When stir-frying, whether vegetables or meats, here's one thing you need to remember about the cooking oil you have to use - the oil must have a high smoking point. A cooking oil’s smoking point is the point where it begins to produce smoke.
The smoking point should be at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher, the better, and you can’t get any lower than that. Generally speaking, if a cooking oil has a lighter color, the higher the smoking point it has. Other factors also affect a cooking oil’s smoking point, such as quality, level of refinement, and age.
Asian cooks will tell you this — using the right oil for stir-fried foods will matter. If you use oils with low smoking points for stir-frying, not only will the food taste bad, but it will also be a health hazard. So what are the best oils for stir fry?
You can use vegetable oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, olive pomace oil, corn oil, avocado oil, canola oil, and safflower oil. You’ll get to understand further details below on why the cooking oils mentioned above are ideal for stir-frying. In addition, I’ve rounded up the ten best oil brands for stir fry you should definitely try.
- Best Overall: HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil
- Best Sunflower Oil: AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil
- Best Olive Oil: MD. Life Pomace Olive Oil
- Best Peanut Oil: Spectrum Naturals Hi Heat Organic Peanut Oil
- Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Peanut Oil
- Best Vegetable Oil: Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Vegetable Oil
- Best Corn Oil: Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Corn Oil
- Best Safflower Oil: 365 by Whole Foods Market Safflower Oil
- General Principles of Stir-Frying
- The Takeaway
Best Overall: HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil
This cottonseed oil is our top choice because it can be used both in stir-fry and salad recipes.
Pros: Gluten-free, no MSG, no preservatives, long shelf-life
Cons: Always sold out
What could be better than a cooking oil made explicitly for stir-frying? We present you the HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil. This stir-fry oil is the top recommendation of many Asian cooks.
The HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil is a cottonseed oil infused with onion, garlic, and traditional Asian herbs specially formulated for high-heat cooking. Cottonseed oils have a high smoking point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making them an excellent choice for stir-fry.
Cottonseed oil is generally clear with a light golden color, depending on the refining process. Furthermore, cottonseed oil contains tocopherols, contributing to the stability and long shelf-life of the product. Thus, the HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil has a long shelf-life.
Not only is it an excellent choice for stir-fry, but for your everyday cooking and salad dressing too. Its nice hint of garlic makes it perfect for everyday cooking. Get to enjoy the flavors of the traditional herbs without worrying about preservatives, MSG, and GMOs.
Why is it the best overall stir-fry? It's in high demand and is everyone’s favorite. So if you want to taste the stir-fried goodness of authentic stir-fried Asian cooking, make sure to try out the HOUSE OF TSANG Stir Fry Oil. The HOUSE OF TSANG also comes with other products like stir-fry sauce and dip.
Best Sunflower Oil: AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil
It's not only great for stir-frying but also a healthy alternative to other vegetable oils used in baking and salad dressings.
Pros: Non-GMO, Kosher certified, Charitable Product
Cons: A bit pricey
Another ideal cooking oil for stir-fried foods is sunflower oil. Upon research and many positive reviews, the AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil is one of the best stir-fry oils. Sunflower oil comes from the seeds of the sunflower plant. So it’s not just good for stir-frying but has health benefits as well.
The AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil has a clear yellow color, bland taste, and a high smoking point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Aside from cooking stir-fried foods, you can also use sunflower seed oil for baking, deep-frying, and salad dressing. It’s safe to say that the AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil is an excellent choice for everyday cooking.
The AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil does not contain GMOs, cholesterol, gluten, and preservatives. Additionally, it’s Kosher Certified and marked as a Charitable Product. What does a Charitable Product exactly mean? It means that for every AVO product you buy, a portion of your purchase helps the company make donations to less fortunate families.
Lastly, if you prefer American-made products, this one is for you. AVO products are proudly manufactured, produced, and inspected in the USA. The AVO NON-GMO High Oleic Sunflower Oil is also widely used for commercial purposes.
Best Olive Oil: MD. Life Pomace Olive Oil
This versatile oil is not only great for stir-fry but also for salads and even for making soap and massage oils.
