Best Oils to Cook With

By Living Paleo
In Cooking Tips
Sep 30th, 2010

Some oils are better than others when applying heat to them when cooking. Those that don’t do well in a hot environment quickly turn rancid and turn into free-radicals, which damage our cells.

Keep these tips in mind when next cooking with oils:

High Heat/Frying/Browning

  • Coconut oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Lard

Medium Heat/Light Sauteing

  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Hazelnut Nut Oil
  • Pistachio Nut Oil

Low Heat/Baking

  • Pumpkin Oil
  • Sunflower Oil

No Heat

  • Fish Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Oils Mentioned Above

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16 Responses to “Best Oils to Cook With”

  1. Awesome info.! Exactly what I was looking for.

    • Susan Stuenkel says:

      What oils should we avoid? Which ones are not Paleo?

      • Paleo says:

        Vegetable oil, canola oil/rapeseed oil), margarine, corn oil, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils, soybean oil and rice bran oil are some of the common oils which should be avoided.

  2. Paris vega says:

    I was looking to see if seseme seed oil is paleo friendly. Looks like it is. :)

    Just had it on a salad and loved it.


  3. AJ says:

    Could you comment on where avocado oil fits into the temperature system above. It’s interesting to notice that the fats which are best at high temperatures are also the ones that tend to be solid at room temperature, and high in saturated fat.

    • Glen says:

      I have read that avocado oil is suitable for cooking in the 450F to 500F range only if it is refined avocado oil. Virgin/unrefined only suitable at lower temperatures.

  4. T.H. says:

    Is grapeseed oil Paleo friendly?
    I’m struggling with using Coconut oil b/c of all the fat…

    • derp says:

      lol wat. you’re doing the paleo diet 100% wrong if you’re worried about too much fat.

    • Glen says:

      In the previous century beef finishers turned to coconut oil to try and fatten up cattle. The cattle got leaner when coconut oil was added to their food! They eventually switched to adding corn oil and soy oil to the cattle’s feed because it did fatten them up. Apparently coconut oil which is a medium chain fat is burned much more easily as a quick energy source and tends not to be stored as fat.

    • Dionca says:

      Grapeseed oil has one of the WORST omega 6 to 3 ratios EVER: like 690 to 1. Almost impossible, but grapeseed found a way.

  5. marlyn says:

    am a newbie/wanna-be cook, and sometimes am comfused which oils i should use as i see variety of them in the kitchen. This is how i came up to this page. Thanks for this is very informative.

  6. Glen says:

    Why isn’t macadamia oil, avocado oil, or sweet almond oil listed? What about high oleic safflower oil?

    I believe most Americans (I am one) have a trashed omega-6/omega-3 ratio which is why the oils high in monounsaturated fat can be helpful until the ratio is corrected over time through diet.

  7. Yen says:

    This was very helpful… Started the Paleo recently and fortunately started to use coconut oil in the last 6 months as a moisturizer and also for hair and nails so had loads it in the house. Thanks for all the info. :) Great fact about the cattle Glen by the way!!

  8. Christine Kocher says:

    How are you defining ‘Lard’? I wanted to suggest beef tallow, but wasn’t sure if this is what you meant.

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