Olive the other oil nuts
December 3, 2017 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I don't like olive oil. There, I said it. I dislike the taste and scent, and find it gets too scorchy when cooking. What oil should I be cooking with?

I don't use a lot of oil- just a little drizzle to fry eggs or to stir-fry veggies, meat, and fish.
I love the taste of butter, but it burns too fast.

What unnoticeable-tasting, mild-smelling oils do you cook with?
posted by pseudostrabismus to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I use canola for high heat applications. It has a higher burn point.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:59 PM on December 3, 2017 [10 favorites]

Grapeseed oil - I almost always prefer it for roasting veggies
posted by slipthought at 4:01 PM on December 3, 2017 [8 favorites]

Sunflower oil for frying, mainly.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 4:01 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you don't care about the taste, just go for canola or vegetable oil. I also like peanut oil.
posted by hydra77 at 4:12 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Avocado oil and grapeseed are my staples for anything where the oil is touching a hot pan. Flavorless, high smokepoint.
posted by xueexueg at 4:12 PM on December 3, 2017 [6 favorites]

avocado oil for frying. not too expensive if you buy at costco.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:14 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

Canola oil is going to probably be the most taste-free and easily available if you're in the US. I find that peanut oil has a distinct taste but it's also really good for deep frying on the rare occasions I do that.

If you want to experiment with flavor, use oils like coconut, toasted sesame, or walnut in ways that are lower heat than pan cooking, like slow roasting, marinades, or finishing drizzles on top - pretty much the same ways you'd use butter.
posted by Mizu at 4:20 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Ghee, it's like freebasing butter" but with a smoke point of 485°F.
posted by glibhamdreck at 4:29 PM on December 3, 2017 [16 favorites]

Chiming in for avocado oil as well, for its high smoke point.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 4:32 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

There are so many types of oils you can try that are good for cooking. Peanut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, etc. What would be ideal, honestly, is if someone sold a gift set where you could try each of the oils. I just did some looking around and couldn't find a set with different types of oil, but if anyone does find something like that, please let me know because I would definitely buy it. I'm not dropping $10+ each just to satisfy my curiosity of what walnut oil tastes like, etc.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:36 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rice Bran oil is neutral and has a high smoke point. Unfortunately, it's hard to find.
posted by dws at 4:38 PM on December 3, 2017

Ghee is all you need
posted by The Toad at 4:45 PM on December 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

I also use canola for high heat or when olive oil flavor is not what I want. Hasn't steered me wrong yet! I've used grapeseed in the same way but prefer the canola.
posted by pazazygeek at 5:07 PM on December 3, 2017

Refined coconut oil has a high smoke point and almost unnoticeable flavor. Unrefined coconut oil has the flavor.
posted by GregorWill at 5:13 PM on December 3, 2017

How much do you want to pay? If you want to pay a lot because you use little, go for avacado or grape seed or other fancy stuff mentioned.

If you don’t want to pay a lot: CANOLA!

It’s great. Good ol’ rapeseed, a fairly low-impact crop with high oil yield per acre, grown across the world (and a lot in CA/USA/AU where many of us live).

It’s cheap, it’s very neutral, there’s a reason it’s been a hit for almost 50 years.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:20 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

Canola, hands down.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:45 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Canola gets a gross, fishy taste/smell to it when heated, at least to me, so I have never understood those who recommend it as "tasteless." So I've been using peanut oil.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:03 PM on December 3, 2017 [10 favorites]

ghee for flavoring, sunflower oil for relative flavorlessness. you can clarify an entire pound of butter and keep it in the fridge pretty much forever.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:06 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I cook with corn oil. I don't agree that canola oil is tasteless either, but it is "neutral" compared to the strong taste of olive oil.
posted by grouse at 6:12 PM on December 3, 2017

Any of peanut, soybean, or corn oil will be similarly easy to find and give you a much better smoke point, around 450F. Canola smokes 50F lower, which is fine for Western pan-frying but sometimes can be noticeable for stir-frying. (That said, canola was cheaper by a couple of dollars per gallon, so I've been stir-frying with canola oil for the last few months.)

Regarding the smoking, you might find that your oil burns less when you use more of it. The oil is the working fluid that transfers heat from your pan to your food. It works best when there's enough to flow freely between the pan and the food.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:37 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I enjoy olive oil, but I've realised it's kind of throwing away money for any high heat application. So now I get a giant bottle of canola for any high heat or neutral oil application and save my olive oil for salad dressings and the like.
posted by Kurichina at 6:43 PM on December 3, 2017

Canola oil tastes like fish (in a bad way) to a percentage of humanity. Before you go using it for everything, find out whether you and the people you cook for are among them.

...for example, I can’t fucking stand that shit and I have no fucking idea why anyone would want to cook with trash oil they found in the bottom of the dumpster outside a seafood restaurant. It ruins everything it touches, in much the same way as your salad would be ruined if I scattered chunks of rotten fish on it.

If it doesn’t taste like warmed-over rotten death to you and yours, then hey, go canola! It’s cheap and works! For most folks.
posted by aramaic at 7:42 PM on December 3, 2017 [11 favorites]

Safflower oil for cooking.
Extra Light Olive Oil (this is NOT EVOO) for cooking
Avacado oil for baking and finishing (bakes nicely, high nutrient content if not heated.)
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:53 PM on December 3, 2017

I don't like olive oil.

Which one?

Extra light olive oil has a smoke point of 242oC / 468oF. The only oils with a higher smoking point are avocado oil and ghee. It tastes...well, it's pretty tasteless, certainly nothing like virgin or extra virgin.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:01 PM on December 3, 2017

Grapeseed or rice bran for frying. Macadamia oil is delicious for roasting potatoes but I suppose it's not the most neutral taste.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 1:56 AM on December 4, 2017

I use macadamia nut oil or ghee for cooking, mostly, I also can taste a weird flavour with hot canola oil. Macadamia oil is really lovely, but truly SHOCKINGLY expensive.

avo oil has a strong taste I don't like in hot foods.
posted by euphoria066 at 1:02 PM on December 4, 2017

I am definitely one of the people for whom canola tastes and smells fishy, so no canola for me.

I had no idea you could sautée and roast things tossed with ghee, but it's my new favourite thing- I love the slight buttery taste, and it also seems to wash off my pans better than olive oil residue used to.

Ghee for me!
Thanks everyone!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:55 PM on July 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

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