What’s trendy these days is diversity; cultural diversity, all the way to oil diversity. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to this pantry staple; it seems like walking down the oil aisle needs its own directory guide.
Different oils have different smoke points as to what heat it can tolerate, some spoil easier than others and all have different nutritional benefits. No two oils are the same – with that being said, let’s shed some light on what’s what in the oil world.
Extra Virgin Olive OilSmoke point: 160c°
Flavour: flavors can vary between buttery, fruity, grassy, or bitter.
Best used for: Dressings, dips and drizzling
The 411: EVOO is purely the extraction of pressed olives. Because of its lower smoke point, it’s not ideal for cooking but is great for vinaigrettes and finishing oil.
Smoke point: 240c°
Flavour: Neutral flavour
Best used for: Everything - frying, sautéing, deep frying
The 411: Almost found in every pantry, Unlike EVOO it is chemically treated to neutralize flavour and lighten the colour. The neutral flavour will not interfere with other flavours when cooking.
Smoke point: 160c°
Flavour: Coconut flavour
Best used for: Baking and sautéing
The 411: The hipster-approved newcomer; Great for medium heat cooking and as a dairy/butter replacement in baking. It’s also super popular as hair and skin treatment.
Smoke point: 240c°
Flavour: Peanut flavour
Best used for: Frying, deep frying, stir fry’s
The 411: Because of its distinct peanut flavour, it compliments Asian cuisines nicely. This type of oil can turn rancid fast so it is ideal to buy small quantities at a time.
Smoke point: 271c°
Flavour: Buttery flavour
Best used for: Grilling and garnishing
The 411: High in monounsaturated fat (good fats), antioxidants and minerals. It can withstand heat and is also good enough to be used a vinaigrette or finishing oil.
Smoke point: 112c°
Flavour: Smooth buttery flavour
Best used for: Roasting, baking, and deep frying
The 411: Use this oil at the end of cooking so it does not heat up for too long and ruin the quality of the oil. It goes well with citrus flavors, coconut, and even chocolate.
Canola Oil/ Vegetable oil
Smoke point: 232c°
Flavour: No specific flavour
Best used for: Frying and deep frying
The 411: Vegetable oil is usually used in commercial kitchens. In order to create vegetable oil, unlike other oils, vegetable oil is chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. It is also high in saturated fats.