Peanut oil is a popular cooking oil that is mostly associated with deep-frying. If you don’t deep-fry much, you may not always have this oil in your kitchen. The most commonly used form of peanut oil is the refined kind, which is easy to replace. Here is a look at some of the best peanut oil substitutes around.
Your best bet: Canola oil
Canola oil is extracted from a kind of rapeseed rather than from a legume like peanut oil; however, it has some of the same properties. It has a high smoke point, which means that it can withstand high temperatures without generating toxic smoke. Refined canola oil and refined peanut oil are interchangeable since both have been purified and deodorized to have any compounds that create smells and flavors removed. The results of the processing are two neutral-tasting oils.
You can use canola oil as a peanut oil substitute for deep-frying as well as for stir-frying since both cooking methods require cooking at high temperatures. Canola oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which makes it a relatively heart-healthy cooking oil just like peanut oil. Refined canola oil is considerably less expensive than refined peanut oil in US grocery stores.
Canola oil won’t be a good substitute for gourmet or semi-refined peanut oils, both of which have a strong peanut flavor.
A decent second choice: Grapeseed oil
Made with the seeds of wine grapes, grapeseed oil is a great all-purpose cooking oil. What makes grapeseed oil a good peanut oil substitute is its bland flavor, which is a significant selling point for cooking oils.
Use grapeseed oil when you want to taste the flavor of your ingredients and not the oil you are using to cook them. Like peanut oil, grapeseed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E. As a result, it has some the same benefits when it comes to protecting you from heart disease. Grapeseed oil is around the same cost as peanut oil and may be cheaper in some cases.
Grapeseed oil shares one of peanut oil’s most serious downsides. It contains a significant amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which are valuable in moderation but can cause health problems when consumed in excess.
In a pinch: Sunflower oil
Extracted from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil can provide much of what you want from peanut oil. You get a high smoke point along with a rich source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Sunflower seed oil is widely recommended for the same cooking methods that tend to call for peanut oil. It is also versatile enough to be used in baking.
While refined sunflower oil should be safe, you may want to look for another alternative if you are being extra-careful about avoiding allergens. Sunflower oil is also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, so you should try to consume it in moderation.
If you need a substitute for gourmet peanut oil, toasted sesame seed oil may be one of your best options. Gourmet peanut oil is made with roasted peanuts, which gives it a rich peanut flavor that you won’t get from many other cooking oils. Toasted sesame seed oil is one of the few that will provide a similar taste. It is commonly used as a finishing oil, which is how gourmet peanut oil is usually used.