Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a popular cooking oil obtained from the seeds of the peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea). With its high smoke point of around 450°F (230°C), peanut oil is an excellent choice for frying, sautéing, and stir-frying. Its mild taste allows the natural flavors of the food to shine through, while providing a light to deep golden appearance when cooked.
Notably, peanut oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and contains antioxidants, making it a healthier alternative to other cooking oils. However, individuals with peanut allergies should exercise caution as the oil may potentially cause allergenic reactions.
Peanut oil, while a fantastic ingredient for cooking, often raises many questions. Some of the most common mistakes people make when cooking with peanut oil includes overheating it, not fully leveraging its high smoke point, or under-utilizing its fabled ability to absorb and convey flavors. To get the most out of peanut oil in cooking, use it for deep frying, stir frying, and searing, where its high smoke point can really shine and let it provide a crisp surface to your food while retaining tenderness inside. Using peanut oil in a marinade can also be very effective due to its great flavour absorption abilities.
A valuable but lesser-known trick with peanut oil is to pair it with other oils. Combining it with a sturdier oil (with a lower smoke point) can make your blended oil more versatile to use - and help stretch out pricier options. It's also an affordable beauty hack - Peanut oil can be used for softer skin, to manage acne or even for healthier hair!
What dishes is peanut oil commonly used in?
Can peanut oil be used for baking?
Is it good for heart health?
Does peanut oil contain peanuts?
Can peanut oil be reused after frying?
Does peanut oil have a flavor?
Can peanut oil be used for salad dressing?
Which is healthier - peanut oil or olive oil?
What is the smoke point of peanut oil?
Can I use peanut oil for seasoning a cast iron skillet?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does peanut oil expire?
For an unopened bottle of peanut oil stored in a cool, dark place, you can expect it to last for around 1-2 years past the printed expiration date. However, once opened, peanut oil should ideally be used up within 6 months. Beyond this, the quality may begin to decline, but it can still be safe to use up to a year if stored properly. If you choose to freeze your peanut oil (not a common practice), it can last indefinitely, but might compromise the flavor and consistency when thawed.
How do you tell if peanut oil is bad?
When detecting whether your peanut oil has spoiled, give it a good sniff. If it has a sour or off smell, it has likely gone bad. Additionally, if the oil appears darker than usual or has a sticky or gummy texture, it's time to throw it away. A quick taste test (only a tiny bit) can also help; toss it if there's any sourness or rancid flavor.
Tips for storing peanut oil to extend shelf life
• Always store your peanut oil in a cool, dark place. Heat and light can speed up the spoilage process. The pantry or a dark cabinet is an ideal spot.
• After each use, make sure your oil bottle is sealed tightly to prevent exposure to air, which can also escalate spoilage.
• While not common, you can freeze peanut oil to extend its shelf life. However, remember to thaw it in the refrigerator and shake well before use to restore its consistency and flavor.
• Use clean, dry utensils to extract oil if you're not pouring it directly. This can prevent bacterial contamination.
• Consider keeping a smaller bottle for daily use and the bulk of your supply stored separately to minimize exposure to air, light, and heat.