Canola Oil Vs. Vegetable Oil

Best cooking oil for high-heat cooking

The best oils for cooking at high temperatures are those that maintain their stability when heated (if they don’t they will break down and produce compounds that are bad for the body).

Refined avocado oil is generally considered to be the (plant-based) with the highest smoke point of around 265 degrees celsius.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is a type of oil made from the pulp of avocados.

Whilst it can be used in beauty and hygiene products, it is also a common ingredient in sweet and savoury dishes.

It is one of the healthiest cooking oils, and is high (good) monounsaturated fat, with a subtle buttery flavour.

Because refined avocado oil has a very high smoke point at around 265-270 degrees celsius, and as such is very effective when frying, sauteing and roasting.

Best cooking oil for roasting

Whilst the effect of roasting on food is always (supposed to be) the same, making it juicy and caramelised, the roasting process can be done at different temperatures depending on the dish and how long it’s in the oven.

Therefore different oils with different smoke points can be used. Extra virgin olive oil and coconut are both good for slow roasts due to their low smoke point and added flavour, whilst vegetable oil and rapeseed oil are neutral, medium smoke point oils that are versatile and can be used in most roasts. Non-virgin, refined olive oil and peanut oil are good high-temperature choices and can withstand an extremely hot oven without smoking.

Best cooking oil for grilling

Whilst vegetable and rapeseed oil are both suitable for grilling, as one of the most versatile oils, olive oil is also a good choice.

With a medium smoke point of around 210 degrees celsius, good quality olive oil can be brushed over food and baking trays for grilling to enhance flavour and prevents sticking, whilst remaining full of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acid.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a type of oil that comes from olives, which grow on trees native to the Mediterranean. The oil is extracted by pressing the olives – olives can be pressed up to 3 times to obtain oil, with the oil from the first pressing being what is considered the most high quality – known as extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil is versatile and known for its health properties, it’s full of healthy fats and antioxidants, is thought to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and has a lower percentage of monounsaturated fat than other oils.

Olive oil has a tangy flavour that can be subtle or stronger depending on the press, and is used for everything from salad dressings to roasting meat.

Best cooking oil for frying

The best oil for frying is a neutral oil with a high smoke point. Vegetable oil is a good choice as it does not have an overbearing taste and will allow whatever is cooking to retain its flavour, and remain stable at the temperature required for frying (the exact smoke point may vary depending on the vegetable blend but it will be around 220 degrees celsius.

Vegetable oil is also one of the cheapest oils, which makes it more cost-effective if it needs topping up during the frying process.

Best cooking oil for roast potatoes

The best cooking oil for roast potatoes depends on whether you want the potatoes to be crispy or healthy or suitable for vegans.

Some oils are better for texture but might affect the flavour, whilst others may only work at lower roasting temperatures.

Basically, there is an oil or fat for every roast potato requirement and our guide here can tell you exactly which one is right for your roasties.

The best fat for roast potatoes

Vegetable oil is a type of cooking oil made from a blend of other plant-derived oils.

The exact ratio and blend can vary but rapeseed oil, corn oil and sunflower oil are all commonly used.

Relatively healthy, and known for its neutral flavour and general versatlity, vegetable oil is also able to be used more than once (although it’s recommended to sieve between uses and be aware that it degrades with each use).

This makes it particularly cost-effective for things like frying.

Best cooking oil for deep frying

The best oil for deep frying is vegetable oil, as it can be used cheaply in large quantities and will not overpower the flavour of whatever is being fried.
However, peanut oil is another great choice, as it has a very high smoke point and will give deep-fry items such as fries a moreish after-taste.

Best cooking oil for baking

Canola oil – which is also known as rapeseed oil – is the best oil for baking with. Recipes for baked goods often specify canola oil if oil is required, as it does not have a strong flavour and results in a moist yet airy texture.

(Also known as rapeseed oil)

Canola oil – or rapeseed oil as it is more commonly known in the UK, is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the canola plant using synthetic chemicals.

Rapeseed oil has a high smoke point and a light, neutral taste, which combined with the fact that it contains a lower amount of saturated fat than any other vegetable oil, make it one of the most commonly used for culinary purposes.

Canola or rapeseed oil can also be sold as cold-pressed and used in a similar way to extra virgin olive oil.

