COOKING OILS DECLASSIFIED ARE YOU USING EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL WRONG?
Not all cooking oils are created equal. Some cooking oils have distinct flavors, while others are suited for high temperatures. Every oil is unique. Here are six common oils and their best uses. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL An often misused oil, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) should not be used for cooking or frying. It’s simply too delicate and cannot withstand high temperatures, which can damage the flavor, ruining dishes. Instead, use it as a finishing oil — drizzle it over pasta, salad, or bread. OLIVE OIL Unlike EVOO, standard olive oil can be used for cooking and frying. It can withstand temps up to about 460 degrees. In many cases, you can use it in place of other cooking oils — just be sure you’re using plain olive oil and not EVOO. COCONUT OIL Better for baking than cooking, coconut oil is generally solid at room temperature. It can be used for some cooking, but like EVOO it doesn’t play well with high temperatures. Keep it at 350 degrees or below and use it as a butter substitute. CANOLA OIL/VEGETABLE OIL A good option for high-heat cooking, baking, and frying, these utilitarian oils are completely neutral in flavor, but they’re not heart-healthy. Vegetable oil is a generic mix of oils, including soybean, canola (rapeseed), and palm oils, making it the most inexpensive cooking oil.
PEANUT OIL Great for high-heat cooking, frying, and deep-frying, peanut oil has a neutral flavor, so you can easily use it in just about any dish that needs a cooking oil. It’s also a more heart-healthy option than canola and vegetable oils. AVOCADO OIL When you need an oil to withstand high temps, this is your oil. It has a smoke point of 510 degrees, making it perfect for grilling and stir-frying. What makes avocado oil particularly unique is it can also be used as a finishing oil, like EVOO. It’s light yet resilient.
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