Can You Replace Vegetable Oil With Corn Oil? (6 Substitute Oils)

Corn oil in a bowl

Vegetable oil is an essential ingredient in various recipes; hence, it’s a pantry staple. However, if it’s unavailable, you may want to look at other options like corn oil. So, can you substitute vegetable oil with corn oil?

Yes, corn oil is a suitable replacement for vegetable oil in most recipes. Since the properties of corn oil are comparable to that of vegetable oil, it’s a good substitute. Corn oil has a neutral flavor and high smoking point like vegetable oil. It’s also inexpensive, making it a good replacement.

Let’s take a deeper look at this now.

What Is Corn Oil? How Is It Different From Vegetable Oil?

Pure corn oil is extracted by cold-pressing the germ of maize or corn.

Refined versions of food-grade corn oil are also available.

These have been further processed and are slightly different from the pure version.

Corn oil has many attractive traits that make it very useful in the kitchen.

Firstly, corn has a neutral flavor profile.

Hence, it’s a good base for cooking and baking since it doesn’t overshadow the main cooking ingredients.

Refined corn oil has a high smoking point of nearly 450˚F.

This makes it suitable for frying and cooking at high temperatures.

The oil remains stable upon heating, doesn’t burn, and you can reuse it multiple times.

It’s also notable that corn oil is relatively inexpensive.

The price factor makes it affordable for large-scale frying.

Hence, it’s not only popular in household kitchens but also widely used in commercial cooking setups.

How Is Vegetable Oil Different From Corn Oil?

Vegetable oil is technically not a single type of oil.

The name can refer to any oil made with vegetable or plant-based ingredients.

From this perspective, we can say that corn oil is also a type of vegetable oil.

Nevertheless, the most commonly available vegetable oils are a blend of several plant-based oils like soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and various other oils.

The properties of vegetable oil will differ slightly according to the component oils.

The label on the oil packet or bottle should give you a fair idea of its composition.

Regardless of the exact composition of vegetable oil, it’s a very popular cooking ingredient because most properties are common for all types of vegetable oils.

Vegetable oil is widely preferred for deep-frying because of its high smoke point.

It also has a neutral flavor profile and is inexpensive.

Is Corn Oil A Good Substitute For Vegetable Oil? Important Factors To Consider

You should never swap an oil for another without some forethought.

Vegetable oil shares a lot of common traits with various other oils.

Nevertheless, you should always look at how the oil will be used in a recipe to decide whether it will be a good choice.

If you wish to use corn oil instead of vegetable oil in a recipe, here are the factors you should consider.

1. Fat Composition

Corn oil has 25 percent monounsaturated fats, which is comparable to most vegetable oils.

However, there are differences in their saturated fat content.

The exact composition will depend on the type of vegetable oils used in the blend.

Nevertheless, most vegetable oils have a significant amount of soybean oil, which contains 15 percent fat.

Corn oil is slightly healthier because it has only 13 percent fatty acids.

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2. Nutritional Composition

Vegetable oils containing soybean oil and canola oil usually provide more vitamins because they contain Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

While corn oil also provides Vitamin E, it lacks Vitamin K.

3. Stability At High Temperatures And Smoke Point

Vegetable oils are highly refined oils. You may already know that refined oils have high smoke points.

The refining process improves the oil’s stability at high temperatures.

Hence, vegetable oils are good for deep-frying and cooking at very high temperatures.

Corn oil has a high smoking point as well.

However, it may not be as high as some types of vegetable oils.

Nonetheless, corn oil will work for most recipes that involve cooking at high heat.

It will easily work for sauteing, baking, and cooking food at medium to low temperatures.

Is Corn Oil Or Vegetable Oil The Better Choice?

Corn oil on a table

Corn oil contains less saturated fatty acids than vegetable oil.

However, it lacks some of the nutrients present in vegetable oil.

So it’s not easy to decide which of the two is better. You should choose between them based on your needs.

Most of the properties and physical characteristics of corn oil are comparable to that of vegetable oil.

Price-wise too, corn oil is less expensive than most commonly available oils.

Hence, it’s one of the next-best choices for recipes like deep-fried dishes, where you need large amounts of oil.

Finally, corn oil has no noticeable flavor. Like vegetable oil, it doesn’t affect the taste of a dish.

So you can comfortably substitute it for vegetable oil in most recipes.

Can Corn Oil Be Substituted For Vegetable Oil In Baking?

Vegetable oil is used in various baking recipes because of the following factors:

  • It doesn’t have a strong taste.
  • It adds moisture to batters and makes cakes and other baked items soft and moist.
  • It helps to keep baked goods tender and fluffy.
  • Vegetable oil is easy to use because it doesn’t solidify at room temperature and blends easily with other ingredients.

Interestingly, corn oil satisfies all these conditions too. Hence, it’s a good choice for baking.

Since the properties of both oils are similar, you will not see any noticeable difference in the finished goods.

The taste and texture should remain the same.

You can use substitute corn oil for vegetable oil in the ratio of 1:1 in most recipes.

This includes cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, and other dishes.

Other Oils That Can Substitute Vegetable Oil

When in a pinch, you can replace vegetable oil with various other oils.

However, the next best substitute would depend on the type of recipe you will be using it in.

Here are some of the oils that work instead of vegetable oil in different dishes.

1. Canola Oil

Canola oil is technically a type of vegetable oil, like corn oil.

It’s made from crushed canola seeds and has a mild flavor.

This oil is suitable for deep-frying, sauteing, and even baking.

2. Soybean Oil

As the name suggests, soybean oil is derived from soya beans.

It has a high smoke point, and you can use it interchangeably with vegetable oil in most recipes.

3. Olive Oil

Although olive oil has a distinct flavor, it’s a good substitute for vegetable oil in some recipes.

Olive oil is healthier because it’s a rich source of nutrients and anti-oxidants.

You can use it instead of vegetable oil in salad dressings or as a finishing oil for flavor.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a distinct nutty flavor which is entirely different from the flavor of vegetable oil.

It’s also thicker and tends to solidify at low temperatures.

Nevertheless, it’s extremely stable at high temperatures and hence is a good choice in recipes where vegetable oil is used for deep-frying.

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5. Butter

Butter is a good replacement for vegetable oil in baked dishes. It adds a creamy and rich texture to baked goods.

However, butter doesn’t have a high smoking point and isn’t the best choice for regular stovetop cooking.

6. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil has a high smoking point, making it a good replacement for vegetable oil in high-heat cooking.

However, it has a characteristic flavor.

It will pass this flavor to the cooking ingredients, whereas vegetable oil won’t alter the flavor.

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