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I recently spotted grapeseed oil at Costco.

I've been considering switching over from Canola oil; are there any culinary advantages or disadvantages of grapeseed oil over Canola or other cooking oils?

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3 Answers 3

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Grapeseed oil's high smoke point is good for dishes like stir frys where other oils might burn. However not as high a smoke point as Sunflower oil. Canola oil has a relatively low smoke point which will limit its applications.

In addition, Grapeseed oil has a clean flavour where as Canola sometimes has a bitter edge to it. Other oils will have their own flavour characters. Which you use is partly personal taste and partly dependant on what you eat.

For deep frying I'd go to sunflower. It's not the cheapest but not expensive either. It gives a nice crisp finish to most fried foods. If the oil is to be used cool, such as a dressing, olive oil would be my choice, simply for flavour. Since olive oil, like canola, has a low smoke piont, I wouldn't fry with it. For a high temperature frying such as a stir fry, your Grapeseed would be ideal. Also look at rice bran oil wich has a very high smoke point and clean flavour. Ideal for stir fries.

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High oleic canola oil has a pretty high smoke point, somewhere around 475°F/245°C. Grapeseed is actually lower. Wikipedia has a nice table: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point –  derobert Jul 19 '11 at 17:02
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High oleic canola has a high smoke point but regular refined canola has a low smoke point of just 204°C. The wikipedia table is not comprehensive. It only lists one type of grapeseed oil but three types of canola. Refined Grapeseed smokes at 216°C as listed on wikipedia, but grapeseed** will smoke at 251°C. This page lists some that wikipedia missed out goodeatsfanpage.com/collectedinfo/oilsmokepoints.htm –  Rincewind42 Jul 20 '11 at 1:55
    
That's definitely one of the problems with sourcing smoke points from the Internet, there are so many answers. Would be nice to have some good, authoritative sources. –  derobert Jul 21 '11 at 21:01
    
Probably best to ask the manufacturer for whatever brands are available in your area to get a true number. Though smoke points are only an issue for high temperature frying. For lower temperature cooking go with flavour preference. –  Rincewind42 Jul 22 '11 at 11:25
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Refined oils always have higher smoke points than unrefined. The link you give in the comments has serious problems; many of the pages it references are 404s and none of them appear to be reliable sources. I have seen the 485° F figure quoted by some manufacturers; however, most only claim a smoke point of 420° F and that is by far the more common figure; some even go as low as 392° F. In addition, the smoke point figure is misleading because grapeseed oil is mostly polyunsaturated and thus more susceptible to oxidation. –  Aaronut Aug 7 '11 at 14:39

Cooking benefits: Grapeseed oil has fairly high smoke point (and thus works at higher temperatures), and minimal flavor. It works at higher temperatures than olive or canola oil, and impacts the flavor of the underlying dish less than olive oil or walnut oil. Grapeseed oil has been pushed for these reasons by several famous chefs, including Charlie Trotter.

Health benefits: we specifically don't discuss those here, per spec.

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Grapeseed oil is a polyunsaturated oil which makes it an unstable oil for cooking because it may have a high smoking point as marketed but it has a low oxidation level which means it goes rancid quicker. It is best to consider oils like pure olive oil, not extra virgin, for cooking in stir-frys or deep frying because it has a high smoking point and a high oxidation level because it's monounsaturated.

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