Pistachio oil and palm oil only really have one distinct similarity – they both start with the letter P. Other than the fact that they’re suitable for just about any diet (unless you have certain allergies!), they couldn’t be any more different. Pistachio oil works wonders in raw cooking, while palm oil is extremely resistant to high temperatures, making it versatile for all cooking methods. If you’re interested in learning more about their differences, keep reading!
Comparing pistachio oil vs palm oil
|Pistachio oil||Palm oil|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi-solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||250 degrees||450 degrees|
|Taste||Nutty, earthy||Mild carrot|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw||Raw, low heat, medium heat, high heat|
|Common allergens||Pistachio, tree nut||Oil palm fruit|
Differences between pistachio oil and palm oil
The biggest difference between pistachio oil and palm oil is their smoke points. Pistachio oil has a very low smoke point that makes it only suitable for raw cooking, while palm oil has a high smoke point for all types of cooking and baking.
Pistachio oil is a green-tinged, potent flavored oil that is extracted by cold-pressing (or expeller-pressing) pistachio nuts, while palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree.
When you purchase palm oil, make sure it’s naked and sustainable, so you’re staying environmentally and ethically conscious.
Baking and cooking with pistachio oil vs palm oil
Pistachio oil is popular in France for drizzling over salads and vegetables. It’s ideal as a finishing oil for enhanced flavor but not great for heat cooking because of its low smoke point. Since it won’t work in baked goods either, it can be nice to add on top of goodies like cookies and cakes to complement the sweetness.
Palm oil is completely the opposite. It has a high smoke point that makes it suitable for everything under the sun. The only thing to keep in mind is its texture. Unlike pistachio oil, palm oil has a semi-solid consistency that gives your bake or dish a fantastic creaminess. It’s also commonly used in West African cuisine, making it best for sprucing up curries and stews. For baking, it’s used as a plant-based sub for butter, which makes it ideal for flaky pastries, cookies, and more. Note that palm oil has a neutral yet mild savory flavor that resembles carrots.
Can pistachio oil and palm oil be substituted for each other?
Because pistachio oil is only suitable for raw cooking and palm oil is very rarely used in raw cooking, it would be very difficult to substitute them for each other.
But don’t worry! There are other substitutes for each oil that’ll work much better. Pistachio oil is hard to substitute as its flavor is unique, but pumpkin seed oil is a good match thanks to its rich and nutty flavor. If you need something similar for regular or high-heat cooking, pecan oil is your best bet. For palm oil, ghee will offer a similar flavor and texture, while coconut oil is the best healthy sub.
Nutrition: Pistachio oil vs palm oil
Although pistachio oil is quite high in calories in comparison to other cooking oils and fats, the types of fat it’s high in are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (8.0g per tablespoon) and polyunsaturated fats (5.0g). However, it does contain 2.0g of saturated fats per tablespoon.
Palm oil is highest in saturated fats (6.7g) which has been linked to raising LDL cholesterol in high amounts. The good news is that it still contains some good fats, including 5.0g of monounsaturated fat and 1.2g of polyunsaturated fat.
Regardless of the oil you choose, it’s best to use oils and fats in moderation, as they are considered high in fat and calories.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Pistachio oil||Palm oil|
|Polyunsaturated||5.0 g||1.2 g|
|Monounsaturated||8.0 g||5.0 g|
|Saturated||2.0 g||6.7 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||14 g||13.6 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store pistachio oil and palm oil
Pistachio oil is best kept in a cool, dark place to prevent it from going rancid. When stored properly, unopened pistachio oil typically lasts up to a year, while opened bottles should be consumed within a few months. Keeping it in the fridge after opening will help it stay fresh for longer.
Palm oil should be stored in exactly the same way, but refined palm oil lasts twice as long (2 years) as unrefined palm oil (1 year). Any type of palm oil that has been opened can last up to 6 months. In the fridge, palm oil will likely last longer, unopened and opened.
Pistachio oil vs palm oil: Which is better?
I would say it’s pretty much impossible to determine which oil is better based on the fact that they can’t be used for the same purposes. If you’re interested in experimenting with each one, stick to using pistachio oil for leafy green salads and dressings, and go wild with palm oil in high-heat cooking and baking!
Since pistachio oil has a lower smoke point compared to some other cooking oils, it’s not suitable for heat cooking and should be reserved as a finishing oil or in dressings. Because of its rich flavor, it can offer a gourmet touch to any culinary creation.
The answer is a bit of a mixed bag. As palm oil does have some heart-healthy fats and a high level of antioxidants, it can be good for health. However, palm oil is also high in saturated fats, which is linked to poor health outcomes when consumed in excess. So, moderation is key!