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There are a lot of cooking oils to choose from, and each has certain benefits and reasons for using. One of the major appeals of peanut oil is that it has a higher smoke point than others. This means you can use it for high-heat cooking and deep-frying without worrying about the oil smoking and burning. That’s because peanut oil is high in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid, which doesn’t break down and form hazardous byproducts when exposed to a lot of heat.
In addition to its high smoke point, peanut oil also has a neutral flavor, making it very versatile and a great multipurpose oil to keep in the kitchen. To make choosing a peanut oil easier, we created this list, outlining the best peanut oils for cooking, baking, deep-frying, and even popcorn-making.
Nature Mills peanut oil wins the top spot simply because of its taste. It starts with fresh, high-quality peanuts, which really make a big difference in the finished product. Nature Mills uses a traditional extracting process that involves cold-pressing the oil in a machine called a wooden Ghani. Although a wooden Ghani can only process about half as much oil as other extracting methods, the oil that does come out tastes better and is cleaner and more nutritious. There are no additives or filler oils—just pure peanut oil.
This brand comes in two sizes—just about 34 ounces and 68 ounces—so you can stock up if you use peanut oil regularly.
Because of its superior taste and quality, this peanut oil is our pick for the best organic. It’s made with 100 percent organic peanuts, and it's certified non-GMO and kosher. Because it’s refined, it can withstand even higher heats (up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit ) than regular peanut oil and has a more neutral taste that really goes well with any dish. And, unlike other refined oils, there are no chemical extractants used in the process since it’s done mechanically. That means you get a pure oil that’s perfect for all kitchen applications from marinating to flash-frying.
Native Harvest—a company that prides itself on overseeing the sourcing of all of its ingredients—offers a refined peanut oil that’s high quality and budget-friendly. The Nature Harvest Peanut Oil is non-GMO, natural, and expeller-pressed without the use of any harmful chemicals, so you’re left with pure peanut oil.
It has a slightly nutty flavor that lends itself to all types of dishes but still gives a traditional feel to Asian- and African-inspired meals. Because it’s refined, it can be used over high heat or added to your favorite recipe to contribute a little nuttiness, enhancing the flavor without overpowering it.
If you’re looking for an unrefined peanut oil with a more peanut-y taste, this bottle from Napa Valley Naturals, a company owned by Stonewall Kitchen, is a great choice. The company starts by slow-roasting USA-grown peanuts and then using a machine to press the nuts, extracting the oil—a process called expeller-pressing—in small batches.
The end result is an extremely heat-stable, highly aromatic, unrefined peanut oil that lends a traditional Asian flair to any dish. For the finishing touch, the oil is poured into a wine bottle, so it looks as high quality as it tastes.
There’s just something about the La Tourangelle Roasted Peanut Oil that feels fancy. It may be the French name, or the attractive packaging, but more likely it's the taste; La Tourangelle uses high-quality, slow-roasted peanuts that are grown in the USA to create a natural, artisanal oil that pairs well with any dish.
The delicate, nutty taste of this peanut oil is ideal for high-heat cooking and baking as well as for making homemade peanut butter. Because it has a rich, roasted flavor, it’s also a great option for drizzling over roasted vegetables or as a finishing oil on any dish.
Amazon has officially entered the food production world with its brand Happy Belly. And in true Amazon fashion, this peanut oil comes at a price that’s unmatched by its competitors. There are no frills, like organic peanuts or special cold-pressing techniques, but if you’re looking for a good-tasting peanut oil without any additives or fillers, this is it.
Because it’s refined, Happy Belly Peanut Oil has a neutral taste and stands up really well to high heat, making it a great multipurpose cooking oil. And it comes in a convenient 1-gallon size, so you can stock up at a great price.
If you haven’t yet tried deep-frying a turkey, LouAna Peanut Oil is the standout choice to get you started. The non-GMO oil was specifically formulated for really high-heat cooking. Unlike the other options on this list, it does have additional ingredients, namely an anti-foaming agent that helps keep the oil from bubbling over and spilling out of the pot and onto the burner. Because of this, it’s not the ideal choice for everyday cooking, but it makes things a lot safer when frying a turkey. And with its 3-gallon size, there’s no need to buy multiple bottles to get the job done.
Because of a growing concern around peanut allergies, most movie theaters have ditched using peanut oil for their popcorn. But if you want a truly decadent, theater-like popcorn experience, try the Snappy Popcorn Pure Peanut Oil next time you’re making popcorn at home.
This refined peanut oil has a slightly nutty flavor that expertly complements the popcorn without being totally overpowering. Of course, this oil isn't limited to popcorn; you can use it for just about anything, from stir-fries to marinades to baked goods.
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Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.