Grapeseed oil and coconut oil are two of the most popular oils used in cooking and skincare products, but they have major differences in terms of taste, nutritional value, and cooking properties.
Let’s compare and contrast grapeseed oil vs. coconut oil to help you decide which one is better for your needs.
Comparing grapeseed oil vs coconut oil
|Grapeseed oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||420 degrees||350 degrees||400 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Grapes, grape seeds||Coconut, tree nut||Coconut, tree nut|
Differences between grapeseed oil and coconut oil
Let’s start with the basics: grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes – it’s actually a byproduct of winemaking! Coconut oil comes from the meat of coconuts.
Grapeseed oil is a light yellow-green liquid oil, while coconut oil is a white semi-solid oil at room temperature, which affects their uses in cooking (more on that later).
Grapeseed oil is typically extracted using chemical solvents. It’s extremely processed, so it’s not good for paleo diets. On the other hand, coconut oil is often extracted through a mechanical process like pressing, and unrefined coconut oil is paleo-friendly.
Virgin/unrefined vs refined coconut oil
Unrefined, also known as extra virgin or virgin coconut oil is the best type of coconut oil. It’s unprocessed, chemical-free, pure coconut oil. Made by pressing fresh coconut meat and extracting the oil, unrefined coconut oil retains the coconut’s natural flavor.
Refined coconut oil goes through a process that involves bleaching, deodorizing, and sometimes even hydrogenation. This process removes the coconut’s natural scent and taste, giving it a more neutral flavor. It also has a higher smoke point and is more affordable than unrefined coconut oil.
Baking and cooking with grapeseed oil vs coconut oil
Now, the fun part: how to cook with coconut oil and grapeseed oil!
Grapeseed oil is a popular oil used in restaurants for its high smoke point and neutral flavor. It’s also less expensive than extra virgin olive oil. It has a much higher smoke point than olive and coconut oil, meaning it can handle high temperatures without smoking or burning. Grapeseed oil is good for everything from salad dressings to frying.
Coconut oil has a more distinct flavor and a lower smoke point, making it better for low-heat cooking techniques like sautéing and baking. If you’re baking sweet treats like cakes and cookies, coconut oil can add a subtle sweetness that complements the flavors.
Can grapeseed oil and coconut oil be substituted for each other?
If you’re making a recipe that calls for grapeseed oil but you don’t have any on hand, you could substitute coconut oil in a dish where the tropical flavor would complement the other ingredients. However, olive or avocado oil is generally a better substitute.
Conversely, if a recipe calls for coconut oil and you prefer a more neutral flavor, you could use grapeseed oil instead. Just keep in mind that the cooking time and temperature may need to be adjusted slightly depending on the oil you choose.
Nutrition: Grapeseed oil vs coconut oil
Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage.
On the other hand, coconut oil is made up of mostly saturated fat, which can raise bad cholesterol levels. However, the saturated fats in coconut oil differ from saturated fats in animal fats like butter. Over half of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, which can decrease inflammation and boost health in some cases.
Of course, too much of anything is a bad thing. Like all oils, coconut and grapeseed oil should be used in moderation.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Grapeseed oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Polyunsaturated||9.5 g||0 g||1 g|
|Monounsaturated||2.2 g||1 g||1 g|
|Saturated||1.3 g||13 g||12 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store grapeseed oil and coconut oil
Both grapeseed oil and coconut oil should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to prevent oxidation. Grapeseed oil can also be refrigerated to extend its shelf life, while coconut oil can solidify at cooler temperatures. If your coconut oil solidifies, simply warm it up to return it to its liquid state. That’s it – easy peasy!
Grapeseed oil vs coconut oil: Which is better?
While grapeseed oil certainly has its uses, particularly in salad dressings and other dishes where its light flavor and high smoke point can shine, I believe that high-quality coconut oil is the better all-around choice. Its versatility, unique flavor, and potential health benefits make it a staple in my kitchen, and I highly recommend giving it a try!
Both grape seed oil and coconut oil have their own unique benefits, so it’s difficult to say which one is better overall. However, grapeseed oil is higher in polyunsaturated fats and has a higher smoke point, making it a better choice for high-heat cooking, while coconut oil is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides and can add a distinct flavor to dishes.
It depends on the recipe and the cooking method. If the recipe calls for high-heat cooking, such as stir-frying or deep-frying, coconut oil may not be the best substitute as it has a lower smoke point than grape seed oil. However, if the recipe doesn’t require high-heat cooking, you can use coconut oil as a substitute for grape seed oil, keeping in mind that it will impart a coconut flavor to the dish.
Both grapeseed oil and coconut oil are known for their skincare benefits, but they have different properties. Grapeseed oil is lightweight and easily absorbed, making it a good choice for oily or acne-prone skin, while coconut oil is more moisturizing and may be better for dry or sensitive skin (not good for acne!).