For years I have cooked almost everything with olive oil and butter and of course a few other types of oils for different dishes. 2 years ago I have changed some of my habits because I learned that olive oil releases toxin when used for high temperature cooking. I now use coconut oil for those dishes. Peanut oil is also excellent, but I am very careful with peanut allergies.
Coconut oil is very trendy right now. I definitely recommend it but be careful to not buy just any coconut oil; there are a lot of coconut oils out there that are too refined or processed.
I don’t like to use too processed ingredients for Peggy Tjin recipes.
Butter is still an amazing ingredient to cook with, especially if you use it for sauté fish or just to cook a steak with rosemary. Melted butter on toasted bread, how can you say no? I still use lots of different olive oils for my salads or marinating some of my meat dishes. In my kitchen I have 20 different oils! Canola oil is another oil I love to use as a salad dressing or for light cooking.
Avocado oil is another stunning oil I like to use in a salad, or over potatoes and plantains. I also like to use corn oil for dips. I use grapeseed oil with veggies or over toasted bread.
Sesame oil is ravishing in fish dishes, especially when you make them raw, like tuna tartare or sashimi. Red palm oil can be very difficult to get, but is another delicious oil I use for salads.
Flax seed oils are a great omega-3 supplement and fantastic with shrimp or shellfish. Almond and Argan oils are my favorites to use in summer salads or in lentil dishes because they make your skin and hair glow! I love to marinate my lamb dishes with Argan oil. Argan oil has a lot of hype right now in the US people use it often for their hair! It’s simply lovely and I would definitely recommend it for cooking! Argan oil is used in Morocco just as the Italians use olive oil.
Occasionally I love to use Cavioroli, which is encapsulated spicy olive oil. I use Cavioroli for my salads or as a garnish. It reminds me of caviar and I love it because it’s flavorful and gives my dishes that extra oomph.
IMPORTANT: Most meats and fish can be cooked in their own fats. Add oil to those dishes but recycle as much of the oils and fats you’re cooking with. For example, if you cook bacon, save the fat for your omelets. Use it in a delicious meat sauce or to sauté your veggies. I am a big fan of recycling oils and fats in sauces because you have all the flavors in them!
|Oil||No heat||Low heat||Med. heat||Med. high heat||High heat||Characteristics and uses|
|Almond, refined||X||X||X||X||X||Clean, neutral flavor and a high-heat wonder.|
|Avocado, refined and unrefined||X||X||X||X||X||Neutral flavor, lovely texture for dressings. Wonderful for searing meat, whipped potatoes and stir-fries.|
|Butter||X||X||X||Flavor varies depending on origins. Best blended with other oils for a higher smoke point to prevent burning.|
|Canola, refined||X||X||X||X||X||Neutral flavor, good all-purpose oil.|
|Canola, unrefined||X||X||Mild flavor, vibrant orange color.|
|Canola-olive oil blend||X||X||X||X||X||Convenient for cooks who like olive oil but want higher heat tolerance.|
|Coconut (virgin/extra virgin), unrefined||X||X||*||Flavors range from neutral to mild. Good in soups, stews, curries and baked goods.|
|Ghee (clarified butter)||X||X||X||X||Clarifying butter removes moisture and particles to give higher heat tolerance. Often used in Indian cooking.|
|Grapeseed, refined||X||X||X||X||X||Clean, neutral taste. Emerald green color.|
|Macadamia nut, unrefined||X||X||Nutty, buttery flavor.|
|Olive (extra virgin) unrefined||X||X||*||Wide range of flavors, depending on origin. Ideal for cold dishes, salads, pesto and dipping bread.|
|Peanut, refined||X||X||*||*||A classic for tempura, fish, stir-fries and Asian dishes. Potential allergen. Heat tolerance can vary greatly.|
|Safflower, refined||X||X||X||X||X||Mild flavor, good all-purpose oil.|
|Sesame, refined||X||X||X||X||X||Adds light sesame flavor to seared meats, stir-fries.|
|Sesame (including toasted), unrefined||X||X||Highly aromatic, nutty, best in dressings and sauces.|
|Sunflower (high oleic), refined||X||X||X||X||X||Neutral, all-purpose oil, good source of vitamin E.|
|Sunflower, unrefined||X||X||X||X||X||Rich flavor, best in cold dishes, good source of vitamin E.|
|Vegetable shortening (palm fruit), refined||X||X||X||Flavorless, good for vegan baked goods. Not hydrogenated (no trans fat).|
|Walnut, refined||X||X||X||X||Adds a hint of walnut flavor to salads, marinades and sautés. Potential allergen.|
Bon Apetito, From Peggy with LOVE!