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What kind of oil?


FatTony
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Apologies if this subject has been covered - I can't imagine that it hasn't but couldn't find a thread after searching.

How do people differentiate between types of oil? Do you consider some better for certain applications than others? I use EVOO for salad dressings and peanut oil for stir-fries (probably because I read somewhere to do so). But what about canola, corn, vegetable, safflower oils? Are they interchangeable? Do some have higher smoking points? Is this the main criteria for differentiation? Are some healthier? Better tasting? Cheaper?

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It really depends on the purpose. My most used oil is 75/25 Canola/EVOO. I get the taste of the Olive and the smoke point of the Canola, not to mention it's must less expensive.

I use peanut or canola for deep frying, depending if I want the slight peanut taste or not.

Walnut Oil or EVOO for salads depends on if it's a sweet or savory dressing.

And of course Sesame for Chili Oil and for oriental cooking.

I keep Japanese Chili Oil on hand to drizile over Seared Salmon and for Spicy Sushi Rolls, but that's another discussion. :rolleyes:

Never trust a skinny chef

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No problems with EVOO and peanut oil. In fact a good peanut oil (the best comes from Hong Kong) is wonderful for sautéing and deep-frying as it adds its own flavor. I generally prefer to use grapeseed oil for fish. It has a very high burning point and no real flavor of its own. Grapeseed and canola oils are also great for making flavored oils and infusions when you do not want the flavor of olive oil. A number of chefs are now cooking with pure olive oil (second pressing). This has a higher burning point than EVOO which breaks down when subjected to high heat.

Ruth Friedman

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Added to what's been said.

Another benefit of grapeseed oil: it's monounsaturated and as healthful as olive oil.

I like nut oils in salads.

Has anyone used coconut oil? Where does it stand on the healthful index?

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I keep hearing about grapeseed oil, but have never actually seen it on sale anywhere, how odd.

Anyway, I use peanut oil for most things, high smoke point and not expensive, so it is a good all purpose oil. The taste works well for baking as well.

EVOO is kept around for drizzling on stuff and Italian cooking.

Canola oil has an off fishy taste to me, I dislike to use it.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Oops I did forget to mention Grapeseed oil. It is available in better stores. I personally purchase liter bottles from the restaurant supply. The cost of Grapeseed oil compared to 75/25 makes its use rare though.

75/25 = $8 Per Gallon

Grapeseed = $10 per liter

Never trust a skinny chef

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There was a thread a long time ago that discussed the various merits and myths about fats. I remember being particularly relieved about coconut oil. I love Thai curries and anything else with coconut milk. I googled my heart out and can't find the thread I was thinking of but I did find this post in a discussion linked to a TDG article on soy. (For now, you may have to go to the archives as the link at the top takes you to the temporary "home page".)

I banned margarine from my pantry many moons ago. Butter is the dairy fat of choice.

Peanut oil is my high temperature oil of choice. It has gotten fairly expensive compared to your generic "vegetable oil" but at least I know what is in it.

My favorite cooking fat for a lot of things is lard. Not the plastic tasting white block on the shelf but the stuff I make fresh myself. But then, I cook Mexican a lot. It is also the superior medium for producing awe inspiring pan fried chicken and fish. I do have to admit that if I don't have enough lard around for those, I will revert to Crisco, even though I try to avoid trans fats. But then, I do the chicken and fish maybe once a year. (When recipeGullet comes back, you can read my lard making methods there.)

This whole "fat is bad" thing drives me nuts. Fat is a necessary component of the diet. It is essential for proper absorption of fat soluble vitamins. In infants and young children, adequate fat consumption is necessary for development of nerve and brain tissue. Where we go off the track, as usual, is we overdo it... the whole moderation thing applies.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have well over a dozen oils that I use on a regular basis. Some of my favourites are sesame oil for an asian dressing or in certain sauces. Chilli oil to top off certain soups such as ramen. Safflower oil, I find, works the best for me to make a "clean tasting" mayo. EVOO for delicate, European dressings, while standard olive oil for low-temp. cooking. I use peanut oil for higher temp. cooking when I want a peanut taste, usually Thai stir fries, or I use Sunflower oil for a "cleaner taste". I'll also use Canola or corn oil for most deep frying since it is cheap, and I keep grape seed oil on hand for exceptionally high temp. cooking like searing egg plant for a ratatoulle,as well as some dressings. I also have walnut oil and coconut oil for use in dressings.

-- Jason

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Peanut oil for generall cooking

EVOO for dressings

Beef dripping for roast spuds, also duck or goose fat the same.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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Peanut oil for generall cooking

EVOO for dressings

Beef dripping for roast spuds, also duck or goose fat the same.

Yum goose fat .... Yah that's what I am talking about a nice chicken with goose fat slathered all over it and some salt. Potatoes, mushrooms and carots.