Best cooking oil for salads

Extra virgin olive oil is considered the best oil for salad dressings (you can find out all about the best salad dressings here), because of its rich flavour and silky texture. Because the oil for salad is not cooked, it needs to stand up as an ingredient in its own right, which extra virgin olive oil excels at.

Also known as EVOO, extra virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.

Best cooking oil for vegans

The best cooking oil for vegans depends on what they are cooking and how they are cooking it. Since most cooking oils are plant-based they are suitable for those on a vegan diet and can be used as required. Olive oil is a popular all-round oil of choice as it is nutritionally rich and contains high amounts of monounsaturated fats.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a type of oil derived from the coconut palm fruit. The oil can come from the wick, meat and even the milk of the coconut.

Unlike many other plant-based oils, coconut oil is solid at lower room temperatures, turning into a clear liquid at higher room temperatures and when it is heated.

The oil has a distinctive coconut tang and is rich in fatty acids.

Whilst commonly used for cooking – particularly in Asian cuisine – coconut oil is also frequently used in toiletries and beauty products.

Best cooking oil for chips

The best cooking oil for chips is sunflower oil, as it is high in polyunsaturated fats, has a relatively high smoke point and leaves chips crispy – it’s particularly suitable for air frying.

However, lard and beef dripping (though not oils) are generally considered to be the very best fat for chips that are golden and moreish, due to their flavour and very high smoke point.

Best cooking oil for cholesterol

Whilst there are many heart-healthy cooking oils that lower harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (which is bad for the body) such as sunflower oil, peanut oil and canola/rapeseed oil, the best oil for cholesterol is safflower oil.

Safflower oil is rich in linoleic acid which is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and help prevent blood clots.

Most importantly, safflower oil lowers the level of bad cholesterol in the blood without having a negative effect on good cholesterol.

Fighting Cholesterol in Foodservice

Several oils can be good for weight loss, including olive oil, which helps you to feel fuller for longer and avoid overeating and contains lots of monounsaturated fatty acids. Another oil thought to be helpful for weight loss is coconut oil, which contains healthy saturated fats and medium-chain triglycerides, which are thought to increase metabolism and aid weight loss. Some sources also claim that extra virgin coconut oil can help target abdominal fat.

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Rapeseed oil is a vegetarian, amber-coloured oil that comes from the oilseed-rape plant. It’s commonly used as a cooking oil and can be used as a vegan and gluten-free butter substitute in some baking recipes.

If you’ve ever driven past a giant field full of bright yellow flowers in the summer time, this was probably a rapeseed field. The yellow flowers are also known as oilseed-rape or canola flowers, and the seeds are squeezed to make oil.

Rapeseed oil is currently the 3rd most consumed oil in the whole world. It actually originates from Canada and was first created as a lubricant for machinery and oil lamps! It was named canola oil there, with the word meaning Canada and low acid (because the oil has a low erucic acid content). Canola oil is still the name most commonly used in North America for this oil.

In the UK and Australia, you’ll most often hear people using the name rapeseed oil. This name comes from the Latin word ‘turnip’, which may be confusing at first, but it makes sense once you realise they are both part of the same Brassicaceae family!

Is rapeseed oil vegan?

Yes. Rapeseed oil is vegan and vegetarian. The oil is extracted from flower seeds and does not contain any animal ingredients or byproducts, nor does the processing method.

It can be used in vegetarian or vegan cooking for frying, or in some dairy-free dessert recipes as a butter replacement. It works especially well as a substitute in recipes that call for melted butter. In fact, you’ll actually find that rapeseed oil is an ingredient in many vegan butters and margarines.

Is rapeseed oil good for frying?

Yes. Rapeseed oil is perfect for frying with a high smoke point of 230°C. The high smoke point means that more of the nutritional benefits of your food will be retained after you’re done cooking. It’s a great neutral-tasting oil for cooking but beware that hydrogenated oil is NOT a health food, so be careful how much rapeseed oil you consume. A cold-pressed rapeseed oil may be a better alternative.

Is rapeseed oil gluten-free?

Yes. Rapeseed oil is naturally gluten-free, as are most other cooking oils. It is mostly suitable for those who have coeliac disease. The only exception to this might be oils with flavourings added to them, which could contain gluten.

There may also be a risk of cross-contamination, depending on the brand you choose, so make sure to always check the label before you purchase it.

