When baking and cooking, it is not uncommon to find out that you have run out of something you need. Or sometimes, we need to adjust a recipe for a different form of cooking. This can lead to needing the occasional substitution for odds and ends around the kitchen. A common item people need a substitution for is cooking oil. The good news is there are several great substitutions for cooking oil in your favorite recipes so you can keep on cooking without a trip to the store.
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Why Substitute Cooking Oil?
The most common reason why people look for substitutions for cooking oil is to find a healthier alternative. Cooking oil can impact the nutrients that you get from your food. Replacing your cooking oil with healthier oil alternatives can be great for your nutrition.
It's also common for people to use oil substitutions when they run out of oil, or when their recipe calls for a different type of oil other than the one that they have available.
Common Substitutions for Cooking Oil
My go-to for nearly anything calling for vegetable oil is good old-fashioned butter. Butter gives your foods a rich and flavorful boost and can go amazing in nearly any recipe adding more flavor and texture to whatever you are making. This goes for everything from baking to frying on the stovetop or simply keeping things from drying out on the grill.
If you are baking a cake or a sweet treat and it calls for cooking oil you can make a quick and easy substitution for cooking oil. This is a great option for making your baking projects a bit healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor or texture you love. Apple sauce makes great cakes, muffins, and quick bread when used in a 1 to 1 replacement for cooking oil.
If you are cooking at a high heat you can use extra virgin olive oil as a replacement for cooking oil. Olive oil has a high smoke point making it perfect for sauteing vegetables, making stir-fries, and cooking meats without burning the oil. Olive oil has a heavy rich flavor making it a bit difficult to use in many baking applications. You can however use olive oil with great results in heavy chocolate recipes like brownies where it helps to give a chewy fudgy texture and is hidden well behind the chocolate flavoring. Use olive oil in a 1 to 1 ratio with cooking oil in your favorite recipes.
For low heat applications, you can use coconut oil as a replacement for cooking oil. Coconut oil has a low smoking point of only 350 degrees. This makes coconut oil a good option for many baking recipes but it is best to avoid using coconut oil for stovetop frying where the oil will likely get hot enough to smoke. You can use coconut oil in a 1 to 1 ratio.
If you are looking for an alternative to cooking oil to make your favorite recipes work in the air fryer you will be happy to know you have some great options to allow you to get the perfect crisp without dousing your food in cooking oil. You can purchase cans of spray oil including healthier oils like olive oil at the grocery store near the traditional cooking spray. If you would rather have a more natural option you can purchase spray bottles for oil allowing you to put any oil you want into it for spraying onto your food for cooking.