How many times have you went to make a favorite recipe and realized you were out of one of today’s most common ingredients: corn oil? It can be so frustrating! Or maybe you’ve just heard some not-so-great things about corn oil and are looking for healthier alternatives. What are the substitutes for corn oil?
Numerous oils will work as a substitute for corn oil. Canola, vegetable, extra virgin olive oil, safflower, avocado, peanut, and sunflower seed oil are all great alternatives.
Why substitute corn oil?
Besides the obvious reason of running out of this common ingredient, there are many times a person may want to substitute corn oil. One reason is that corn oil is highly refined. You may also want to avoid corn oil if you prefer organic ingredients.
Best substitutes for corn oil in baking
- Canola oil. This oil is the closest swap for corn oil when it comes to baking and is an easy equal measured swap.
- Safflower oil. This oil works as a great substitute for corn oil. It is also healthier than corn oil.
- Vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is very similar to corn oil, as you may have guessed by the name. It would be a great choice to use in your baking.
- Extra light olive oil. It’s important to use extra light, and not just extra virgin- there is a difference, and you will notice it in the taste of your baking if you fail to reach for the extra light version.
- Applesauce, baby food, or even pureed bananas. Yes, some folks successfully swap out their corn oil with one of these health-conscious alternatives. You would need to research your recipe to find the right conversion for these foods.
Best substitutes for corn oil for frying
- Avocado oil. Avocado oil is pricey, but it has an incredibly high smoke point which is needed in high heat frying. It is also a much healthier alternative to corn oil.
- Canola oil. Again, canola oil makes the list. It’s a very versatile oil with little to no flavor so it can replace corn oil in many situations.
- Peanut oil. Peanut oil also has a very high smoke point but isn’t the best to reach for if you are looking out for your health. It’s also not a great choice if you are concerned that someone who may come in contact with your cooking could have a peanut allergy.
- Sunflower seed oil. This oil is an excellent choice with an equal smoke point to corn oil and will lend your food a slightly nutty flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil. This oil is a good choice for lightly sauteing foods, but due to its stronger flavor and lower smoke point, it’s not recommended for deep frying foods.
The bottom line when substituting corn oil
The oil that compares the closest to corn oil would be canola oil. It’s virtually flavorless and has an equal smoke point and can be swapped out without changing measurements. If you do a lot of cooking and baking, it’s probably a good idea to keep some on hand!
Coconut oil is popular, is it a good substitute?
Yes! The one drawback is that it can lend a bit of its coconut flavor to your food, depending on the brand/type you buy.
What about animal fats for frying and baking?
These are another great option to use instead of corn oil! Beef tallow is often used to make “real” French fries, and lard and fat drippings were once used for many deep-fried recipes.
Shortening is a type of fat and was once very popular in baking.
Butter and ghee (a type of refined butter) can also be used in place of corn oil in some dishes.
These may not be the best choice for those being health conscious.
Are there any other oils that may be substituted?
Yes, sesame oil and walnut oil are also good substitutes for corn oil. Keep in mind they have a strong flavor.
When choosing a corn oil substitute, be sure to pick one that meets your health and dietary needs and works well with your recipe. With so many options, you will be sure to find a perfect fit!