Peanut oil, or groundnut oil, is a popular choice in cooking for its ability to fry deliciously crispy foods and for its plethora of health benefits. This vegetable oil is made from the seeds of a peanut plant, and its high smoke point is what makes it so perfect for frying, stir-frying, grilling and sautéing. Plus, its subtly nutty flavor is perfect for baking, making tasty sauces, and many other forms of cooking. However, we don't always have peanut oil on hand when a recipe calls for it, which is why it's important to know good peanut oil substitutes.
One of peanut oil's many health benefits is its abundance of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that decreases the risk of heart disease and helps with diabetes. Peanut oil is also shown to aid in weight loss, prevent arthritis, and reduce the risk of cancer. This oil is also high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, which lowers cholesterol levels and aids in reducing build-up of fats in blood vessels.
Although we can all agree on the benefits of using peanut oil in cooking, it's always helpful to know which substitutes to use when we run out of essential ingredients. Peanut oil is best substituted with other oils that mimic its smoke point and flavors, to result in equally crispy and delicious meals. Although these oils and substitutes many not be made from the peanut plant, many of them have health benefits of their own Here are 8 of the best substitutes for peanut oil.
1. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a great substitute for peanut oil, full of its own health benefits as well. Avocado oil is full of healthy fats like oleic acid, so it reduces cholesterol levels and supports heart health. Like peanut oil, it has a high smoke point, making it perfect for roasting and frying. Avocado oil is unrefined and has a mild taste, so it won't add any unwanted flavor to your meals. Use avocado oil for frying, roasting, grilling, dressings and sauces when you run out of peanut oil.
2. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is often preferred for its 450 degree smoke point, which is the same as that of peanut oil. This type of oil is healthy, also high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. It's also a great replacement for butter in baking. The only thing to consider when using sunflower oil is that it's also nut-based, so it's not a good substitute if you're avoiding peanut oil because of a peanut allergy.
3. Almond Oil
Almond oil is another great option, and many consider it to be healthier than peanut oil. Almond oil contains polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, along with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. It also has a subtle flavor and won't overpower your dish with too much almond flavor.
4. Canola Oil
Canola oil is one of the best alternatives for nut oils, perfect for withstanding high temperatures. Previously called rapeseed oil, this healthy oil is a good peanut oil alternative if you're avoiding all nut oils. Use canola oil for frying, stir-frying, baking or dressings.
5. Grape Seed Oil
Another excellent substitute for peanut oil is grape seed oil, which is made from grape seeds. This type of oil is similar to vegetable oil and olive oil, and its also known for having a neutral taste that makes it versatile for cooking. When your peanut oil is out, grape seed oil is a good alternative.
6. Safflower Oil
Safflower oil comes from the seeds of the safflower plant, which is a relative of the sunflower. It can be found either linoleic or oleic depending on your preferences. Safflower oil also has a high smoke point, so it can be used for receipts that involve high heat. This kind of oil doesn't have a strong flavor, so you can count on a tasty meal with no unwanted tastes.
7. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is the most common type of oil used in cooking, and it offers an affordable option for those who don't want to buy pricier oils like grape seed and almond oil. Vegetable oil is a large category, and many oils we've listed fit into it, such as canola oil and safflower oil. Vegetable oil can easily be found at the grocery store and is a good substitute for when you've run out of peanut oil.
8. Walnut Oil
Another nut oil, walnut oil is great for pan-frying veggies when you're in a bind. However, since walnut oil is pricy as oils go, it's best for salad dressings or used as a tasty drizzle over steamed vegetables rather than using it as a cooking oil. If you've run out of peanut oil and need to make a salad dressing or sauce, walnut oil is a great option.