Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cooking Oils 101 - Top 10 Best Cooking Oils

The Top 10 Best Cooking Oils

Cooking Oils 101

When used in moderation, cooking oils are a wonderful addition to your kitchen's pantry.  But, with all the different cooking oil out there is becomes confusing about which to use for sauteing, frying, baking, and for use in dressings.  Each one has its own benefits and uses, though the most important factor to pay attention to is the oil's smoke point, which indicates the highest temperature the oil can be heated to safely.
Peanut Oil
Peanut oil has a high smoke point, and it's a favorite oil for stir-frying and deep-frying.
Sesame Oil
There are two kinds of sesame oil: light and dark.  Light sesame oil has a light, nutty flavor and is good for sauteing, and salad dressings.  Dark sesame oil, on the other hand, has a more intense flavor.  Only a little bit is needed to accent other flavors.  It is great used in Asian-inspired dishes.

Coconut Oil

One of the more eclectic oils, coconut oil is good for deep-frying due to its light coconut flavor.  It's solid at room temperature, but liquid when heated just slightly.  Try substituting it for other oils in baked goods or use to add tropical flair to sides and entrees. Finally, coconut oil is also an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair!

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil, a mixture of corn, safflower, and canola oils, is a great all-purpose oil with a neutral flavor.  It has a high smoke point, so it's good for frying.  Vegetable oil is perfect for baking too, and keeps muffins and cakes from drying out.

Corn Oil

Corn oil has a mild flavor and is another great all-purpose oil for general cooking and deep-frying.  The mild flavor also makes it an especially good choice for baking.

Canola Oil

When you'd like to cook with an unsaturated oil but don't want the added flavor of olive oil, turn to canola oil.  It has a bland flavor and a fairly high smoke point, making it good for sauteingfrying, baking, and salad dressings.  For an easy weeknight side, try drizzling cut-up seasonal vegetables with canola oil and roasting in the oven.

Olive Oil

There's a lot of talk about the health benefits of flavorful olive oil.  The flavor of quality olive oils depends on the particular olives used and the unique characteristics of their growing region.  Extra-virgin olive oil is pressed from whole olives within a day after the harvest and is the highest quality olive oil.  Heating olive oil causes it to lose a lot of flavor, so avoid using more expensive extra-virgin olive oil for cooking.  Extra-virgin olive oil is better for tossing with roasted vegetables, pasta, etc.  No matter the variety, be sure to store olive oil in a cool cabinet away from heat and use within 6 months, or store in the refrigerator.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a flavorless oil high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.  It has a fairly low smoke point, so try it whenever your recipe calls for a quick saute or homemade dressing.  It's also great for baking fries in the oven -- a healthy alternative to traditional deep-fried french fries.

Some new oils I've used:

Walnut Oil
Walnut oil contains polyunsaturated fats, and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. This is a very heart-healthy oil, and is a great cooking oil to use if you are diabetic.  Walnut oil has a very high smoke point of about 400 degrees F, which makes it a great oil to use for baking. It’s also great for sauteing at low-medium heat. It can also make your salad pop, simply by drizzling it over the top.

Almond Oil
Almond oil also contains monounsaturated fats, which makes it good for your cholesterol. It's also an ideal cooking choice if you are diabetic.  Almond oil has a high smoke point of about 495 degrees F, and is good for high heat cooking, like sauteing. It’s great flavor also works well as a healthier substitute in dessert recipes, like whipped cream.

Grapeseed Oil  
This oil contains polyunsaturated fats, and is low in saturated fat, making it very heart healthy. Grapeseed oil is very versatile, and can be used to add a very mild, nutty flavor to almost any dish. It’s great for salads, and can make for a nice drizzle over toasted bread.


  1. Thanks for the deep information about the oil and it's uses...Really I got lots of good points here
    China Inedible Vegetable Oil Market Report

  2. Thanks for the detailed and concise explanation on the different oils.



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