Cooking oil is scarce: This way the oil can be replaced in the kitchen

Empty shelves threaten due to hamster purchases

Cooking oil is the new toilet paper: At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Germans mainly accumulated toilet paper, but according to media reports, many people are now turning more and more to sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Discount services and supermarkets react: In order to avoid empty shelves, they limit the number of oil bottles that customers are allowed to buy.

Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of oilseeds

The reason for the increased demand is the war in Ukraine and concerns about bottlenecks in supply and price increases. Germany imports 94 percent of the sunflower oil we use. Both Ukraine and Russia are among the top oil exporters. They also supply other oilseeds such as rapeseed, flaxseed and soybeans.

The Association of Oil Seed Processing Industry in Germany expects restrictions on the flow of sunflower, flax and soy products from the war zone in the coming weeks and months. If there are short-term bottlenecks in individual raw materials, they would be very difficult to replace, according to the association. However, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture assures: “The supply of food in Germany is guaranteed.”

Fry with other vegetable oils

Tasteless, refined sunflower oil and rapeseed oil are highly versatile. If they are really rare, there are many alternatives. In the cold kitchen and for gentle frying of hearty dishes, they can be easily replaced with olive oil.

“For baking, consumers can turn to vegetable oil mixed with various refined oils,” advises Jochen Wettach, project manager for edible oils testing at the Stiftung Warentest. He expects such blends to achieve higher market shares in the future.

Suggestion: In the Frequently Asked Questions about edible oils, we reveal what differentiates cold pressed, virgin and refined oils and which vegetable oils are beneficial to health.

Use other oils of one origin

Some special vegetable oils such as walnut or linseed oil should not be heated, they are more suitable for salads or dips. These vegetable oils are also suitable for hot cooking:

  • Olive oil. People in Mediterranean countries steam, bake, bake, fry and refine everything with olive oil. It heats well. As with other oils and fats, the temperature should not exceed 175 degrees Celsius, otherwise critical substances may form. There are also special frying olive oils that are particularly heat stable. The olive oil test shows us which oils in the extra virgin quality category have good performance.
  • coconut oil. Coconut oil is a choice for anyone who enjoys Asian cuisine. It is suitable for cooking and baking – but mainly for baking. Its high content of saturated fat is not good for health, but it ensures that it can be heated to very high temperatures, which makes chicken and tofu, for example, very crunchy in the pan. In our test with coconut oil, we found impurities and differences in taste.
  • Sesame oil. It is an ideal accompaniment for Asian dishes. Sesame oil from unroasted seeds heats up easily and is therefore suitable for frying fish dishes, for example, or steaming vegetables in wok. In the sesame product test for harmful residues, the sesame oils included performed very well.

Bake with margarine and butter

Hobby bakers should opt for butter or margarine recipes instead of oil recipes.

  • Butter. Although it has become more expensive in recent years, some people swear by baking it. Slightly acidified and sweet cream butter is especially delicious on cakes and cookies. 100 grams of butter corresponds to about 80 grams of oil and 20 grams of liquid such as milk or oat milk. It is not bad to cook with butter. However, it is unsuitable for frying at high temperatures because some of its ingredients are burned, such as lactose and protein.
  • clarified butter. If you want a butter flavor when frying, you can use clear butter: Because the water has been removed, it can be used well for frying – unlike butter.
  • The fat is smeared with butter and rapeseed oil. They are usually good for baking, but some are also good for frying, according to the label. However, when we tried these alternatives instead of butter, we found that they can splash during frying.
  • Margarine. You can bake and bake with full-fat margarine. It can be heated as high as the oil from which it is made. The margarine test confirms that the roasts are good to very good with all the tested products. Some fat experts even consider margarine to be the best frying fat compared to oil. Its water content of almost 20 percent transfers heat particularly gently to fried food. Be careful though, half fatty margarines are not suitable for deep frying.

Suggestion: How is margarine and butter best stored and which of the two is healthier, we answer the Frequently Asked Questions Butter, Margarine and Co.

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