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CANOLA OIL -- do you detect any "fishiness" or funky smell/taste? YEA OR NAY?

Here is your chance to weigh in on this very important topic!

I'm asking purely about the aesthetics, not the politicization/science aspect (GMO type issues). So, please, if you have no problems with canola in the aesthetics sense, please do answer that you have no problem with the oil.

I'll answer first: YES, I do detect a funky "fishiness" to canola -- esp. when cooking with it.

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  1. I haven't used Canola oil in years but I don't recall any fishiness. It was very neutral so I used for things like popcorn, cakes, etc.

    1. I used to and stopped using it. But then back in the spring I took an Asian dumpling class from Andrea Nguyen. She uses it and suggested keeping in the fridge. I do that and have had no problems since. So maybe it gets "funky" if left at room temp for 'too long.'

        1. No, never have. I do keep it in the fridge after opening.

            1. Yes, I do taste and smell a funkiness, so I never use canola oil.

                1. Only when it's old, and then it can get really nasty. My late father-in-law didn't believe in refrigerating any kind of oil, and when we were clearing out the house an elderly jug of canola was one of the items I rescued. I use it only to put in the ant trap I made for my hummingbird feeder …

                  I don't use it at all anymore, with too many other, better choices for most uses. I did like it used 50-50 with olive oil when I made mayonnaise - the two oils together gave a pleasantly nutty taste.

                  1. I cannot tolerate the smell or taste of canola oil.

                      1. Not uncooked, but if it overheats (not to its smoke point, even) I definitely think it tastes fishy. I wish I could throw out a degree number for when this happens, but there's a clear difference.

                        1. No, I have never detected an off taste or smell.

                          1. Yes,most definitely,especially when heated....stopped using it long time ago.

                            1. Yes, if used in a high heat method, like deep frying.

                              1. No, never. But I've heard this complained about so often out here that I suspect it's like how some people find that fresh cilantro tastes like soap, while most do not. A genetic predisposition.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BobB

                                  Maybe but. A few years ago I had some, that had been around a while, that had a somewhat fishy smell. Now that I keep it in the fridge it doesn't have that smell.

                                  1. Yes to both taste and smell. I used to think the oil had gone rancid, but even a fresh bottle smells to me.

                                      1. Yes! For the longest time, I thought it was a problem with my cast iron until I read about the phenomenon here. I notice it when it first heats up, but not in the finished dish (note I do not profess to have the most discerning palate).

                                        1. This is from a Cooks Illustrated test:

                                          "Oddly enough, heat has the opposite effect on other oils. When subjected to high temperatures, the unsaturated fatty acids in canola oil break down and take on a subtle fishy taste; in soybean oils the effect is a slightly metallic cast. That said, while some tasters picked up on these off-flavors, these negatives did not markedly affect the oils’ overall rankings."

                                          1. I never did until I seasoned my Debuyer pan with about 1.5" of the stuff. Now I notice it every time I use it. The oil, not the pan.

                                            1. No taste at all for me.

                                              1. Yes. I detect fishiness, and never use it at home for this reason.

                                                1. Yes. To me it tastes a little fishy and a little rancid.

                                                  1. so far the comments:
                                                    no funkiness: 10
                                                    funkiness: 12

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      And that's presumably not including the manifold comments on the previous canola threads to which I had linked.

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I commented without voting - no funkiness for me.

                                                      2. I have especially if I am frying something. I now buy vegetable oil.

                                                        1. It smells fishy when I cook with it, but I don't taste it in the finished food. But the smell is enough to put me off.

                                                          1. Now I finally understand why recipes call for canola oil. It made no sense to me to specify such a foul smelling oil, and I guess it's just that the recipe author doesn't smell it.

                                                            1. My large jar of canola lasts 6 months in the Florida heat. I use it sparingly. I am ready to purchase another one and had zero fish smell this morning from the dregs.

                                                              Breakfast was popcorn.

                                                              1. so what is canola oil made out with?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. Couldn't figure the funky taste and smell out for a while....then discovered it was Canola oil...It will never enter my house again!! Canola oil be damned!!

                                                                  1. I never used to, but a couple of years ago I started noticing it. It's the smell even more than the taste that gets me. I think it was around the time I started reading other people with the same issue, so it might be the power of suggestion, but it's very noticeable to me now so I just don't use it.

                                                                    1. Yep, I smell the fishiness, especially when deep frying anything with canola, although I don't taste anything off in the cooked product. But, I no longer use canola for that method of cooking--to my nose, the smell will linger in the kitchen for days after frying.

                                                                      If I'm making a quick bread or similar recipe that calls for a 1/4 or 1/2 C. of oil, I'll use canola because I don't taste it in the final product AND I have a ginormous bottle of it to go through that I bought at Costco before I realized I had this aversion to canola's smell.

                                                                      1. I used to primarily use canola oil. Ever since I switched to grapeseed and safflower for everyday use, I find many store made products with canola oil to have an off-flavor. This mostly applies to products where oil is a primary ingredient as in marinated tomatoes as opposed to where it's juts another ingredient among other strong flavored ingredients where I don't notice the taste. I remembered this thread as I tried to figure out why the marinated tomatoes and garlic I just bought just didn't seem to taste right.

                                                                        1. I've never smelled the fishiness. I live where it grows, though, so maybe I've just never had an old batch.

                                                                          Edit to add: my wife has an exaggerated sense of smell, and hates fishiness, so I'm inclined to think that the smell isn't there, rather than me not noticing it.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                            Which is not to discount what others are saying, just backing up my theory that in my region we don't get fishy Canola. In fact I've never once heard anyone in my area complain Canola was fishy, just that it was boring.

                                                                            1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                              I don't get a fishy vibe, but an off-flavor that I can't really describe.

                                                                          2. 07/24/14
                                                                            Hello, Yes, just today I fried w/ part Shorting and Canola oil and I could smell and taste a slight fishy odor/taste. I was worried, until I read canola does that when heated to a high temp. I did not know that and was worried...thank you for explaining. whew! Anthonty

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Dagocrooner

                                                                              Sorry you had that experience and I'm glad I don't. I use it regularly now.