Pros: Healthier option, organic, doctor-designed
Cons: Not a multipurpose cooking oil
If you love olive oil, make sure to try out the MD. Life Pomace Olive Oil. Generally, olive pomace oil has a high smoking point of 460 degrees Fahrenheit. For this type of olive oil, all parts of the olive do not go to waste during the production phase. This means the pomace olive oil contains all parts of the olive - skin, pulp, step, and pit.
The MD. Life Pomace Olive Oil undergoes a high heat filtering process. As a result, the process removes the natural flavor and color of the olive pomace oil. That’s why most olive pomace oil is light-colored, mild-tasting, and versatile. Although it’s an excellent oil for stir-frying, it’s not an all-around kitchen cooking oil because you can’t use them for deep-frying.
Not only is this product great for cooking stir-fried foods, but it also has health benefits. It’s rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, E, anti-oxidants, oleic acid, and beta-carotene. Other than stir-fry cooking, the MD. Life Pomace Olive Oil is also a natural moisturizer for your skin, hair, and nails. Also, you can use it for making soap and as a massage oil.
Best Peanut Oil: Spectrum Naturals Hi Heat Organic Peanut Oil
This peanut oil has a light flavor that makes it a perfect choice for stir-frying, deep-frying, baking, and sauteing.
Pros: Great choice for high-sauteing, Certified Kosher, Non-GMO
Cons: High amount of omega-6 fats, a bit pricey
Another excellent choice for stir-frying is peanut oil or groundnut oil. So far, the best peanut oil everybody’s clamoring about is the Spectrum Naturals Hi Heat Organic Peanut Oil. It has a high smoking point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many Chinese cooks use peanut oil for stir-frying, deep-frying, baking, and high-sauteing. Some peanut oil has an extra nutty flavor, but not with the Spectrum Naturals Hi Heat Organic Peanut Oil. It has a neutral taste, which is a generally good option for cooking most stir fry recipes.
Thanks to its neutral taste, you won’t have to worry about the nutty flavor taking center stage. Whether you’re cooking vegetables, chicken, or seafood, it’s an excellent option for stir-frying. There is one downside to peanut oil, the high amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
Although the high amount of omega-6 fatty acid makes the peanut oil ideal for high-heat cooking, it is not ideal for healthy eating. Consuming high amounts of this type of fat is linked to the development of various health problems.
Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Peanut Oil
It's the budget-friendly alternative to the best peanut oil, but its neutral flavor makes it a versatile option.
Pros: 0g trans fat, great for any type of cooking, affordable
Cons: Poor quality container
If you're on a budget but still prefer peanut oil for cooking stir-fried foods, the Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Peanut Oil is a cheaper alternative. Even though it's cheaper, it’s a great option for stir-frying and deep-frying.
As mentioned earlier, peanut oil has a high smoking point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making the Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Peanut Oil an excellent option. Like the Spectrum Naturals Hi Heat Organic Peanut Oil, it has a neutral flavor making it versatile for any type of cooking other than stir fry.
This product is refined oil, which means it underwent bleaching and deodorizing to eliminate allergic compounds. So don’t worry; if you’re allergic to nuts, you won’t get any allergic reaction when stir-frying using peanut oil. If you have a peanut allergy, avoid gourmet peanut oils.
Overall, the Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Peanut Oil is your go-to peanut oil for stir fry if you're on a budget. If the leaky container becomes an issue, transfer it to a cooking oil dispenser. Also, watch out for its fat and calorie contents. If you're diet-conscious, this may not be the right stir-fry oil for you.
Best Vegetable Oil: Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Vegetable Oil
Made from soybean oil, this vegetable oil can be used in different recipes beyond stir-fry.
Pros: Affordable, 0g trans fat, made of soybean oil
Cons: Leaky container
Of course, as many Asian cooks know, vegetable oil is best used for stir-frying foods. One of the best-selling vegetable oils in the market now is the Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Vegetable Oil. Why use this vegetable oil? It’s inexpensive and has a high smoke point at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Vegetable oil is a product of extraction from different fruits, vegetables, seeds or grains, or nuts. In short, most vegetable oils are a combination of different oils like canola, corn, coconut, cottonseed, peanut, safflower, sunflower, and many more.
