Oil Substitutions

 

IMG_7903Jarring sounds from our fire alarm used to be a nightly occurrence. Loud sirens would invoke a flurry of movement– Truffle and Piper scurrying to take cover under chairs, Mary opening every window and door frantically fanning the detector, Brianna rushing outside with a smoking pan of [insert burning item here]. It took the entire winter, shivering outside with our half-cooked food to realize the food was fine…we were using the wrong oil!

When choosing a cooking oil, it is important to evaluate the cooking temperature of your meal. Pay close attention to oil blends, as they may contain a trace amount of a low-smoke point oil, which is enough to make gigantic plumes of smoke and send your pets scurrying for cover.

What is a smoking point?

Smoking point refers to the temperature at which an oil breaks down into it’s constituents: a glycerol backbone and fatty acids. These components, once they have lost the stability of their structure, combust and cause smoke. Fatty acids in particular create a blue hue. At the smoking point, the nutritional content and flavor of the oil will degrade. Follow our chart below, so you will never need to worry about repeating our well-choreographed cooking dance. Plus, keeping your oil below it’s smoking point temperature will ensure that you are able to maintain the nutrition and flavor of your oil of choice!

The table below contains our favorite oils, their smoking point, flavor profile and use. We’ve also included links to our preferred brands. As with anything else, quality varies. Always source good, ethically produced oil to ensure you are benefiting from the rich nutrition oil has to offer!

Oil Type

Smoke Point

Flavor Profile

Plant Part Source

Uses

Nutrient Content

Avocado

520°F

Soft nutty flavor

Pulp of the fruit High-temperature, oven roasted vegetables High in potassium, vitamin A, E and D
Canola (Refined)

400°F

Neutral

Rapeseed seeds

All-purpose, salad dressing High in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid
Coconut (Refined)

350°F

Light coconut flavor

White meat flesh

All-purpose, shortening High in vitamin E, K and iron
Coconut (Unrefined)

400°F

Neutral

White meat flesh

All-purpose, shortening High in vitamin E, K and iron
Corn

450°F

Neutral

Kernel

Frying, salad dressing and shortening High in omega-6 fatty acids, phytosterols, and vitamin E
Flaxseed (Unrefined)

225°F

Soft nutty flavor

Seed

Salad dressings High in potassium and omega-3 fatty acids
Hemp Seed

330°F

Nutty-grassy flavor

Seed

Not to be used for frying and dietary supplement High in omega-6 (linolenic acid) and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid)
Grapeseed

420°F

Light taste

Seed

Salad dressing, baking, herb and spice infusions High in omega-6 (linolenic acid)
Olive Extra Virgin

320°F

Slight olive taste

Flesh of the olive

Cooking, salad dressing, sautéing, and stir-fry High in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat
Palm

455°F

Mild

Pulp of the fruit

Cooking High in beta-carotene and sterols
Peanut

450°F

Subtle taste

Nut flesh

Frying, cooking and salad dressing High in vitamin E and phytosterols
Safflower (Refined)

510°F

Neutral

Seed

Salad dressings High in vitamin E and linoleic acid
Sesame

410°F

Toasted and strong

Seed

Cooking and salad dressings High in vitamin E and K
Soybean/Vegetable

450°F

Heavy, strong flavor

Nut flesh

Salad dressings and shortening High in omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin K

Sunflower

440°F

Light and odorless

Seed

Cooking, salad dressing and shortening High in vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids

Walnut

400°F Nutty flavor Nut flesh

Sautéing, pan fry, stir-fry, and grilling

High in manganese and copper

 

References:

“Cooking Oil.” How Cooking Oil Is Made. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2016.

Good, Jennifer. “Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios.” Smoke Point of Oils. The Baseline of Health Foundation, 4 July 2012. Web. 28 July 2016.

Jacques, Renee. “What Type Of Cooking Oil You Should Use For Every Occasion.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 28 July 2016.

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2 comments

  • Anonymous

    July 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    The cooking oil article is funny and insightful. Like the chart for easy read.

    1. Digestible Wisdom

      July 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you! We made so many mistakes with oil, that we desperately wanted to help others avoid the embarrassment of smoking out their entire house. We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

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