Vegetable oil is one of the worlds most commonly used and cheapest cooking oil. Pure vegetable oil is made only from soybeans. It doesn’t have a strong taste and unrefined vegetable oil has a high smoking point making it great for trying and deep frying food. It can also be used in baking as a substitute for butter.
Smoking point of vegetable oil
The Smoking point of vegetable oil changes if it is unrefined or refined. So the temperature will be:
- Unrefined – 177°C
- Refined – 204°C
Vegetable oil nutrition
If you are buying pure vegetable oil is actually soybean oil (Canola oil) its low in saturated fats and it has no trans fats. Vegetable oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids improve cholesterol levels. You can also find good levels of vitamin E and monosaturated fats in vegetable oil.
If it is not labelled as pure it may be more than just soybean oil. Some manufacturers combine different oils to achieve a higher smoking point. This is good if you want to achieve high heats in cooking but it’s tricky if you want to keep a track of what you are consuming. Each manufacturer has a different process so its best to check the Ingredients on the label. Vegetable oil can contain other oils like corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil.
For a healthier alternative try extra virgin olive oil. It has a much lower smoking point but it is very versatile as it can be used in cooking and in dressings.
There are about 884 calories per 100 grams of vegetable oil.
Substitutes to vegetable oil
- Sunflower oil – It a good alternative as it has a similar smoking point to vegetable oil and has little to no taste. You can also use sunflower oil as a replacement in baking.
- Coconut oil – Has a similar smoking point and it is a slightly healthier option. Bear in mind that coconut oil has a flavour of coconut so this may affect the taste of your cooking.