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How to choose the best cooking oil (out of 25 kinds)

There is a suitable time and place to use the different kinds of cooking oils. Here are 25 of the common oils and how and when to use each.

How to choose the best cooking oil (out of 25 kinds)

Temperature and ingredients can affect how oil interacts with foods in different meal preparations. How healthy the oil is for you depends on how you use it to prepare food and the ingredients therein.

Smoke point

A smoke point is a temperature at which oil stops simmering and starts smoking thus breaking down. When oil breaks down, it can start releasing chemicals into the food that can give it a bitter flavour, undesirable burnt and harmful substances to the body. Knowing the smoke point of each oil can help you prevent this harmful process.

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However, sometimes smoking oil is not bad. For instance, when stir-frying in a heated pan, it can be inevitable. But even then, it shows that your oil is breaking down.

325 degrees F is relatively low and 520 degrees F is the highest.

  1. Flavorful and neutral oil
  2. Unrefined and refined oil
  3. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Saturated and unsaturated fats
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It has a high smoking point (420-493 degrees F). However, it is best used as a finishing oil to maintain its subtle flavour.

Its boiling point depends on purity. It is best used for sautéing and stir fry, especially in Asian foods. It has a shelf life of 3 months and can be refrigerated.

Has the highest smoke point (520 degrees F) out of all the natural oils and can be used for cooking and finishing. It's best used for stir-frying and searing and has a soft and nutty flavour. It has a shelf life of one year and can be refrigerated. Before it comes to room temperature, it can be cloudy.

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Real butter can be either salted or unsalted. Its characteristics vary from ghee (clarified butter). It has a creamy flavour and can sometimes be salty. It has a smoke point of 350 degrees F and a shelf life of one to nine months. It can be refrigerated or frozen, and the type of storage can affect its shelf life.

Canola is interchangeable with vegetable oil. 3 tablespoons of canola oil can replace a quarter cup of butter, or be used as shortening in dense, moist cakes and quick bread. It has a smoke point of 400 degrees F, and a neutral to pleasant flavour. It is best used in salads, cooking, and baking. It is stored at room temperature and has a shelf life of one year.

Coconut oil is almost solid at room temperature and almost has zero calories. It is best used in coating, desserts, or confections, and has a smoke point of 350 degrees F.

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It can be substituted for vegetable oil (one teaspoon of melted coconut oil for one teaspoon of vegetable oil) or it can be partially substituted for vegetable shortening (1/8 cup of coconut oil plus 1/2 cup of butter equals one cup of vegetable shortening.

It has a soft coconut flavour if it's not refined with a shelf life of two years stored at room temperature.

A study published in the journal of clinical Lipidology indicates that corn oil reduces cholesterol more than extra-virgin olive oil. It has a smoke point of 450 degrees F so it's best used in grilling, sautéing, stir-frying, and deep-frying.

It has a mild and slightly nutty flavour. It can last up to one year stored at room temperature.

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It has an enduring and stable flavour which is why it's frequently used in margarine, shortenings, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. It has a smoke point of 420 degrees F, so it is suitable for deep-frying and stir-frying. It also makes an excellent salad dressing.

Cottonseed oil has a mild, nutty, and almost flavourless flavour. It can last up to 1 year at room temperature.

It is high in omega-3 and is highly recommended by doctors. However, it is not suitable for cooking due to its extreme fat content. For this reason, its smoke point is not known. It is suitable as a finishing oil if the flavour appeals to your taste.

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It ranges from mild to extreme fishy flavour depending on the brand. It has a shelf life of 3 months and requires refrigeration.

Flaxseed oil is highly nutritious and good for heart health but it should not be cooked. When cooked, its healthy fats can turn into harmful fats. It is best used as a finishing oil. It has a fishy flavour and a bitter aftertaste.

It has a shelf life of six weeks refrigerated.

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Clarified butter is a great substitute for butter for those who are lactose intolerant. This is because the milk proteins have been removed. It has a smoke point of 375 to 484 degrees F depending on the purity. It is best used in frying and sautéing.

