Soybean oil is one of the world’s most widely consumed cooking oils. It is usually affordable and easy to find but if you are out of it or don’t like the taste, there are some good alternatives available. Try one of the soybean oil substitutes below.
Your best bet: Peanut oil
Peanut oil’s main characteristics are its high smoke point and mild flavor. Both of those properties make it a great substitute for soybean oil. Because of the high smoke point — which is the temperature at which it begins to break down and smoke — you can use it for deep-frying and other high-heat cooking methods. Like soybean oil, peanut oil’s smoke point is approximately 450-degrees Fahrenheit.
The neutral taste of refined peanut oil is also important since it allows the oil to be used with mild-tasting ingredients since it won’t mask or obscure their flavors.
The main downside of peanut oil is that it will be somewhat more expensive than soybean oil, which is usually one of the more affordable cooking oils.
A decent second choice: Canola oil
Made from a kind of rapeseed, canola oil is a lot like soybean oil in that it has a high smoke point. It also has a neutral flavor, which can make it an upgrade from soybean oil since soybean oil is sometimes strongly flavored.
Like soybean oil, canola oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Another important health benefit of canola oil is that it has the lowest saturated fat content of all cooking oils. Canola oil is usually the least expensive of the options mentioned here so it is a good soybean oil substitute from a cost perspective.
In a pinch: Olive oil
On its surface, olive oil might not seem to be a good substitute for soybean oil but has more in common with it than you might think. Also, some properties make it superior to soybean oil. Olive is a good source of both the vitamins that are present in soybean oil even though it does not have as much of the vitamin K. It also has more of the only mineral, which is iron.
If you use refined olive oil — which is sometimes called light olive oil — you can use olive oil as a soybean substitute in high-heat cooking methods. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavor and can replace the flavor of soybean oil in some dishes but keep in mind that it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking. Something else to keep in mind when using olive oil as a soybean oil substitute is the cost since it is often considerably more expensive than soybean oil.
Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point so you can use it for stir-frying and deep-frying just like soybean oil. Its neutral flavor makes it a better option if you want to avoid the strong taste that soybean oil can sometimes have. Grapeseed oil won’t provide you with the high level of vitamin K that you might get from soybean oil but it has more vitamin E per serving.
Butter can work as a stand-in for vegetable oil in many recipes but not all. It has a low smoke point so you will have to use it carefully to keep it from burning. When used properly, butter will add a richness that you won’t get from any other cooking fat. It is loaded with saturated fat so it won’t be as heart-healthy as soybean oil.