Grilling is a great way to cook food because it locks in the flavor and produces a nice, crispy crust. But what kind of oil should you use when grilling? Many different types of oils can be used, but some are better than others, particularly if you’re expecting to grill over extremely high heat. Let’s cover your best options and why each is so good.
Table of Contents
- For high-heat grilling (450 degrees Fahrenheit and above)
- The best you likely have already in your home
- What not to use
- Must-read related posts
For high-heat grilling (450 degrees Fahrenheit and above)
Peanut oil is an excellent option because it can withstand high temperatures without smoking or burning. This is due to its high smoke point (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature at which an oil will start to smoke and break down. Peanut oil does have a light nutty flavor, but it’s not so strong as to impact the taste of most foods.
You’ll want to know avocado oil if you plan on grilling over 450 degrees. Its smoke point is 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so it will withstand nearly any flame you pair it with. What sets avocado oil apart is its flavor. Avocado oil has a light, nutty flavor that can enhance the taste of your grilled food. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on what you’re grilling.
Safflower oil is another option with a high smoke point (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s an excellent all-purpose oil for cooking, baking, and grilling. Its flavor is also very mild, letting your food’s overall flavor shine through.
The best you likely have already in your home
Canola oil is a common kitchen staple that is also great for grilling. It has a reasonably high smoke point (400 degrees Fahrenheit), so it can handle most grilling temperatures. Canola oil is also relatively flavorless, so it won’t affect the taste of your food.
Extra-virgin olive oil
This is the go-to for most home cooks and is also an excellent option for grilling. Extra-virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s best used for grilling at lower temperatures. The flavor of extra-virgin olive oil can range from mild to strong, depending on the quality of the oil. But, in general, it has a fruity flavor that can enhance the taste of your grilled food.
What not to use
You may not think of these as oils, but each contains oil and have similar use cases. But none are good options for grilling.
Butter is a bad choice for grilling because it has a very low smoke point (250 degrees Fahrenheit). This means it will start to smoke and burn long before your food is cooked. Butter also has a strong flavor, so it can easily overpower the taste of your food.
Margarine is similar to butter in that it has a low smoke point and strong flavor. Additionally, margarine is made with vegetable oils, which can be unstable at high temperatures. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid using margarine when grilling.
Cooking spray is not a good option for grilling because an uneven spray can easily cause your food to stick to the grill. Additionally, most cooking sprays have a very low smoke point, so they will start to smoke and burn long before your food is cooked.
Must-read related posts
- Cooking Hot And Fast: Learn all about this cooking method and what it brings to the table.
- What’s The Best Salt For Steak? There are certain options that are better than options.
- How To Create Charcoal Flavor Off The Grill: No time to grill? You can use spices to bring your food some of that boldness you miss.