Which cooking oil is best for baking cookies? Sautéing vegetables? Deep-frying chicken? With the plethora of different cooking oils out there, it can get pretty confusing choosing the best one for your next cooking adventure.
To get started on demystifying the selection process, the first thing you should know is the cooking oil's smoke point, which is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down and smoke, which ultimately leads to terribly tasting food.
Oils with low temperature smoke points are best for low-temperature food preparation, such as baking, using as a salad dressing base, and simmering. And not surprisingly, oils with high temperature smoke points are best for high-temperature cooking such as deep-frying and grilling.
Of course, just because a dizzying variety of cooking oils exist does not mean that you have to carry a large number of different cooking oils in your pantry. Depending on your flavor preference and cooking habits, you really only need to keep a small handful of different oils at hand.
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