If you cook frequently then you've probably stared at the vast array of oils in the market and wondered which was best for the dish you're making and what the actual differences are between them. One of the most common cooking oils is vegetable oil, but do you really know what that is? Do you know what oils are best used for frying or the proper way to store it? Here you will find different types of common cooking oils and the proper use of each of them.
Vegetable Oil is probably the most commonly used of all the oils. It's frequently called for in recipes and can be used for frying because it has a relatively high smoke point. Vegetable oil is actually a blend of several oils, such as corn, soybean, palm and sunflower.
Canola oil has been said to be one of the healthiest oils because of its low saturated fat content and high mono unsaturated fat. It is commonly used in frying, but only with medium frying temperatures, about 450 degrees F.
Corn oil is relatively low on both saturated and mono unsaturated fats. It is popular in margarine and used in both frying and baking. It should only be used when frying on medium temperatures.
Sunflower Oil is low in saturated fat and high in Vitamin E. Many food manufacturers are recognizing the health benefits of sunflower oil and are using it as the preferred oil in such snack foods as potato chips.
It can be used in the home to fry, cook, and for use in salad dressings.
There are different varieties of olive oil: extra virgin, virgin, extra light, and refined. Extra virgin olive oil is the most common of those used. There are many uses for all varieties, such as stir-frying, cooking, sauteing and as an ingredient in recipes.Olive oil is also frequently used in salad oils.
It is the healthiest of all the oils as it is high in mono unsaturated fat which has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Many people use it daily in their meals, drizzling it over a wide variety of foods.
Peanut oil is a great oil to use when frying in high temperatures. It is a common oil during the Thanksgiving holiday as many people are using turkey fryers to fry their turkeys, but can be used anytime when frying.
All oils remain liquid when kept at room temperature so it is best to store oil in a dark, dry place, such as your pantry. Oils that are high in monounsaturated fat will keep up to a year, while refined olive oil, having the highest of monounsaturated fat, can last a few years. Extra virgin and virgin olive oils will keep about a year after opened. The shelf life of most other oils after opened is usually six-eight months.
Another important fact to note is how to properly discard used cooking oil. It should never be poured down your kitchen sink. Oil can congeal and block pipes. The best way to discard of it is to pour it into a leak-proof container and discard it with the rest of your garbage.