There are many types of cooking oil on the market with different tastes, aromas, and, most importantly, smoke points. Choosing a kind of oil with a low smoke point for high-heat cooking is the quickest way to turn your dish into a mess.
But I don’t know which type of cooking oil to use? – you might say. Worry not, since this article is here to help you! Let’s find out all you need to know about the most common culinary oil and fats, including their main characteristics, fat compositions, and uses!
It’s time for some versatile and tasty cooking oil options! Each kind of oil in this post is most suitable for different cooking applications, so make sure to pick the right one for your recipe.
|Types Of Cooking Oil||Smoke Point||Best Used For|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||320 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing, sauteing or making dips, spreads, and marinades|
|Virgin Olive Oil||410 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing, sauteing or making dips, spreads, and marinades|
|Light Olive Oil||470 degrees Fahrenheit||Deep-frying, stir-frying, sauteing, roasting, or grilling|
|Sunflower Oil||440 degrees Fahrenheit||Sauteing, searing, stir-frying, deep-frying, pan-frying, roasting, grilling, and baking|
|Peanut Oil (Unrefined)||320 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing or making marinades|
|Peanut Oil (Refined)||450 degrees Fahrenheit||Stir-frying, deep-frying, baking, roasting, grilling, sauteing, and searing|
|Vegetable Oil||400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit||Frying, searing, sauteing, stir-frying, baking, grilling, or roasting|
|Flaxseed Oil||225 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressings, dips, dietary supplement|
|Sesame Oil||351 (unrefined) and 450 (semi-refined) degrees Fahrenheit||Stir-frying, sauteing or drizzling on a salad or marinades|
|Canola Oil||400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit||Frying and deep-frying|
|Avocado Oil||480 (unrefined) and up to 520 (refined) degrees Fahrenheit||frying, roasting, searing, and grilling.|
|Walnut Oil||320 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressings, marinades, soups|
|Safflower Oil||440 to 520 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing, cold dishes, baking, and frying.|
|Hemp Seed Oil||330 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing, dips, vinaigrettes, sandwich spreads|
|Coconut Oil||350 degrees Fahrenheit (unrefined), 400 degrees Fahrenheit (refined)||Sauteing, baking, and frying|
|Grapeseed Oil||421 degrees Fahrenheit||Sauteing, frying, searing, baking, and roasting|
|Palm Oil||450 degrees Fahrenheit||Sauteing, frying, and stir-frying|
|Corn Oil||450 degrees Fahrenheit||Frying, baking, salad dressings, making shortening and margarine|
|Pumpkin Seed Oil||250 degrees Fahrenheit||Salad dressing, marinades, dessert, or dips|
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fat Composition: 14% saturated fats, 73% monounsaturated fats, 11% polyunsaturated fats.
Olive oil is the result of pressing and extracting the oils from whole olives – an essential food plant in the Mediterranean region. Spain is responsible for nearly 50% of olive oil production worldwide, followed by Italy, Portugal, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, and Morocco.
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Olive oil consists of up to 83% oleic acid and a smaller percentage of other fatty acids like palmitic acid and linoleic acid. All in all, it’s high in unsaturated fats (more than 85%) while low in saturated ones.
The term “virgin” in olive oil means that the oil is produced purely by mechanical means without any chemical involvement. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest-graded among the virgin olive oil types, with less than 0.8% free acidity.
This top-notch oil has a superior flavor with hints of fruitiness and a slight bitterness. The taste will vary depending on the olives’ mature stage when pressed. Olive oil made from green olives will have more peppery and spicy notes, while ripe olives yield sweeter oil.
This exquisite flavor makes it a perfect choice for salad dressing, sauteing, or making dips, spreads, and marinades. However, since extra virgin olive oil has a quite low smoke point of 320 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, it isn’t suitable for high-heat cooking.
If you don’t know which brand of extra virgin olive oil to choose from, I recommend Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is imported from Italy. Pompeian USDA Organic Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil is another great choice if you like organic products.
Learn how the Greeks make their famous extra virgin olive oil.
2. Virgin Olive Oil
Fat Composition: 14% saturated fats, 73% monounsaturated fats, 11% polyunsaturated fats.
