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

alkapal Oct 12, 2013 09:28 AM

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. foodieX2 RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 09:33 AM

    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. c oliver RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 09:35 AM

      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. Samalicious RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 10:04 AM

        No, never have.

        1. b
          BangorDin RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 10:06 AM

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

          1. paulj RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 10:14 AM


            1. kitchengardengal RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 11:37 AM

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

              1. linguafood RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 11:42 AM


                1. Will Owen RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 12:04 PM

                  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. Wtg2Retire RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 02:03 PM

                    I cannot tolerate the smell or taste of canola oil.

                    1. b
                      Billy33 RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 02:08 PM


                      1. lamb_da_calculus RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 02:11 PM

                        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. tcamp RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 02:12 PM

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

                          1. g
                            grangie angie RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 03:11 PM

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

                            1. Karl S RE: alkapal Oct 12, 2013 03:30 PM

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

                              1. BobB RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 12:00 PM

                                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
                                  c oliver RE: BobB Oct 15, 2013 12:08 PM

                                  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.

                                2. r
                                  rjbh20 RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 12:17 PM

                                  Yes -- nauseating stuff

                                  1. r
                                    ricepad RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 12:31 PM

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

                                    1. y
                                      youareabunny RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 12:32 PM


                                      1. monfrancisco RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 12:42 PM

                                        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. NonnieMuss RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 01:26 PM

                                          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. c
                                            chileheadmike RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 03:09 PM

                                            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. s
                                              sueatmo RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 03:21 PM

                                              No taste at all for me.

                                              1. s
                                                smtucker RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 07:28 PM

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

                                                1. EWSflash RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 07:32 PM

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

                                                  1. alkapal RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 06:15 AM

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

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                      linguafood RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 09:57 AM

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

                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                        NonnieMuss RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                        I commented without voting - no funkiness for me.

                                                      2. Monica RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 06:27 AM

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

                                                        1. k
                                                          kimm99 RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                          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. kitchengardengal RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                            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. i
                                                              INDIANRIVERFL RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                              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. Monica RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 11:55 AM

                                                                so what is canola oil made out with?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Monica
                                                                  alkapal RE: Monica Oct 16, 2013 12:40 PM


                                                                2. Uncle Bob RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                  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. e
                                                                    ErnieD RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                    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. team_cake RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                      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. fldhkybnva RE: alkapal Oct 19, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                                        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. p
                                                                          plasticanimal RE: alkapal Oct 19, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            plasticanimal RE: plasticanimal Oct 19, 2013 04:37 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              fldhkybnva RE: plasticanimal Oct 19, 2013 04:42 PM

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

                                                                          2. d
                                                                            Dagocrooner RE: alkapal about 20 hours ago

                                                                            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
                                                                              c oliver RE: Dagocrooner about 20 hours ago

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

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