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Old 06-15-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
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Differences in cooking oils?

What are the differences in cooking oils?

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:38 AM   #2
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There are several differences among cooking oils:

1. Flavor
2. Smoke point
3. Types of fat in the oil

For some applications, the flavor of the oil should be neutral so it does not interfere with the flavor of the foods being cooked. For others, the flavor of the oil adds to the flavor of the dish. Olive and Asian peanut oils are strong flavored.

Oils have different smoke points - the temperature at which the oil begins to break down and just before it starts to burn. For dep frying and saute, you need high smoke point oils such as peanut, canola, corn.

There are several types of fat that can be in oil. Unsaturated, poly unsat., mono unsat, saturated... These are a health issue. Olive and canola oils are loaded with the best types of fats for health reasons.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
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The only thing I would add to the above is grape seed oil is fairly neutral, pretty decent smoke point....a little better than 400 degrees F, and becoming easier to find. At least it is around here, near the Great Dismal Swamp.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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Andy M and Hoot said everything I would think to say. If you would like to know more about the different types of oils there are some good health food books that list the properties and what each type of oil is good for.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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The only this I can think of to add is cost -- some oils are more expensive than others, even within a given type, such as olive oil. Very expensive oils are often intended to be consumed directly, such as with bread, rather than for cooking.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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I use only two oils in my kitchen - canola oil and extra virgin olive oil. I also use non-stick cooking spray oils from time to time.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:33 AM   #7
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This is a great discussion! I typically use non-stick cooking spray, extra virgin olive oil for cooking, and vegetable oil for baking.
I've never used anything truly exotic. Though I have used peanut oil for an oriental dish but only once!
Oh and I really like the new Pam cooking spray for baking-it smells sweet and floury.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:55 AM   #8
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I use specialty oils when needed (sesame, etc.), but for general use I fine that canola and olive are all I need. I no longer bother to keep peanut or corn oils on hand, and the exotic oils are too expensive and unnecessary to bother with.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #9
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i use several oils in my kitchen... frantoia olive oil, grapeseed oil, pecan oil, clarified butter oil, etc., but my "go to" oil is california rice bran oil.

the CRO has a very high smoke point, has a slightly nutty taste, and doesn't penetrate foods as much as other oils.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:10 AM   #10
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I keep a can of Greek extra virgin olive oil (I think the brand is something like Tasso), always have peanut oil on hand (for stir frying), some canola or other vegetable oil, and the sprays. There are only two of us; however, I cook at least one meal a day, and have guests at least once a month. If I lived alone, I'd probably make do with a small bottle of olive oil and one of canola.
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