Although virgin olive oil is not as high-rated as its extra virgin cousin, it still boasts a wonderful taste, with no more than 2.0% free acidity.
Like extra virgin olive oil, it has a smoke point of about 410 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, you should use virgin olive oil in the same manner as its higher-ranked cousin. In other words, stick to no heat or moderate heat cooking only.
3. Light Olive Oil
Fat Composition: 14% saturated fats, 73% monounsaturated fats, 11% polyunsaturated fats.
Another member of the olive oil family is light olive oil, also known as “pure” or “refined” olive oil. Simply speaking, light olive oil is virgin oil that has gone through a refining process, resulting in a lighter color and more neutral flavor.
However, light olive oil has the same amount of calories as virgin oil and still retains the same health-boosting benefits. One thing that the refining process has changed, though, is the oil’s smoke point.
Light olive oil has a smoke point of about 470 degrees Fahrenheit, far higher than virgin olive oil. As such, it’s a much more ideal choice for high-heat cooking. You can freely use it to make deep-frying, stir-frying, sauteing, roasting, or grilling dishes.
Filippo Berio Pure Olive Oil, which is made specifically for sauteing and grilling, is an excellent choice for everyday cooking.
If you come across a bottle of olive oil with no extra labeling (such as virgin or refined), the oil is likely a mixture of both. In this case, the smoke point and flavor depend on the composition.
4. Sunflower Oil
Fat Composition (high oleic): 9% saturated fats, 82% monounsaturated fats, 9% polyunsaturated fats.
Sunflower oil is produced from the pressed seeds of sunflowers. It’s composed mainly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This oil is also a rich source of vitamin E.
Thanks to two reasons, it is an extremely versatile kind of cooking oil. First, sunflower oil has a neutral flavor profile that won’t overwhelm your dish. More importantly, it possesses a high smoke point of approximately 440 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 480 degrees if neutralized).
As a result, sunflower oil is an impeccable oil choice for stir-frying recipes. You can also use it for sauteing, searing, deep-frying, pan-frying, roasting, grilling, and baking. If you need a quick vitamin E boost in your salad, feel free to use it as a salad dressing.
Remember that sunflower oil will spoil rather quickly, so you should consume it in less than a year. For the best-tasting dishes, opt for high-quality products such as this La Tourangelle Organic Regenerative Sunflower Oil.
Is sunflower oil healthy? This short explanation will help you answer that question!
5. Peanut Oil
Fat Composition: 18% saturated fats, 49% monounsaturated fats, 33% polyunsaturated fats.
Peanut, also called groundnut oil or Arachis oil, is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. As the name implies, the oil comes from peanuts and has a mild nutty taste and aroma. The nutty notes will be more prominent if roasted peanuts are used.
People that are new to this type of oil might wonder about the possibility of peanut oil going bad. Generally speaking, you can expect a shelf life of at least 6 months under the right storage condition.
There are two main types of peanut oil: refined and unrefined. Each of them has a different burning point and is best used for different purposes, so choose wisely.
The refined version comes with an impressive smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a popular choice for high-temperature cooking, such as stir-frying, deep-frying, baking, roasting, grilling, sauteing, and searing. It’s also especially great at frying large batches of food.
On the other hand, unrefined peanut oil, which starts burning at around 320 degrees Fahrenheit, is more suitable for dressing or making marinades.
Make your own peanut oil with this easy-to-follow guide.
6. Vegetable Oil
Fat Composition: Depending on the brands.
Technically speaking, “vegetable oil” is an umbrella term for any kind of plant-based oil. However, if you see this term on a label, it often means that the product is made from a blend of various refined seeds extraction.
Common extractions found in the so-called vegetable oil are corn, rapeseed (canola), and soybean. The oil usually has a burning point of about 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and a neutral flavor. You can use it for frying, searing, sauteing, stir-frying, baking, grilling, or roasting.
Vegetable oil has a certain shelf life and it depends on what type of them. Some can last more than 1 year; some are good to use within a few months.
However, there’s a concern over the negative health effects of this oil, mainly due to the highly processed ingredients. Plus, not all brands are transparent about the vegetables included in their products
7. Flaxseed Oil
Fat Composition: 27% monounsaturated and saturated fats, 73% polyunsaturated fats.
