Guide to Kitchen Oils

Guide to Kitchen Oils
Staff Writer

Photo by Rachael Ferreira

Ever set off your smoke alarm because you tried to bake sweet potato fries in olive oil? Wondered which oils you can use in baking and which you can’t? Here’s your guide to a few common kitchen oils.

Photo by Rachael Ferreira

Canola Oil:

Not only is canola oil an excellent source of essential fatty acids, it also wins in the lowest saturated fat content competition. Canola oil’s light flavor and smooth texture makes it useful for sautéing, stir-frying, grilling and even baking. It works great as a substitute for butter and margarine in recipes, and acts as the perfect base for your homemade salad dressing.

Olive Oil:

Because of olive oil’s low smoke point, try limiting it to raw usage to avoid burning your house down. Olive oil’s fresh flavor makes it delicious raw, so try drizzling it over bread, veggies and salad or mixing it into your pasta. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, which may help lower your risk of heart disease and fight bad cholesterol. If your pantry had superlatives, olive oil would win “most popular.”

Peanut Oil:

Without our little friend peanut oil, we would never get to enjoy the heavenly taste of fried foods. Use it when you’re frying at high temperatures. Peanut oil is a mild-tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts (surprise!), and can also help keep dry skin moisturized.

Vegetable Oil:

Typically made by blending the oils from seeds, fruits and nuts, vegetable oil’s high smoke point makes it a great option for cooking in extremely high temperatures. Plus, unlike peanut oil, it’s basically tasteless, so no need to worry about the flavor affecting your food, especially when you’re baking.

Coconut Oil: See 50 ways to use coconut oil here.

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