Don’t write it off as a frivolous luxury ingredient

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Avocados have taken over. At this point, it seems no one is immune to their pale-green charms. While you can certainly catch me using my "fun money" on avocados, I’ll sometimes forgo the prospect of buying a $12 avocado toast and instead get a bottle of avocado oil. With a buttery flavor and high smoke point, avocado oil is a nutritious multipurpose alternative to olive oil.

Whether you’re frying eggs, making muffins, or roasting vegetables, avocado oil adds a smooth, rich flavor. Thanks to its 500ºF smoke point, avocado oil is safe to heat up to a broiling temperature; when cooking with lower smoke point oils, you run the risk of burning the oil, which can produce a foul smell or taste. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fat, making it a great alternative to oils high in saturated fat (we all heard the news about coconut oil) especially if you’re monitoring your cholesterol.

There are a number of brands that produce avocado oil, but I typically reach for a bottle by Chosen Foods or La Tourangelle. Though you might assume avocado oil is significantly more expensive than other oils because of how pricey the fruit tends to be, it’s actually not outrageous. Based on price comparisons online and at my local grocery stores, these brands have the best deal in terms of bottle size and price. I typically buy a 500-milliliter bottle—$11.29 for Chosen Foods via their brand website or $11.39 for via Thrive Market. I’ve found stocking this size container ensures that I always have plenty of avocado oil on hand, but not so much that I’m using the same bottle for years. However, if you know you’ll go through the oil quickly, Amazon sells a 1-liter bottle of Chosen Foods oil for $15.79, making the oil just under $0.50 per ounce.

Will a generic bottle of vegetable oil be cheaper than avocado oil? Without a doubt. However, I consider the flavor and nutrition found in avocado oil to be worth shelling out a few more dollars. I probably wouldn’t glug out a quart of the stuff if I were deep-frying for a crowd, but when it comes to everyday use by the tablespoonful, avocado oil is ideal to have around.