Grape Seed Oil Vs. Olive Oil – Quick Facts

Cooking oils are an essential ingredient in any kitchen.  Whether we are using oils to cook with or using them in dressings ~ how do we know which ones to use and when?

Chef Sean’s simple list of Do’s and Don’ts should assist you to decide.

For those of you who haven’t heard of grape seed oil, it’s time to be introduced.  Grape seed oil is very similar to olive oil in nutrition, calories and fat content but its uses are much more varied in the kitchen.  Unlike olive oil, grape seed oil does not contain any saturated fat.  Saturated fat is the one fat our body does not require, all other fats are deemed essential to our diet (such as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats).  So if you are looking to reduce saturated fats in your diet, grape seed oil is one of your best choices.  It has been deemed the “champagne of kitchen oils”.

Grape Seed Oil:

  • Do use grape seed oil for high temperature cooking (ie: for shallow pan frying in 1-3 cm. of oil or for searing).
  • Do use raw (uncooked) grape seed oil for vinaigrettes, dressings, and other emulsifications (such as mayonnaise) because it doesn’t add a pungent flavour like olive oil will.  It is basically flavourless.
  • Do use grape seed oil as a substitute for all other cooking oils if you want to reduce saturated fats in your diet and you don’t care about flavour.
  • Do use grape seed oil to infuse with other flavours such as chilli, rosemary, chorizo or citrus (to make creative and interesting flavours of oil).
  • Don’t use grape seed oil for deep-frying because it is too expensive and you will need too much of it (this is usually why restaurants purchase vegetable or peanut oils for deep-frying).
  • Don’t use grape seed oil if you are trying to acquire more flavour from your cooking oil, (some oils to use for more flavour are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, flaxseed oil, hemp oil or nut oils).

Olive Oil: 

  • Do use olive oil raw (Extra Virgin & Virgin Olive Oil) if you are looking for olive oil to be the predominant flavour in your vinaigrettes, dressings or emulsifications.
  • Do use for low temperature cooking (such as poaching fish, tomatoes, or sous-vide items).  We will talk more about sous-vide items…stay tuned!  Chef Sean wants you to know that you CAN use olive oil for high temperature cooking but it’s not a healthy choice and it alters the flavour of the oil if cooked past 190 Degrees C.
  • Do use olive oil to finish or garnish your plates.  A good example of this would be drizzling small amounts of olive oil over fish, pasta, meats, eggs or vegetables.  Chef Sean says this is how he uses olive oil the most ~ as an alternative to butter.
  • Don’t use olive oil to deep-fry.
  • Don’t live life without trying expensive olive oil!  At least once, be sure to try an expensive recommended olive oil ~ Extra Virgin (if possible).
  • Don’t be fooled by olive oil bottles that look fancy.  Try to find a bottle that is clear so that you can see the product you are buying.  Buy on recommendation if you are unsure.