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I cooked some Turkey sausage out of the casing in about 3/4 a tablespoon of canola oil (recipe called for olive oil). I tried to drain out most of the grease. I added some soft cheese to it and served in a pizza roll. When I bit into it, something tasted a little off. I can't describe it, but I didn't care for it. Was it the oil or the fat I was tasting? I'm hesitant to just lick the canola oil to determine if that was it.

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can you attempt to describe it? –  baka Oct 9 '11 at 23:16
    
baka, I'd love to, but I'm with out words for it. I think I've figured it out. I just tasted the canola oil from the bottle. It didn't match, unless the taste changes when heated. The recipe said it would take 5 minutes to turn the sausage crumbles golden brown. I had to cook it for like 15 minutes, probably because the temperature was too low. Maybe this made the sausage soak up grease? –  Bradford Oct 9 '11 at 23:26
    
Is what I said possible? –  Bradford Oct 9 '11 at 23:29
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One hint I've read is to heat the oil and smell it. If it's off, the increased heat will make it more obvious. –  Mark Ransom Oct 10 '11 at 5:05
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Some canola oils change in flavor (and definitely not in a good way) when heated. You could always try, e.g., refined peanut oil next time. Or soy ("vegetable oil" its normally labeled around here). Its also of course possible that the something that was a little off was your sausage. –  derobert Oct 12 '11 at 19:54

1 Answer 1

Oils and other fats can go rancid if old and not properly stored. Cooking oil should be kept in a cool, dry place with minimal exposure to air. In my experience, Canola oil goes rancid faster than many other oils.

One quick way to see -- smell your oil from the bottle. You could also try heating a small amount in a pan, dipping bread in it, and tasting it. It's best to isolate your components when searching for off flavors.

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Slight correction -- all fats and oils will go rancid eventually, even if properly stored. Proper storage simply slows the reaction rate. Highly aromatic oils (like extra-virgin olive and sesame) break down faster than neutral ones, and polyunsaturated oils and fats (grapeseed, corn, safflower) break down faster than monounsaturated (olive, avocado, sunflower) and saturated (palm, coconut, butter). –  Bruce Goldstein Dec 1 '11 at 18:48

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