What is the best oil for pancakes? Is it canola, olive, or coconut oil? Or is it better to cook oil-free pancakes? Time to end this debate!
Before we begin, it is crucial to understand that cooking oil serves primarily as a heat transfer medium and flavor enhancer. However, the refinement process for making cooking oil varies depending on the manufacturer.
That tells us that the raw materials and refinement process used in making different kinds of oil. Will affect the taste and texture of your pancakes in different ways. For example, if you make pancakes using coconut oil, the results will be a little different from pancakes made in canola or olive oil. But all oils serve the same function.
In simple terms, what I am saying is, there is no best oil for pancakes. What matters is your taste and texture preference. Below, we explain the strengths and weaknesses of the three best oils for pancakes. Based on taste, texture, and health benefits. we also include product recommendations.
Best Oil for Pancakes: Canola Oil
Unlike coconut oil or olive oil, canola oil does not have a flavor. Consequently, the oil acts as a medium of heat transfer only and not as a flavor enhancer. Because of that, you do not have to worry about clashing flavors when using canola oil.
The idea that “canola oil is the same as vegetable oil” is partially true. But if you overlook the manufacturing process, vegetable oil and canola oil are two very different products. What they share is that both oils have a neutral taste. However, some vegetable oils are flavored. Furthermore, the “smoke point” for canola oil is higher than vegetable oil. Meaning, canola oil is not only good for pancakes but also perfect for baking.
How does canola oil affect pancake taste and texture?
As mentioned, canola oil has a high smoke point, hence, the oil can handle very high temperatures before it starts to “burn” or smoke. This characteristic gives you more freedom over taste and texture.
Depending on how you prefer your pancakes, the results will differ based on how you use oil and how hot it gets. For example, if you want crispy pancakes, frying the batter in canola oil at medium to high temperatures will achieve that result. On the other hand, if you prefer less oily softer pancakes, adding canola oil to the batter instead of on the pan will yield softer less oily creations.
Health benefits associated with using canola oil:
- Canola oil is very high in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (acid alpha-linolenic acid).
- Rich in vitamin E and K that help combat skin problems such as acne and wrinkles.
Another great thing about adding canola oil to pancake batter is that the oil prevents the batter from sticking to the pan or girdle. That means, if you do not have a non-stick pan or spray in your arsenal, you could spread canola oil evenly on your pan using a paper towel to prevent sticking.
Overall, canola oil is best for pancakes because:
- Canola oil has a neutral taste.
- You can use it to make soft or crispy pancakes.
- Very few people are allergic to canola oil.
Another Great Oil for Pancakes: Olive Oil
Olive Oil for Pancakes
Unlike canola oil, olive oil has a distinct flavor. What that means is, if you use olive oil to make your breakfast, you will notice an olive oil flavor.
Do you prefer pancakes with savory and a much deeper flavor? If yes, then olive oil is the way to go. Let me explain. Just like canola oil, adding olive oil to pancake batter helps to retain moisture. But unlike canola oil, olive oil tastes like olives, meaning, the oil contributes a flavor that goes well with fruits and other natural tasting foods such as milk or buttermilk.
How Does Olive Oil Affect Pancake Taste and Texture?
As mentioned, if you use olive oil to make pancakes, you will notice the flavor and fragrance of olive oil. That may not be up to everyone’s liking, but the good news is very few people are allergic to olive oil. Primarily, what distinguishes olive oil from other oils and butter is that cooking/baking with olive oil results in moist pancakes. However, the “moistness” of your pancakes depends on the absorption factor of your ingredients.
So, if you are comfortable with the distinctive taste and fragrance of olive oil, there is no harm in using it.
You should also know that olive oil improves your health in the following ways.
- Constipation relief
- Oleic acid found in olive oil may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Olive oil helps stabilize blood sugar.
- Reduce inflammation.
Overall, olive oil is also good for cooking pancakes because:
- It helps to retain moisture in pancakes resulting in soft, fluffy, or crunchy pancakes.
- Olive oil adds flavor and fragrance to pancakes.
- Few people are allergic to olive oil.
Still, on vegetable oil, I should mention that lower quality ones oxidize at high temperatures and that presents the risk of oxidation which can be bad for your heart. so if you prefer vegetable oil, we recommend sunflower, corn, peanut, soybean, or safflower oil. avoid vegan butter substitutes, vegan butter, margarine, and grape seed oil.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Pancakes?
Just like olive oil, coconut oil has flavor and fragrance. However, I must warn you that using coconut oil might cause headaches, dizziness, or even stomach upset. So why use coconut oil to make your meals?
Crisp and flavor!
I will admit. Coconut oil pancakes are not for everyone. But if you are comfortable with the taste and smell of coconut oil or if you are like me, that is if you prefer pancakes with crispy edges. Then you should know that coconut oil makes the crispiest pancakes. On top of that, the oil, as mentioned, is not neutral, meaning, by using coconut oil you add a unique flavor to your pastry or pancakes. Coconut oil also adds sweetness and moisture to your breakfast. But the downside to using coconut oil is that a significant percentage of people are allergic to coconut oil.
It is also worth mentioning that health professionals claim that coconut oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Overall, these are the benefits of cooking using coconut oil:
- Coconut oil makes crispy pancakes.
- Adds a distinct flavor and fragrance to pancakes.
- Offers plenty of health, and immune benefits.
Conclusion: What is the Best Oil for Pancakes?
Cooking oil, no matter the type is simply a means of heat and flavor transfer. The best oil for pancakes is one that gets the texture, fragrance, and taste you want. For example, if you like your pancakes flavored and crispy, go for coconut oil or margarine. On the other hand, if you prefer oil that does not affect taste and fragrance, go for canola or vegetable oil.
Overall, the best type of oil is any oil that has a neutral taste. That is because a neutral taste will not alter the taste or fragrance of your pancakes. On top of that, neutral oils present very little danger of allergic reactions.