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Old 01-28-2017, 12:23 PM   #1
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Semi-technical Q regarding choice of fat to cook in

Hello there; i'm a relative newbie to cooking and have been reading various cook books on French & Italian cooking. I can't seem to find alternative reasons for sometimes gently cooking chicken breasts (for example) in butter, sometimes in olive oil, and sometimes in (far less healthy) vegetable oil? Are there some 'classic' reasons and situations why you might use one over the other - ignoring the health reasons for the time being! (which would suggest cooking in expeller-pressed coconut oil i guess)
Many thanks indeed.
John

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Old 01-28-2017, 02:40 PM   #2
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Because the human body has evolve to process all of oil and animal fats where is vegetable oil is something that is left over from the 1950s I don't trust it personally
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Fully agreed on vegetable oil being rubbish...my question was more: why might one use butter over olive oil, or indeed olive oil over butter, in certain circumstances. eg. caramelizing onions: butter or olive oil? gently browning a chicken breast: butter or olive oil...? etc.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:58 PM   #4
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I guess the temperature there trying to seer at has a lot to do with it ,some people like brown butter some don't
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
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Any oil made from vegetable matter is vegetable oil.

Olive, corn, coconut are all types of vegetable oil.
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_coburg View Post
Fully agreed on vegetable oil being rubbish...my question was more: why might one use butter over olive oil, or indeed olive oil over butter, in certain circumstances. eg. caramelizing onions: butter or olive oil? gently browning a chicken breast: butter or olive oil...? etc.
Vegetable oil is not a big deal; as jennyema noted, olive and coconut oils are both types of vegetable oil.

In general, the type of oil used for cooking is related to what was available to people in different parts of the world throughout history. Peanut oil is traditional in Asia, corn oil in the Americas, olive oil in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries and butter in northern climates where olives don't grow; even whale oil in some northern traditional societies.

These days, it comes down to personal preference, taste and cost.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:09 PM   #7
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If you are concerned about health you would choose vegetable oils rather than solid fats or tropical oils. These articles shed some light on the topic:

Healthy Cooking Oils

Healthy Cooking Oils Buyer's Guide
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:17 PM   #8
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Vegetable oil is not a big deal; as jennyema noted, olive and coconut oils are both types of vegetable oil.

In general, the type of oil used for cooking is related to what was available to people in different parts of the world throughout history. Peanut oil is traditional in Asia, corn oil in the Americas, olive oil in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries and butter in northern climates where olives don't grow; even whale oil in some northern traditional societies.

These days, it comes down to personal preference, taste and cost.
And then there's lard!

For the most part, the less processing and modifying they do to it, the better it is for eating in moderation. I use a couple of different olive oils, the light, well filtered type for general cooking where I might have once used vegetable oil, and EVOO at lower temps when I want the olive oil flavor to come through.

I also have plain old vegetable oil in the pantry for my rare deep frying.

I use butter when I want that more delicate flavor - sautéing mushrooms, fried eggs, etc. I also keep bacon fat around because it makes almost anything fried taste yummier.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:16 PM   #9
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If you are concerned about health you would choose vegetable oils rather than solid fats or tropical oils. These articles shed some light on the topic:

Healthy Cooking Oils

Healthy Cooking Oils Buyer's Guide
Sorry Tenspeed, but I call complete baloney on this.

I don't have a problem with certain vegetable oils, but keep in mind humans have been consuming animal fats for millennia - far longer than any vegetable oils. It's only in the last 50-60 years that the medical community has advanced the notion that it somehow isn't healthy, and they keep regurgitating the same old studies. But there's recent research that's beginning to show otherwise, and I think you're going to see more and more evidence in coming years.

About two and a half years ago I jumped ship on the whole low fat craze, and since then have never been healthier, including losing almost 100 lbs of body weight. My cholesterol numbers have also improved vastly. About 40% of my daily fat intake comes from so-called unhealthy saturated fats, and some days even more. So at this point, I'll stick with what I've found through personal experience, rather than something that "studies" from many years ago have reported.

And one other thing. Technically, coconut oil is a "solid" fruit (not vegetable) oil containing a good percentage of saturated fat.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:21 PM   #10
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And then there's lard!
Ha ha ha! You're hilarious. Not.
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