Can you Substitute Canola Oil for Vegetable Oil?

Posted by Alexa Ketterling

Can you use substitute canola oil for vegetable oil?  To answer this, we'll have to explain more about what vegetable oil actually is (and no, it's not made from the vegetables you're thinking of).  We'll also explain what makes vegetable oil ideal for your cooking and how canola oil may work differently -- or exactly the same.

But first, see the short answer below!

The Short Answer

Here is the short explanation: YES.  You can replace vegetable oil with many different options, including canola oil.

Technically, as a baker or home chef you do anything you want. Swap out your vegetable oil for oils such as safflower, coconut oil, olive oil, or other options. If the oil has flavor in it, just be aware of how it could change your recipe. 

Canola Oil will be an almost 1-for-1 swap with an identical taste profile, so it should be an easy thing to change up.

 can you bake with canola

Now, Time for the long answer...

Have you ever wondered what vegetable oil is actually made from? Surprisingly, you are not alone.  There are many people outside of the oil industry that don't actually know what vegetable oil is made up of -- or even what vegetables it's made from.

Next time you go to the grocery store, we encourage you to look on the back of a vegetable oil bottle at the ingredient listing. For the most part, you will see it is made up of soybean oil. You might also find it to be a mix of soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil or a few other options. Sometimes, canola oil actually makes it onto that list too! 

Vegetable oil, no matter what exact oil is inside, has almost no flavor or color. This is a top reason why so many chefs and bakers like it: it doesn't affect the final color or taste of their finished product. That said, you will need to be careful about what oil you swap it out for and pick an alternative that is also light in color and flavor.

Canola oil is one of the easiest things to swap vegetable oil out for because a) it also has a mild taste and color and b) it’s in the lower pricing range so that you’re not making a huge cost leap. If you need a non-gmo/organic oil, look for expeller pressed non-gmo canola oil or organic canola oil, both of which are really popular right now.

This is a very feasible switch to make and you shouldn't have to change your recipe in any way. The flavor profiles of each oil are mild and light in color, so you shouldn't see a difference in your finished product. The smoke points of the oils are also similar so that shouldn't affect your product much either. Just make sure you are aware of these differences before making the change.  


what is healthier?

When it comes to the health scale, canola oil is a sizable step up from vegetable oil (especially when your vegetable oil is corn or soybean oil). Many will claim canola oil to be one of the healthiest oils available in the world right now. We know there's a big debate going on about whether this claim is true or not. What we will stand up for is that canola oil is better for you than other types of oils, particularly if you get the non-GMO or organic version (which we highly recommend). 

No matter your beliefs about the healthiest oils, we can agree that exchanging your vegetable oil for canola oil is a reasonable thing to do. It's easy to change, it's healthier, and won't affect your final recipe at all. 


Topics: Canola Oil



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