Ways to use it

If you have some of the oil to hand and are not sure how to use it, here are some ideas:

As mentioned earlier, this oil has a high smoke point of 230°C. I sometimes use it for frying pancakes when I’ve run out of coconut oil and vegan butter. It’s also good for frying vegetables and other food items that you want to retain flavour in. Sometimes when you fry with coconut or olive oil, the flavour can start to take over the whole dish. This won’t happen with rapeseed.

I would personally not recommend this oil for roasting. While it will work OK, the end result won’t taste as pleasant as something like olive oil. I recently roasted some vegetables with it and because it doesn’t have a strong flavour, it just tasted a bit greasy and bland.

If you’re on a budget, baking with oil is a great alternative to more expensive vegan butters or margarines. But if you look closely at the ingredients of these butters, you’ll see they’re mostly just a blend of oils anyway, along with a few extra ingredients to solidify it.


So, is rapeseed oil vegan? Yes, rapeseed oil is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. There are no animal ingredients, animal byproducts or gluten-containing ingredients used to make or extract the oil. Always check the label before purchasing as there may be a risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients.

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Canola and vegetable oil have a lot in common—you might even confuse them from time to time if the bottles are side-by-side in your kitchen pantry. Both of these workhouse oils are pale yellow in color, neutral in flavor, inexpensive, and have high smoke points, which makes them good for high heat cooking like frying.

So what’s the difference between these two oils, and why would you choose one over the other in the grocery store?

What Is Canola Oil?

Canola oil, or rapeseed oil as it is more commonly known in Europe, is a type of vegetable oil that comes from the rape plant (Brassica napus). Canola’s namesake is shorthand for “Canadian Oil Low Acid,” and Canada is a major producer of rapeseed. In fact, canola oil was invented by Canadian scientists in the 1970s and was the product of plant breeding to make a version of the rapeseed plant that wasn’t toxic to humans.

The now common kitchen pantry oil is a great oil for cooking, as it has a high smoke point at 400°F. It has a mild taste, which makes it a good oil to use if you don’t want to alter the taste of your dish. It is also considered to be a healthy oil, since it is very low in saturated fat, has zero grams of trans fat per serving, and is higher in monounsaturated fat which is great for heart health. Saturated fat is known to raise cholesterol levels, whereas monounsaturated fat can improve cholesterol levels and help in the prevention of heart disease—which makes this oil the best of both worlds.

What Is Vegetable Oil?

It might be surprising to know that vegetable oil doesn’t actually contain any vegetables. Instead of describing what is in the oil, the name’s use is primarily to differentiate it from lard or animal-based oils. Vegetable oil is any oil that is derived from plants or seeds. This includes canola oil, soybean oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and more. Most of the vegetable oils sold in grocery stores are just soybean oil, corn oil, or a combination of the two.

Like canola oil, vegetable oil also has a relatively high smoke point at 400°F. It has a mild taste, is fairly inexpensive, and is a good option for frying, sautéing, and baking. However, since the plants the oil is derived from can vary from bottle to bottle, you might not have as much control over the nutritional content and fats you are consuming.

What Is the Difference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil?

It all comes down to nutrition. Although canola oil and vegetable oil are both plant-based oils—canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant and vegetable oil is typically soybean-based or made from a blend of vegetable oils—they differ in their fat composition.

While plant-based fats are considered more heart-healthy than animal fats, canola oil is generally believed to be a healthier option because it is lower in saturated fat than vegetable oil. According to Cooking Light, “canola, like walnut oil, is one of the few oils that’s rich in omega-3 fat ALA—and research shows it may help lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol.”

Can Canola and Vegetable Oil Be Used Interchangeably in Recipes?

The short answer is yes! Both of these oils are great options for various cooking methods such as frying, sautéing, and baking. Whether you are frying chicken or peanuts, baking a Hummingbird Cake, making a tasty stir-fry, or whisking up a simple vinaigrette, canola oil can be used in place of vegetable oil, or vice versa. While you might notice a slight difference in flavor if you did a taste test of both oils on their own, you shouldn’t notice a difference in the flavor or texture of the final dish. However, If saturated fat is a concern, reach for the canola oil. Otherwise, you can cook with either oil with great results.

