Best Oils for Your Cooking Needs

best oils for frying and cooking

From deep frying to baking, here are all the best oils for frying you can utilize in your kitchen.

Having a good oil to cook with is like having a great foundation for a house: it gives you something to work with, to build upon. If the base is solid, then so is whatever you put on top of it. The same thing can be said about various oils used in cooking. From baking to deep frying, here are all the oils you can use to make cooking more fun and tasty!

Best Oil for Frying

According to Bon Appetit, a nationally recognized culinary magazine, the best oil you can use for frying is vegetable oil. And while technically any type of oil that’s from a plant can be considered vegetable oil, what they’re referring to are strictly labels that say, “vegetable oil.” Those are the ones that usually contain a mix of the ingredients you can get from plants, so it has the most bang for your buck.

Best Oil for Deep Frying

The best oil for deep frying would be peanut oil. Peanut oil is considered the #1 oil because of its high smoke point. The higher the smoke point, the more stable it will be throughout the frying process. It will also provide just enough pizazz, without overwhelming your food.

The best way to choose the right oil for deep frying is to find one that can withstand very high temperatures. Choose oils that are stable and don’t react with oxygen.

Watch below for more details on the best oil for deep frying.  


Best Oil for Cooking

In general, the best oil for cooking would be a light olive oil. Other options for healthy cooking include Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil.  That light olive oil has a neutral tone, as well as a subtle build. It is mild and has a smoke point of 468 degrees Farenheit.  This is good as you don’t want to burn the food in the pan.  On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil is fruity and tangy with a smoke point 320 degrees Farenheit.  

Best Oil for Frying Chicken

For frying chicken, you would want to use either an avocado oil or a coconut oil. Both of these oils have higher saturated fat content, which meant they can handle continuous hours of frying. This works for your chicken, as if you need to fry multiple pieces (wings, thighs, legs, etc.) or a whole chicken.

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Best Oil for Popcorn

Yes, there is an actual oil you can use for popcorn. According to the Cleveland Clinic, olive oil, walnut oil, and canola oil are your best bets. You can use them when popping the whole kernels, or drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into your popcorn mix.

Here is an awesome recipe from The Food Network on Olive Oil Dressing for Popcorn

Popcorn with Olive Oil Dressing Recipe

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup popcorn kernels

Kosher salt

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the popcorn kernels, cover the pot, and cook until popped, shaking the pot occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and drizzle the popcorn with the remaining olive oil while stirring.
Season with salt and then give one final stir. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Best Oil for Frying Turkey

The best oil for frying turkey would be peanut oil. Again, its higher smoke point offers flavor and will solidify throughout the entire frying process. Not to mention, if you’re frying a whole turkey, for say, a special occasion, you’ll want something that’s familiar in taste, as well as popular amongst most people.

Best Oil for Baking

The best oil for baking is vegetable and/or canola oil. Both of these options have a neutral taste, as well as a light texture. This means it can be used for a variety of purposes, which lends itself nicely with baking – e.g.: brownies, cookies, cakes, etc.

Can you Substitute Oil for Butter in a Baking Recipe?

Rachael Ray and Buddy Valastro from “Cake Boss” says when baking, it certainly depends on the type of dessert you’re creating. Butter is better, both will still work but you need to test which one you like better. It usually comes down too consistency.


Best Oil for Latkes

For making latkes aka: potato cakes, you should try using avocado or canola oil. Avocado oil is a good source of healthy fat, and it’s not too overpowering. But, if you’re still worried the latkes will taste like pure olive oil, go ahead and mix it with canola oil, as it’ll dilute the taste a bit.

Best Oil for Frying Fish

The best oil for frying fish would be vegetable oil. It’ll coat both the pan or basket evenly, not to mention let the outside get that crispy golden brown color. Once again, its ability to withstand high heat and not impart too much flavor are great brownie points.

Best Oil for Stir Fry

The best oil for stir fry would be sesame oil, as it’s nutty aroma and taste pair well with the vegetables. To stir fry vegetables and chicken (or whatever protein you choose), you’ll want to use a darker sesame oil. If you do want to deep fry something using sesame oil, you’ll want to choose a lighter one, as it’ll stand up better to heat.

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Want to know if you can reuse oil when frying foods?  Find out here.