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Sep 6, 2009 04:19 PM

Cooking oils

What cooking oils do CHers use for different tasks and can anyone provide smoking points for different mainstream oils? Personally, I use olive oil whenever I can. If I need a higher smoke point, I will use a blend of olive and canola oils. I can't use peanut oil due to my child's peanut allergy. Also, I just bought a deep fat fryer and would like oil recommendations specifically for that application.

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    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I'll second recs by both StuartHMB and Cinnamon. I'm sure goodhealthgourmet's referencing all of the previous Chow threads are spot-on - I'm just too lazy to pull them up and read them.

    2. I recommend rice oil for deep frying, it has a smoke point of 490 and as such won't break down in the fryer. I actually hate seeing all the chefs on TV say "Only cook with extra virgen olive oil..." You are paying good money to have it cold pressed so that no heat affects the flavors and health benefits, and then you pour it onto a searing hot pan? Use olive oil to finish a dish and rice oil for cooking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: StuartHMB

        I use EVOO for almost all general applications, because we like it the best but also because if I keep too many oils on hand, at least some of them are going to go rancid. Maybe we just don't use that much oil; I don't know.

        However, I do usually have very small bottles of chili, walnut and sesame oils here, for flavor. We really like vegetables sauteed in a little bit of chili oil.

      2. Coconut whenever possible - great for frying.

        1. Sunflower for everything, great olive oil for salads and dips or anything room temp or cold.

          Not sure what the smoking point is but when I'm frying a lot sometimes I go for peanut and it has a high smoking point I think. Also grape seed I hear which reminds me I need to get some!

          1. Grapeseed ranks as the highest flashpoint oil and I find it great for everything. But, shop around. It is often disguised as a delicacy in a small over-priced bottle where, at my local Asian gorcery, a litre is $8.