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grapeseed oil - smell - has this gone bad?

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I just purchased grapeseed oil for the first time a few days ago. When I got home and opened it for a smell and a taste, the smell was not unlike the smell of slightly rancid vegetable oil. I was surprised because I had read that grapeseed oil was light and had very little distinctive flavor too it. I was not expecting this smell.

Is this a bad can of oil that I should return, or is this how grapeseed oil is supposed to smell? For what it's worth, the brand is California Grapeseed Oil, and it was purchased from a Williams-Sonoma store that had just relocated. My suspicion is that the either oil was exposed to high heat during the relocation and went bad, or Williams-Sonoma oil inventory turns so slowly that this had been on the shelf too long.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. "the smell was not unlike the smell of slightly rancid vegetable oil..."

    No, the smell WAS that of slightly rancid vegetable oil. Grapeseed oil is very mild and shouldn't smell like much of anything. Take it back and get a refund and then seek out some fresh grapeseed oil. It's great stuff...I much prefer it to olive oil of any strength.

    5 Replies
      1. re: GG Mora

        I've become a recent convert to grapeseed oil as well. It has a much higher smoke point than olive oil so is much better for sauteeing, etc., and it has a nice clean taste (better than canola oil, which I hate).

        I think many of us have been too quick to think that everything is better with olive oil.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Right. Olive oil certainly has its place but, especially with the stronger flavored extra-virgins, the flavor can also interfere. Frankly, I find a vinaigrette made with strong olive oil to be a little putrid (and a misguided use of the product). And have you ever had homemade mayonnaise that someone proudly mixed up with their best stinky OO? Ick -- bitter.

          1. re: GG Mora

            I don't exactly know what you mean by 'putrid' but I do know that over beating olive oil can make it taste bitter.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            Hmm ... the only time I tried sauteing in grapeseed oil ( not rancid at all , rather light and pleasant ) it smoked like a Nascar fan going through withdrawls . Guess I'm old fashioned , but I still prefer various olive oils for cooking and salads and such . Who knows , maybe I inadvertently used the wrong pan ? Does it make any difference when you put the grapeseed oil in the pan ? Like heat pan first , or gently warm it with pan ? I dunno , after my mother raised me on cheap margarine , I have become rather attached to olive oil . I do like the gentle flavor of grapeseed oil , tho .