Want a Substitute for Peanut Oil? Here Are the Top 7 Alternatives
If you’re searching for an ingredient that you can substitute for peanut oil, this article may have the answers you’re looking for! Below are seven other peanut oil alternatives that you can choose from.
I love cooking with peanut oil—it’s amazing for frying, and it tastes excellent when drizzled on salads. Sometimes, I choose to use alternatives instead, because peanut oil isn’t cheap, and I like experiment with different flavors in different dishes.
In no particular order, here are seven oils that you can use if you don’t have or don’t want to use peanut oil <or if you’re allergic>. I’ll be discussing topics like flavors, smoke points, and ingredient pairings. I have used most of these ingredients myself!
First Things First: What is Peanut Oil?
Before I begin, let me answer this question and walk you through some of the essential things you need to know about peanut oil.
You might have come across peanut oil as an ingredient for frying/deep frying—this is because it has a high smoke point, which is necessary for deep-fried food to achieve that crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside result.
Frying food in peanut oil will give it a cleaner, more neutral flavor. It is also healthier than cooking with animal fat, and will not absorb the flavors cooked in it, so even if you deep fry different items, they will retain their unique tastes.
Substitute for Peanut Oil: 7 Equally Healthy Alternatives
1. Sunflower Oil
Like peanut oil, sunflower oil also has a 450-degree smoke point, so it’s excellent for frying or deep frying.
Made from pressed sunflower seeds, some of the good stuff found in this type of oil is vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acid. It’s low on saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol levels.
This oil is also excellent for baking! You can use this to replace butter in some baking recipes. I love butter but occasionally replace it with sunflower oil because it’s healthier. Works wonders!
Note: if you have a peanut/sunflower seed allergy, don’t use this oil. Same for the other nut-derived items on this list.
2. Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is made from the seeds of the safflower plant, which is related to sunflower. The high smoke point makes it excellent for deep-frying, sautéing, and searing. It’s flavorless, so you’re sure that your food comes out tasting clean.
This is also a great substitute for olive oil for salads because it doesn’t solidify when placed in cool temperatures.
Safflower oil has a lot of wonderful health benefits, too! If you’d like to enjoy your fried food, but are still health-conscious, you’ll be glad to know that this has lots of great health benefits.
This oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which means that it decreases the chances of developing conditions like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. If you’re looking for cooking oil that’s good for the heart, this one’s for you!
3. Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil has a neutral flavor and high smoke point like the rest of the oils on this list.
A lot of people, however, don’t always have this as a first choice because it’s relatively more expensive than others. I do not usually use this for deep frying because of the price, but trust me--it is excellent for searing or sautéing!
Grape seed oil has a neutral taste, so you’re sure that your fried food will come out tasting excellent. This oil is actually preferred by many chefs because of the clean taste.
Not only is it a substitute for peanut oil, it’s also used as replacement for extra virgin olive oil because it’s usually more affordable. So go ahead and drizzle it on your favorite salads!
4. Canola Oil
Like peanut oil, canola oil also has a high smoke point <peanut oil has about 450, and canola is around 400>. They both contain monounsaturated fats, which maintains balance in your body by help lower your bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol.
Derived from rapeseed plant, canola oil also contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower chronic diseases.
I have also read that some people combine both of them, so if you have both in the pantry and need deep fry, this is also something that you can do—no need to buy more oil. I have tried this with some crispy waffle cut fries and the results were great!
5. Vegetable Oil
If you’re looking for a substitute for peanut oil that’s affordable, vegetable oil is one of your best bets.
Sometimes, the term “vegetable oil” is usually used in packaging when the oil being used is composed of a mix, like palm, canola, corn, and safflower oils. Sometimes, the term is also used in lists when the oil used is not that popular.
If you do research about vegetable oil, you’ll notice that there are a lot of articles saying that it’s not good for you. Some reasons include unnatural extraction, additives, and chemicals.
If you’d like to make sure that your vegetable oil is good, check the nutrition label at the back of the packaging and see the levels of saturated fats.
Per 100 grams, there should only be around 20 grams of saturated fat--you may want to skip anything higher than this.
6. Almond Oil
If you don't want to use vegetable oil, you can try almond oil. This one is not cheap, but the health benefits are worth it, so I strongly suggest you get some for your home.
There are two kinds of almond oil: cold pressed and refined. The former is best for drizzling, oil-based sauces, and other cold applications like salads or other chilled dishes.
The latter, on the other hand, is excellent for sautéing and deep frying because it can handle higher temperatures.
Some of the health benefits of almond oil include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which will help you maintain good cholesterol levels, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E.
Studies also show that they have great effects on the skin, too. This type of oil has been around for centuries to soothe skin and promote stronger nails.
This has also been used in ancient practices countries like India and China for treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
7. Walnut Oil
Walnut Oil is another type of oil which is an excellent peanut oil substitute. It’s packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which helps prevent heart diseases, as well as slow down the aging process.
I don't recommend using this oil for deep frying or any high temperature cooking. Aside from the fact that it's not cheap, it also has a tendency to become bitter at times.
Like almond oil, walnut oil is excellent for salad dressings, drizzling, and other finishing methods. I personally like it with steamed fish and oil-based salads and vinaigrettes.
I once made a simple oil-based salad and finished it off with a generous drizzle of this oil and it came out wonderful! I added some raw walnuts into it to build a fuller, nutty flavor, and the nice nutty taste really came out.
If you are interested in other ingredients, refer here: Ingredients
There You Have It!
I hope this post was helpful! These alternatives are just as great as peanut oil, so don’t worry if you run out or if you can’t use it because of allergies. There’s plenty of other options to choose from!
Before I end this article, let me say that while these oils could be relatively healthier, it is always best to consume fried foods <especially deep-fried one> moderately. I suggest that you should experiment with other cooking methods for healthier meals!
Let me know what you think in the comments section below! Suggestions and recommendation are also most welcome. Thanks for dropping by! Until next time.