all about oil …

May 13, 2011

If you have walked down the baking isle in a supermarket recently, you’ve see the huge variety of cooking oils; olive oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, vegetable oil, truffle oil.  But, how do you know which cooking oil to use?
It can often be confusing.  Some oils have a lower smoke point than others, meaning some you can use at a higher temperature than others.  For me, my go-to oil for cooking is olive oil.  I use it for many things, but you have to be careful, because olive oil can have a distinct flavor, so you probably don’t want to be using it in every recipe.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the right oil.
When to use what Oil
(via wholefoods)
For baking: Coconut, palm, canola and high oleic safflower and sunflower oil work best.
For frying: Because they stand up well to the heat, avocado, peanut, palm and sesame oil are ideal for frying.
For sautéing: Many oils are great for sautéing, including avocado, canola, coconut, grapeseed, olive, sesame and high oleic safflower and sunflower oils.
For dipping, dressings and marinades: When it comes to making dressings and marinades, or finding oil that’s perfect to serve alongside crusty bread for dipping, you’re looking for terrific flavor. For this purpose look to flax, olive, peanut, toasted sesame or walnut oil.
Types of Oils
Canola Oil
From: Genetically modified rapeseed – has tiny peapod like fruits.
Temps: Up to 375F for *smoke point*, but only use cold for omega-3 health benefits
Health: 10% Omega-3 oils
Uses: Stir frying, grilling. Has very mild taste.
Coconut Oil
From: Coconuts
Temps: Any temperature
Health: This is a saturated fat but a healthy one, and is the only one on the list safe at high temperatures.
Uses: Deep frying, other high temperature cooking. Discard after each use.
Corn Oil
From: Corn
Temps: Up to 400F
Health: 25% Omega-6 oils
Uses: Little taste and good at high temperatures, good for frying. Use only if other oils are not available.
Flax Seed Oil
From: Flax seeds
Temps: use cold only
Health: 58% Omega-3 oils plus Omega-6 oils
Uses: Salad dressings
Grapeseed Oil
From: Grape seeds
Temps: Use to 200F to preserve Omega-6; can be used higher
Health: 76% Omega-6, shown to reduce LDL levels
Uses: Great for frying or sauteeing, a bit expensive. Light, grapey flavor.
Hazelnut Oil
From: Hazelnuts
Temps: Use up to 325F
Health: 78% Omega-9s
Uses: Stir frying, deep frying
Olive Oil
From: Olives
Temps: Up to around 350F
Health: 76% Omega-9, many heart benefits; countless studies extoll this
Uses: Salads, any Italian or Mediterranean dishes, grilling vegetables. Gives a distinctive (yummy!) flavor to foods.
Peanut Oil
From: Peanuts
Temps: Up to 212F for health benefits; can be used much hotter.
Health: 22% Omega-6. Note – some are sensitive to irritants in this oil.
Uses: stir fry, deep frying
Safflower Oil
From: Safflower seeds
Temps: Use to 212F
Health: 79% Omega-6 oils
Uses: Good for salads and sauces, has a distinctive flavor.
Sesame Oil
From: Sesame seeds
Temps: Up to around 350F
Health: Lots of Omega-6 oils plus 49% Omega-9
Uses: Great for stir frying and for a hint of flavor in marinades
Sunflower Oil
From: Sunflower seeds
Temps: Use to 212F
Health: 69% Omega-6 oils
Uses: Salads and sauces
Walnut Oil
From: Walnuts
Temps: use cold
Health: 5% Omega-3 oils
Uses: Salad dressings and spreads
{information found via bella online)

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