Many recipes call for cooking oils as integral ingredients, but they also may request you to fry, sauté, bake, et cetera, with some oil involved. Even though oil is common, many people misuse the types of cooking oil available to them. To help maximize your health as well as the taste of your dish, here are details on some of the major cooking oils you will encounter in kitchens and the grocery store.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you ask someone about cooking oil, most people will think of extra virgin olive oil. This is perhaps one of the most popular, and many people turn to it when they need a cooking oil in their recipe. It has a delicious flavour to it, which is another aspect that makes it a popular choice among people in the kitchen. That said, this is not as versatile as you might think. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point at 320 degrees Fahrenheit. When you heat an oil past its smoke point, you compromise the flavour and can actually cause your health some harm as well. Thus, save extra virgin olive oil for recipes that do not require heat, like salad dressing, dips, or a simple one-ingredient pasta sauce.
Sesame oil has an iconic, nutty smell to it when you open its bottle. That said, the flavour is relatively neutral, making it a versatile oil. It has a higher smoke point at 410 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you can use it for sautéing or frying with relative security. It works well in salad dressing with all of its vitamins and minerals, as well as fatty acids. If used correctly, you can really enhance the sesame flavour, making this a go-to oil for many Asian recipes.
Do you want a good neutral oil you can use in just about any recipe? Canola oil, also seen as vegetable oil, has a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it can withstand deep frying, sautéing, et cetera. It is also quite cheap compared to most other cooking oils. It is important to note, however, that canola oil is not the best for your health, which is why you may want to use it sparingly in your diet or find an appropriate substitute.
Avocado oil is the cooking oil with the highest smoke point on this list: 510 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it an excellent choice for all high temperature cooking, like grilling or frying. It does possess a buttery flavour and has high levels of the healthy monounsaturated fats. It is also quite versatile and you can also use it in salad dressing, as a drizzle, or in other no temperature recipes.