Can I Use Canola Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil? Substituting Neutral Cooking Oils

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Canola oil and vegetable oil are staples in many homes and pantries. But can canola oil instead of vegetable oil be used when cooking and baking recipes? That’s a good question! In this article, we’ve set out to answer these questions as well as shed additional light on the subtle differences between these two frequently used oils.

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So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil? Substituting Canola Oil For Vegetable Oil

Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil: The Basics

As previously stated, both canola oil and vegetable oil are staple oils that line most kitchen pantries. These oils are neutral-flavored and prove to be useful for practical everyday cooking.

But are there any differences between the two? Yes, there are!

First, let’s take a look at each oil individually before exploring their differences.

What Is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is an oil that was created in the 1970s to be an edible version of rapeseed oil which was known to be toxic to humans. The term canola oil comes from the word “can” entwined with the word “ola” or oil with low acid, to make the final word “canola” which we use to define this type of oil to this day.

Today, canola oil is known for its high smoke point, inexpensive price, and neutral flavor. Though low in saturated fat, this oil has garnered a bit of negative attention because of its reputation for being a crossbred oil. And because many people today are leery of GMOs, or genetically-modified foods, many people are looking for healthier and potentially non-GMO oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil.

Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Canola Oil, 48 Fl Oz

What Is Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil, on the other hand, comes from a variety of vegetables, hence its name “vegetable oil”. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to know whether or not your vegetable oil is non-GMO unless it explicitly states so on the label.

In general, vegetable oil tends to contain either soybean oil, corn oil, or a blend of both. Sometimes, vegetable oil may contain other oil types. Most times the types of oils used in vegetable oil won’t be listed so it may be nearly impossible to tell what kind of oil you are actually cooking with.

In terms of taste, vegetable oil remains a neutral flavor, much like canola. It also has a high smoke point making it great for use when deep frying or sautéing. Vegetable oil does, however, tend to be higher in saturated fat than canola oil, making it a bit worse for cholesterol levels than canola oil.

Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Vegetable Oil, 48 Fl Oz

Which Is Healthier Canola or Vegetable Oil?

Despite canola oil’s bad rep for being a crossbred oil, the fact remains that canola oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. Vegetable oil, on the other hand, may be higher in saturated fats and may also have other types of fat (such as trans fat) that are dangerous to your health.

However, it is hard to say how much saturated and trans fats are within this type of oil. Oil blends for vegetable oils are sometimes dramatically different.

Canola and Vegetable Oil: Similarities and Differences

In What Ways Are Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil Different?

Ultimately, the main difference between both canola oil and vegetable oil comes down to their fat composition and origin.

Remember that canola oil comes from a crossbred oil intended to give humans an edible version of rapeseed oil. This version is low in saturated fat and does not contain erucic acid, which is what makes rapeseed oil unsafe to begin with.

Vegetable oil, on the other hand, can be made by combining various types of oils, including soybean, corn, and even sometimes canola oil. These produce an affordable and versatile oil for everyone to enjoy.

In What Ways Are Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil the Same?

Both canola oil and vegetable oil are the same in that they are both neutral oils that impart little to no flavor to dishes.

Theyy also have high smoke points.

Both types of oil extremely versatile for cooking and baking without changing the flavor of your dish too much.

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil? Substituting Canola Oil For Vegetable Oil

Canola Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil

Instead of mixing the two oils (such as in vegetable oil and peanut oil or olive oil and vegetable oil concoctions), let’s look at substituting one for the other instead.

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil For Cake?

Yes, you can definitely use canola oil instead of vegetable oil for cake and vice versa. That’s because though these two oils aren’t exactly the same, they both play a similar function in cooking and baking.

Both have a neutral flavor, both serve to add moisture to a dish, and both have high smoke points. Therefore, it is completely fine to use the two oils interchangeably. As long as you bear in mind that your canola oil will be easier on your health when it comes to cholesterol levels than vegetable oil.

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil in Brownies?

Cake and brownies are similar in many ways. Substituting these oils for each other in either is one similarity these baked goods have.

Just as you can use canola oil instead of vegetable oil in cake, you can also use canola oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies. The differences between the two aren’t much and any differences that do exist are unlikely to be noticed.

Note that some brownies may call for butter instead of oil. Otherwise, the outcome might be different, maybe your brownies turn out undercooked.

For best results, use whatever your recipe is calling for. But in many instances, both canola oil and vegetable oil may be used to replace butter as well. As long as you swap the butter for oil at a 1:1 ratio.

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil? Substituting Canola Oil For Vegetable Oil

Canola Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil: It Can Be Done!

Ultimately, both canola oil and vegetable oil have a lot in common. But there are also differences that exist between the two.

Both types of oil are neutral in flavor and both have a high smoke point. Canola oil tends to be better in terms of being low-fat. Meanwhile, vegetable oils can contain higher percentages of fat depending on what types of oil are included in the blend.

Remember that canola oil is a GMO food that was engineered in the 1970s. Vegetable oils are simply a blend of a variety of oils that come from edible food sources. However, they too often contain GMOs because of their propensity to be mixed with soybean oil, corn oil, and even canola oil.

Both canola and vegetable oils are interchangeable when swapped one for another in a recipe. Though variations between the two oils exist, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to spot much difference in taste and texture when cooking with them.

Hopefully, this helps answer the question, “Can you use canola oil instead of vegetable oil”! Happy cooking!


Can you use canola oil in place of vegetable oil?

Yes! Canola oil can easily be substituted for vegetable oil and vice versa in both cooking and baking recipes. This is because the two oils tend to taste and perform the same, although their physical and nutritional composition may be a little different. 

Can you use canola oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies?

Yes, you can use canola oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies. The taste and texture won’t be much different when using one oil instead of another in brownies, cakes, or any other type of baked good.

Is canola oil the same as vegetable oil for baking?

Not really. Canola oil is its own separate entity entirely while vegetable oil can contain a blend of canola oil and other oil types. Therefore, it is possible that your vegetable oil contains canola oil, but your canola oil will not be the same as your vegetable oil.

Can oil go bad?

After a good quality oil has been opened, it is possible for the oil to remain good for up to one year. But don’t push your luck. Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fat, like canola oil, may spoil faster than those that are not. Oils that may last longer than canola oil include peanut oil and vegetable oil. To be safe, store your oil in a cool, dark, and dry place until you are ready to use it. Rancid oil may have a dark appearance and a very strong odor. If you notice this from the oil you are about to use, don’t use it.

How long is vegetable oil good for?

Vegetable oil that remains unopened can last for up to 2 years assuming that it was stored properly. Opened oils may go rancid after one year.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating! Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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