Flaxseed oil or linseed oil is made by pressing dried, ripe flax seeds. It has a yellowish color and a dense and nutty, slightly bitter taste that goes really well with potatoes and quark. The Europeans often consider flaxseed oil a delicacy.
Besides its fantastic taste, flaxseed oil is also a true omega-3 acids powerhouse. As a result, it’s a well-known dietary supplement. Many people love to add a teaspoon of this wonderful oil to their morning smoothie for a quick boost in heart health.
Although linseed oil makes for flawless dips and dressings, it’s not good with heat due to a low smoke point of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, keep the heat away from flaxseed oil unless you plan to use it for seasoning cast iron – a traditional type of cookware material.
La Tourangelle Organic Flaxseed Oil and Barlean’s Fresh Flaxseed Oil are two highly-rated products that can easily level up your dish. When using flaxseed oil, one thing to remember is that it has a remarkably intense taste, so a little really goes a long way.
8. Sesame Oil
Fat Composition: 14% saturated fats, 43% monounsaturated fats, 43% polyunsaturated fats.
Sesame oil is another excellent choice for cooking if you want to maintain a healthy diet. It is among the earliest plant-based oil types recorded in history. This age-old oil is loaded with antioxidants, good fats, and vitamin K.
With a burning point of between 351 (unrefined) and 450 (semi-refined) degrees Fahrenheit, sesame oil offers great versatility. You can use high-quality sesame oil for stir-frying, sauteing, or drizzle it on a salad or marinades to add a touch of nuttiness.
While sesame oil made from raw seeds has a relatively mild and pleasant flavor, the ones made from toasted seeds boasts a more intense taste and aroma. Be careful when you use toasted sesame oil for frying, though, as it can turn bitter.
9. Canola Oil
Fat Composition: 6% saturated fats, 62% monounsaturated fats, 32% polyunsaturated fats.
Interestingly, canola oil is derived from a special rapeseed cultivar bred at the University of Manitoba, Canada, in the 1970s.
Originally, “canola” was a trademarked term that combines “Canada” (can) and “Oil, low acid” (ola). However, it has become a common name for any edible oil made from rapeseed varieties in North America and Australia.
Canola oil is quite neutral in flavor and has a relatively high smoking point of 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. These characteristics make it an all-purpose type of cooking oil that’s especially great for frying and deep-frying.
Nutritional-wise, it has a balanced omega-3s and omega-6s composition, which can help against cancer, asthma, and arthritis. Additionally, canola oil is a common ingredient in the generic “vegetable oil” mentioned above.
Canola oil usually expires after a year so make sure to utilize it to the fullest before the oil goes rancid. Spectrum Organic Canola Oil and La Tourangelle Organic Canola Oil are two brands that you’ll definitely love after the first try.
10. Avocado Oil
Fat Composition: 12% saturated fats, 74% monounsaturated fats, 14% polyunsaturated fats.
If you’re a fan of avocado, you’ll surely love avocado oil. Made from the edible pulp (yes, not the seed) of this crowd-favorite fruit, avocado oil is full of good fats and vitamin E. But there’s more to this special cooking oil than just an impressive nutritional profile.
Avocado oil has a shockingly high smoke point of 480 (unrefined) and 520 (refined) degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, top-grade avocado oil is among the best choices for frying, roasting, searing, and grilling.
Since avocado oil comes straight from the fruit flesh, it inherits avocado’s delicious taste. You can expect it to have a rich yet unobtrusive and buttery taste.
Many people consider it an excellent flavor carrier oil that takes your recipe to another level. In case you want a milder taste, opt for the unrefined version. Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil and Chosen Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil are two brands that you won’t regret trying.
Avocado oil vs. olive oil, which one is healthier?
11. Walnut Oil
Fat Composition: 9% saturated fats, 23% monounsaturated fats, 63% polyunsaturated fats.
Truth be told, the smoke point isn’t walnut oil’s strongest suit since it’ll burn at about 320 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you’re looking for a way to level up your salad, marinades, or soups, this delectable type of oil is one of the best contenders.
Extracted from walnuts, walnut oil has a pleasantly nutty flavor and aroma. Its exquisite taste will go exceptionally well with cold dishes like salad. You can also drizzle it on your soup as a finishing touch that adds more depth to the dish.
