When it comes to cooking, you’re probably aware that using oil is much better than butter. With so many oils out there, though, it becomes a bit challenging knowing which ones are the best to use.
On the upside, there are some tips you can follow to ensure you pick the best one according to the dish that you’re fixing. And although you may not realize it, picking the best oil will also result in your foods tasting better.
Stay away from these!
You will want to stay away from chemically extracted oils. Even though such oils are not known to be dangerous, it only makes sense that oils which are extracted using natural methods are healthier. Also, oils that have high levels of polyunsaturates are not unhealthy, but because they have high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, you should steer clear of them. There’s a good chance that you’re already getting all the omega-6 fatty acids that you need, and too much is not good for you.
Extra virgin olive oil and peanut oil
This type of oil has high levels of monounsaturated content, and because of this, it tends to be the healthiest type of oil that you can buy. Since extra virgin olive oil is so pure, it is usually more expensive than other types. And while it’s perfect to be used as salad dressing, you shouldn’t cook with it. Peanut oil on the other hand is great for cooking. In fact, if you’re going to be frying pork chops or chicken, peanut oil is one of your better choices.
Expeller pressed oils
If you find oils that are expeller pressed, this is usually a good sign. Such oils are extracted from nuts and seeds using a mechanical process that doesn’t use chemicals.
Designer oils are usually quite expensive, but they can really bring out the true flavors of the foods you are cooking. The healthier designer oils tend to be hemp, walnut, macadamia and flaxseed oil. Also, keep in mind that almond oil can be used for high heat cooking, as well as safflower oil, which is neutral flavored and not as expensive as most designer oils.
Cooking some Asian specialties? This type of oil is great for cooking Asian foods. If you’re just trying to season food items, use dark sesame oil. For frying, it’s best to use sesame oil that is light in color.
Storing your oils
No matter the oils that you end up purchasing to cook with, make sure you store them in a cool, dark place. Some oils may need to be refrigerated. Also, keep in mind that oils do have a limited shelf life.