Has a buttery but less creamy flavour and is best stored in a refrigerator. Its shelf-life varies based on its make (store-bought or homemade).

Grapeseed oil is a product of winemaking. It is best used in frying, as a salad dressing, and in sautéing. It has a clean and light flavour and a shelf life of six months.

Grapeseed oil's smoke point is 392 degrees F and refrigeration keeps it at its best.

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Hazelnut oil has similar health benefits to olive oil. It has a smoke point of 430 degrees F.

It is best used in marinades, baked goods, and salad dressing. It has a mildly creamy and nutty flavour and can last up to one year. Store in refrigerator or room temperature.

It is derived from a plant in the cannabis genus and is legal in a number of regions. It does not have intoxication effects so it won't make you high. It has a smoke point of 330 degrees F. It is best used in salad dressing, cooking, and finishing.

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Its slightly nutty flavour can last for months or longer if stored in a freezer.

When pig fat is rendered or unrendered, the result is lard. It can substitute vegetable shortening. It smokes at 370 degrees F. It is best used in baking and frying. Its umami flavour can last up to one year if lard is commercially packaged. Store in refrigerator.

Lard is pig fat in its rendered and unrendered forms. It can often be substituted with vegetable shortening.

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Oil from macadamia trees is widely used in cosmetic products. The trees are native to Australia.

The oil smokes at 390-410 degrees F and has a subtle nutty and buttery flavour. It is best used in sautéing, pan-frying searing deep-frying, stir-frying grilling, broiling, and baking.

Store at room temperature.

The flavour can vary depending on the type of olives used and the processing. It can be fruity, pungent, or bitter. Olive oil smokes at 320-468 degrees F (depending on virginity). It is best used in cooking, salad dressings, sautéing, pan-frying searing stir-frying, grilling, and broiling.

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When stored at room temperature, it can last anywhere from two years to five.

Red palm oil is highly concentrated in vitamins A and E. However, it is grown poorly in some countries so it is best to check out the manufacturer before purchasing it. The smoke point for red palm oil is 302 degrees F so it's best used in cooking.

It has a mild and savoury flavour and can last up to two years when stored in a cool dark place.

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Use peanut oil when deep-frying. It has a smoke point of 450 degrees F and has a slightly nutty flavour which becomes subtle at high temperatures. It can also be used in cooking and salad dressing. Store at room temperature.

Bran oil doesn't have cholesterol or trans fat. It smokes at 490 degrees F. It is best used in frying, sautéing, salad dressing, and as a dipping oil. Its nutty flavour can last up to two years when stored away from sunlight (cool dark place or refrigeration).

Safflower oil has similar cardiovascular benefits to coconut oil. It has a much higher smoke point which makes it a viable substitute for coconut oil when it's time to fry.

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It smokes at 450-510 degrees F and has a light and almost flavourless taste. Best used in sautéing, searing, browning, and deep-frying. It can last up to two years when stored at room temperature.

Sesame oil is frequently used in Asian cuisine. It provides an extra layer of flavour to many dishes. It has a smoke point of 410 degrees F and lasts up to two years when refrigerated. It has a slightly nutty and sesame seed flavour. It is best used in cooking, salad dressings, and finishing.

It is one of the most versatile oils and is used by many manufacturers because it acts as a stable and long-lasting preservative. Its smoke point is 450 degrees F. It has a light flavour and is best used in cooking, frying, and salad dressings. Sunflower oil can last up to two years at room temperature.

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This oil is made by blending various vegetable-based refined oils which are blended to have a high smoke point. Depending on the blend, its smoke point can reach 350 degrees F. It is suitable for low-temperature cooking, salad dressing and deep frying. Has a subtle mild flavour and can last up to one year at room temperature.

This comes in solid form but melts into a nice oil form. It has a smoke point of 200 degrees F and a shelf life of up to six months to one year at room temperature. It is best used in baking and deep-frying.

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This is the most perishable of all oils. Buy in small quantities and use it as soon as possible. It has a shelf life of six months when refrigerated. It has a nutty flavour.

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