Walnut oil contains a high percentage of alpha-lipoic acid and will provide you with anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it can also keep your blood pressure down and help you deal with stress better.
12. Safflower Oil
Fat Composition: 6% saturated fats, 75% monounsaturated fats, 13% polyunsaturated fats.
Safflower oil is a great choice if you’re into high heat cooking as it has a burning point of 440 to 520 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than most vegetable oil. It’s also quite light in flavor, which adds to the versatility. Moreover, if reusing oil after frying chicken is your cup of tea, safflower oil is a great choice.
There are two types of safflower oil. One is high in linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid), while the other has more oleic acids (monounsaturated fatty acid).
The latter is a better suit for high-heat cooking since it boasts a more potent smoke point. You can use the high-oleic variety, which is also the more common one, for baking and frying.
Additionally, you can use safflower oil for salad dressing and other cold recipes, thanks to its ability to remain a liquid at low temperatures. Try this Organic Safflower Oil from Napa Valley Naturals if you want an authentic safflower oil’s flavor.
13. Hemp Seed Oil
Fat Composition: 9% saturated fats, 12% monounsaturated fats, 79% polyunsaturated fats.
Hemp seed oil, or simply hemp oil, is a product of pressing hemp seeds. Unrefined and cold-pressed hemp oil has a light to dark green color and a nutty, grassy flavor. Darker versions will taste grassier than the ones with lighter colors.
The oil burns quite easily and will lose most of its flavor and nutrients when it reaches a temperature of about 330 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, you should only use it for salad dressing, dips, vinaigrettes, sandwich spreads, or add it to smoothies and hummus.
While you can use hemp seed oil in many recipes, it’s better suited for savory dishes rather than sweet ones due to the grassy notes. Additionally, refined hemp oil, which has very little flavor, is mainly used in body care products.
If you want to add some hemp seed oil goodness to your daily diet, I recommend trying Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Unrefined Raw Hemp Seed Oil or Just Hemp Foods All Natural Hemp Seed Oil.
14. Coconut Oil
Fat Composition: 92% saturated fats, 6% monounsaturated fats, 2% polyunsaturated fats.
You might be surprised when you see coconut oil for the first time. Although it’s technically a kind of oil, coconut oil will turn solid at room temperature and melt at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unrefined coconut oil has a burning point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit and a distinct coconut-y flavor. Though having a slightly higher smoke point (400 degrees Fahrenheit), the refined version is less prominent in taste.
Coconut oil is extremely high in fat content of 99%, most of which are saturated fats (82%). However, the fats found in coconut oil are quite easy to convert into energy. It’s also quite high in calories. And ensure you know the coconut oil’s shelf life before buying/using it. And ensure you know the coconut oil’s shelf life before buying/using it.
First-rate coconut oil has long been a staple in Asian cuisine, especially in Sri Lanka, where it’s the primary oil of choice. It’s best reserved for moderate-heat cooking methods like sauteing and frying.
You can also use its subtle coconut-like sweetness in baked goods as an alternative to butter. For your cooking delight, Nutiva offers a Refined and Unrefined version of coconut oil, both of which are of excellent quality and absolutely worth a try.
A detailed explanation of the health impacts of coconut oil.
15. Grapeseed Oil
Fat Composition: 12% saturated fats, 17% monounsaturated fats, 71% polyunsaturated fats.
Originally a byproduct of the winemaking process, grapeseed oil has now gained popularity as a more affordable substitute for extra virgin olive oil. The oil is practically flavorless and has a medium burning point of about 421 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are many culinary applications for premium grapeseed oil. You can safely use it for sauteing, frying, searing, and roasting, or incorporate it into baked goods, waffles, and pancakes. It also works great as a salad dressing or a base for herb-infused oil.
In terms of nutrition, grapeseed oil is quite rich in fatty acids and vitamin C. However, it also contains a fair amount of omega-6s fatty acids, which can cause weight gain and inflammatory problems if over consumed.
Generally, there are two factors to remember when purchasing grapeseed oil. First, opt for expeller-pressed or cold-pressed oil for the best taste and health benefits. Second, double-check to make sure that you’re buying edible grapeseed oil, as it’s also used for cosmetic purposes.
