Avocado oil is a versatile and healthy oil that has become trendy in recent years. It’s made from the avocado fruit, which is widely prized for its health benefits. And avocado oil is one of the few cooking oils not extracted from seeds. Avocado oil has a mostly neutral taste that makes it easy to use, but you should still be mindful of its properties to get the most value from it. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you learn how to cook with avocado oil.
Table of Contents
- Do learn the difference between virgin, cold-pressed and refined avocado oil.
- Do use refined avocado oil at high temperatures.
- Do use premium avocado oil as a finishing oil, just as you would use premium olive oil.
- Do use avocado oil on mild-tasting foods.
- Do store avocado oil correctly.
- Don’t overuse avocado oil.
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Do learn the difference between virgin, cold-pressed and refined avocado oil.
There are several differences between virgin, cold-pressed, and refined avocado oil. Virgin avocado oil is made from the first pressing of the avocado fruit, without the use of any chemical solvents or high heat. This results in an oil that is rich in flavor (buttery, like avocados) and nutrients, but also more expensive.
Cold-pressed avocado oil is made using a similar process, but with the addition of low heat to extract the oil more efficiently. This results in an oil that is less expensive but still retains some of the nutrients of the fruit. You also still get a subtle buttery taste of avocados with the cold-pressed oil.
Refined avocado oil, on the other hand, is made using high heat and chemical solvents to extract the oil. This refined oil is clear, odorless, and has a neutral flavor, making it ideal for cooking and frying. However, it lacks the nutrients and flavor of virgin and cold-pressed avocado oils.
Do use refined avocado oil at high temperatures.
While virgin and cold-pressed avocado oils are considered to be of higher quality, refined avocado oil is more commonly used for high-heat cooking due to its high smoke point. The smoke point refers to the temperature at which it begins to burn and smoke.
Do use premium avocado oil as a finishing oil, just as you would use premium olive oil.
While the oil certainly does handle high temperatures well, you may be able to get more value if you finish dishes with it. The higher the quality of a cooking oil, the better suited it is for use as a finishing oil.
For instance, virgin avocado oil will have a buttery flavor that can enhance certain dishes when drizzled over them just before serving. Virgin and cold-pressed avocado oils are also delicious drizzled on salads. They can be the based of many tasty salad dressings (particularly vinaigrettes) or simply drizzled on its own.
Do use avocado oil on mild-tasting foods.
Its buttery flavor profile is easily masked and only truly comes to the forefront on lightly flavored foods. Use it on fish or on vegetables (particularly lighter-flavored veggies like cauliflower) where you want to draw attention to its subtle and nuanced character.
Do store avocado oil correctly.
Avocado oil should be stored in a cool, dark location away from moisture. While it has a relatively long shelf life compared to other oils, it will still last longer if you store it correctly. That said, you should use it up within six months of opening the bottle. Unopened avocado oil can last up to two years.
Don’t overuse avocado oil.
Besides the fact that it contains many nutrients, avocado oil does contain a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids. While these are beneficial in moderation, too much of them in your diet can cause inflammation. If you take blood-thinning drugs like warfarin, you may also want to limit consumption since avocado has been reported to make these drugs less effective.