Types of Cooking Oil and How to Use Them
In terms of taste and performance, not every type of cooking oil offers the same thing. While some might react well to high temperatures, others prefer to just be drizzled over a fresh green salad. To make your recipes stand out you will need to know the difference between the various types of cooking oil and how to use them. All the answers are to be found below.
Olive oil is created by breaking down olives to make a paste and then removing any surplus water from the blend. This has traditionally been completed on a stone press before olive oil began being made on a commercial scale. It is rich and distinctive in its taste and color and is one of the most common oils used. Olive oil has a moderately high smoke point up to 470˚ so it perfect for high-heat cuisine. You can use it for a variety of recipes including frying foods, but it is also amazing when you use it in vinaigrettes to dress your favorite salad or pasta to add extra flavor. It is also a good idea to use olive oil to make your own infused cooking oil as it takes on the flavors of herbs and spices very well.
Palm oil is made from the oil palm tree and is a saturated fat. It is one of the most popular vegetable oils used worldwide, and it is commonly found in a whole host of packaged products that you regularly pick up at your local store. Palm oil is semi-solid when you buy it for home use at room temperature, but it is a very effective frying oil as it has a smoke point of 450˚. It will give an interesting flavor to foods and is best used with fresh ingredients to give them the extra edge such as greens.
Coconut oil is the oil removed from the meat of coconuts from the palm tree. Coconut oil can be bought as either extra virgin or refined oil. The extra virgin coconut oil will taste of the coconut, but the refined type will have a much more neutral flavor. Coconut oil’s smoke point is only about 350 degrees so it will burn quickly if you do not pay attention to it. It is still fantastic however when cooking meat or vegetables slowly over a low heat. It also works really well as a substitute for using butter when you are baking, especially if you are looking for a vegan solution. And the brilliant thing about coconut oil is that as soon as you have used all you need to cook with, coconut oil is a popular way to moisturize your skin.
Avocado oil is one of the safest types of oil for cooking recipes at a high heat owing to its tremendously high smoke point up to 500°. It is possible to use avocado oil in the same way as your normal frying oil and it will probably be a healthier choice too. Avocado oil is high in good monounsaturated fat, so it is always a good choice of oil. Use it for roasting and making vinaigrettes. Also, you do not need to refrigerate once opened, just store it in a cool place.
Peanut oil is available in regular and refined types with the latter tasting blander. When purchasing the regular variety, you need to ensure that your recipe calls for a strong nutty kick to it. Peanut oil has a high smoke point of 450 degrees which makes refined oil indispensable for use when you are deep frying food. If you intend to make anything crispy from French fries to golden fried chicken, then peanut oil is recommended as it will fry your food in quick time.
Sunflower Seed Oil
It is well known that sunflower seed oil is packed full of some remarkable health benefits. It is known to help heart health, lower cholesterol and it can even up your energy levels. When used in cooking it has a smoke point of 450˚ so it has lots of practical applications. Sunflower oil is great to use when you want to sear your food and so works well with a good steak. Sunflower seed cooking oil is great in actual fact for searing all kinds of meat from chicken to fish. However, as it is made from seeds this oil can become rancid much faster than other types of cooking oil, so it needs to be stored it in a cool dark place and should be used within 6 months.
Vegetable oil is classically a blend of numerous different types of refined veggie oils. It has a neutral flavor and aroma and has a relatively low smoke point of around 400˚ which will vary dependent on which oils have been used to make it. In order to be called a vegetable oil it must come totally from plant sources. On the whole the vegetable oils that you can buy in the store are usually some type of blend between corn, palm and sunflower oils. Typically, there is not that much flavor in this oil, so it is best used for frying. If you crave a crispy skin, then you can happily turn to vegetable oil.
Canola oil is created from the rapeseed plant. It is comparable to vegetable oil in lots of ways such as its color, flavor, and smoke point. Canola oil is very versatile and can be used in green salad dressings as it is a great selection for ordinary cooking every day. It can tolerate moderately high levels of heat and as it does have a fairly neutral flavor, you can be assured that it will not overpower a meal. Canola oil will eventually go rancid, so you need to use it up within the year. Simply store it in a cool dark place and keep it away from the oven.
You might have noticed the rise in the use of grapeseed oil in skin products, but its just as beneficial when you cook with it. Grapeseed oil has a humble taste that will not overpower your other ingredients and it is often much less expensive than some of the other cooking oils. Just ensure that the grapeseed oil that you buy is suitable for culinary food purposes. Grapeseed oil will be green in color and has a high smoke point of 420˚so it can be used in lots of ways. It is frequently put in vinaigrettes because it lets other ingredients to do their own thing.
Sesame oil is less of a cooking oil and is usually at its best when used to finish of a meal. It only has a smoke point of about 350 degrees, so this is why its nutty taste comes through best when it is not cooked. This still gives you lots of choices on how to use it. Add it to marinades or dressings with lots of herbs and spices to give your meal lots of punchy flavor. The flavor of this cooking oil is nutty, so it works wonders with Asian dishes the best and its always a good idea to have a bottle of it around.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed cooking oil is rich and nutty with a deep dark green hue. Hemp oil has been said to have health properties such as the ability to be healing and help you to regulate your metabolism. It is found in lots of natural beauty care products, but hemp seed oil can also be used in cooking. The flavor of this cooking oil is delicate and adds a lot to many meals. It is not great if it is heated to much so use it instead as a quality finishing oil for salads and soups. Add it to your hummus and use it to make sandwich spreads too. It can spoil quickly so store it in your refrigerator.
There are many known benefits of flaxseed oil and the taste is very distinctive. It is said to have a positive impact on the digestive system and eases an upset stomach. Again, this is a cooking oil that is at its best when you do not heat it. And you need to be sparing with this cooking oil as it tends to have an unusual smell for some people. And the flavor can overpower if you use too much. It works well as a light dressing over salad.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is well known to be packed full of lots of vitamins and healthy fats. It is green in color and it will give you a warm nutty flavor which will make a flawless addition to a meal. It will work best if you use pumpkin seed oil on a low heat as it could lose is nutritional value if it is heated up too much. Pumpkin seed oil will give you a delightful salad dressing or marinade to make the perfect meal instead.