HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

neutral oil for cooking and salad

  • d

Wondering what current thinking is about neutral oils for cooking and salad dressing. I've been using canola for a while but know there are arguments for peanut, safflower etc. My main concern is taste (none is best) and performance (for pan-frying, in combination with butter and alone; and in salad dressing-- are there differences with red wine or rice wine vinegar or lemon, for instance?), then health.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: Chris

      Might you be willing to elaborate on its properties?

      1. re: Dbird

        Grapeseed Oil has a light, delicate taste which enhances other flavors rather than dominating them. This oil's extremely high smoke point permits high-heat cooking - including smokeless frying, sauteing and fondue - without destroying the integrity of the oil. It is elegant drizzled into sauces and whisked into salad dressings, and is ideal for blending with heavily flavored oils - such as walnut, hazelnut, or olive oil - for precise flavor balance. Contains no cholesterol, no sodium, and only about half the saturated fat of olive oil.

        1. re: Chris

          Thanks. My next purchase.

          1. re: Chris

            i believe that olive oil has zero saturated fat. saturated fats generally come from animal products. olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat and is supposed to be good at reducing cholesterol levels in yr blood.

            not to disparage grapeseed oil, which i've never used. but if it has "1/2 the saturated fat" of olive oil, then it is 0 and 1/2 of 0 is still 0.

            1. re: fat kitty

              That's incorrect. Most (all?) vegetable oils contain some saturated fats. According to the following chart, olive oil is 13% saturated fat, more than canola oil and sunflower and safflower oils. Grapeseed oil is about 7% saturated fat.

              You're probably confusing saturated fat with cholesterol, which is only found in animal products.

              Link: http://www.nutristrategy.com/fatsoils...

              1. re: fat kitty

                No. You're incorrect. Thanks for the math lesson, though.

              2. re: Chris

                i believe that olive oil has zero saturated fat. saturated fats generally come from animal products. olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat and is supposed to be good at reducing cholesterol levels in yr blood.

                not to disparage grapeseed oil, which i've never used. but if it has "1/2 the saturated fat" of olive oil, then it is 0 and 1/2 of 0 is still 0.

            2. re: Chris

              I love grape seed oil for cooking. You can really crank up the heat for a quick saute. I agree that it works beautifully with stronger tasting oils. It's comparatively expensive, but worth it, I think.

            3. I agree that grapeseed oil is great. It's becoming more available at more reasonable prices, at least in California, because grapeseeds are wasteproducts of winemaking.

              I also like the rice bran oil (available at Trader Joe's) which also is quite neutral in taste.

              I personally hate Canola oil -- even fresh, high quality Canola oil has a quality I associate with rancid oil.

              In doing a search I found this site, which has a pretty comprehensive run down of available food oils:

              Link: http://www.hormel.com/templates/knowl...

              1. I use sunflower. Have no idea how it rates in terms of saturated fat or whatnot, but it's a clean-tasting oil that has a high smoking point. I personally don't like canola either - I think it tastes heavy and oily.

                1. Grapeseed and safflower. I don't touch canola oil and reserve corn and peanut oils to regional American and Asian cooking, respectively.

                  For salad, I do not normally like a rich EVOO alone, but prefer to mix walnut oil with some EVOO. I prefer richers EVOOs on roasted vegetables (though hazelnut oil can be marvelous for this, too) and meats, and of course pasta.

                  Grapeseed oil is also, hands down, the best oil for cooking popcorn....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S.

                    A reply 7 years later.. This is a good page for information about oils.
                    http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/guid...

                    1. re: mykopginger

                      PCC - a nice place to shop if you are on a WF budget.

                  2. I can't image using only one oil for everything and generally I want an oil for salads that brings some flavor to the dish. 95% of the time I use olive oil for everything, with walnut/hazelnut oil for salads once in awhile, and canola oil for pancakes. For French toast I use clarified butter.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: escondido123

                      +1. I like safflower for no-taste cooking. I got a big thing of grapeseed oil once and it smelled rancid right out of the chute, so I'll try the La tourangelle brand since they're the routine best oils i've found. Don't like canola at all, it seems sticky and smells to me like it's going off or somebody cooked fish in it. Never could stand it.
                      My current favorites are La Tourangelle walnut, toasted pumpkin seed, or one of their truffle oils. None has a neutral flavor, though, and the walnut is the only one you want to fry anything in, the others are more for flavoring at the end or salad dressings.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        I have unopened can of grapeseed oil in the frig--I get those odd ones at TJ Maxx. Saving it for some light batter frying, we shall see.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          If you are in Trader Joe's territory, their 500ml bottles of cold-pressed grapeseed oil are a good deal and have always been fresh/well stored.