Oil and you
I think oil is one of the first foundations you add to any food. You use it for grilling, baking, frying, etc. Because of this, I have decided to give everyone a crash course in oil usage. Hopefully, after this, you will think twice before you pour in that bottle of oil you have.
Smoking point: the point which the oil starts to burn and smoke rendering the oil useless
This has a slight peanut aroma and gives off a hint of nutty taste. If you are allergic to peanuts like me, you will want to stay away from the cold pressed oil but the regular oil is fine for consumption. It is good for frying because it has a high smoking point.
I don't use this at all but I know people who do. They are often advertised as a healthy oil because they are high in betacarotene and vitamin E. It is also because of that they tend to have a reddish tint. If you cook it too long, it turns clear because all the betacarotene is destroyed. They are mainly for regular stir fries or in blocks for baking.
This oil needs no introduction.
I use light olive oil for cooking because it has a higher smoking point. Light does not mean it's less fatty. Sorry girls, fat is fat is fat. I use the extra olive oil for salads. You cannot look at the color of the oil and tell whether it is good or not. That only shows what color olives were pressed. This oil is very sensitive to air and light so keep it in a dark place.
Soy, canola, cotton seed oil
These oils are mainly used for potato chips etc. there are always controversies around them whether they are good oil or bad oil. Canola oil has been blamed for blindness in some magazines. None of which has really been proven. I am not a fan of these oils mainly because there is a chance of pesticide residue. While not substantiated, I just don't use them
This is one of the best oils to use for frying. It has a really high smoking point and I use it for stir frying and everything in between. It has a very mild taste so it does not interfere with the foods you are cooking. They tend to be on the cheaper side and not controversial.
Sesame seed oil:
I saved this one for last because I cringe every single time I see people on the food network cook with these. First, we need to realize there are 2 types of sesame seed oil and you can differentiate them by color. Sesame seed oil derived from toasted sesame seed will produce a more orange color. Toasting them concentrates taste so they are very strong. A cold pressed sesame seed oil will be almost yellowish like any other oil and their flavor tends to be much milder. Another method is to smell the bottle before you buy. To be sure, I'm not aksing you to open the bottle and not buy it. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let us talk about the amount. In a dish for 2 servings, at no point is 1 cup of oil necessary to bring out the flavor. Replace it with corn oil, would you put that much corn oil in anything? A subtle hint of sesame seed oil is great, anything more than a few teaspoon, it becomes obnoxiously pungent. It has a high smoking point but I do not recommend anyone frying with this oil. Take time to note how much they give you for instant noodles. That is about how much you should use per serving. So Emeril, you are using too damn much. Too damn much!