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Choosing the Right Oil

Choosing the right oil depends on how you’re going to use it.

If you’re going to heat the oil to a high temperature (deep-frying, pan-frying, etc.), use an oil that has a high smoke point – the higher the smoke point, the better suited the oil is for frying.

Smoke point is the temperature at which oil begins to smoke and breakdown – imparting an unpleasant flavour on food.

Oils for Frying:

Oil Smoke point
Avocado 520°F (271°C)
Soybean 485°F (252°C)
Ghee (clarified butter) 485°F (252°C)
Safflower 450°F (232°C)
Peanut 450°F (232°C)
Grapeseed 455°F (229°C)
Canola 435°F (224°C)
Olive 410°F (210°C)
Coconut 350°F (180°C)

Helpful hint:

To clean up spilled oil, cover oil with a layer of flour, let it absorb for a few minutes, then wipe up.

 

If you’re using oil to add flavour or richness, like in a salad dressing or sauce, pick oil that compliments the flavour of the dish.

 

Oils for Flavour and Richness:

Oil Flavour
Almond Toasted almond
Avocado Rich, buttery
Grapeseed Mild, neutral
Hazelnut Toasted hazelnut
Macadamia Mild to rich macadamia
Extra virgin olive oil Mild to rich olive
Pecan Mild to rich pecan
Pistachio Mild to rich pistachio
Pumpkin Toasted pumpkin seed
Toasted sesame Strong, nutty
Sunflower Mild, neutral
Truffle Mild to rich, mushroom-like
Walnut Rich walnut

Helpful hint:

Store nut oils in the fridge, it will prevent them from turning rancid.

4 comments

  1. I loved watching your show on Live Well Network and miss it immensely. I had to write to the network to tell them of my disappointment.

    Thanks for teaching an old gal a lot of new things.

    Blessings to you,
    Jody

  2. Hi Kary,
    I missed seeing you on CBC, so I looked you up. Great website.
    p.s.
    I believe your ‘Oils For Frying’ chart has a typo related to grapeseed oil.

    DD

  3. If you are not going back to TV maybe put more videos up. It is great when you cook and we follow along.

    Thanks,
    Ana

  4. Please get back on TV – I hate the computer.

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