How many calories does pan frying add?

sfgmatlanta Posts: 1 Member
edited June 2022 in Food and Nutrition
I’m pan frying my pork chop in a mixture of olive oil and butter. How many calories does the oil and butter add, roughly? I figured you can’t just add the total calories to the meal because you’re not actually eating all of the oil and butter, just shallow frying in it. Please forgive me if it’s a silly question, it’s my first time asking a question in this forum.


  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,387 Member
    I always add all the butter/oil to my calorie count, but I don't use very much - just enough to avoid sticking. If there's enough left to pour off, you could weigh the amount left, even weigh a paper towel, sop up the extra oil with it, then weigh the paper towel to find the added weight from the oil, if you want to be more exact.

    That maybe sounds compulsive, but oil/butter is really calorie dense. Mostly, I prioritize cooking methods that require little or none of it, and use the minimum in the cases where I do use it, then just count it all. 🤷‍♀️ You could rough estimate the amount left in the pan, as an alternative.

    "Close enough" in logging will work, but everyone's definition of that differs. If you use a particular method, and lose weight as expected, then that method is close enough. 😉
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,940 Member
    I’m completely with Ann on this, on the rare occasion I do use a smidge of oil or butter to fry I just weigh and count it all. I, too, actively look for cooking methods where I can avoid using extra fats and much prefer that way of eating anyway.

    I freely admit I’ve never cooked (or eaten)
    a single pork chop in my entire, long, life…so forgive me if this is a stupid suggestion. As far as I know there’s a bit of fat on the outside of a pork chop…would it not be possible to hold that fat rind to the hot pan long enough to render a little of the fat which you could then use to fry the chop, avoiding the addition of extra fats?

    Also, could you oil the chop rather than the pan thus using much less oil?

    All these methods do ignore the fact you asked how many calories does the oil and butter add - in my opinion there is no even semi accurate way to determine that - even Ann’s methods above are going to give only vague estimations. There will be fat and water rendered out of the chop during cooking which will skew the weight of the left over pan juices to an unknowable degree…
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 8,399 Member
    When I fry pork chops I use a non-stick grill pan over the stove top--Get it hot and then throw the chops on. I don't use added oil. They come out fine. If they will stick to your pan how about lightly oiling it ahead? If it's a small amount, estimating is OK.

    As Ann mentioned, oils and butter are very calorie dense and inaccuracies can throw your calorie count off, so your question is a good one.
  • beabria
    beabria Posts: 541 Member
    I've been thinking of this from the perspective of ground beef - when you cook it, a lot of the fat from the beef is drained away (I don't usually add oil when browning ground beef) - sometimes quite a lot. But, not all the liquid in the pan is fat - some is water. I suspect this would also be the case if you tried to measure the oil leftover after frying. My plan - though I admittedly haven't tried it yet - is to reserve all the liquid left the next time I brown ground beef, stick it in the fridge so the fat and water separate and the fat hardens, then measure the fat. Not perfect, and not something I'd want to do every time, but I figure that trying it a couple times and averaging it out should give me a fair estimate.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,576 Member
    I haven’t used oil to pan cook in ages. I just brown meats, stir fry etc in a naked pan.

    Ninja (no, I’m not a shill for them, I’ve just found their products particularly helpful during loss and maintenance!) makes a nonstick frying pan that’s fantastic.

    The trick is to preheat it for a minimum 5 minutes, preferably longer, at high heat.

    I’m using it as I type this to brown some ground chicken for spaghetti sauce. Another neat trick I found, season ground chicken or turkey generously with Italian seasonings, mix well, let it sit in fridge for a couple days, brown and use like Italian sausage.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    edited June 2022
    I just log half a tbsp. I'm not concerned about being precise. Good enough is good enough. I don't think pouring off the oil at the end and weighing it would be accurate either since there will be fat and/or water from the meat left over in the pan as well.