7 Common Cooking Oils: Which One's for You?


We've come a long way since extra virgin olive oil. Here are all the details to know about classic oils and some new additions in supermarkets nationwide.

1. Canola Oil
This neutral-tasting oil is derived from the seeds of rapeseed plants. Its high smoking point (the temperature at which an oil breaks down and begins smoking, becoming unfit for consumption) makes it ideal for dishes like fried chicken or french fries.

Best for: mayonnaise

2. Coconut Oil (Unrefined)
This newly ubiquitous oil is being touted as an all-natural vegan butter substitute — plus, studies report it contains high levels of antioxidants, protectors against the culprits that bring on cardiovascular problems and aging.

Best for: baking; quick sauteing, because of its low smoking point; and as a spread, for a hint of coconut

3. Corn Oil
This oil is inexpensive to produce, has a high smoking point and has a mild flavor. On the flip side, it's made from GMOs and is refined, meaning it is stripped of most nutrients and antioxidants.

Best for: deep-frying

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This sweet and light oil has health benefits that trump most other oils.

Best for: light sauteing; dressings; and marinades

5. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a refined version of extra virgin olive oil, meaning it has fewer nutrients but a higher smoking point.

Best for: frying, due to its high smoking point

6. Peanut
Peanut oil is a mild frying oil that is expensive to produce. Its high smoking point means the oil can be strained and recycled until it breaks down (no more than two to three uses).

Best for: deep-frying

7. Sesame Oil
This fragrant oil adds a toasty note to stir-fries, sauces and vinaigrettes.

Best for: marinades and stir-fries

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