Grapeseed oil has been a favorite of French chefs since the 1930s. In the 1990s, it became a popular option among professional chefs in the United States. More recently, it has become widely available in grocery stores and has developed a strong reputation for its versatility and health benefits. If you need a cooking oil with the same properties, here are some of the best grapeseed oil substitutes available.
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Your best bet: Canola oil
Like grapeseed oil, canola oil is heart-healthy and neutral-tasting. Using canola oil should not affect the flavor profile of your dish or make it any less healthy. The fact that both oils contain high levels of unsaturated fats means that they are beneficial for lowering cholesterol. Canola oil is an upgrade from grapeseed oil in the health benefits department since it offers more vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains less saturated fat.
One of the reasons that grapeseed oil is used in many recipes is its high smoke point. Canola oil’s smoke point is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit while grapeseed oil’s smoke point is around 420 degrees. You can use it at very high temperatures without it burning, which means that it won’t generate toxins or develop an unpleasant taste. Sure, canola oil’s smoke point isn’t quite as high as grapeseed oil’s, but it is close enough that you can use it in many of the dishes that require grapeseed oil.
Canola oil is also a good grapeseed oil substitute because it is easier to find than grapeseed oil and cheaper to produce. Both of those factors mean that it will be the more affordable cooking oil of the two.
A decent second choice: Olive oil
Refined olive oil is often labeled as light or light-tasting olive oil. The lighter olive oil is, the more neutral its taste will be and the higher its smoke point. If you are cooking at high temperatures, opt for extra light-tasting olive oil as this will be the best possible substitute for grapeseed oil when frying. Refined olive oil can have a smoke point as high as 470 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like grapeseed oil, olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fats. It also contains vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. If you want to replace grapeseed oil in a salad dressing or other uncooked application, use extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is made without solvent extraction or the use of heat. Not only will it give your dish a nutritional boost, but it can also enhance its flavor.
In a pinch: Refined peanut oil
As with olive oil, peanut oil will have a more neutral flavor profile and higher smoke point if it has been refined. Peanut oil has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil, which means that it is the better option for some dishes.
In addition to its neutral flavor profile, peanut oil is the world’s favorite deep-frying oil because it does not absorb the flavors of ingredients. The benefit of not absorbing flavors is that it can be reused several times without developing an off taste that it will transfer to foods.
Avocado oil has a somewhat different nutritional profile to grapeseed oil, but it too has some major health benefits. Among those benefits are the fact that it is similarly rich in monounsaturated fats. It also has a neutral flavor profile and high smoke point.