What have you noticed with these oil combinations? It all has high smoking points and is best for cooking stir fry foods. For this particular product, its main ingredient is soybean oil, which has a high smoking point as well.
The Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Vegetable Oil is refined and processed. What does this mean? This product lacks flavor and nutrients, but that’s okay. Even though vegetable oil lacks flavor, this is what makes the product best for multipurpose cooking.
Meanwhile, even though it lacks nutrients, you can always get your nutrients from other food sources. What’s important is that the Amazon Brand-Happy Belly Vegetable Oil does a good job when stir-frying foods.
Best Corn Oil: Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Corn Oil
Bring out the flavors of your favorite dishes and block out cholesterol at the same time with this stir-fry oil.
Pros: Low-cost, 0g trans fat, great for multipurpose cooking
Cons: Leaky container
Amazon does know how to satisfy its stir-fry-loving customers. Yet another product from Amazon as one of the best oils for stir fry is the Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Corn Oil. Corn oil or maze oil is another low-cost alternative to stir-fry oils.
It also has a high smoking point at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The refined Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Corn Oil has a neutral taste allowing the rich flavor of foods to come out. In addition, it’s best for all types of cooking other than stir-fry. You can use vegetable oil for sauteing, deep-frying, baking, and grilling.
One interesting fact about corn oil is that it contains plant sterols that help block bad cholesterol from being absorbed into the body. Surprisingly, corn oil is better at lowering cholesterol compared to olive oil.
If you noticed from the Amazon cooking oils mentioned here, its downside is its thin and leaky container. Make sure to transfer the cooking oil into a dispenser so you won’t have to encounter this problem. For every problem, there’s a solution, and this is the answer to this problem.
Overall, the Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Corn Oil is an excellent choice for stir-frying. Many restaurants prefer vegetable oils in their kitchen because of their multipurpose use and low-cost price.
Best Safflower Oil: 365 by Whole Foods Market Safflower Oil
Made of safflower, this oil is perfect for cooking. It's also an excellent source of healthy fatty acids.
Pros: Healthy option, high smoking point, neutral flavor
Cons: A bit pricey
Would you like to taste the goodness of safflower oil in your stir-fry foods? Then we recommend the 365 by Whole Foods Market Safflower Oil. That’s safflower, not sunflower. Safflower is a native plant in Asia and South Africa.
Surprisingly, safflower oil has one of the highest smoking points compared to other products on this list. Safflower oil has a high smoking point at 510 degrees Fahrenheit. As mentioned earlier, for cooking stir-fried foods, the higher the smoking point, the better.
Besides being a safe option for cooking in high temperatures, safflower oil has many health benefits. Safflower oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Thus, helps in improving blood sugar level, lowers cholesterol, and boosts heart health. Safflower is known as one of the healthiest oils for cooking.
Like other stir-fry oils mentioned above, it has a neutral flavor that pairs well with different kinds of cuisines and dishes. Furthermore, it’s also an excellent oil for multipurpose cooking. Although the 365 by Whole Foods Market Safflower Oil may come with a price tag, it’s a great product.
Best Avocado Oil: La Tourangelle Avocado Oil
We love this avocado oil that's rich in fatty acids. Its fruity flavor is perfect for stir-frying, salad dressings, and grilling!
Pros: Non-GMO, Kosher Certified, highest smoking point
Cons: A bit pricey
One of the most-talked-about stir-fry oils in the culinary world is the La Tourangelle Avocado Oil. Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and has a high smoking point at 520 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, this avocado oil is unrefined and has a light fruity flavor that is perfect for stir-frying, salad dressing, and grilling.
La Tourangelle Avocado Oil is all-natural, sustainable, and handcrafted from premium avocados. The process of avocado oil is similar to that of extra-virgin olive oil. One 8-ounce bottle of La Tourangelle Avocado Oil takes about 15-20 avocados to make.
Imagine that many avocados in one bottle. What can you expect? A beautiful emerald green oil, a light fruity flavor to your dishes, high levels of monounsaturated fats, and a hearty stir-fry meal. Aside from being an excellent cooking oil, it’s also an ideal moisturizer for your skin and hair.
Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s pricey for a reason. It’s handcrafted, artisan, and organic. All avocados used for this product are California-grown and sustainably produced. When it comes to its nutritional value, it’s fairly similar to olive oil.
Best Canola Oil: 365 by Whole Foods Market Canola Oil
We picked this canola oil, not only because it's perfect for stir-frying and deep-frying, it's also a healthy alternative to other cooking oils.
Pros: Affordable, widely available
Cons: Lid is hard to remove
Canola is a popular kitchen staple used for different types of cooking, and that includes stir-frying. If you prefer canola oil for cooking stir-fried foods, you should try the 365 by Whole Foods Market Canola Oil.
Generally, canola oil has a high smoking point ranging between 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, canola oil has a neutral flavor making it an excellent choice for stir-frying, deep-frying, and many other cooking methods. Aside from being an excellent stir-frying oil, it’s generally a healthy cooking oil.
Many stir-fry recipes found on the internet recommend using canola oil. It is widely available and affordable. Also, you can use canola oil for different types of cooking. So you won’t have to stock different kinds of cooking oil in your kitchen.
One common complaint about the 365 by Whole Foods Market Canola Oil is that its lid is hard to remove. To address this problem, quickly twist up the grip handle with force. Overall, the 365 by Whole Foods Market Canola Oil is a great cooking oil for stir-frying and other cooking methods.
General Principles of Stir-Frying
Now that you know the ten best oils for stir-frying, it’s time to look at the principles of stir-frying and how to choose the best cooking oil. By now, you should know that if you use the wrong oil for stir-frying, it will affect the food’s taste.
Stir-frying is all about tossing and coating your ingredients in oil. So one wrong move of choosing the wrong oil may affect the whole meal. What other tips do you need to remember when stir-frying? Here’s what you should know.
Cooking oil’s smoke point
All cooking oils have a different smoking point. When choosing a cooking oil for stir-frying, choose a product with a high smoking point of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With stir-frying, the higher the smoking point, the better.
This is because most stir-fried recipes require high-heat cooking. Other types of cooking oil you can use for stir-frying not mentioned above are grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, and almond oil.
If you use the wrong type of cooking oil
If you use the wrong type of cooking oil when stir-frying, the oil may start to produce smoke. As a result, this will make the ingredients bitter and release carcinogenic chemicals into the food. So always make sure to choose a cooking oil with a high smoking point of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When stir-frying, avoid cooking oils like sesame oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil.
Cookware to use when stir-frying
It’s recommended to use a round wok or stir-fry pan when cooking stir-fried foods. Since stir-frying involves a lot of tossing when cooking, you’ll need cookware with high, sloping sides to keep the foods in place. So it’s better to use a wok or stir fry pan for this case.
Choose a cooking oil with a neutral flavor
When cooking stir-fried foods, choose a cooking oil with a neutral flavor. Traditional Chinese stir-frying cooking recommends using cooking oils with neutral flavors so as not to affect the taste of the ingredients.
8 out of 10 of the cooking oils mentioned above have a neutral taste. The HOUSE OF TSANG with a little hint of garlic in it. But most stir-fried foods need a hint of garlic in them, right? So it’s okay.
While the La Tourangelle Avocado Oil has a slight hint of fruity flavor, so if you’re cooking an Avocado Chicken Stir-Fry, the La Tourangelle Avocado Oil is a great addition. Therefore, stir fry oils with a flavor have limited recipes you can cook with.
Before stir-frying, make sure to cut up all your ingredients. This will make the cooking process go smoothly. Furthermore, if you’re cooking meat, it’s better to cook it first and set it aside. This is to make sure you have thoroughly cooked the meat before stir-frying.
Also, add your ingredients depending on how long it needs cooking. For example, broccoli cooks longer than beans. So put the broccoli first and the green beans last. You do not want to overcook or undercook an ingredient.
That’s it! That’s everything you need to know about the best oils for stir-frying and some general principles about stir-frying. Just always remember to use cooking oil with a high cooking temperature of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The next time you crave Asian stir-fried foods, you already know which cooking oil to grab. Have happy and tastylicious cooking!