If you’ve ever found yourself standing in the cooking oil aisle at the grocery store, pondering over which oil to choose, you’re not alone.
With so many options available, it can be tough to determine which oil is the best fit for your needs.
Today, I’m going to compare two popular choices: corn oil and olive oil. So grab a seat, and let’s dive in!
Comparing corn oil vs olive oil
|Corn oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||450 degrees||350 degrees||390-470 degrees||350 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, light heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Corn (zein)||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen|
|Paleo?||No||Yes||If it is not refined||Yes|
Differences between corn oil and olive oil
So, corn oil and olive oil are both types of cooking oils, but they come from different sources and have some distinct characteristics.
Let’s start with corn oil. As the name suggests, it’s derived from corn kernels. It’s a commonly used vegetable oil that has a mild flavor and a high smoke point, which means it can withstand high cooking temperatures without breaking down or producing smoke. Corn oil is often used for frying, baking, and sautéing.
On the other hand, olive oil is made from pressing olives. It has been around for centuries and is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s often used in salad dressings, marinades, and drizzling over finished dishes. Olive oil has a lower smoke point compared to corn oil, so it’s better suited for low to medium heat cooking methods like sautéing and baking.
Extra virgin vs regular vs virgin olive oil
Olive oil comes in various types, such as extra virgin, virgin, and regular olive oil, each with different qualities.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality and most flavorful olive oil, made from the first pressing of olives without heat or chemicals. It has a rich, fruity flavor, vibrant green color, and low acidity.
Virgin olive oil is also from the first pressing but has slightly higher acidity and milder flavor compared to EVOO. It is suitable for cooking when a less pronounced olive oil flavor is desired.
Regular or pure (refined) olive oil undergoes further processing, resulting in a lighter flavor and higher smoke point. It is commonly used for high-heat cooking methods like frying and grilling when a milder taste and heat resistance are important.
Baking and cooking with corn oil vs olive oil
Corn oil has a higher smoke point compared to virgin olive oil (450°F vs 350°F) making it an excellent choice for high-heat cooking methods like frying and sautéing. Conversely, olive oil has a lower smoke point, making it better suited for gentle cooking techniques such as roasting and baking.
When it comes to taste, corn oil possesses a mild and neutral flavor profile, allowing the other ingredients in your dish to shine. In my experience, it works wonderfully in baked goods like cakes, cupcakes, and muffins. Simply replace butter or other vegetable oils in your recipe with an equal amount of corn oil to ensure a moist and tender result.
On the contrary, olive oil boasts a distinct and robust taste, ranging from fruity and buttery to peppery and grassy, depending on the variety. It’s perfect for adding depth and richness to dishes like pasta, salads, hearty soups, and marinades.
Can corn oil and olive oil be substituted for each other?
While both oils can be used in various recipes, it’s essential to consider their smoke points.
Corn oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it more suitable for high-heat cooking methods such as frying.
Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is better suited for low- to medium-heat cooking and is often used in baking, dressings, and marinades.
If you’re planning to substitute one for the other, keep in mind that the flavor profile may vary, and you might need to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.
Nutrition: Corn oil vs olive oil
Corn oil is lower in saturated fats compared to olive oil, which is good news for your heart health. However, olive oil takes the lead in terms of monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy fats that can help lower bad cholesterol.
Olive oil also packs a punch with antioxidants and vitamin E, which are great for your skin and overall well-being.
On the other hand, corn oil has a higher smoke point, making it a handy option for high-heat cooking.
When it comes to calories, both oils have a similar count of around 120 calories per tablespoon, so portion control is key!
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Corn oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Polyunsaturated||7.4 g||1.5 g||1.5 g||1.5 g|
|Monounsaturated||3.8 g||10 g||10 g||10 g|
|Saturated||1.8 g||2 g||2 g||2 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store corn oil and olive oil
Both oils should be kept in airtight containers away from heat and light to maintain their quality. However, corn oil, being more refined, has a longer shelf life and can tolerate higher temperatures, making it suitable for storing in a cool, dark pantry.
Extra-virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is less refined and more prone to oxidation, so it is best kept in a cool, dark place or even refrigerated to extend its freshness and preserve its delicate flavors.
Corn oil vs olive oil: Which is better
In the end, I have to say that olive oil emerges as the winner. Here’s why: Olive oil’s abundance of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants make it a healthier option for promoting heart health and overall well-being.
I also find the distinct flavor profile of olive oil enhances the taste of dishes in a way that corn oil doesn’t, whether it’s drizzled over salads or used in cooking.
So, if you’re looking for that heart-healthy boost, go for olive oil, but don’t underestimate the versatility of corn oil in the kitchen. It’s high smoke point and neutral flavor makes it a solid choice when you’re baking or cooking at higher temperatures.
It depends on your needs and the specific cooking method. Corn oil has a higher smoke point and is better suited for high-heat cooking, while olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, offers unique flavors and potential health benefits.
Corn oil can be a part of a healthy diet when used in moderation. However, other oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil are often considered healthier due to their higher content of heart-healthy fats.
The healthiest oil to cook with depends on the specific cooking method and individual dietary needs. Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil are commonly regarded as healthier options due to their favorable fat profiles.