What is the substitute for corn oil?

Quick answers

Corn oil can be substituted with other neutral-tasting oils like canola, vegetable, safflower, soybean, sunflower, or peanut oil in cooking and baking. The flavor and smoke point of the substitute oil should be considered when choosing an alternative. Oils with similar smoke points like canola, safflower, and peanut work best for high-heat cooking methods like frying. For baking, canola or vegetable oil can typically replace corn oil. When substituting, use the same amount of alternative oil called for in the recipe.

What are the best substitutes for corn oil?

Some of the best substitutes for corn oil include:

  • Canola oil – With a high smoke point and neutral taste like corn oil, it can be used 1:1 in cooking and baking.
  • Vegetable oil – A blend of oils that can replace corn oil equally in most recipes.
  • Safflower oil – A flavorless oil good for high-heat frying with a similar smoke point to corn.
  • Soybean oil – Has a neutral taste and can withstand high frying temperatures.
  • Sunflower oil – Works well for frying and sautéing with its high smoke point.
  • Peanut oil – Has a high smoke point and can be swapped for corn oil while frying.

When baking, the oil mainly provides moisture, texture, and richness. For this purpose, a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil will give the closest results in cakes, cookies, breads, and other baked goods calling for corn oil.

What qualities are important in a corn oil substitute?

When selecting an alternative for corn oil, here are some key qualities to look for:

  • Flavor – As a versatile, neutral-flavored oil, the substitute should also have a relatively mild flavor that won’t dominate or clash with other ingredients.
  • Smoke point – The smoke point of the substitute oil should match the cooking method. Oils with high smoke points around 400-450°F work best for frying.
  • Texture – In baking, the oil should provide similar moisture and richness for a consistent finished product.
  • Nutritional profile – If wanting to match the fats and nutritional value of corn oil, choose substitutes like canola and vegetable oil.

Ideally, the substitute oil mimics the neutral taste, high smoke point, and texture provided by corn oil for seamless results in recipes.

What oils have a high smoke point for frying?

Here are some common oils with high smoke points suitable as corn oil substitutes for frying and other high-heat cooking methods:

  • Avocado oil – Refined varieties can reach smoke points up to 520°F.
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – Has a smoke point between 450-485°F.
  • Peanut oil – Reaches 450°F for refined varieties.
  • Rice bran oil – Can withstand temps up to 490°F.
  • Safflower oil – Has a smoke point around 450°F.
  • Sesame oil – Withstands heat up to 410°F.
  • Soybean oil – Refined varieties reach 450°F.
  • Sunflower oil – High oleic versions can reach up to 450°F.

Many of these oils can be used for stir-frying, pan-frying, deep frying, sautéing, and roasting at the same quantity as corn oil. Always heat the oil to the recipe temperature before adding food to prevent burning or smoking the oil.

What oils work best for baking?

The oils best for baking as a substitute for corn oil include:

  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil

These neutral-flavored oils don’t have a strong taste that will clash with other ingredients. They have a similar viscosity and fat content that provides comparable moisture, richness, structure, and texture in baked goods.

Measure out the same amount of these substitute oils to replace corn oil in recipes for cookies, cakes, muffins, breads, and other baked items. The results will be very similar when using one of these interchangeable oils.

How does substituting oil impact baking?

Substituting oils in baking recipes has minimal effects as long as the replacement oil:

  • Has a mild, neutral flavor
  • Has a similar fat/viscosity profile
  • Is used in the same quantity

Factors like moisture, richness, texture, and rise are largely determined by the quantity and type of fat in a baking recipe. Using the same amount of canola, vegetable, safflower or other neutral oil instead of corn oil will mimic these properties so the baked good turns out as intended.

Flavors may vary slightly depending on the distinct yet subtle flavors of the substitute oil. But in most cookies, cakes, breads and other baked items, these minor flavor differences get masked by other strong ingredients like sugar, chocolate, spices, etc.

What about cold uses of corn oil?

For recipes that use corn oil in cold preparations like dressings, dips, mayonnaise and marinades, you can also replace it equally with neutral oils like:

  • Canola oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Vegetable oil

The oil’s flavor and texture isn’t being changed by heating in these cases, so substitute oils don’t require a specific smoke point or viscosity profile. Focus on finding an oil with a mild flavor that won’t detract from other ingredients when used raw.

Measure out the same amount called for in the original recipe to ensure the right consistency, richness, and emulsification properties in cold sauces, spreads, dressings, and marinades.

How does corn oil compare to other common oils?

Here is a comparison of corn oil to other typical cooking oils:

Oil Flavor Smoke point Best uses
Corn oil Neutral 450°F Frying, baking, sautéing
Canola oil Mild, neutral 400°F Frying, baking, sautéing
Vegetable oil Neutral 450°F Frying, baking, sautéing
Olive oil Robust, fruity 375°F Low- to mid-heat cooking, dressings, marinades
Coconut oil Coconut flavor 350°F Baking, sautéing, roasting
Butter Rich, nutty 300-350°F Baking, sautéing, roasting

As you can see, corn oil is valued for its neutral flavor, making it versatile for both cooking and baking. Oils like canola and vegetable oil mimic these properties closely for easy substitution across recipes.

What health considerations are there with corn oil substitutes?

When choosing a substitute, consider the following health factors:

  • Fat profile – Corn oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. Stick to oils like canola and sunflower with similar fat profiles if this is a concern.
  • Allergies – Avoid oils made from ingredients you are allergic to, like peanut or soybean oil.
  • Saturated fat – Tropical oils like coconut and palm are higher in saturated fats.
  • Trans fats – Heavily processed oils may contain some trans fats. Check labels.
  • Smoke point – Frying in oil below its smoke point can release harmful compounds. Use high heat oils for cooking methods like frying.

Talk to your doctor if you have specific health conditions where the type of fat you consume is a factor. Otherwise, oils like canola and vegetable can typically be used freely in place of corn oil.

What’s the difference between corn oil and canola oil?

Corn oil and canola oil have the following similarities and differences:

  • Both are made from vegetable crops – corn and canola/rapeseed respectively.
  • They have mild, neutral flavors good for versatile cooking uses.
  • Smoke points are close – canola oil around 400°F, corn oil 450°F.
  • Their fat composition is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Corn oil has a slightly higher percentage of polyunsaturated fat compared to canola.
  • Canola oil has a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than corn oil.
  • Vitamin E levels are higher in canola oil compared to corn.

Overall, both are considered healthy versatile cooking oils. Canola oil is seen as having some additional health benefits thanks to its omega-3 content and vitamin E levels. But corn oil and canola can be used interchangeably in most recipes with very similar results.


Finding a perfect stand-in for corn oil comes down to matching its versatile, neutral taste and high smoke point. For all-purpose cooking and baking, top substitutes include canola, vegetable, safflower, or sunflower oils. Use the same amount called for in recipes and adjust if needed for slight variances in flavor or smoking temperature. Consider the oil’s fat profile and nutritional aspects as well if health conditions warrant. With so many quality substitutes available, it’s easy to replicate the popular corn oil in all types of recipes.

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