Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 16, 2005 12:19 PM

Are all vegetable oils created equal?

  • k

I use extra virgin olive oil in all my cooking. (even
frying) In an attempt to broaden my horizons I would love to start baking, I decided to start with a simple quick bread recipe that called for vegetable oil. I was actually tempted to use my olive oil ( I once had a co-worker who made the most moist brownies, I asked for the recipe and she said they were from the box mix, her secret was she used olive oil) but my olive oils are very flavorful and I new it would overpower the bread. So I would have to go buy some vegetable oil, I had no idea what to select once I was at the store so I went with what my mother used. Wesson. The only one that simply said "vegetable oil"

My question is, what kind of oil do you bake with? Is
there a healthier and or tastier alternative to Wesson? Should I have used Canola Oil? I noticed a few organic Canola oils I was tempted to buy but I just wasn't sure.

Thanks for your help,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Most "vegetable oil" labelled as such is either entirely soybean oil or a mixture of soybean and canola oils. I prefer 100% soybean versions; that's what I use in the deep fryer.

    Safflower oil is very nice. Medium viscosity, neutral flavor. I use it in baking where I want some viscosity but neutral flavor.

    Grapeseed oil is light and neutral, and excellent for high heat cooking. It's what a I use to cook popcorn.

    I don't use Canola (rapeseed) oil, given the mixed messages about how it acts under very high heat.

    Peanut oil and corn oil have very distinctive flavors that I don't like.

    Nut and seed oils are great for salads and drizzling.

    1. Different oils have different nutritional benefits and behave differently when heated. It might be worth your while to invest in a few different kinds and experiment with them. If you like olive oil, you might want to look into "light" olive oils which have a more neutral flavor.

      Personally, I hate Canola oil -- to me it always has a slightly off taste and a weird "sticky" quality. I used it for a while because of its supposed health benefits, but decided the small benefit wasn't worth the sacrifice in deliciousness.

      Now I use various different oils depending on what I'm cooking -- corn oil when I want an "American" flavor profile, olive oil for a "European" flavor profile, and grapeseed oil for more neutral and/or high heat uses.