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I like cooking a lot of stir-fry which I generally cook in a wok at high temperature. I generally use vegetable oil but I've also heard peanut oil is better for wok cooking because of it's high smoking point.

Is peanut oil the best option for wok cooking or are there better oils to use?

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marked as duplicate by Aaronut Apr 8 '13 at 0:37

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6 Answers

Frying in a wok doesn't necessarily imply a single particular oil for all foods you cook. It may vary up to the ingredients, the technique (yes, there is more than one wok technique), the recipe, personal preferences, price etc.

As a general rule, as you've mentioned in your question, wok techniques require relatively high temperatures so oils with reasonably high smoking points should be preferred, for sure. Depending on its type and the temperature you want to reach, peanut oil may be or may not be suitable for the task.

This table and this list reveals that peanut oil is not the one with the highest smoking point and there are significant differences between the smoking points of the types of peanut oils.

As a result, I don't think that a "best oil" can be named, but I believe -some type(s) of- peanut oil would be fine for many purposes --and it is a must for some recipes. Still, some other oils can be used in the light of what I mentioned above. For example, I prefer sunflower oil in many cases.

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peanut oil is considered the "best" oil to use in the wok because of its high smoking point. We buy large containers of it from our local asian market.

I also use grapeseed oil because it also has good smoking point qualities, and you don't need to use as much oil where you would with other varieties.

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I use either vegetable, ground nut or peanut (think they are the same/simliar).

I also add a splash of seasame oil at the end of cooking for flavour.

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Look at this question and answers. Beware of health issues with saturated fats.

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This question (cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/701/…) also adds value. –  justkt Oct 25 '10 at 15:49
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My typical goto oil for my wok is grapeseed oil. It has a fairly neutral flavour and is supposedly good for you.

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If in doubt, grapeseed oil is your best bet for any high-heat cooking for 2x specific reasons:

  1. Grapeseed can be heated to a higher temperature before it begins to smoke, allowing you to use it at a higher temperature before imparting a burnt flavor.

  2. It has a very mild flavor that blends easily with whatever you're cooking.

It's perfectly suited for stir-fry, pan-frying, sauteing. Add to that that it's a healthy oil and the only reason not to use it is that it's more expensive--but nothing crazy.

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