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The Many Types of Oil and Their Uses

September 13, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Scottsdale 0 Comments

The Many Types of Oil and Their Uses

Most people see cooking oil as something that is thrown into a pan for the purpose of cooking another food. While this is one use for cooking oil, there are a variety of other uses for oils as well. Not all cooking oils are the same, and they each have very unique flavors, properties, and uses. If you enroll in classes for cooking techniques, you will learn the importance of choosing the correct oil for the right effect. From being drizzled onto a salad for extra flavor to being used as a bath for deep-frying, the number of cooking oils out there are as abundant as their uses. Below are some of the most common oils found in kitchen cabinets and how to use them.

1) Vegetable oil
One of the most popular categories of cooking oil, common vegetable oils include canola, corn, sunflower and safflower varieties. Canola oil is derived from the rapeseed and generally has very mild flavor. It is often used for deep-frying since it can be heated to high temperatures without producing unappetizing odors. Corn oils are very similar to canola, and they are well-suited for deep-frying. Corn oils have a very mild taste that does not add much to a dish. Safflower and sunflower oils are better off consumed at room temperature as an ingredient in salad dressings and other sauces. They can also be used to make a great meat marinade as well. Overall, vegetable oils are considered to be very versatile as they can be used for practically any cooking application. Often culinary school in Arizona will focus on using vegetable oil for some of the tasty Mexican dishes the West is known for.

2) Olive oil
Often categorized into pure olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil, this class of cooking fats are commonly consumed at room temperature. Due to their pungent aromas and robust flavors, olive oils are often used to enhance the taste of other foods including salads, pastas, and breads. Classes in cooking often will instruct students on how to use this type of oil in many Italian dishes. Pure olive oil makes for decent sautéing oil, but extra-virgin oils generally aren't used for cooking since they are expensive and more appropriate for sauces and dressing up a dish. Olive oils can lose their high omega-3 fatty acid content quickly when heated, and they are more likely to be eaten cold.

3) Nut oil
These oils have a wide spectrum of aromas, tastes, and intensities, serving best as last-minute finishing to a plate. They are rarely ever used for the cooking process. Most popular types of nut oils include walnut, peanut, hazelnut, almond and cashew. Nut oils can be added to meat and vegetable dishes to accent them according to your personal tastes. Of course if you are cooking for a large group of people it is important to be sure there are no nut allergies in the group.

4) Seed oil
Seed oils are very popular in Asian dishes, and they can be used for a wide range of culinary applications. These oils are typically used for stir-frying, meat sauces, and salad dressings. Among the most common seed oils are coconut, pumpkin, and sesame. Coconut oil is used in baked goods, while pumpkin and sesame oils usually find their way into Asian-style sauces and dressings. Seed oils serve multiple purposes and are enjoyed by many from the East to the West. Culinary school in Arizona is one place where you can learn the best uses for different seed oils.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. Le Cordon Bleu College of
Culinary Arts in Scottsdale offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Scottsdale, Arizona.
To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Scottsdale for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more atwww.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary.
 Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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