Can You Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil?


Are you wondering if you can use olive oil instead of vegetable oil? Selecting which type of oil to put in a recipe will drastically influence its outcome.

Most of the time, olive oil can be used instead of vegetable oil. The type of application will determine if olive oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.

Two of the most commonly used oils used are vegetable and olive oil. The main difference between the oils and when one should use the oils should be known by every cook including amateurs.

Below, I will go through multiple applications of olive and vegetable oils, and I will break down these two oils for you to ensure that you choose the best type of oil to include in your future recipes.

Plus, I will answer some of the major questions regarding the substitution of olive oil for vegetable oil and other oils as well.

When To Use Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil

Vegetable oil and olive oil originates from two entirely different plant sources. Vegetable oil is comprised of plant sources like nuts and seeds. Olive oil originates from the olive fruit.

This leads to differences in the oils smoke point which is the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. Olive oil has a significantly lower smoke point than vegetable oil. This is why it is a better idea to use when cooking at lower temperatures.

On the flip side, vegetable oil has a higher smoke point which is why it is best to expose it to medium to high heat. When it comes to taste, vegetable oil has little to no taste.

This is why it works especially well when you want all the flavor to come from the main food in the recipe. However, olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is more likely to influence a recipe’s flavor because it has a stronger, more distinct taste. However, some chefs like olive oil mainly because it adds a particular flavor to a dish that some people like.

When to Use Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil should be mainly used for stir-frying and deep frying. It’s a universal, basic oil that can be utilized in almost any recipe. Also, vegetable oil is moderately cheap, so it is the best choice to get if you are on a budget.

If you are searching for a tasty meal to make with vegetable oil, then consider a healthy veggie chips recipe.

When to Use Olive Oil

Olive oil is usually used in more elaborate dishes because of the tasty flavor it adds. It is also slightly more expensive than vegetable oil since it comes from the fruit of an olive. A lemon olive oil cake recipe can showcase the flavor olive oil in a sweet dish.

If you desire a genuine Italian taste in marinara sauces, other Italian dishes, and salad dressings that can be made from home, then you should use olive oil.

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil for Frying?

It is possible. However, olive oil tends to be expensive to use in the regular quantities that are used for frying.

For this reason, I’d recommend against it. The smoke point of olive oil is much lower than vegetable oil, so try not to heat it up too much when deep frying. If you want for a healthy oil to deep fry with, then consider canola oil.

The olive taste will be prevalent if you use it for frying, so you may not want to use it if the olive taste is unpleasant to you. In fact, olive oil is best when used for pan frying. Since the taste of olive oils can vary from person to person, you should try a blend of brands to figure out which one you like best.

Then use extra virgin for finishing and a decent, plain olive oil for the majority of your cooking. It is important to remember that oils become stale as time passes, so be sure to use your oil while it is still fresh. After ten to twelve months, extra virgin olive oil of the best quality probably will not be in a good enough state for raw applications.

However, it could still be used for cooking. You could also use butter. It is important to know that butter contains water in it. One cup of vegetable oil needs 1 1/4 cup of melted butter as a substitute.

Plus, you need to reduce the amount of water in the recipe by 1/4 cup. You may use olive oil in those ways freely, but if you think the taste will be noticeable, then use some other substitute like margarine or butter.

In salad dressings, olive oil is a better choice than vegetable oil unless you do not like the flavor. However, if you do not like the taste of olive oil, then you would not be asking this question. I also tend to add a small amount of olive oil to Italian recipes to give it an authentic taste.

I would not use good quality, extra virgin olive oil for frying because it has a strong flavor and the taste of most foods would be drowned by it. Anyways, extra virgin olive oil is far too expensive to use in this way.

You could use light olive oil for frying. In fact, it is a decent choice because it does not turn to trans fats when you heat it. Almost all vegetable oils will turn to trans fats when heated to a certain point. Frying with extra virgin olive oil is the best option because the phenolic compounds are absorbed by the foods that are fried which makes them more nutritious.

The unique phenolic compounds include health benefits that range from preventing Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, high blood pressure, and more diseases. Many more health benefits are being discovered as well. However, you must replace most of the animal fats in your diet with extra virgin olive oil to have a maximum positive impact.

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil in Waffles, Pancakes, Brownies, and Other Bread Foods?

People who love waffles, pancakes, and other types of bread for breakfast can benefit from using extra virgin olive oil in your batter. It will make your bread tender, moist, and very soft. Plus, you can even bake with it. Consider using a butter-to-olive oil conversion chart for your baking recipes.

You can cook a cake with olive oil, but you might not like the olive taste since it has a much stronger flavor than some other oils.

Sometimes it will affect the flavor of the baked food. You might want to try using fifty percent olive oil and fifty percent vegetable oil.

I would go with a substitute such as applesauce instead of the oil. It adds moisture similar to how oil adds moisture to a cake.

In fact, you can exchange olive oil for other cooking oils in the majority of baked recipes.

Deciding to use olive oil rather than vegetable oil will make brownies a slightly bitter or fruity taste that can be a tasty complement to chocolate.

When choosing the right olive oil substitute, you may want to opt for a milder flavor that will not overpower the brownies.

Final Words

Oil is an ingredient that is vital and often underestimated. It has been used for thousands of years for cooking. The ancient Greeks used it in many different ways. They regarded the olive tree as the “Holy Tree,” with a divine origin and supernatural attributes.

To simplify the question of when to use vegetable oil or olive oil, try to keep in mind a few things: vegetable oil is a basic, universal oil that should be used when cooking at high temperatures.

Olive oil is an oil that adds more flavor to a dish than vegetable oil and should be used when cooking at low to medium temperatures.

Related Questions

Can canola oil be used as a substitute for olive oil?

Yes, it can be. Canola oil, also known as canola, is a vegetable oil that comes from a variety of rapeseed. It is low in erucic acid relative to colza oil. The most notable difference you will notice in the two oils is taste.

Canola oil has the higher burn/smoke temperature of the two which means you should not have to worry too much about changing recipe temperatures or times to account for the difference.

Typical canola oil is borderline tasteless with a small amount of nuttiness and a tiny trace of butter.

Is almond oil preferable to vegetable oils for cooking?

No, it is not. Almond oil is not suitable for high heat cooking. Almond oil can be used in pastries/cakes. It can also be used as a seasoning to bring a nutty taste to the actual baked or cooked food. It is important to note that vegetable oil is healthier and cheaper than almond oil. The next best option is olive oil.

It cost a little more, but it is healthy and brings a nice taste to a dish. Grapeseed oil would be the next best option. Coconut oil is a healthy option too depending on where you live. In some countries, there is only have non-consumable coconut oil available.

Can you use corn oil instead of vegetable oil?

Corn oil is vegetable oil. Whole corn, which is what you eat on the cob, is considered a vegetable. However, the corn kernel itself, which is where popcorn comes from, is regarded as a grain. Many mixtures on the market may be called vegetable oil.

However, corn, safflower, canola and other “neutral” oils that do not have flavors of their own all fall into the vegetable oil category. Oils with a flavor, such as olive oil, unfiltered peanut oil, and avocado oil, are not vegetable oils.

(Last Updated: July 24, 2020)

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