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Shopping Guide: Different Types of Cooking Oil And When To Use Them

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January 17, 2024

As a home chef, you want a variety of ingredients at your disposal to execute the best meals possible. Prime cuts of meats, fresh seafood, and crisp produce are essential when grocery shopping, and for good reason—they are packed with flavor and versatility. However, paying attention to the oils you buy and use for cooking is just as important as the ingredients you use.

Learn all about the cooking oils you should have on hand, their smoke points, and their best applications below.

Culinary Terms 101: What’s A Smoke Point?

The smoke point of an oil, also known as the burning point, refers to the temperature when the oil begins to break down and start to create smoke. The higher the smoke point, the more heat an oil can take before burning or breaking down.

7 Cooking Oils and How to Use Them at Home 

Which cooking oil is right for your recipe? Learn more about how these six oils can enhance your dishes by understanding their smoke points, flavor profiles, and health benefits.

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a household favorite and comes in a few refined levels. Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined, contains heart-healthy fats, and imparts a luscious olive flavor to any dish. It has a lower smoker point, so you’ll want to use it for low-heat cooking, marinades, and salad dressing.

Light (or regular) olive oil has a little more processing, giving it a higher smoke point and making it ideal for higher-heat cooking like sauteing, searing, and pan frying.

2. Canola Oil

Canola oil is extracted from crushed canola seeds. The flavor is neutral and it offers a high smoke point, nearing 450 degrees. It has plenty of omega-3 fats and can last up to one year once opened, so buying in bulk from your bulk food supply store is money well spent. Use canola for a wide range of applications, from frying to searing, salad dressings, stir-fries, and even baking.

3. Blend Oil

Blend oil is a staple in commercial kitchens, and home chefs will benefit from adding this to their grocery list. Blended oil is typically a mix of olive oil and canola, which gives home chefs the flavor of olive oil combined with the high smoke point of canola. Plus, it’s a grocery budget alternative to extra virgin olive oil. Use it as you would olive oil or canola.

4. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is usually made from corn or soybeans. Like canola, the smoke point is high, and the flavor tends to be mild. Vegetable oil is ideal for high-heat recipes like stir-frying and roasting. However, it also works great when baking.

5. Coconut Oil

People love coconut oil for its health attributes, including antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. When cooking with coconut oil, it transforms from a solid to a liquid above 76 degrees. If you need precise measurements for recipes, you’ll want to keep it near the stovetop to keep it in a liquid state. Otherwise, you can scoop out a spoonful and toss it right into your cooking pan. Coconut oil has a smoke point between 350 and 450 degrees and can be used for high-heat cooking applications.

6. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil has a nutty flavor and a high smoke point, making it great for stir-frying and deep frying. It’s rich in Vitamin E and other antioxidants. Because peanut oil is derived from the legume, you’ll want to use it only for guests without a peanut allergy.

7. Grapeseed Oil

Another type of vegetable oil, grapeseed oil has been growing in popularity over the past few decades. Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E. Like other oils in its group, grapeseed oil has a moderately high smoking point making it useful in everyday cooking.

Bulk Wholesale Foods and Cooking Essentials at US Foods CHEF’STORE 

Various cooking oils are available to help you make the most out of your home-cooked meals. Having the six types on hand means you execute any dish–from baked goods to savory items. Purchasing top-quality oils from your local restaurant supply store guarantees you will get culinary-grade products at bulk pricing.

CHEF’STORE stocks budget-friendly products that will exceed all your expectations without breaking the bank. Visit one of our many nearby locations or schedule a delivery to get top-quality ingredients for all your recipes.

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