How To Safely Store Vegetable and Canola Oil

The best place to store your oils is in a dark, dry, and cool place, out of the line of direct sunlight and away from humidity. Oils should not be exposed to air, so make sure they are properly sealed after each usage. Oils that are stored for too long can become rancid from oxidation, and should not be used. If your oil smells bad or tastes bad, you should throw it out. If your oil bottle has residue left on the rim near the cap or the rest of the bottle, it’s probably a good indicator that you should invest in some new oil. Always be sure to look at the best by date to know how long your oil will stay fresh when stored properly.

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It’s hard to avoid using oil when cooking, as it can help prevent food from sticking to your cooking surface (via Home Cook World). Cooking oil can be used for sautéing, frying, and baking, and is used in many recipes, too. Choosing a versatile oil will get you a good bang for your buck. The problem is there is an endless array of cooking oil choices at grocery stores. Some common oils are vegetable oil, olive oil, canola oil, and rapeseed oil. From there, the selections become even more meticulous — do you choose the oil that’s refined, unrefined, organic, virgin, extra virgin, or cold-pressed?

The options can be overwhelming. However, learning the differences and similarities between cooking oils can help decide which oil fits your needs.

Are canola oil and rapeseed oil the same?

The difference between canola oil and rapeseed oil simply comes down to its name. They are both technically the same product; both come from the bright-yellow rapeseed plant, which belongs to the cabbage family, per Healthline. Most Americans refer to the oil as “canola” while Europeans call it “rapeseed” (via Medical News Today).

Rapeseed oil is extremely versatile. Not only is it used in cooking, but the oil is also used in the chemical and automobile industries (via WebMD). The only difference between the usages comes down to the level of erucic acid, which is naturally found in rapeseed plants, and is unhealthy if consumed too much (via Healthline).

Canola oil is made from genetically modified rapeseeds through crossbreeding. It was created in the 1970s in Canada as a way to reduce the amount of erucic acid found in rapeseed plants, per Science Digest. In fact, “canola” is a portmanteau of “Canada” and “oil.” According to Healthline, canola oil must contain less than 2% of erucic acid.

How to use canola oil

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If you’re not too sure how to use canola oil, you’re in luck (via WebMD). Canola oil can be used for sautéing, stir-frying, grilling, and baking. You can do it all with canola oil as it has a subtle, neutral flavor. So, if you’re thinking of baking chocolate chip banana bread, sautéing asparagus, or whipping up some salmon cakes, try swapping out your usual oil with canola oil. Because it has a high-heat smoke up, canola oil can withstand a high temperature, so it can also be used for deep frying and searing (via Healthline).

Canola oil doesn’t even have to be used when cooking on the stove. Per WebMd, the oil can be drizzled in salads or added into sauces. It can also (sometimes) be a substitute for butter. Next time you are grocery shopping and not sure which oil to get, try giving canola oil a whirl.

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Odds are you have a bottle of canola oil in your pantry. Touted for its high smoke point and neutral flavor, canola is a versatile cooking oil with endless applications in the kitchen. Behind palm and soybean, canola is the third major vegetable oil produced in the world, per Science Direct. Odds are you do not have a bottle labeled rapeseed oil in your pantry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Confused yet?

The rapeseed plant is a member of the Brassicaceae family and cousin to popular crucifers like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and turnips. They produce bright, yellow flowers and dark, small seeds from which the oil is pressed.

Many people use the terms canola oil and rapeseed oil interchangeably, and you may come across the term “rapeseed” online. To add to the confusion, Europeans use the term rapeseed oil for what Americans refer to as canola oil, per Medical News Today, and their grocery store labels reflect that. But are the two oils the same thing?

The difference between canola and rapeseed oil

Technically no, canola oil and rapeseed oil are not the same, but the difference is relatively minor. They are derived from the same plant, but different adaptations of it.

Canola oil is a modified version of rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil has been around in an industrial capacity for many years. It was used as lamp oil before it was replaced with petroleum, as well as a lubricant and biodiesel component, per Feed Strategy.

Rapeseed oil contains erucic acid and glucosinolates. In large amounts, erucic acid is toxic to humans. Glucosinolates are naturally found in cruciferous plants and responsible for the bitter taste they’re known for, but are undesirable in large amounts, per Harvard.

