Experimenting with Different Cooking Oils

Each time I walk by the cooking oil section of the baking aisle I never cease to be amazed at all of the wonderful different kinds of oils that there are. Trying out different cooking oils, I have learned a thing or two about them. Plus I have taken the time to look into a lot of the cooking oils that are used to see which ones I want to try next. There are nut oils, vegetable oils, seed oils and coconut oils. All of these different kinds of oils bring something to the table.

There are a lot of soybeans oils used in prepared foods and I am constantly reading it as an ingredient in one of the various foods that I have eaten. Soybeans have many healthy benefits and are classified as vegetables. There is more soybean oil consumed than any other oil, it has a mild flavor that doesn’t interfere with the taste of the foods that you are cooking it in. Corn oil is similar in that it doesn’t have an overwhelming distinct taste. Both corn oil and soybean oil have a similar smoking point, the temperature when they begin to burn and smoke, at two hundred and thirty-six to two hundred and forty-one degrees Celsius. Other famous vegetables oils include canola oil and olive.

While canola oil is neutral tasting, olive oil offers a distinct flavor, making it often passed over where its rich flavor wouldn’t compliment the recipe calling for oil. Canola oil’s smoking point is two hundred and thirty-eight degree Celsius while olive oil is only at one hundred and ninety degrees Celsius. Vegetable oils are only some of the oils that you have to choose from. (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)

There are several different nut oils, including hazelnut, walnut, almond and peanut oil. The delicate flavors that come with these four nut oils make them great choices for cold dishes because heat will diminish their flavors. Despite having a smoke point of two hundred and thirty-one degrees Celsius, peanut oil is not the best choice for frying because of the flavor that it loses. Like nut oils, there are several seed oils that you can use. Safflower oil and sunflower oil have two of the highest smoking points, two hundred and sixty-five and two hundred and forty-six degrees Celsius, and they have neutral flavors, making them ideal for deep frying. Sesame seed oil only has a smoking point of two hundred and fifteen degrees Celsius and it loses a lot of its flavor from heat. Knowing the smoking points of oils and what flavors you’ll lose with lots of heat is a good thing to keep in mind.

Cooking oils range in prices. Some of them are quite inexpensive and others are quite expensive. After some surfing I have determined that you can find organic soybean oil for as little as two and a half dollars for eight ounces. Organic canola was also one of the cheapest, at about three dollars for eight ounces, organic olive oil was about twice as much per ounce. I didn’t have much luck locating the cost of organic corn oil but non-organic corn oil is the same price as organic canola oil. Like the corn oil I only found a price for non-organic peanut oil which was about the same as the corn. Organic sesame seed oil was about five and a half dollars for eight ounces while organic sunflower and organic safflower oil were about five dollars and four dollars. Where it got expensive was organic walnut oil, around ten dollars for eight ounces and organic hazelnut and organic almond oil were around nineteen and eighteen dollars per eight ounces. Keeping these prices in mind can help you select the oils that you want to have on hand.

For us it is simple, we like nutrition and flavor and we are on a budget. For this reason our main frying oil is organic olive oil. However in recipes where we don’t want to use olive oil for its taste we choose organic safflower oil for its price and neutral taste. For special occasions we get a little bit of an organic nut oil to have on some vegetables, avoiding cooking it to contains its wonderful flavor. It is great that there is so much to choose from.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!