Are all vegetable oils created equal?
- Kristine May 16, 2005 12:19 PM
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,
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.
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.