We’re venturing into the world of seed oils today and comparing flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) vs grapeseed oil (not to be confused with rapeseed oil). One of them is a hero in high-heat cooking, with a neutral flavor and high smoke point, while the other is only suitable for raw cooking and is renowned for its rich omega-3 fatty acids. Ready to find out which is which and how they fare in the kitchen? Read on!
Comparing flaxseed oil vs grapeseed oil
|Solid or liquid?
|Smoke point (Fahrenheit)
|Good for cooking…
|Raw, low heat, medium heat, high heat
|Grapes, grape seeds
Differences between flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil
Flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their smoke points, with grapeseed oil at 420 degrees and flaxseed oil at 225 degrees. That means while grapeseed oil is suitable for raw to high-heat applications, flaxseed oil should be reserved for raw ones only. And while grapeseed oil is known for being very neutral in flavor, flaxseed oil has a crisp and mildly nutty flavor that reminds people of sunflower seeds or sesame seeds.
Flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil are vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly, but you might want to choose other oils if you’re allergic to flax seeds or grape seeds.
Baking and cooking with flaxseed oil vs grapeseed oil
Flaxseed oil is delicate and doesn’t do well with heat. When exposed to heat, it can lose its delicious crisp flavor and can burn and become bitter, which makes the oil practically useless. It’s ideally used in recipes where the flavor of flaxseed complements the dish, like drizzled over roasted veggies, mixed into salad dressings, or added into green smoothies, for example. For baked treats and desserts, it can add a pleasant nutty flavor to loaves of bread, muffins, and cookies and be used to make sweet dessert toppings.
While flaxseed oil is heat-adverse, grapeseed oil can thrive in the heat. Whether you want to sauté, pan-fry, roast, or use it in raw cooking, grapeseed oil’s neutral flavor profile will mesh very nicely with other ingredients. It also has great emulsification properties, which make it suitable for making creamy dressings, mayo, and moist, soft cookies and cakes. As a bonus, it is also less expensive than extra virgin olive oil, which makes it a good choice as a kitchen staple.
Can flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil be substituted for each other?
Flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil can only fill in for each other when it comes to raw cooking. If you feel like grapeseed oil is too flavorless, flaxseed oil can add a rich, nutty flavor to whatever you’re making. Meanwhile, grapeseed oil is a great swap if you want those emulsifying qualities and a neutral taste.
If you’re looking for a better substitute for flaxseed oil, chia seed oil is the best fit, and wheat germ oil is the closest in flavor. For heat cooking, go for different varieties of olive oil. As the best substitute for grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil boasts a neutral flavor and similar smoke point, while sunflower oil is the most suitable sub for raw applications.
Nutrition: Flaxseed oil vs grapeseed oil
Flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil are quite similar in terms of base nutrition. They have the same ratio of fats, with polyunsaturated fat being their main fat, and have the same calorie content. Additionally, flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and has been proven to have several health benefits when it comes to heart health, skin health, and inflammation reduction. Grapeseed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are another type of essential fat that provide the body with energy, and contains high levels of vitamin E, which has high antioxidant properties.
As a rule of thumb, use all cooking oils and fats in moderation.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil
Flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil should be stored the same way – in a cool, dark place away from light and heat sources. Since flaxseed oil is so delicate, it’s best to store it in the fridge, especially after opening. Grapeseed oil should be stored in the fridge if you live in a hot or humid climate. When stored optimally, unopened grapeseed oil can last for up to 1 – 2 years from its production date, and opened bottles can last 3 – 6 months or 12 months in the fridge. Flaxseed oil has an extremely short shelf life when opened and will only last around 4 – 6 weeks. Unopened, it can stay fresh for 6 – 12 months.
Flaxseed oil vs grapeseed oil: What’s the verdict?
The verdict is that these two oils are so unique on their own that they shine in different areas in the kitchen. Flaxseed oil, with its nutty, crisp flavor and impressive omega-3 content, shines as a finishing oil for things like veggies, grilled meats, cooked grains, pancakes, muffins, salad dressing, soups, or shakes! Meanwhile, grapeseed is more of an everyday cooking oil that is useful in dressings, pasta sauces, and even high-heat frying and searing. The best part is that they both offer wonderful health benefits!
Grapeseed oil has several health benefits of its own, but what’s deemed the healthiest oil can depend on what you’re looking for. Grapeseed oil has a high amount of polyunsaturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids in particular. That means it can be a healthier alternative to oils higher in saturated fats. However, it isn’t as rich in other nutrients like heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil and won’t have the fat-burning MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) that coconut oil has, for example.
Flaxseed oil is a great pick when it comes to salads and dressings. Its nutty flavor adds a new dimension to vinaigrettes and coleslaws, and it’s packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, making it a nutritious choice. It’s also great for drizzling over steamed veggies or adding a teaspoon to a delicious smoothie for an extra boost. Just remember that its low smoke point makes it unsuitable for heat cooking!