Cooking Oil Guide: Everything You Should Know

Clear glass bottle filled with cooking oil next to onion and squash

Cooking oils are a kitchen staple and, like most things, there are different types to choose from. Not all oils are created equal, so it’s important to know what to look for when selecting one. This cooking oil guide from Gobble will teach you everything you need to know.

How to Choose Oil for Cooking

When choosing an oil for cooking, there are a few things to consider:

The Smoke Point

This is the temperature at which an oil stops glistening and starts to smoke. The temperature ranges from low 325 F to very high 520 F. Oils with a high smoke point are better for high-heat cooking methods like frying or searing, while oils with a low smoke point are better for low-heat methods like poaching or braising.

The Flavor

 If you’re looking for an oil that will impart a subtle flavor to your food, choose an oil with a mild flavor. If you want your food to taste like the oil it’s cooked in, choose an oil with a strong flavor.

The Type of Fat 

Some oils are made of healthy fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat.

Quality

Some oils are made from refined and processed ingredients, while others are made from pure, cold-pressed oils.

What to Know About Smoke Point

Also known as the “burning point”, the smoke point is the most important factor to consider when choosing an oil for cooking. It’s the temperature at which the oil starts to break down and produce smoke. This can result in an unpleasant taste and a burnt appearance. The smoke point is also important because it determines the type of foods an oil can be used for.

Common Types of Oils for Cooking

There are a variety of oils that can be used for cooking, each with its own unique flavor and smoke point. The following guide to cooking oils will help you identify each one.

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular cooking oil that is made by pressing olives and separating the oil from the fruit pulp. Olive oil can be a blend of both cold-pressed and processed oils, it is considered a healthy fat that’s high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants

Smoke Point: It has a smoke point of 390 to 468 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: This oil has a mild flavor and it is perfect for everyone’s palate.

Best To Used For: Perfect for dishes such as pasta, vegetables, marinades, and salad. It can also be used to cook over medium and low heat.

2. Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and contains great levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that are great for your health.

Smoke Point: It has a smoke point of 410 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: This oil has a bitter, peppery taste with slightly lower quality and higher acidity than Extra virgin olive oil.

Best To Used For: In addition to using it in salads and pasta, this oil can be used for dishes that require sautéing and stir-frys on medium or low heat.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is made from the finest, cold-pressed olives and has the most antioxidants. It’s a great choice for those who are looking for a healthy cooking oil.

Smoke Point: It has a smoke point of 374 to 405 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: This oil has a fruity, peppery, and slightly bitter flavor. It has the strongest flavor of all the types of olive oil.

Best To Used For: This oil is perfect for dishes that require a very bold flavor, you can also use this oil with medium-heat cooking methods using a small amount of oil so you avoid burning it like pan-frying. 

4. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil that is made from crushed peanuts.

Smoke Point: It has a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: Because of its neutral flavor, peanut oil is the number one choice of fast-food chains.

Best To Used For: Peanut oil is great for high-heat cooking methods like deep-frying and stir-frying.

5. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a type of oil that is made from a blend of different vegetable oils. It is often used as a general cooking oil.

Smoke Point: It has a high smoke point of 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: Vegetable oil is completely neutral in flavor and is perfect for cooking a variety of different dishes.

Best To Used For: Vegetable oil is perfect for all types of cooking methods, from baking, frying, grilling, and sauteing.

6. Canola Oil

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that is made from rapeseed and is low in erucic acid. It is also often used as a general cooking oil.

Smoke Point: It has a high smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: Canola oil has a mild neutral flavor.

Best To Used For: Canola oil is a very versatile oil and it is used for all types of cooking methods, from baking to frying.

7. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a type of vegetable oil that is made from sunflower seeds.

Smoke Point: It has a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: Sunflower oil has a mild, very little nutty flavor.

Best To Used For: Sunflower oil is perfect for high-heat cooking methods.

8. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a type of vegetable oil even though avocado is a fruit. It has high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, that is very healthy for your health.

Smoke Point: It has a high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor: Avocado oil has a nutty, grassy flavor. It has a more neutral taste compared to olive oil after cooking.

Best To Used For: This oil is perfect for high-heat cooking methods like frying and searing and it will give you a creamy texture to your cooking.

Is Cooking Oil Healthy?

Cooking oil is a healthy addition to any diet, as long as it is consumed in moderation. Oils are a source of energy and have high levels of calories, make sure to read the labels and choose an oil that’s made from high-quality ingredients.

How to Store Oils

Oils should be stored in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard. Oils should never be stored in the refrigerator, as this can cause them to spoil. Oils that are stored in a cool, dark place will stay fresh for up to a year.

Oils To Avoid

There are a few oils that should be avoided when cooking, as they are high in unhealthy fats. These oils include canola, soybean, sunflower, and corn oil. These oils are high in unhealthy saturated and trans fats, which can lead to heart disease and other health problems.

The Home Chef’s Guide To Cooking Oils

Now that you’ve read this cooking oil guide, it’s time to put it to use! With the right cooking oil choice, you can cook your delicious Gobble meal and make the best out of it. Our recipes are easy to follow and are perfect for beginner and experienced cooks alike.

So, what are you waiting for? Learn how it works and get started with Gobble today to put your new cooking oil knowledge to use!

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