16. Palm Oil
Fat Composition: 52% saturated fats, 38% monounsaturated fats, 10% polyunsaturated fats.
Truth be told, palm oil is a controversial product. On the one hand, this flavorless oil is an outstanding choice for sauteing, frying, and stir-frying, thanks to a high burning point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also rich in Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E.
Additionally, palm oil is a cheap alternative to butter since it’s semi-solid at room temperature. You’ll also see it in various cleaning and body care products such as shampoo, soaps, and detergent.
On the other hand, there are many concerns over the deforestation caused by mass-producing palm oil. Human rights violations among the plantation workers are also a raising concern as there has been proof of sexual abuse, child labor, and unsafe working environments.
To ensure that the palm oil you’re enjoying is a sustainable product, opt for trust-worthy and reputable brands like this Nutiva Organic Fair-Trade Ecuadorian Red Palm Oil.
17. Corn Oil
Fat Composition: 13% saturated fats, 25% monounsaturated fats, 62% polyunsaturated fats.
Corn oil is one of the cheapest types of vegetable oil. This oil is especially suitable for frying since it has a high smoking point of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, it’s also a good option for baking, thanks to a mildly sweet flavor.
Some people also use it as salad dressings or make shortening and margarine. On the flip side, corn oil is quite high in omega-6s fatty acids, which, as you’ve already known, can lead to inflammation.
18. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Fat Composition: 8% saturated fats, 36% monounsaturated fats, 57% polyunsaturated fats.
Pumpkin seed oil is the culinary oil of choice in many central European countries. The unique oil type has an incredibly rich and nutty flavor that tastes exceptional as a salad dressing, marinades, or dips. You can also drizzle it on vanilla ice cream to give it a touch of nuttiness.
In Austria and Slovenia gastronomy, people love to add a few drops of this oil to local delicacies such as pumpkin soups. However, pumpkin seed oil burns quite easily at a mere temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should only use it for low-heat cooking.
From a nutritional standpoint, pumpkin seed oil is an abundant source of vitamins A, E, K, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Apart from the above cooking oil types, cooking fats are also exceptional choices for making numerous recipes. Some of them, such as butter, come with an appetizing taste and aroma.
|Types Of Cooking Fat||Smoke Point||Best Used For|
|Butter||302 degrees Fahrenheit||Pan-frying, sauteing, baking, making sauces, and roasting|
|Ghee (Clarified Butter)||482 degrees Fahrenheit||Any form of high heat cooking|
|Lard||374 degrees Fahrenheit||Frying and baking|
|Duck Fat||375 degrees Fahrenheit||Stir-frying, pan-frying, sauteing, searing, and roasting|
|Margarine||302 degrees Fahrenheit||Baking, daily cooking, and flavoring|
|Vegetable Shortening||360 degrees Fahrenheit||Baking, making frostings|
|Tallow||480 degrees Fahrenheit||Deep or pan-frying, sauteing, roasting, and baking|
Fat Composition: 66% saturated fats, 30% monounsaturated fats, 4% polyunsaturated fats.
Butter is a dairy product made from cow’s milk and occasionally the milk of goats, sheep, yaks, and buffaloes. Although it’s not the healthiest type of culinary fat, the sweet, creamy flavor of butter certainly makes for the best-tasting baked treats and sauces.
It requires a good batter keeper to store your food. Indeed, butter is an impeccable choice for pan-frying, sauteing, and roasting. Many people consider it a must-have spread for any sandwich recipe. Butter has a smoke point of approximately 302 degrees Fahrenheit.
Making butter at home is surprisingly easy!
20. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Fat Composition: 65% saturated fats, 32% monounsaturated fats, 3% polyunsaturated fats.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India. Making ghee includes simmering and skimming butter, then retaining the clear liquid fat on the surface. Additional spices can be added to enhance its flavor.
Ghee is a typical ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It usually starts burning at 482 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that you can use it for any form of high heat cooking. South Indians love to add ghee to their rice and enjoy it with curries or pickles.
Feel free to use ghee if you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to milk. However, you should consume it moderately since the ingredient is composed mostly of fat. I recommend Organic Valley Ghee or 4th & Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee Butter for the best flavors.
Fat Composition: 41% saturated fats, 47% monounsaturated fats, 2% polyunsaturated fats.
