There are many options to choose from when it comes to the kind of oil you can use for your popcorn machine. But before picking up the first bottle you see, there are two things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing what kind of oil to use.
First, choose an oil with a high burn point. Making popcorn requires temperatures over 450°F, and since different types of oil burn at varying temperatures, consider one that can take the heat.
Second, each type of oil can give the popcorn a unique overall taste. This will depend on personal preference, like if you want your popcorn to taste home-theater style, or if you are health conscious and aiming for a low calorie snack. The type of oil you use can greatly affect the taste of the popcorn, which is why when choosing an oil to use, it should suit the taste you are going for.
Different types of oil for use with a popcorn machine:
Commercial popcorn oil
There are many popcorn oils commercially sold to use for making popcorns. Most of these popcorn oils turn solid when exposed to cold temperature but will soon return to its liquid form once placed at room temperature. Some commercial popcorn oils mix different types of oil together while also adding artificial flavorings such as butter, and other seasonings.
Yellow coloring or beta carotene is also added for a tastier look. Most oils used in these products are hydrogenated, either fully or partially, so manufacturers can extend the shelf life of the products. If you are concerned which of the two has trans-fat, the partially hydrogenated oil is the one with the trans-fat.
This oil is the most popular among the types of oil used to make popcorn. It is highly regarded as the best tasting oil if you want your popcorn to taste like that bought in movie theaters. Coconut oil has a thick consistency with a sweet smell and a nutty flavor.
Additionally, popcorn oil made from coconut flesh or copra is known to have a stable and long shelf life. It is also the cleanest cooking oil as it does not create a lot of carbon in the kettle. Coconut oil should not be used by people with history of peanut allergy.
This oil is also known as vegetable oil and is extracted from the seeds of the soybean plant. For a neutral-tasting popcorn, this oil will do. It will also the seasonings help stick to your popped corn. It contains no trans-fat, is low on saturated fat content, and has natural antioxidants. However, soybean oil has a short shelf life and can become easily rancid without further processing.
If you are health conscious, or looking for ways to keep the fat content low, canola oil is considered to be the healthiest option among the commonly used cooking oils because of its low saturated and high monounsaturated fat content. It is also inexpensive and has a high burn point. However, without further processing, canola oil also has a short shelf life and can turn rancid easily.
Because of the mild corn flavor this oil gives, it is also among the commonly used oils to make popcorn. Compared to other types of vegetable oils, corn oil is less expensive and is readily available in grocery stores. Further processing is also needed to lengthen the shelf life of this oil.
Sunflower oil has a mild taste and contains vitamin E. It comes from oilseed. With this oil, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are commonly combined. It has a low saturated fat content. It has a short shelf life, which requires the use of acid and preservatives in order to extend its shelf life.
Using this oil will give your popcorn a rich and nutty flavor, similar to using coconut oil. It is considered to be among the healthier option for oils. It is a monounsaturated fat. Again, like coconut oil, peanut oil also has a long shelf life and rarely requires undergoing hydrogenation to extend it shelf life. It can last up to a year if not opened and about four to six months once opened. Proper storing of peanut oil requires refrigeration. This oils should not be used if you have a peanut allergy.