In the 1970s, Canadian scientists crossbred the rapeseed crop to reduce the erucic acid levels to no more than 2%. What resulted was a new plant dubbed “canola” — a hybrid of “Canada” and “ola” for oil. Oil from the seeds of the canola plant is suitable for culinary applications (via Canola Council).

In summary, canola oil is rapeseed oil with less erucic acid and glucosinolates, making it safe for consumption. Generally, the bottles you see on grocery shelves are canola oil made from the crossbred rapeseed plant.

Did you know that rapeseed oil is a type of vegetable oil? It’s extracted from the seeds of rape plants, and it’s commonly used in cooking and baking.

It has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for frying, and it’s also a good source of healthy fats.

However, rapeseed oil is also one of the most controversial oils.

Some experts claim that it’s unhealthy, while others argue perfectly safe to consume.

So, what’s the truth? And what are the best substitutes for rapeseed oil? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at rapeseed oil and its potential health risks.

We’ll also provide five substitutes that you can use in your cooking and baking.

What is Rapeseed Oil?

Rapeseed oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant.

It is also sometimes referred to as canola oil.

Rapeseed oil is light in color and has a mild flavor, making it a popular choice for cooking and baking.

It is also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Rapeseed oil can be used in many different ways.

It is often used as a base for salad dressings and marinades.

It can also be used for sautéing, stir-frying, and baking.

When cooking with rapeseed oil, it is essential to remember that it has a lower smoke point than other oils, so it should not be heated too high.

Rapeseed oil is a versatile and healthful cooking oil that can be used in many different ways to add flavor to your favorite recipes.

For all of you trying to find a good substitute for rapeseed oil, here are the five best substitutes you can use.

1 – Olive Oil

Olive oil has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet throughout history, revered for its health benefits and culinary uses.

Unlike other cooking oils, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to promote heart health and protect against chronic diseases.

In addition, olive oil contains antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.

When it comes to cooking, olive oil is versatile enough to be used in various recipes.

Whether you’re drizzling it over a salad or use it to fry up some veggies, olive oil will add flavor and nutrition to your meal.

2 – Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a healthy and delicious option for cooking.

It is high in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health, and it has a rich, creamy flavor that enhances many dishes.

Avocado oil is also relatively low in smoke point, meaning that it can be used for cooking without causing the formation of harmful compounds.

When selecting avocado oil, look for an oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined.

These oils will have the most antioxidants and nutrients—store avocado oil in a cool, dark place to keep it from going rancid.

When using avocado oil for cooking, add it towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its flavor and nutritional value.

With its healthy fats and subtle flavor, avocado oil is a great way to make your favorite recipes healthier.

3 – Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin seed oil is a type of oil derived from pumpkin seeds.

It has a rich, nutty flavor and a dark green color.

Pumpkin seed oil is popular in many cuisines, including Italian, Austrian, and Slovenian.

It is often used as a dressing for salads or as a flavoring for soup.

Pumpkin seed oil can also be used for cooking.

It is important to remember that pumpkin seed oil has a shallow smoke point when used for cooking.

This means that it can easily smoke and burn if heated too quickly or at too high of a temperature.

When cooking with pumpkin seed oil, it is best to use it at lower temperatures or add it near the end of the cooking process.

Pumpkin seed oil can be an excellent way to add flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes.

4 – Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the safflower plant’s seeds.

It has a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures.

It is also relatively flavorless, so it does not affect food taste.

In addition, safflower oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, beneficial for heart health.

Because of its health benefits and versatility, safflower oil is a popular ingredient in many cuisines.

It can be used for stir-frying, roasting, and even baking.

5 – Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from sunflower seeds.

It is high in vitamin E and low in saturated fat, making it a healthy choice for cooking.

Sunflower oil can be used for frying, sautéing, or baking.

It has a neutral flavor, so it will not alter the taste of your food.

When cooking with sunflower oil, be sure to use a light hand so that the oil does not become too hot and smoke.

If the oil starts to smoke, it is starting to break down and release harmful compounds.


In conclusion, rapeseed oil has several pros and cons.

It is a healthy oil high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.

However, it has a strong flavor that some people may not enjoy.

Additionally, rapeseed oil is somewhat unstable and has a relatively short shelf life.

If you are looking for a substitute for rapeseed oil, a few options are available.

Olive oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil are all excellent substitutes that have similar properties to rapeseed oil.


  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil


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