Oils main (H)

Find the best oil for whatever you're cooking with our guide to six great types and their uses.

Discover all you need to know


Although oil can last for a long time, it does have a shelf life, so do check the use-by date. Keeping oil tightly sealed and in a cool, dark place helps to prevent oxidisation, which can spoil the aroma and taste. 


Oils have different smoke points so it’s important to use the right one for whatever you’re cooking. Once an oil reaches its smoke point, it starts to break down chemically, and loses all its goodness. 


Keep a range of oils to hand for different jobs. Fruity, extra-virgin olive oil is great in salads, but not so good for cooking with, whereas rapeseed and coconut oils perform well at high temperatures. 

Take a look at six of our favourite oils

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Groundnut oil

Also known as peanut oil, this pale, golden liquid is obtained by pressing peanuts. Its high smoke point makes it great for Asian stir-fries, while its lightly nutty flavour also lends itself to dressing a salad.


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Sesame oil

As its name suggests, this fragrant, richly coloured oil is derived from toasted sesame seeds. It smokes easily, so don’t use it for frying. Save it for drizzling over cooked, Asian-inspired dishes.


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Rapeseed oil

Pressed from the seeds of the bright yellow rapeseed crop (often British-grown), this oil is not only lower in saturated fat than olive oil, but its high smoke point means it can be used in all types of cooking.


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Sunflower oil

A good all-rounder, this light, pale oil is obtained from pressed sunflower seeds. It has a high smoke point with a non-distinct taste, so it’s best when used for frying or roasting when you don’t want any additional flavour. 

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Olive oil

Produced primarily in the Med, olive oil comes from pressed olives. Just like wine, its flavour varies according to country and crop. Extra-virgin is the purest grade of olive oil.



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Coconut oil

Made from cold-pressed coconut flesh, coconut oil has become popular in recent years thanks to its versatility. Perfect for baking, roasting and frying, it solidifies at room temperature but contact with heat will return it to a liquid state.


Make the most of gorgeous rapeseed oils in this delicious Chicory and lentil salad with warm shallot dressing.

March 2015 coverAs featured in Tesco Magazine February 2015.

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