Olive oil is extracted from olives while grape seed oil is a byproduct of the wine-making industry, according to the Whole Foods Market website. Either oil is suitable to use in many of the same dishes but there are some distinct differences in taste and how you should use the oils in cooking because of the different smoking points.
Grape seed oil has a lighter, more neutral taste than olive oil. Olive oil loses its taste when exposed to heat for very long while grape seed oil can retain its taste even after exposure to heat. The taste of olive oil can vary widely by the type of olive used, how ripe the olive is when used and, growing and storage conditions. These taste aspects also apply to grape seed oil.
Smoking point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke. The oil starts to burn at the smoking point and releases free radicals, which are often linked to cancer. Olive oil has a smoking point around 325 F, depending on the olive oil. The Olive Oil Source website explains that high quality extra virgin olive oils burns with fewer free fatty acids than other olive oils and can have a smoking point between 365 F and 400 F. Grape seed oil has a much higher smoking temperature at about 485 F.
Grape seed oil is best used in higher temperature cooking than olive oil. Use grape seed oil in sauteing. Olive oil, since it loses some of it taste in cooking, is most useful as a condiment in dips, dressing and marinade recipes and for dipping bread into. If you prefer the taste of grape seed oil, use it to dip veggies into or in sauces. Mix together grape seed oil, garlic and basil and drizzle it over bread.
Tips & Considerations
Store both oils in a cool, dark place for the longest shelf life. If the oil spoils, it may smell bad. Buy oils packaged in dark bottles as the bottle protects the oil from exposure to light, preserving it longer. Keep the oil in the refrigerator to best protect it from rancidity. Refined oils are better suited for high temperature cooking, but the refining process removes much of the nutrients, flavor and color of the oil. Unrefined oils are pressed and bottled, retaining all of their nutrients.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.