are so many oils to choose from each with different properties
and tastes, that we thought it might be helpful to spend a little
time discussing the benefits and specific characteristics of a
few to help you make the best decision when choosing which oil
cooking with any oil, avoid heating it to the point where it begins
to smoke. This indicates that the oil is breaking down and possibly
emitting harmful byproducts. The smoke point is determined by
its fatty-acid content.
oils, such as sunflower, vegetable, peanut and canola oil, have
the highest smoke points and are suitable for high-heat cooking
like deep-fat frying and stir-frying. It is worthwhile to mention
that canola oil gained popularity because it is very low in saturated
fat and high in monounsaturated, however it is relatively flavorless.
It is the primary component of commercial vegetable oil blends.
Recently there have been studies done on canola oil that propose
potential health risks. We do not recommend the use of canola
oil, however, we suggest you research the risks/benefits of canola
oil before you make your own decision. Polyunsaturated oils are
less stable and are primarily used for sautéing and other
techniques that require moderate heat. These oils include grape,
safflower, sunflower and olive oils.
oil varies greatly in quality and as a result in taste.
Most domestic peanut oil has not been cold pressed, therefore
it has little or no peanut flavor. Some Asian markets carry cold
pressed peanut oil with a true peanut taste. Oils extracted from
roasted almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts add unique
flavor, however they go rancid easily (must be kept refrigerated),
are expensive and they do not stand up well to excessive heat.
They are best used as flavorings when you dont have the
best grades of olive oil are made by simply crushing the fruit
and collecting the oil. Pressings are usually done from mid-autumn
to January depending on the origin. Usually these oils reach market
by early spring. If possible buy the freshest olive oil you can
find. Unfortunately it is difficult, if not impossible to find
truly fresh olive oil in the US supermarkets. The following are
definitions of all olive oils exported to the United States:
Virgin Olive Oil: Premium olive oils that are pressed and
processed without heat and/or solvents. Color ranges from gold
to deep green. Clouded, unfiltered oils are prized by connoisseurs
for their fuller flavor. Use this oil for seasoning, salads, and
Virgin Olive Oil: Pressed and processed without heat or chemicals.
Often used for cooking.
Oil: This oil is refined with solvents or chemicals, which
are steamed off. Gains color and flavor by mixing with virgin
Olive Oil: An American title used to describe refined oil
with little flavor or color. Most cooks consider this oil useless.
The term "light" has nothing to do with caloric content.
hope this helps clear up some oil confusion. Some final notes:
Discard any oil that smells fishy, cheesy, or musty, or that starts
to foam, darken or smoke excessively when heated. Discard any
oil that has darkened, smells rancid, or does not bubble when
food is added.
was gathered from the following source:
All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking", Irma S. Rombauer, Marion
Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, Copyright 1997.
may purchase the Joy of Cooking by clicking
here. It is a wonderful cookbook, with an abundance
of information. It even has a few gluten-free recipes!