Never trust a skinny chef

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When sauteeing vegetables, I use olive oil - the 2nd pressing. Actually, this is the oil I use the most. The canola oil comes out for shallow frying and for deep frying I use either canola or peanut, depending on what I'm making. For special dishes the duck fat (that I've rendered) comes out - but this is infrequent. And if meal appropriate I'll use a combination of olive oil and butter.

Otherwise I keep a selection of evoos on hand as well as nut oils for vinagrettes and toasted sesame oil and chili oil for aisan inspired dishes.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Yum goose fat ....   Yah that's what I am talking about a nice chicken with goose fat slathered all over it and some salt.  Potatoes, mushrooms and carots.

I went on the hunt for goose fat after seeing a Rosengarten show on a baked chicken that he had had in France. He elaborated on it here in his Q&A some time ago. He expounds on the virtues of the convection oven for this bird. I can't wait to get my convection oven. :biggrin:

Now I am on the hunt for duck fat. I may just go buy a duck.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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vegetable oil for deep frying. i don't like canola, though. tastes off.

grapeseed or tea oil for hot/fast searing or stirfrying

luscious oils in vinaigrettes--nut oils, evoo's

i cook in the oil best suited to the technique and ingredient, and then finish with an oil for its taste and texture when applicable--ie, my il merlano evoo is used to drizzle that bistecca after i've seared it in grapeseed.

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There's excellent cold-pressed peanut oil available from an otherwise laughably "health"-oriented outfit called Baar (www.baar.com). Not cheap. You can buy it in gallon jugs. Advantage over Hong Kong packed oils is reliable freshness. It has A LOT of peanut flavor, though, so its uses are more limited than those of mass-market peanut oil.

Edited by emsny (log)
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I went on the hunt for goose fat after seeing a Rosengarten show on a baked chicken that he had had in France. He elaborated on it here in his Q&A some time ago. He expounds on the virtues of the convection oven for this bird. I can't wait to get my convection oven. :biggrin:

Now I am on the hunt for duck fat. I may just go buy a duck.

Pretty funny, the same show that got me to use goose fat. I had quite the hunt here in Dallas for it. I finally found it at a now defunct gourmet shop. I was quite good. Since then I have also gone the route of rendering my own duck fat. I don't really know about the convection. I have cooked my chickens both using convection and not and don't see an enormous difference. :raz: I mainly use convection to cook by multi layered potato dish.

Never trust a skinny chef

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Yeah... We (my son and I) went on a hunt for goose fat that extended for several months. We finally found the stuff canned at Spec's here in Houston. It is the Rougie brand Even Dean & Delucca didn't have it at the time. They supposedly also have duck fat but Spec's didn't have any the other day when I was there for the Spec's Cheese Festival.

I do chickens in goose fat all the time but I have yet to try it in a convection oven so I can't comment on that. Rosengarten seems to be convinced. I wonder how duck fat would work? I am a duck fat virgin. I can't wait to do potatoes in it.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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canola oil has a nasty fishy smell that fills the house whenever i use it to fry. this is a fact, even though some people don't have keen enough senses of smell to recognize it. :rolleyes:

i'm moving on to peanut oil for frying i think. i'm also at the point where i'm not too concerned about the relative health benefits/dangers from various oils, unless one is really really bad for me.

and i cook with evoo, because it's there.

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You really have to try grapeseed oil for most of your sauteeing and stir frying. It really is immune to high heat. Even with pan frying floured or breaded foods, I find that grapeseed oil stays clean.

canola oil has a nasty fishy smell that fills the house whenever i use it to fry.  this is a fact, even though some people don't have keen enough senses of smell to recognize it.  :rolleyes:

i'm moving on to peanut oil for frying i think.  i'm also at the point where i'm not too concerned about the relative health benefits/dangers from various oils, unless one is really really bad for me. 

and i cook with evoo, because it's there.

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sounds like I should pick up some grapeseed oil as well...

Although I do love the subtle peanut taste and smell of peanut oil, and supposedly it is one of the healhier oils nowadays anyway...

I also really want to experiment with coconut oil.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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canola oil has a nasty fishy smell that fills the house whenever i use it to fry.  this is a fact, even though some people don't have keen enough senses of smell to recognize it.  :rolleyes:

I think that might vary from brand to brand. The canola oil my father gets is disgustingly fishy, but my Spectrum Natural organic canola oil tastes fine to me. I don't use it for deep-frying, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry have been AWOL on this thread as embroiled in new house purchase.

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like grapeseed oil is the next must try and i was on the right track with my EVOO and peanut oil. Few of you have much to say about corn oil I notice, nor many about safflower. Guess i just wanted to check i wasn't missing something here!

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Has anyone used coconut oil? Where does it stand on the healthful index?

I believe coconut oil is at the lower end of the health scale.

heard it on a tv game show that it was as bad as lard.....

or was the coconut cream? :unsure:

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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