We rely on cooking oil to produce most dishes. It’s ideal for perfectly and effortlessly roasting, baking, frying and sauteing the following food items:
With a smoke point of 176 degrees celsius, this is a go-to oil for avid cooks and bakers alike. It’s long been the gold standard when it comes to cooking oils, and for good reason – it’s incredibly versatile. Widely known around the world for its peppery, slightly grassy flavour, people like to use this particular oil for:
- Salad dressings
- Dips for bread
Rich in vitamin E, olive oil acts almost as an antioxidant. The primary fatty acid in this particular oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. In addition to this, it also contains something called oleocanthal and oleuropein – more antioxidant compounds. They have anti-inflammatory effects that can help to control levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from oxidising.
As well as that, olive oil contains heart-healthy compounds, helping with a number of health conditions, including:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
In summary, olive oil:
- Has a medium smoke point
- Can be used for both cooking and baking
- Is rich in antioxidants
- Has anti-inflammatory and heart-health benefits
This oil has an impressive smoke point of 271 degrees celsius, making it perfect for deep frying and high-heat cooking. As one would expect, it tastes like avocado but it can be used in much the same way as olive oil.
It also has roughly the same nutritional value as olive oil, so the choice is yours when it comes to picking between the two. So much so, the decision might come down to whichever one is more cost-effective to buy.
However, avocado oil has a higher percentage of heart-healthy oleic acid, although this would be considered ‘good’ fat as opposed to ‘bad’ fat. The overall quality and nutritional value of avocado oil depends on a variety of different factors, including where the avocado was grown and the method of extraction.
In summary, avocado oil:
- Is nutritionally similar to olive oil
- Has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and heart-health benefits
- Has a high smoke point
- Can be used for deep frying and high temperature cooking
Sesame oil has a smoke point of 210 degrees celsius and so it works well for sauteing, and general-purpose cooking. It can even be used as a salad dressing, if you wish. Much like the previous two oils, this too is high in heart-healthy antioxidants: sesamol and sesaminol.
It has a deliciously nutty flavour, as one would expect, and so it would work well for a number of home-cooked meals. However, budding chefs prefer to use sesame oil as a finishing oil rather than use it to cook the food in, generally because of its distinct flavour that cannot be found in other types of oil.
In summary, sesame oil:
- Has numerous health benefits
- Can be used for either cooking or finishing a dish
- Has a versatile, nutty flavour
- Has a medium-high smoke point
With a slightly higher smoke point to that of sesame oil, coming in at 265 degrees celsius, it’s made from, unsurprisingly, the seeds of the safflower plant. It’s healthy due to the low levels of saturated fats and the high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. With a neutral flavour, it works wonderfully for use in marinades, sauces, dips and salad dressings. But it’s also perfect for barbecuing or frying food on the hob.
In summary, safflower oil:
- Has a high smoke point
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Has a neutral flavour Promotes excellent heart health
- Ensures good blood sugar management