The recipe requires heating the 'vegetable oil' to exactly 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the aid of a candy thermometer.

But aren't most oils made from vegetables? Some have a smoke point less than 375.

I'm thinking of using groundnut (peanut) oil or rice bran oil as they can both cope with the temperature and don't impose too much taste.

Are there any culinary transatlanticos who could please venture an opinion on my proposed plan?

I also need to find out what the UK equivalent of 'yellow squash' is. Could it be our readily available butternut squash?

  • For yellow squash, see cooking.stackexchange.com/q/784/67 ; I'll go and add vegetable oil. too.
    – Joe
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 2:03
  • 2
    In the future, it'd be better if you asked the questions separately - sometimes you don't get quite as good answers if you have multiple questions at once (thought it worked out this time), but more importantly it's better for future readers if things are organized!
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 20:13

6 Answers 6


Peanut (groundnut) oil is a great option.

In the US vegetable oil generally means soybean oil or a soybean oil blend. The main things are that it be neutral (little or no taste of its own), with a high smoke point. On those scores, you can't do much better than peanut oil.

I have not used rice bran oil.

Yellow squash generally means this:


(the long one)

It can also mean the other yellow vegetable in the picture or this:


What it is not, is butternut:


That is a different flavor entirely. Yellow squash is more like zucchini, butternut squash is more like pumpkin.

Welcome to Seasoned Advice.

  • 2
    another good alternative would be sunflower seed oil. Less tasty, but generally a lot cheaper to buy in Europe than peanut oil (and generally safe for people with nut allergies as well).
    – jwenting
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 9:44
  • 2
    In your first picture, the green long one is what the Brits call a courgette, being a French word, as opposed to Zucchini, the Italian word that I thought Americans commonly used for it.
    – Jool
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 11:01
  • 1
    @Jool zucchini is the green one but the yellow one isn't called zucchini in my experience.
    – Catija
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 15:35
  • @Catija Although headshaking when it happens, it has been known to happen. "yellow zucchini" hmmmm.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 1:44

I looked to the wiki I've been maintaining on translating between English dialects, but I realized that the 'yellow squash' distinction was a bit muddled in there:

  • Summer Squash (US) are members of the squash family with a short storage life typically harvested before full maturity; typically available starting in the spring and summer; includes zucchini, yellow and crookneck squash.
  • Winter Squash (US) are members of the squash family that are allowed to reach full maturity before harvesting; typically available in the fall; includes pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash.

I wouldn't substitute butternut squash, as it's a much sweeter, firmer variety. You want something that's an immature squash -- it still has thin, edible skin and hasn't yet formed a distinctive seed cavity.

As Jolenealaska has mentioned, zucchini (courgette in the UK) will do, but if you can find it, a pattypan squash might be a bit closer.

  • 4
    In an average UK supermarket, the squashes available are precisely courgettes and butternut. Commented May 16, 2015 at 9:20

In Canada "Vegetable Oil" is generally taken as 100% unblended canola/rapeseed oil

Refined canola oil has a smoke point of 400F, according to: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/collectedinfo/oilsmokepoints.htm

You can choose from that chart any of the oils that fit your temperature range, and provide the degree of flavouring you desire.

  • 5
    What's interesting (to me anyway!) is that Canola = Rapeseed oil, but in the 70s, the Rapeseed Association of Canada changed the name, assumedly because they didn't like the word rape in rapeseed. Canola = Can(ada) + Ola (oil). Commented May 17, 2015 at 7:46

In Britain the two most common vegetable oils are Sunflower oil and Rapeseed Oil. Sunflower oil has a smoke point of over 400F, and Rapeseed oil similar, assuming both are refined which is almost always the case as sold in supermarkets. Rapeseed is reported to have higher omega-3s than Sunflower oil so is increasingly popular, but Sunflower oil is very commonly used.

  • What is called Rapeseed oil in the UK is called Canola oil in Canada - see Keith's answer Commented May 16, 2015 at 11:30
  • What I've noticed in the US is that sunflower oil is used in a lot of commercial products but not sold in large containers for use in home cooking as soybean oil, canola oil, and corn oil are.
    – Random832
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 12:24
  • I found canola oil just tastes off when used for high heat cooking (and I would call 190°C a high heat application - generic deep frying oil usually comes with a label "180°C only") - probably exactly because of it being rich in polyunsaturated (omega-anything) fat, which go kaputt (and arguably even turn unhealthy - rancid!) at these temperatures anyway. Peanut or rice bran might be your best choice. Your asian grocer will likely have them at an affordable price. Commented May 16, 2015 at 21:13

"Vegetable oil", in the US, generally means canola oil (aka rapeseed oil).

(In many cases, of course, you could substitute another neutral oil with a similar smoke point, if canola isn't available.)

  • 3
    There is nothing wrong with using canola oil, but I believe that you're incorrect that it is generally called vegetable oil in the US. In my experience, canola oil is labeled canola oil; soybean oil or a blend thereof is usually labeled vegetable oil.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 6:21

In the U.S. Yellow Squash is the second one pictured. It is a staple here during the summer months. Also tasty sautéed with Vidalia or sweet onions.

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