Oil is an important ingredient when making popcorn at home because it stops the kernels from sticking to the pan. The right choice of oil can also enhance the flavor of the corn and add a crispy exterior.
In this article, we’ll discuss what makes peanut oil a popular contender for popcorn and the advantages and disadvantages of using it at home.
Can You Use Peanut Oil to Make Popcorn?
Yes, peanut oil has a nutty taste and a high smoke point, making it perfect for popping kernels without burning them. Plus, peanut oil works perfectly in combination with savory flavors, such as chocolate.
There are many different types of peanut oil:
- Peanut oil blends
Switching up your oil for popcorn can introduce new flavors. Each peanut oil creates a unique flavor, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your taste preferences.
What Is Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil is derived from the seeds of the peanut plant, which are grown undergrown. This type of oil can offer a host of flavors, from mild to strong.
Let’s explore in more detail the variations of peanut oil.
Refined Peanut Oil
This type of peanut oil is commonly used for cooking and is more refined with less flavor and color to it. This is ideal for a neutral cooking oil where you don’t want the oil to interact with the flavors of the food. Best of all, this refinement removes allergens, making it safer for those with peanut allergies to consume.
Cold-Pressed Peanut Oil
Cold-pressed peanut oil hasn’t been refined and holds it natural flavors and aromas. This is ideal if you want the nutritional values and high smoke point of peanut oil without the nutty flavor.
Roasted Peanut Oil
This is made by peanuts being roasted before they release their oil, creating a richer, deeper nutty taste and a golden color. As a result, roasted peanut oil is commonly used to drizzle on food after it’s been cooked to enhance the flavor.
Peanut Oil Blends
These oils are blended with other oils, commonly soybean oil, making them a more affordable option. Peanut oil is usually mixed with an oil of a similar high smoking point to make it still beneficial for an array of cooking. Peanut oil blends are a great way to introduce peanut oil to popcorn and other dishes.
Why Is It Used to Make Popcorn?
There are many reasons to cook with peanut oil with popcorn, including its tasty flavor. In particular, peanut oil has a nutty taste with a mild amount of sweetness that perfectly compliments popcorn.
It also has a high smoke point at 437 degrees F. This means it won’t burn the kernels easily, and you can heat it to the optimal temperature without damaging your popcorn.
Furthermore, peanut oil perfectly complements savory flavors on popcorn, such as chocolate and butter. Or you can pair it with a sweeter combination, like caramel popcorn. This oil choice also packs in some additional protein to your delicious snack.
Nutritional Values of Popcorn Made with Peanut Oil
Peanut oil contains a lot of monounsaturated fat, which makes it perfect for high-heat cooking. Because of this, it can maintain high temperatures.
Source of Vitamin E
This type of oil is an excellent source of vitamin E—an antioxidant that protects the body from radical damage and can reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact, it’s high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have both been found to reduce the risks of heart diseases.
Peanut oil can improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In particular, eating polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can improve insulin secretion, helping to keep blood sugar levels low.
This oil can lower your LDL cholesterol—the dangerous type of cholesterol that’s prone to heart diseases and clogging/blocking arteries.
Cons of Using Peanut Oil
Peanut oil contains omega-6 fatty acids and small fragments of palmitic acid, which is a saturated fat. The omega-6 fats can contribute to inflammation and are linked to many health problems. Consuming too much peanut oil can lead to weight gain.
Furthermore, peanut oil’s polyunsaturated fats can lead to oxidation, which causes an unpleasant aroma, reduced flavor, and a decreased shelf life. Most importantly, oxidation can lead to oxidative stress, which has been linked to diabetes, cancer, eye diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Peanut oil adds a slightly nutty flavor to corn unless you purchase refined peanut oil, which has a neutral taste. Peanut oil provides a high smoke point, which is perfect for popping kernels, and even has some health benefits to it: lowering cholesterol, controlling diabetes, and providing an excellent source of vitamin E.
Next, check out our other articles on types of oil to make popcorn: