blends for other food products. The oil blends used for each of these products are given below. 

1. Canola-Blend Oil with Natural Beef Flavor

This is the oil blend that McDonald’s uses for some products, like their French Fries and Hash Browns. The oil blend consists of canola, soybean, corn, and hydrogenated soybean oil. 

The oil blend has added natural beef flavor, which helps enhance the flavor of the fries and hash browns. This is to make them taste just like they did when they were fried with beef tallow. McDonald’s uses the same oil blend to grease their grills before grilling their beef patties. 

2. Canola-Blend Oil without Natural Beef Flavor

This oil blend is the same as the previous one, consisting of the same four types of oils. However, the only difference is that this blend does not have any added beef flavoring to it. This blend is mainly used to fry chicken nuggets, fried chicken sandwiches, and the fish patty for Filet-O-Fish. 

How Often Does McDonald’s Change Their Oil? 

How often does mcdonalds change their oil

Most McDonald’s tend to change their oil and also clean their oil vats daily to avoid the oil from being overused or going rancid. Even current and previous employees of McDonald’s have the same thing to say about this fact, as per Quora

Although, some of the employees have also mentioned that this depends on how often the oil is used.

Most McDonald’s outlets follow the protocol of changing it every single day. But, if they don’t have as many orders some days and the oil is still good, they may use the oil for one extra day. 

Does McDonald’s Use Pig Fat Oil? 

McDonald’s does not use pig fat oil to make their food. 

Although the fast food chain started using beef tallow to fry their food, they have never used pig fat oil, also known as ‘lard.’ 

Keeping that in mind, McDonald’s somehow never took the initiative to use lard to fry their food, regardless of how delicious it may be. Moreover, the company used beef tallow before, which, similar to lard, also has a lot of saturated fat. So, chances are that even if they used lard, they probably would have to switch at some point.

Does McDonald’s Use Soybean Oil?

How does mcdonalds prepare their eggs 1

Yes, McDonald’s does use soybean oil to make their food. Although the chain does not use only soybean oil for cooking, their canola-blend oil tends to have two types of soybean oils added. 

For people with soy allergies, it is essential to vary the soybean oil used anywhere.

In the canola-blend oil that McDonald’s uses to make just about all their food products, they have added soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. So, it is best to consult your doctor before eating at McDonald’s if you are allergic to soybeans. 

Has McDonald’s Ever Used Peanut Oil?

Yes, McDonald’s used peanut oil for a brief time. When McDonald’s first switched from beef tallow, they began using a vegetable oil blend in 1990. But, there was also a point when they switched to peanut oil.  

Most customers complained about there being soybean oil in the vegetable oil blend. So, McDonald’s began experimenting with different oils, including peanut oil, for a very short time. 

However, the same issue occurred as too many people tend to have peanut allergies; peanut oil can also be costly. So McDonald’s switched to other types of fats, after which they finally settled for the current canola-blend oil. If you are allergic to peanuts, you should also know more facts about if McDonald’s uses peanut oil

Does McDonald’s Use Vegetable Oil For Fries? 

Does McDonalds use vegetable oil for french fries

No, McDonald’s does not use vegetable oil for fries. They use canola-blend crude, made with canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil. 

McDonald’s French fries are probably the best fast-food fries ever! They tend to have a typical 

flavor similar to beef, so many assume that the fries are made in beef-based oil or tallow. 

That was initially the case with fries when McDonald’s opened their doors. The tallow gave the fries a delicious flavor. In an attempt to maintain the flavor while also changing the oil, 

McDonald’s did use a blend of vegetable oil for a while, mixed with natural beef flavoring. But now, they have switched to a canola-blend crude combined with raw beef flavoring. 

What Oil Is Used By McDonald’s For Their Nuggets? 

McDonald’s uses the same oil as that for fries: canola-blend oil, consisting of canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil to make their nuggets. However, these nuggets are cooked in different frying vats and not laced with natural beef flavoring. 

McDonald’s is very particular about avoiding cross-contamination of food as much as possible. So, although the oil blend remains pretty much the same for all their food items, the vats are different, and chicken nuggets only have their natural flavor. 

Does McDonald’s Use Oil For Their Patties? 

As per the official website of McDonald’s, the list of ingredients for their beef patties does not have any oil mentioned. Instead, they have mentioned that the cakes are directly placed on the grill and then seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Although McDonald’s has not mentioned using oil for their burger patties, they grease the grill slightly before placing the cakes to avoid sticking to the surface. For that, McDonald’s uses the same canola-blend oil. 

How Does McDonald’s Recycle Their Oil? 

How does mcdonalds recycle their oil

Most cooking oil from the McDonald’s kitchen that is not good enough for frying is turned into biodiesel. 

Per McDonald’s, they use this recycled oil turned into biodiesel to fuel around 42% of their delivery vehicles. Another great thing about this is that the practice is not followed just in the United States; the oil is recycled in almost every country with McDonald’s outlets! 

How Does McDonald’s Clean Their Oil? 

To clean their oil, McDonald’s uses a filtration system. This system allows the outlets to use oil to a certain extent after it has gone through a systematic filtering process. 

The filtration process is also systematic because it does not cause a mix-up of different types of oils. So, the oil used for frying their pies is filtered in a separate vat from the oil used to fry their French fries and chicken nuggets. The filtration system also helps keep the oil clean for each vat. 


Concluding this informative article, we can confidently say that McDonald’s uses a canola-blend oil for most of their frying. However, the only difference is that the oil blend for French fries tends to have a natural beef flavor added to it, which is not the case for their nuggets. 

Moreover, the burger patties don’t use oil as such, but they use oil to grease the grills, using the same canola-blend oil. There are quite a few fun things to explore about McDonald’s ingredients, like the pickles and mayo they use, their cheese, and the type of fish they use in Filet-O-Fish, which you should read about if these topics intrigue you! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does McDonald’s use the same canola-blend oil for all their food items?

Yes, McDonald’s uses the same canola-blend oil for food items. 

What does the canola-blend oil consist of? 

The canola-blend oil used by McDonald’s consists of canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil.

Do they add natural beef flavoring to all their food items? 

Natural beef flavoring is only added to French fries and hash browns to give them a delicious flavor. 

When did McDonald’s stop using beef tallow? 

McDonald’s stopped using beef tallow for frying back in 1990. 

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