When it comes to preparing marinades, there are a variety of oils that can be used.
Each oil has its own unique flavor and benefits that can enhance the taste of your dish.
Here are some of the best oils to use when preparing marinades:
Best Oils to Use for Your Marinades
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from olives.
The oil which is used for cooking and dressing purposes is produced by pressing whole olives.
The olive oil aroma has been described as “grassy” with green and fruity notes.
Its taste has also been described as “fruity” with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Some people also detect a pungent or peppery flavor in olive oil.
Olive oil is a great marinade because it is packed with antioxidants and has a high smoke point.
This means that it can help to protect your food from oxidation and prevent it from burning when you cook it.
2. Extra Virgin Olive oil
Extra virgin is just a variety of olive oil. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives.
EVO is considered to be richer in nutrition than the usual olive oil. This makes it healthier than other types of olive oil.
It decent enough smoke point (but not as high as other oils used for cooking), thus, so can be used for cooking at higher temperatures.
Extra virgin olive oil has a strong, fruity taste and a pungent aroma. It is also the most expensive type of olive oil.
3. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a type of oil that is extracted from vegetables.
There is a large variety of vegetable oils, some of the common ones are – soybean oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. Other vegetable oils include canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil.
The aroma of vegetable oils can vary depending on the type of vegetable it is made from.
For example, soybean oil has a nutty smell, while canola oil has a light, neutral scent.
The taste of vegetable oils is also different depending on the type of vegetable it is made from. Soybean oil has a slightly bitter taste, while canola oil has a milder flavor.
Vegetable oil is great for a marinade because it is easily available and cheaper than the likes of olive oil. Like other oils, it helps to tenderize the meat and also prevents it from sticking to the grill.
4. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds. It has a nutty aroma and taste that is perfect for stir-frys, salad dressings, or marinades.
Sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. The oil has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for cooking, grilling, etc. at high temperatures.
Sesame oil is a great marinade because it has a strong flavor that can penetrate meat and vegetables.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from the flesh of coconuts.
It has a light, coconutty aroma and a mildly sweet taste.
It is often used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer or hair treatment.
Coconut oil is a great marinade because of its flavor and aroma.
6. Canola oil
Canola oil is extracted from the rapeseed plant.
The name “canola” was actually created as a marketing term by the Canadian oil industry in the 1970s.
Canola oil has a light, neutral flavor and aroma, making it a popular choice for cooking and baking.
It is also relatively low in saturated fat and high in healthy unsaturated fats, making it a heart-healthy option.
Canola oil is a great marinade because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. This means that it won’t burn easily and won’t interfere with the taste of your food.
7. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is a type of oil that is extracted from the flesh of avocados.
It has a light, nutty taste and can be used in both cooking and skincare.
Its aroma is typically described as being similar to that of olive oil.
The oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which makes it a healthy option for cooking.
It also has a high smoke point, meaning it can be used for higher-heat cooking methods such as stir-frying without smoking or burning.
Avocado oil is great for a marinade because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. This means that it won’t burn when you’re cooking, and it won’t overpower the other flavors in your dish.
8. Peanut oil
Peanut oil is derived from peanuts.
It has a light, nutty aroma and a mild, neutral taste.
Peanut oil is relatively high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, making it a healthier option than some other types of oils.
It also has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying or stir-frying.
9. Soybean oil
Soybean oil has a neutral taste and smell, making it a versatile ingredient for cooking.
Its high smoke point makes it ideal for frying and sautéing, while its light flavor won’t overwhelm other ingredients.
Soybean oil is a good source of polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy. It’s also low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free.
Soybean oil is a great marinade because it has a high smoke point and is neutral in flavor. This means that it won’t burn easily and won’t affect the taste of your food.
10. Safflower oil
Safflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant.
The oil has a light, nutty flavor and a slightly sweet aroma. It is often used in salad dressings and as a cooking oil.
Safflower oil is high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.
11. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee is prepared by simmering butter until the water evaporates and the milk solids settle at the bottom.
The clear, golden liquid that remains is ghee. It has a rich, nutty flavor and aroma that is perfect for cooking.
