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Nov 18, 2009 11:39 PM

My wife buys corn oil. Are we uhm... doing it all wrong? - moved from Home Cooking board

I think we should be buying the canola oil at costco, but my Mexican wife doesn't think that's how it's done. So Mazola it is.

So other than olive oil, that's pretty much all we stock here.. Is there something I really shouldn't be using corn oil for, or is it just as good a general oil as canola is?

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  1. My Latino husband also believes in using corn oil, I think it's an ethnic thing. (I do keep canola, olive, peanut and grapeseed oil in the house, but it's hidden.;-)
    Corn oil is also a omega-6 polysauturate, an unsaturated fat which is not the healthiest oil available; you should substitute a monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, for sauteeing or salads. If your wife is baking with it, applesauce or yoghurt is a good substitute for some of the corn oil, or maybe she'd try canola. Canola oil is a very healthy unsaturated fat, heart healthy and a good source of omega3-omega-6 fatty acids. Corn oil is probably to her taste, but a good balance of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats is important in the diet. If she cooks with it frequently and just can't stop, taking fish oil in a cap will give you a healthier balance of omega3-omega-6 fats.

    1. Wrong? No! ~~~ I don't think I would use it exclusively however...Maybe buy some Canola and use it in places where it really doesn't matter...Peanut is excellent for frying....Olive for some sauteing..and as a flavoring oil......HTH


      1. canola oil sometimes has an off flavor i really dont like

        10 Replies
        1. re: thew

          I agree - I'm not a fan of canola, myself.

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            ditto on stinky canola.

            i use olive oil, peanut oil, "vegetable oil," and sometimes (but not in a long time) corn oil. my problem is i buy too large a bottle and i waste it when it goes rancid. my default oil is olive oil, and, like mario, i only use evoo. but i deep fry in peanut oil.

            1. re: alkapal

              Yar, I dislike what I perceive to be the nastiness of sticky canola oil and the residue it leaves, and peanut oil is not for me either. I use corn oil when I make popcorn in my stir-on-the-stovetop popcorn maker. My ma used Crisco, but I use all kinds of oils depending on what I'm making, and I may use La Tourangelle Walnut or pumpkin seed oil What would I use for deep frying? I'm just not sure any more. My Sonoran upbringing coupled with my Midwest White Trash background says LARD!

            2. re: jeanmarieok

              Yeah, people do complain about an off flavor with canola; I've noticed it too, a slight bitter aftertaste, sort of. Is that your perception? I use it, but mostly in baked goods, where the weird flavor is not noticable. I'm not planning on drinking shots of it, however.

              1. re: jeanmarieok

                The smell and taste of Canola can be offensive to me....We've used it for years, but it seems that only in the past couple of years to have gotten "off" ~~~ Has the product changed? The processing etc?

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  IIRC, it used to be a very mild flavored, almost tasteless oil. Perhaps processing has changed, a different method of extraction maybe.
                  Doesn't canola seed come mostly from Canada? I not saying our friends to the North have anything whatsoever to do with the taste change, just curious about the seed origin. I don't think about canola seeds too much...

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    it is made from rapeseed. canola was dreamed up as a name to avoid "rapeseed". canadian oil = "canola."

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Well, as I wrote, I don't think about canola, or rapeseed, too much, obviously.
                      I've known about rapeseed oil for years and always wondered why I never saw it in the market. Just never put the two together, LOL.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Actually canola means CANandian Oil Low Acid. The acid is eruic acid which rapeseed oil in normally higher in. Canola is also lower in glucosinolates which can be quite bitter. The small amounts remaining may be what causes some to find canola objectionable.

                        Canola was first first produced the 60's and 70's using traditional breeding methods from rape (Brassica napus).

              2. No, your wife is right. Corn oil is a superior oil to canola. Canola is an OK-to-crappy oil with a great advertising campaign.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Karl S

                  Corn oil is only superior in the sense of less of an odor and slightly higher smoke point. For the fat profile, canola is hands above healthier than corn because the polyunsaturated fats in canola have a much better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio which is more important than just straight consumption of omega-3s. Soybean oil also has an inferior omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

                  My personal preference for an all-around oil is a blend of olive and canola oils. The canola introduces some omega-3s to the equation and helps raise the smoke point slightly for general cooking while keeping the high levels of polyphenols and monounsaturated fats that make olive oil so popular. For deep fat frying, I go either peanut or grapeseed oil.

                  1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                    It's better to get omega 3 in other ways than canola. I don't think its ratios make it "hands above healthier" though the Canadian rapeseed oil industry has effectively pushed that line. How much friggin' more omega 3's are you gonna get from your typical daily usage? Marginal at best. This is one of those stats that says more than is useful in practical terms.

                    1. re: Karl S

                      Of course there are other ways to get omega-3s. A tablespoon of ground flax seeds gives you about 8g of the stuff. The problem is, most people don't bother with it and flax seeds aren't something people would consider eating on a daily basis. Compare this to cooking oil which people probably use multiple times a day. Why not choose one with a healthier fat profile?

                      Why is corn oil better anyway?

                      1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                        People concerned about their health are not normally using cooking oil multiple times a day in most of the USA. Maybe a few times a week, and then their ingestion of it is pretty slim except for salad dressings.

                        Canola oil when used over heat often results in fishy off-tastes and leaves a residue. I don't object to its use for raw purposes, but as a cooking oil, it stinks.

                        Corn oil doesn't have these problems.

                        When compared to the de minimis health "benefits" of canola (on a practical, ingested basis), corn blows canola away.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          That's not true. Ask any person who understands health and not just people looking for a quick fix for weight loss, and they will tell you that you need to consume fats. The problem with the way typical people eat, it's either way too much bad fats such as trans and saturated fats or way too little fat. I use cooking oil multiple times a day both to prepare breakfast and dinner. I would consider myself someone concerned for their health especially since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and triglycerides years ago. I now no longer have that problem. The health benefits aren't minimal. The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in canola is about 2:1. Corn oil? In the range of over 50:1. The healthiest ratio is debatable but is somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1. Since the typical person only needs about 65g of fat a day, which is less than 5 tablespoons of straight oil, even small amounts contribute a great deal to the overall ratio.

                          The fishy off tastes and residues are definitely a possible reason to use a different oil. However, if oil is used in such minuscule amounts as you claim, are these issues still a problem? I personally don't detect that much of a smell or residue, but then again, I blend my canola with olive oil.

                          1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                            yes. i use tiny amounts and the fishiness is often quite pronounced, to me. i no longer use canola for that exact reason

                            1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                              Yes, the taste/residue issues are quite present in small quantities, while the erstwhile health benefits are not sufficient to bother.

                  2. I've tried and tried to like Canola oil but I just don't.

                    For frying, I use soy oil. I know it's not as heart-smart as Canola but what the heck, you only live once.

                    For sauteeing and other uses, we use Olive Oil.

                    Corn oil is great for making fritters, deep frying and some sauteeing -- but Peanut oil's better. Peanut oil, from what I hear, is *terrible* for one's arteries, but oh, how tasty the foods cooked in it. I long for the days when "American-Chinese" restaurants used Peanut oil instead of soy. As soy oil is much, much cheaper we won't see the Peanut oil any time soon.