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General Discussion

Healthiest cooking oil/fat for stir-frying?

babyraccoon | Jul 27, 202006:22 AM     40

I'm curious to know what other people regard as the healthiest oil to use for high-heat cooking, like doing stir-fries? For me, the definition of a healthy oil is that it is unrefined and has low levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), because we get enough of them elsewhere in our diets and PUFAs convert more easily to free radicals when heated.

I have been round and round in my head and on the internet on this topic, and as anyone who has explored this knows- there's a lot of conflicting information! From my research, the 'smoke point' of an oil does not tell the whole story, and in the case of extra-virgin olive oil, the benefits provided by the oil's antioxidant profile outweighs the damage done in the heating of the oil. So, I'm satisfied that extra-virgin olive oil is suitable for most of my cooking preparations.

However, it's not great for stir-fries - neither in the flavour nor in the fact that it smokes too much for my comfort level.

In an ideal world, there would be a neutral(ish) tasting oil that is unrefined, with a high smoke point and a low level of polyunsaturated fat. But as far as I know, that doesn't exist...I've recently tried avocado oil, which has a fantastically high smoke point, but a very pronounced taste that I don't love. I'm considering blending it with macadamia oil which would lower the smoke point but possibly improve the taste. I've also tried beef tallow, and now have some pork lard in the fridge waiting to be tried. But...I don't love the idea of routinely turning to an animal fat to stir-fry.

Anyway, what do you guys use? I'd like to do more stir fries but find myself hesitating simply because I'm not happy with the options for the cooking fats.

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