When it comes to cooking oils, there are so many options available that it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. Two popular choices often found in kitchens around the world are grapeseed oil and canola oil.
In this article, we’ll dive into the differences between these two oils, explore their uses in cooking and baking, discuss whether they can be substituted for each other, examine their nutritional profiles, provide storage tips, and ultimately decide which oil comes out on top. So, let’s get started!
Comparing grapeseed oil vs canola oil
|Grapeseed oil||Canola oil|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Liquid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||420 degrees||225-445 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat|
|Allergens||Grapes, grapeseeds||Rapeseed, canola|
Differences between grapeseed oil and canola oil
Grapeseed oil, as the name suggests, is derived from the seeds of grapes. The seeds are typically separated from the grapes during winemaking processes. On the other hand, canola oil is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant, which is a type of rapeseed.
Canola oil is essentially “rapeseed oil” that’s used for cooking. Because the name is so similar to grapeseed oil, the two are sometimes confused for being the same thing, but they are distinct types of vegetable oils!
While grapeseed oil and canola oil start with a mechanical extraction process, they both undergo refining to improve their quality, taste, and stability before being sold commercially. The refining process may involve multiple steps, including degumming, neutralization, bleaching, and deodorization.
Baking and cooking with grapeseed oil vs canola oil
Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point, typically around 420°F (215°C), making it ideal for high-heat cooking methods like sautéing and stir-frying. Its neutral taste won’t overpower the other ingredients, allowing flavors to shine through.
Due to its mild flavor, grapeseed oil is excellent for making vinaigrettes and marinades. Grapeseed oil can also be a suitable substitute for other oils or fats in baking recipes, especially when a neutral flavor is desired. Use it in cakes, muffins, and quick breads, adjusting the amount as needed.
Canola oil also has a high smoke point, usually around 400°F (204°C), which makes it great for frying and deep-frying. Its mild flavor allows the natural taste of the food to come through, making it a great all-purpose frying oil.
Another popular way to use canola oil is in homemade mayonnaise or creamy dressings. And if you have a sweet tooth, canola oil works great in baking recipes, providing moisture and tenderness to cakes, cookies, and brownies!
Can grapeseed oil and canola oil be substituted for each other?
Because both are types of seed oils, grapeseed oil and canola oil are excellent substitutes for each other. They are very similar in terms of their flavor and cooking properties, so feel free to swap them for each other for cooking or baking. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference! Just make sure to double check the smoke point of your grapeseed or canola oil before cooking with it.
Nutrition: Grapeseed oil vs canola oil
Grapeseed oil is known for its high content of polyunsaturated fats, including omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the body against free radicals.
Canola oil, on the other hand, is higher in monounsaturated fats and contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a good source of vitamin E.
Both oils are low in saturated fat, cholesterol-free, and are considered heart-healthy options when used in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Grapeseed oil||Canola oil|
|Polyunsaturated||9.5 g||3.9 g|
|Monounsaturated||2.2 g||8.9 g|
|Saturated||1.3 g||1.0 g|
|Trans||0 g||0.1 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store grapeseed oil and canola oil
This part is often overlooked, but storage is SO important to keeping your oils fresh!
Both oils should be kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Grapeseed oil is relatively high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically linoleic acid, which is more prone to oxidation than the monounsaturated fatty acids found in canola oil. This means that grapeseed oil has a shorter shelf life compared to canola oil – about 3-6 months, while canola oil can last up to 6-12 months when stored properly.
To prolong its shelf life, I HIGHLY recommend storing grapeseed oil in the refrigerator. Canola oil is fine at room temperature as long as it’s stored in a cool, dark place like your pantry or a cupboard. Always check the expiration date and discard any oil that has gone bad.
Grapeseed oil vs canola oil: The ultimate verdict
Grapeseed oil’s higher smoke point and lighter flavor make it a great option for high-heat cooking and dressings, while canola oil’s versatility and longer shelf life make it a reliable choice for frying and baking.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which oil suits your needs and taste preferences. For me, I prefer canola oil since it’s a more stable cooking oil due to its lower polyunsaturated fat content and it has a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to grapeseed oil.
Yes, both are seed oils with neutral flavors and high smoke points, but they have different sources. Grapeseed oil is derived from grape seeds, while canola oil comes from the seeds of the canola plant.
Yes, in most cases, you can substitute grapeseed oil with canola oil and vice versa. They have similar smoke points and neutral flavors, so the substitution should work well for most recipes.
The term “seed oil” is quite broad, as it encompasses various oils derived from different seeds. Canola oil, specifically, is a type of seed oil that is considered a healthy choice due to its low saturated fat content and favorable fatty acid profile. However, the overall quality of seed oils can vary depending on the specific type and processing methods used.