Coconut, vegetable, olive: Which cooking oil is the best?


by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 1:20 PM

HOUSTON -- What’s on the menu in your kitchen? Perhaps some sautéed veggies for your omelet? Did you use oil in the pan? More importantly: what kind?

The oil aisle at the grocery store has so many choices, it can easily become overwhelming. That’s why we sought out expert help.  

Many Houston chefs we spoke to say they use a variety, including pumpkin, grapeseed, and almond oil - just to name a few.

“We also have pumpkin seed oil as well,” says chef William Ridley. “I guess anything that has a seed on it, you can probably extract some oil from it.”

Extra virgin olive oil is what Ridley at the Fresh Bistro at The Pavilion for Women prefers.

“I think the best oil to cook with is your extra virgin olive oil,” says Ridley.

Most oils have healthy amino acids, unsaturated fats, and in some cases antioxidants. The heart healthiest include extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed, and avocado oil. They’re all great to sauté and sear with.

Almond oil bakes up great cakes and cookies unless you have nut allergies.

The chef’s not so crazy for coco oil, and neither should you be.

“The coconut oil -- I would try to stay away from. It’s very high in saturated fat. It’s great for frying, but I would stay away from it on a daily basis.”

Whatever oil you cook with, use less by spraying or brushing it -- not pouring it. You’ll save calories and cash in the long run.