While there is a large and somewhat overwhelming world of cooking oils available, each suited to its specific use, there is a special place in every chef’s pantry for the finishing oil. Coming in small delicate bottles, these expertly blended oils boast incredible flavor, making a little go a long way. Finishing oils are the last ingredient added to a dish and the final touch that can transport a meal from being good to great. They add flavor, color, and a full-bodied roundness to dishes, and for the chef that knows how to use them well, serve as a secret weapon in creating a certain complexity and nuance in their foods. At Gourmet Wholesaler, we’re proud to be carrying some of the most delectable oils on the market from some of the finest purveyors in the world. Browse through our complete selection of cooking oils today and start taking your dishes up a notch!
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Understanding Cooking Oils
Oils are one of the ingredients chefs turn to most in the kitchen. Browse through any grocery store and you’ll see shelf upon shelf of oils. From olive and sesame to walnut and avocado, there is a wide world of cooking oils out there, and it pays to understand them. Using the right oil to suit your specific cooking method is the difference between a delicious finished dish and an off-flavored and disappointing end product.
Oils can be broken down into three main categories: high heat cooking oils, moderate heat cooking oils, and finally, finishing oils.
High heat cooking oils include products like peanut oil, vegetable oil, and safflower oil, that can withstand high temperatures, making them perfect for quick, high-heat cooking methods like sautés, stir-fries, and deep or shallow frying. These are typically more refined oils that have been processed to the point where they won’t break down even when exposed to ultra-high heat.
Then there are moderate heat cooking oils, these neutral-tasting oils like canola, grapeseed, and light olive oil, are perfect for baking moist pound cakes and quick breads, adding fat but no competing flavor. Excellent in dressings and emulsions, they enhance and add body without stealing the show from other ingredients you may want to highlight.
Finally, there are finishing oils. Delicate and delicious these oils are meant to grace a dish right before it's served so their spectacular taste can shine. These well-balanced oils are not meant to be cooked, as exposure to heat will cause them to lose much of their flavor. Instead, save them to drizzle over salads, grilled vegetables, rice dishes, pasta, and more as a last-minute layer of flavor.