If you are a keen chef, you may be wondering whether peanut oil and vegetable oil can be mixed, and whether there are any disadvantages to combining these two oils. It’s important to pay attention to smoke points if you’re cooking with oil, and mixing oils can cause problems if they have different smoke points.
Can you mix peanut oil and vegetable oil? Peanut oil and vegetable oil can be mixed, as they both have reasonably high smoke points, and can be used for cooking. They should taste fine when mixed together, and many people do use multiple oils per dish – either for the flavor or because they have run out of one kind of oil or another.
What is a Smoke Point?
When you’re going to mix oils for cooking, it’s important to pay attention to the smoke point of each kind of oil. This is the point at which the oil starts to burn, and you need to keep the cooking temperature under this level, because burnt oil releases carcinogens, loses nutrients, and tastes and smells disgusting.
You need to know the lowest smoke point of the oils you are using, because mixing two oils won’t raise the smoke point of either one. If you are cooking with a low smoke point oil and a high smoke point oil, you need to take the lowest smoke point and use that as your guide, or you’ll have burnt food on your hands.
If your lowest point oil burns at 350 degrees F and your other oil can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees F, you can still only cook at less than 350 degrees F. Be aware of this before you start mixing oils.
You will know if your oil has reached its smoke point because it will start to give off an acrid smell and smoke. If this happens, you need to immediately remove the oil from the heat and let it cool down. If it continues to smell bad, you should discard it, wash the pan, and start again, or it may make your food taste bad.
What is the Smoke Point of Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil has a smoke point of around 450 degrees F, while most vegetable oil has a smoke point between 400 and 450 degrees F. To be safe when cooking with these two oils, you should stay below 400 degrees F, or you risk burning them.
The smoke point of vegetable oil can vary a little, because vegetable oil is made by mixing other oils, and different kinds may be used – which changes the properties of the finished product. You should therefore be cautious and keep the temperature lower when cooking with vegetable oil than when cooking with pure peanut oil.
Is it Safe to Mix Different Oils?
As long as you bear the smoke points in mind, it is generally safe to mix oils when cooking. Indeed, a lot of commercial oils are the result of mixes, as this enhances the properties and the flavor. However, these are tested for taste, compatibility, smoke point, performance, and other qualities.
There’s nothing dangerous about mixing oils if you pay attention to the smoke points, but you may find that some don’t perform well or taste good when mixed together. Always test with a small amount before making a large batch with two blended oils.
On the whole, however, vegetable oil and peanut oil should be fine when mixed together. You will likely find that the peanut oil lends the dish more flavor, while vegetable oil has a neutral taste that is undetectable among the other ingredients.
Does Vegetable Oil Contain Peanut Oil?
Some vegetable oils contain peanut oil, partly because it has a high smoke point. It is important to be aware of this if you have a peanut allergy, although the refining process does usually remove most of the peanut proteins.
If your vegetable oil already contains peanut oil, there’s certainly no harm in mixing more peanut oil in. However, be aware that this will alter the flavor, making it nuttier, and removing some of the neutral taste.
Can You Deep Fry with Vegetable Oil and Peanut Oil?
Many people use peanut oil for deep frying because of its high smoke point. Vegetable oil should also be suitable, as long as your deep fryer’s maximum temperature is below 400 degrees F. If the temperature is higher, stick to peanut oil or another oil with a high smoke point for safety reasons.
In general, you can deep fry with both peanut oil and vegetable oil, but do check the smoke points and the temperature of your fryer before using vegetable oil.
Can You Mix Peanut Oil and Vegetable Oil When You Aren’t Cooking?
Since you don’t need to worry about smoke points, it is safe to mix any kinds of oils when you aren’t cooking with them. However, you also need to think about the flavor profile of the oils, and decide whether they will work well for you. Vegetable oil is usually bland, whereas peanut oil has a nutty flavor.
Whether these will work well together depends on what you are using them for. When they aren’t cooked, oils often have a much stronger flavor, so you need to think about this for raw dishes.
If your dish depends on having a strongly flavored oil, you may find that adding vegetable oil makes it bland and unpleasant.
Equally, if the dish has other flavors, you may want a neutral oil so that it doesn’t affect the overall taste. Including peanut oil might be noticeable, and could ruin the balance of the recipe.
In some cases, these oils will work fine together, but you should think about it before mixing them. If in doubt, try a small sample to check what the taste is like before you combine the two oils for a meal.
You should be able to mix peanut oil and vegetable oil most of the time, especially if you are cooking at low temperatures. At high temperatures, you need to be a little more careful with vegetable oil, and if you are not cooking, you’ll have to think about the flavor profiles of the oils too.