Kitchen Newbie's Guide to Cooking Oil
Who knew there were 6 kinds of oil?
Vegetable oil or canola? Here’s a guide to the different kinds of oil you'll find at the supermarket.
Different cooking oils have different uses and react in their own way to heat. When selecting an oil to use, always consider its smoke point, which is an indicator of how high a temperature the oil can take before smoking and breaking down. Here’s what you need to know:
CANOLA Canola oil is made from any of several varieties of the rapeseed plant. It is considered healthier compared to other oils because of its low saturated fat content. It has a smoke point of 400°F, which makes it a good choice for sautéing and medium-high heat frying.
CORN Corn oil is extracted from the germ of corn. The refined variety has a high smoke point of 450°F, making it suitable for stir-frying and deep-frying at high heat.
OLIVE extracted from olives, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which makes it a healthier choice. extra virgin olive oil is considered superior in quality and taste, and is best used for salad dressings, dips, and for drizzling. Refined olive oil is more suitable for sautéing and pan-frying.
PALM OLEIN palm olein is a refined oil derived from the palm kernel. It has a smoke point of 450°F. It is solid at room temperature due to its high saturated fat, making it an inexpensive substitute for butter in baked goods.
SOYBEAN Soybean oil is oil extracted from the seeds of soybeans. with its very high smoke point of 495°F, the refined type is an excellent choice for high-heat deep-frying and baking.
VEGETABLE Vegetable oil is a blend of several oils like corn, sunflower, soybean, and palm. Due to its neutral flavor, it can be used for baking and frying at medium-high heat.
Photography by Patrick Martires; original text by Rachelle Santos appeared in the January-February 2014 issue of Yummy magazine.