Ghee can be used in place of oil or butter in recipes. It is perfect for sautéing vegetables or meat, and it can also be used for baking.
Ghee has a high smoke point of 480 F, which makes it geat for cooking and frying foods.
Ghee has many health benefits as well. It is rich in vitamins A, E, and K, and it also contains healthy fats that can help to boost immunity and promote general wellness.
When used as a marinade, ghee can help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.
12. Pumpkin Seed Oil
The pumpkin seed oil has a nutty, earthy aroma with hints of sweetness.
Its taste is similarly nutty and earthy, with a slightly bitter edge.
The oil is often used as a finishing oil, drizzled over dishes just before serving. It’s also a popular ingredient in salad dressings and marinades.
Pumpkin seed oil is a great marinade because of the flavor.
Given its lower smoke point, it is not recommended to use when you plan to grill along with the marinade.
13. Walnut Oil
Walnut Oil has a nutty, earthy aroma with a slightly sweet taste.
It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It has a relatively lower smoke point, and thus it can be used in salad dressings, marinades, and baking.
Walnut oil is a great marinade because it has a strong flavor that can really penetrate into the meat. It also has a lot of healthy fats that can help to tenderize the meat and keep it moist.
It is not recommended to use when you plan to grill along with the marinade.
14. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil has a light, nutty taste and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
It is high in polyunsaturated fats and has a low smoke point, making it ideal for stir-frying and other quick-cooking methods.
The aroma of grapeseed oil is similar to that of other vegetable oils, with a slight nutty smell.
However, the flavor is much milder than other oils, making it a good choice for those who do not like the strong taste of olive oil or other vegetable oils.
Grapeseed oil is a great choice for a marinade because it has a high smoke point and neutral flavor. This means that it won’t burn easily when grilled.
15. Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil is derived from hemp seeds. These seeds are the fruits of the Cannabis sativa plant and contain high levels of cannabidiol (CBD).
Hemp Seed Oil has a pleasant, earthy aroma. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for health.
Hemp seed oil is a great marinade because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids. This means that it will help to keep your food moist and flavorful.
16. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant.
It has a nutty taste and a strong, pungent aroma.
The oil is used in cooking and baking, as well as in salads and dressings. It is also a popular ingredient in supplements and health foods.
Guide to Select Best Oil for Marinades
Most of the oils will work just fine to prepare marinades, but to get the best results, here are 4 tips to conder –
Keep the flavor in mind
Decide what type of flavor you want your marinade to have.
Do you want it to be savory or sweet? Choose an oil that will complement the flavors you have chosen. For example, if you want a savory marinade, consider using olive oil or sesame oil.
If you want a sweeter marinade, consider using vegetable oil or canola oil. Experiment with different oils and combinations of oils until you find a flavor that you like.
What you are Marinating?
Think of the main ingredient you are marinating.
If you are using a leaner protein like chicken, you will want to use an oil with a higher smoke point so it doesn’t get as greasy.
Vegetables can be done with any type of oil.
Will you be Grilling?
If you plan to grill with the marinade, choose an oil with a high smoke point. This will help to prevent the oil from burning when it comes into contact with hot grill grates.
Here are is a quick table of smoke points of some of the most popular oils –
|Oil||Smoke Point (F)|
|Refined Olive Oil||390-420|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||325-375|
|Ghee (Clarified Butter)||480|
|Pumpkin Seed Oil||320|
|Hemp Seed Oil||330|
Light or heavy?
Decide if you want a light or heavy marinade. A light marinade will have a higher proportion of oil than other ingredients, while a heavier marinade will have more vinegar or other flavorful liquids.
Health benefits & Price
Some oils are considered to be healthier than others. For example Olive oil.
But these oils are generally also more expensive.
Decide on how important the health and price factor is and then select the oil.
In the End
Along with seasonings, herbs, and spices, oil also plays an important part in the marination process.
I hope this guide helped you decide what oils you can use in your marinades.
Do share your own experience with oils by commenting below.
Share this article with your friends and family who love marinating.