Monday, March 31, 2014

Use Oil Instead of Butter When Cooking

 

Know When to Use Oil or Butter


Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. Types of cooking oil include: olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), pumpkin seed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, argan oil, rice bran oil and other vegetable oils, as well as animal-based oils like butter and lard.

Butter is a dairy product that consists of butterfat, milk proteins, and water. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is used as a spread and a condiment—and in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying.

Melted butter plays an important role in the preparation of sauces, most obviously in French cuisine. Beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) and Beurre noir (black butter) are sauces of melted butter cooked until the milk solids and sugars have turned golden or dark brown; they are often finished with an addition of vinegar or lemon juice. Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are emulsions of egg yolk and melted butter; they are in essence mayonnaises made with butter instead of oil. Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces are stabilized with the powerful emulsifiers in the egg yolks, but butter itself contains enough emulsifiers—mostly remnants of the fat globule membranes—to form a stable emulsion on its own. Beurre blanc (white butter) is made by whisking butter into reduced vinegar or wine, forming an emulsion with the texture of thick cream. Beurre monté (prepared butter) is melted but still emulsified butter; it lends its name to the practice of "mounting" a sauce with butter: whisking cold butter into any water-based sauce at the end of cooking, giving the sauce a thicker body and a glossy shine—as well as a buttery taste.

When you saute something, even in a nonstick pan, you need to use some kind of fat. But which one — butter or oil? Each is best suited for different kinds of sautéing:

1) When cooking over very high heat, use oil, which is less likely to burn.

2) When sautéing with medium-high heat, you may opt for butter, which adds a nice flavor. However, the milk solids in the butter can burn, or brown, affecting the color and taste of your food.

Typically, meats are sautéed in oil because they need a higher heat, while vegetables are sautéed in butter to impart a pleasant buttery flavor. Seafood may be sautéed in either one. Many chefs opt to use half butter and half oil when sautéing seafood: They get the benefit of the buttery flavor, but the added oil helps to keep the butter from burning as easily.

If you decide to use oil in your sautéing, it’s helpful to know that some oils have a higher smoke point than others, which means they start to smoke at a hotter temperature (and so are preferable for sautéing). Good oils for sautéing include palm oil, canola, corn, and peanut oil. If the recipe doesn’t specify what type of oil to use, go with one of these three neutral-flavored oils.


Learn... Why Do We Use Cooking Oil When Cooking?


Just like the professionals do, you can prevent butter from burning in a saute pan by adding a few drops of vegetable oil or any neutral-tasting oil. Oil alone should be hot but not smoking in the pan before you add food. Butter alone should foam at its edges but not brown. Some chefs insist on using only clarified butter when sautéing because it won’t burn as quickly but retains the buttery flavor. (Clarified butter, called ghee in Indian cuisine, has been heated to separate out the milk solids, which are skimmed off, making it more like cooking oil with a higher smoke point.) 

How to Make Clarified Butter Easily?

Clarified butter is easy to make and lasts several months or more in the refrigerator. Here’s how to make it:

1) Put one pound of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir. Allow the butter to melt. It will begin to foam. Let it continue to cook and foam without stirring until the foaming stops. The milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan and turn golden brown.

2) When the butter begins to smell nutty and turns deeper gold (after about 20 minutes), remove it from the heat. Let it cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

3) Pour the butter through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into a glass container, and cover. Discard the solids. Clarified butter will keep for one year, in or out of the refrigerator.


Use Olive Oil Instead of Butter in Baking in Cooking

Butter fills several roles in baking, where it is used in a similar manner as other solid fats like lard, suet, or shortening, but has a flavor that may better complement sweet baked goods. Many cookie dough and some cake batters are leavened, at least in part, by creaming butter and sugar together, which introduces air bubbles into the butter. The tiny bubbles locked within the butter expand in the heat of baking and aerate the cookie or cake. Some cookies like shortbread may have no other source of moisture but the water in the butter. Pastries like pie dough incorporate pieces of solid fat into the dough, which become flat layers of fat when the dough is rolled out. During baking, the fat melts away, leaving a flaky texture. Butter, because of its flavor, is a common choice for the fat in such a dough, but it can be more difficult to work with than shortening because of its low melting point. Pastry makers often chill all their ingredients and utensils while working with a butter dough.

Lose the saturated fats, not the taste. Olive oil dramatically cuts back on the cholesterol and saturated fat content of desserts. It produces lighter-tasting baked goods and allows the flavor of the other ingredients to come forth. Because olive oil contains vitamin E, it helps to naturally maintain the freshness of baked goods and creates moist cakes, biscuits and muffins.

Use the equivalents shown when cooking with olive oil instead of butter or margarine. As a rough guide, use 3 units of olive oil in place of 4 units of butter/margarine.

Butter- Olive Oil Equivalents

Instead of this Quantity of Butter/Margarine

Use this Much Olive Oil
225g/8oz
200g/7oz
200g/7oz
170ml
170g/6oz
145ml
140g/5oz
120ml
110g/4oz
95ml
85g/3oz
70ml
55g/2oz
3 Tbsp
28g/1oz
1 2/3 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
3/4 Tbsp
1 Tsp
3/4 Tsp


Read Related Post: Properties of Fats and Oils in Cooking that You Should Know


Which Is Safe To Cook With Olive Oil or Butter?

Olive oil should be eaten raw. It is not heat stable. Butter is the much better option to cook with, or ghee as it has a higher smoke point. While butter is safe to heat, olive oil easily oxidizes at higher temperatures.

Both oils are healthy oils. One is indeed more nutrient dense, but both are safe to consume. Make sure you’re eating organic olive oil that hasn’t been adulterated with cheap oils to cut costs. There is no need to give up butter, because you should be eating more of it.

Real butter is good for you and actually fairly nutritious. It contains Vitamins A, E and K2. It is also rich in the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butyrate, both of which have powerful health benefits. CLA may lower body fat percentage in humans and butyrate can fight inflammation, improve gut health and has been shown to make rats completely resistant to becoming obese.

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