Traditionally, people make lard by rendering a pig’s fatty tissue, resulting in a versatile culinary fat with a medium smoke point of around 374 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s generally tasteless and odorless.
Lard is a good option for frying and baking. Although it doesn’t infuse your baked goods with an irresistible aroma like butter, lard makes for delicious flaky crusts. In addition, you can spread it on sandwiches.
The main downside of lard is that it’s not exactly healthy due to fairly high saturated fats and cholesterol contents. To reduce these negative effects as much as possible, go for famous brands such as Morrell Manteca Snow Cap and Armour.
22. Duck Fat
Fat Composition: 35.7% saturated fats, 50.5% monounsaturated fats, 13.7% polyunsaturated fats.
At first sight, duck fat seems like a mere byproduct of duck meat production. However, you can actually utilize it as a versatile cooking fat. In fact, lots of chefs love using duck fat as it infuses the dish with a distinct taste and aroma.
Duck fat has a burning point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit and is most suitable for low and medium-heat cooking. To make the best out of this fatty product, use it for stir-frying, pan-frying, sauteing, searing, and roasting.
In addition, it’s a must-have ingredient in duck confit – a French delicacy, and can be used to make salad dressings, popcorn, and mayonnaise. Give Epic Provisions Duck Fat or Straight from France All Natural Duck Fat a try if you want to experience this wonderful cooking fat.
Learn the most authentic way to make duck confit using duck fat.
Fat Composition (hard): 80% saturated fats, 14% monounsaturated fats, 6% polyunsaturated fats.
Margarine is one of the most famous butter substitutes on the market. Although people originally made this product from animal fats, most modern margarine comes from vegetable oil.
The fat content of margarine sold in the United States might vary. Some Americans tend to call it oleo, short for oleomargarine. Margarine has a smoke point of 302 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used the same way as butter. It’s great for baking, daily cooking, and flavoring.
24. Vegetable Shortening
Fat Composition (per 12 grams): 3,5 grams saturated fats, 2.5 grams monounsaturated fats, 6 grams polyunsaturated fats.
Vegetable shortening is another remarkable alternative to butter. Like margarine, it’s made from vegetable oil and has no real odor or flavor. The process of making vegetable shortening is called hydrogenating.
This plant-based cooking fat shines in making short dough and pie crusts. You can expect light and flaky baked goods when using vegetable shortening. Besides, it also works well in making cookies and frostings.
When it comes to vegetable shortening, Criso is probably the most well-known brand with its beloved All Vegetable Shortening. Additionally, if you want a cheaper option, you can also give Great Value All Vegetable Shortening a try.
Fat Composition: 43% saturated fats, 50% monounsaturated fats, 4% polyunsaturated fats.
Tallow is a solid cooking fat made by rendering beef or mutton fat. It has a high smoke point of 480 degrees Fahrenheit and used to be the primary cooking fat for deep-frying until vegetable oil became popular.
Before 1990, McDonald used a blend of beef tallow and cottonseed oil to fry its famous French fries. Other fast-food establishments like Wendy’s, Burger King, Hardees, Dairy Queen, and Popeyes also utilized this ingredient back in the 1980s.
Although tallow has fallen out of favor in the fast-food industry, it’s still a solid choice for deep or pan-frying, sauteing, roasting, and baking. For your daily cooking, Rendering’s Beef Tallow and Fatworks Premium Pure Tallow are among the best choices.
Not all kinds of cooking oil are created equal. Some taste better in certain recipes, while others are better for your health. If a healthy diet is your biggest concern, I’d recommend sticking to olive oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, and sesame oil.
Ideally, a healthy cooking oil should be low in saturated fats while containing a higher level of unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). Not only are the 4 cooking oil types above good for your heart health, but they also provide your body with good fats.
Other benefits include lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar levels, and improving inflammation. For the best result, use avocado oil and safflower oil for high-heat cooking, sesame oil for medium-heat applications, and olive oil for no-heat or low-heat recipes.
Heat, light, and oxygen are cooking oils’ biggest enemies. To maximize the shelf life of your culinary oils and fats, store them in a dark, cool and dry place. After use, return the oils to cold storage immediately to prevent heat and light from damaging them.
