There are wide varieties of cooking oil to choose from however when it comes to which is considered healthy, the huge list of cooking oil might have to dwindle, cooking oil is a plant, animal or synthetic fat used in frying, baking or cooking and there are lot’s of oils gotten from plant and you can also extract it from seeds like coconuts, sesame, peanuts, walnuts and many more.
How many types of cooking oils are there? The cooking oil shelf is like a museum of liquids and when it comes to performance and flavor, each of these oils differs.
There are so many choices to make when it comes to cooking oil and it most kitchens you can find varieties of oil serving a different cooking purpose and no two oils are exactly the same hence in this article, we have compiled some of the most beneficial oils you need in the kitchen.
14 Type Of Cooking Oil And The Best Uses For Each
Cooking oil is the general term used for oils that absorb more heat energy and therefore very suitable for cooking. Each oil has it’s own characteristics and uses, different shelf life and different nutritional value. Some oils are neutral and good for subbing into any recipe and some are best reserved for drizzling over a finished dish. Here is a complete guide to help you understand and choose the right cooking oil.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil and is a staple of Meditteranean diet because it is the highest quality of olive oil, it is the most commonly used oil for cooking in lots of households and compared to other oil, olive oil is untouched by chemicals or heat and contains more natural mineral and vitamins. Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and can be used for frying at low or medium-high temperature.
Best Uses: Sauteing, sauces, and salad dressing.
2. Canola Oil
Canola is one of the healthiest oil you need in your kitchen, it has a near-even ratio from omega 6 to omega 3, it is also beneficial to the health, this dietary ration has shown to help battle asthma, cancer, and arthritis. Canola oil has a light flavor, high smoke point, and smooth texture, it is one of the best cooking oil to have it your kitchen as it is very versatile. You use it in a number of dishes and cooking methods.
Best Uses: Sauteing, stir-frying, grilling, and baking.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is becoming one of the most favored cooking oil these days and for a good reason too, it has a high smoke point and longer shelf life than some other fats. Coconut oil has some pretty amazing benefits when used on your skin or hair, it is not just a cooking oil but serves as skin and hair beauty remedy too. The fats that come from coconut oil can be easily converted to energy than other fat, it helps to boost metabolism, curb appetite and aid weight loss.
Best Uses Frying, sauteing, for greasing baking pans, baking and as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil in recipes.
4. Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is high in monosaturated fat, it has a bold nutty sweet taste that is high in calories but low in saturated fats. Peanut oil has a high smoke point of 448-475ºF and this makes it great for deep frying, and a range of other cooking methods. The monosaturated fat content in peanut oil also makes it a considerable choice for high heat cooking, it is a good source of vitamin E and it’s more healthy to go for the unrefined cold-press versions instead of the commercial peanut oils.
Best Uses: Frying, roasting, and grilling
5. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is packed full of essential nutrients, it is loaded with antioxidants that slow down cell growth and replication. Sesame oil has a neutral flavor and is the right choice of oil to have in your kitchen, it is known to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and improve skin. Sesame oil is highly distinct in taste and will add a nutty flavor to any dish. Toasted sesame is best used in low-heat cooking methods or to be added at the end or after cooking and it is one of those oils that are good for cooking.
Best Uses: Asian, Meditterrian, and Middle Eastern foods.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter, originated from India with a deep nutty flavor and has gained reputation over the years as cooking oil, it is made by melting butter which separates into liquid fats and milk solids. Ghee oil has a high smoke point and it has less lactose than butter, it is also a great source of fat-soluble vitamins with intense nutty flavor than butter.
Best Uses: Roasting, baking, use as a spread for toast, sauteing
7. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil imparts a strong nutty flavor but loses much of its nutritional value when used alone hence it is best to add it with other healthy oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a power-packed food, an excellent source of vitamin A, K, E and as well as both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This oil has a rich green color and nutty flavor which gives it a perfect blend and great addition to your dish.
Best Uses Frying, roasting, and grilling.
8. Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is another great cooking oil, it is chock full of nutritional benefits, it is best used uncooked and also it shouldn’t be used at high temperature as it becomes slightly bitter once cooked but it is highly beneficial and great for cooking. Walnut oil is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and holds a significant source of nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
Best Uses Salad dressings, Jazz up desserts and grilling
9. Grapeseed Oil
If you are looking for cooking oil with amazing medicinal benefits, the perfect cooking oil to get is grapeseed oil, it has a moderately high smoking point and it is not just great for cooking but used for hair and skin as well. Grapeseed oil has a simple nonexistent taste that doesn’t overpower any other ingredients. Grapeseed oil should be consumed in moderation as it contains a high amount of omega 6 that can inflammation and cause weight gain.
Best Uses Salad dressings, sauteing, frying, sauces
10. Vegetable Oil
Another widely used cooking oil is vegetable oil, the world automatically thinks this oil is good but many brands of oil are highly processed and are simply refined extractions of various seeds. Vegetable oil is also chemically processed and just like canola oil, it has a similar smoke point and a neutral flavor.
Best Uses: Frying
11. Palm Oil
Palm oil is great for cooking, it is processed with a balanced composition and 50% saturated and 50% unsaturated and it doesn’t break or mutate. Palm oil comes from palm trees native to Africa where it has been used for medicinal purposes and consumed for years. This oil is naturally trans-fat free and cholesterol free too, it also holds up to high heat.
Best Uses: Frying, Curries and other spicy dishes.
12. Almond Oil
Almond oil comes in two different form which is refined and cold-pressed, the refined almond oil is best for cooking due to its high smoke point. Almond oil is full of monosaturated fatty acids, it can elevate the levels of good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins. It adds a nutty, toasted flavor to baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and muffins.
Best Uses Salad dressing or as finishing oil for salads, fish, vegetables and cream soups.
13. Avocado Oil
Avocado is a great choice of cooking oil for every household, it is super versatile and is considered more heart health. Avocado oil is high in monosaturated fat and is more beneficial to the heart than saturated fat due to its zigzag shape instead of straight, it is also a good source of omega 9 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory antioxidant vitamin E and lutein, which promotes vision.
Best Uses: Consumed raw, for cooking any dish and for stir-frys
14. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil has some impressive health benefits, it is a good all-purpose oil because it can withstand high cooking temperatures. Sunflower is the right choice of oil if you are looking for cooking oil that is suitable for high heat, it has a higher smoke point than other cooking oils and a mild flavor, it is also beneficial for improving heart health, help fight cancer, lower bad cholesterol, and boost energy.
Best Uses Baking, frying, dressing, searing chicken, fish or tofu.
The best oil for standing up to high heat during frying are avocado, peanut, canola, sesame, and sunflower. These oils have a high smoke point (400ºF and higher) which means they are best when used for cooking at a higher temperature. Unrefined oils like flaxseed oil, wheat germ oil, and walnut oil have a low smoke point and should not be heated. Every oil has it’s own use hence the oil above contains uses to help you choose the perfect oil for cooking.
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