The Best Oils to Cook With

It is important to know what is in the oils that we cook with. After all, the oil that we use is what is going directly into our food. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cooking oil is its smoke point. The smoke point is the point at which an oil begins to burn and smoke when heated. Once an oil goes past its smoke point, the oil releases harmful compounds. For a healthier, cleaner cooking experience, try to incorporate some of these following oils. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I am sure we all have olive oil in our pantry or have used it at some point. Extra Virgin Olive oil is a healthy and versatile oil. It is great for pan sautéing over medium-high heat, roasting and making dressings. It has a smoke point of 325-375°F. 

Avocado Oil

This oil has a mild flavor and a rather high smoke point. It can be used to fry, roast, and bake. Virgin avocado oil has a smoke point of 375°F and refined avocado oil has a smoke point of 520°F.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has grown quite popular over the years. This oil is great for a quick sauté and is often used for baking. Coconut oil is a firm oil when it stands at room temperature. It is composed of a lot of saturated fat and triglycerides. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has a smoke point of 350°F while Refined Coconut Oil has a smoke point standing at 450°F. 

Peanut Oil

This oil gives off a delicious and unique flavor. It is one that is used in a lot of Asian dishes. Peanut oil is a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body. Peanut oil is great for searing, grilling, roasting, sautéing and stir frying. Peanut oil has a high smoke point of 450°F. 

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil contains powerful antioxidants. And, studies show that it can possibly lower blood pressure. Like peanut oil, sesame oil offers a lot of flavor to dishes such as stir frys. It can also be used in place of peanut oil if there are any dietary concerns. 

Flaxseed Oil

This oil contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which in turn can reduce blood pressure. It is best to refrigerate this type of oil since it is rather sensitive to heat. It is actually not a great one to cook with, but it works wonderfully in dressings and as a drizzle over top of food. Flaxseed oil has a nutty and detectable flavor. It is best to not cook with this oil since the smoke point is so low. The smoke point of flaxseed oil is 225°F.

As you can see, there are so many options for the oils that you can use. Just be sure to not turn the heat up too high as you can risk pushing the oil past its smoke point. It truly is fun to experiment with different oil and see which ones work best for which kitchen tasks. Whether it be sautéing, frying, roasting, or baking, you can find the right oil to use for the job.