Some oils might turn solid or thicken at low temperatures, but you can fix this easily by leaving them at room temperature for a brief time.
On paper, refined oils that are high in monounsaturated fats can last for a year, while those with a higher level of polyunsaturated fats can keep up to 6 months. Oils that contain lots of saturated fats will last for a relatively long time and won’t spoil at room temperature.
Although the “best before dates” are mostly accurate, rancidity tests have shown that walnut oil lasts only about 3 months, much shorter than the printed date. All in all, you should use up your oils within 2 months after purchasing, as they’ll taste the best this way.
For new home cooks, cooking with oil can sometimes be tricky. Here are some useful tips for a smooth sailing cooking experience!
You don’t need to use a lot of oil for sauteing. Start with one tablespoon and add more (or not) accordingly. If you’ve run out of cooking oils, try using wine or salt-free broth as an alternative.
Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil are great for baking. You can replace a cup of shortening or butter with ¾ cup of canola oil.
When frying foods, heat the oil thoroughly before adding the foods. This way, your food will absorb less fat and be less greasy.
However, please pay attention to the oil’s smoking point as you don’t want to overheat it. The ideal temperature for frying ranges from 300 degrees Fahrenheit to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
As tasty as fried treats are, they’re not the healthiest food. Try to have a balanced diet with baked, roasted, grilled, and steamed dishes.
Although you might not taste it directly, cooking oil is always a prevalent part in your everyday’s diet. For this reason, you should always choose high quality products from reputable brands. Here are the 6 leading companies in America’s edible oil industry.
The Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, or ADM, is a Chicago-based multinational corporation that specializes in food processing and commodities trading. It was founded in 1902 by George A. Archer and John W. Daniels.
The company’s main products include edible oils and meals made from sunflower seeds, soybeans, canola, peanuts, flaxseed, and many more. In 20202, ADM ranked 54 on the Fortune 500 annual list, which consists of 500 United States’ most prominent corporations.
Bungee’s legacy started in 1818 when Johann Peter Gottlieb Bunge founded a company called Bunge & Born in Amsterdam. After over 100 years of development, the company is now officially named Bunge Limited and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to the company’s website, Bungee is now the largest oilseed processor globally. It’s also a leading provider for numerous food manufacturers, restaurants, and bakeries.
ACH Food Companies is the American subsidiary of Associated British Foods plc. Its headquarter is located in Illinois. By 2021, the company has employed more than 320 employees.
ACH is especially famous as a consumer packaged goods brand. The company is home to widely adored cooking products such as Fleischmann’s Yeast, Argo Cornstarch, Karo Syrup, and Mazola Corn Oil.
If you’re a fan of Clear Valley’s products, you might have already known about Cargill, as it is the father of this famous brand. William Wallace Cargill founded the company in 1865 in Conover, Iowa. More than 150 years later, Cargill is now the largest privately held corporation in America.
Clear Valley, RBDW, RBD, and Olina are some of Cargill’s most well-known cooking oil and fat brands. In addition to food and beverage, the company is also a major player in pharmaceutical, beauty and personal care, bio-industrial, and many more industries.
Spectrum was founded in Petaluma, California, in 1986 with the goal of providing high-quality and nutritious vegetable oil. Afterward, the company created a brand called Spectrum Essentials®, which specializes in dietary supplements.
Nowadays, Spectrum Naturals® is one of, if not the leading brands in producing organic, wholesome cooking oil. This famous company offers more than 30 non-GMO verified culinary oil varieties stemming from many countries, including Italy and Spain.
In the early 90s, the Kohlmeyer family in Woodland, California, obtained the ownership of La Tourangelle – a French artisanal oil brand, and expanded its business internationally. The company prides itself on finely crafted culinary oils that have captured the heart of countless customers.
Although the company has adopted many advanced technologies, La Tourangelle still maintains the traditional process, resulting in unique-flavored specialty oils.
With the many types of cooking oil provided in this article, I’m sure that you’ll be able to handle any recipes with confidence. Remember that certain oil or fats, such as coconut oil or butter, will have a unique taste, so choose your dishes accordingly.
Are there other kinds of cooking oil you’d like to add to the list? Let me know in the comment section, and don’t forget to like and share this article. Until next time!