To quote Nigella “I don’t believe in low fat cooking”.

Westaway-Sausages-BBQ

Which is your fat of choice for cooking?

Top of my list is Pork dripping from the weekend joint, with jelly at the bottom of the basin. This spread on hot toast is pretty special if it has got dark early and you have just got in wet and cold.

So, Lard, Olive Oil, Butter, Vegetable Oil or Coconut oil is there an oil for all occasions?

Lard: My favourite for frying sausages

Lard is a truly healthy fat if it’s sourced from a free range pig.

It’s high in vitamin D and helps you absorb important vitamins.

Lard can be used in your kitchen any way you would use other fats.

It imparts a rich, savoury flavour to foods.

But:

Lard is high in calories and cholesterol and can increase the risk of heart disease.

It’s high in saturated fats.

Olive Oil: Essential for salads and olive toasts (Bruschetta)

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, making it a healthier choice.

It has a distinct flavour that can add depth and richness to certain dishes.

Olive oil can be used for cooking, salad dressings, and dipping sauces.

But:

Olive oil’s smoke point ranges from 160°C to 175°C, depending on the type of olive oil. This makes it less suitable for high-heat cooking methods such as frying and baking.

Butter: Yum in so many ways

Butter adds a rich and distinct flavour to cakes.

It’s ideal for creaming with sugar, a common step in cake recipes.

Butter contributes to the moisture and tenderness of cakes.

Butter contains milk solids that contribute to browning during baking.

Frozen Butter grated into Beef Burgers, gives richness and succulence

But:

Butter is high in calories and fat—including saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease.

Using butter at high temperatures is one of the biggest mistakes you can make with butter.

Vegetable Oil: In my opinion a last choice.

Vegetable oil is inexpensive and does not overpower the flavour of the dish.

It has a high smoke point, which means that you can use it to cook at high temperatures.

But:

Vegetable oil is high in saturated fats and can cause weight gain if consumed abundantly.

It’s not as good for you as oils like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

Even though it has been recommended as a healthy substitute for saturated fat, more recent studies show that may not be the case.

Coconut Oil: A prerequisite for an authentic flavour

Coconut oil has a higher smoking point than butter, therefore, it can withstand higher heat when baking.

Coconut oil can influence the flavour of a dish, leaving a mild coconutty taste.

Refined coconut oil is better for cooking because it goes through more processing. It’s flavourless and odourless and has a higher smoke point (over 200 C). It’s more suitable for stir frying, sautéing, and roasting at high heat.

But:

Keep in mind that coconut oil is 100% fat and nearly 90% of that is saturated fat.

I am not sure I can do without Lard, Olive Oil and Butter. But do eat fats in moderation.

If you do the work, you need fuel in the tank!