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Different Cooking Oils and Recommended Uses

Some oils have low smoke points, which means they burn at lower temperatures. These oils, commonly called salad oils, are best used in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and as light cooking oils for frying and baking at low temperatures. Other cooking oils have a high smoke point, which means they can reach higher temperatures without smoking. These particular oils are great for frying, frying, and sauteing. The following information will discuss the different types of cooking oils and the recommended use.

Sesame – Made from pressed sesame seeds,  black sesame oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats (43%) and monounsaturated fats (42%). It comes in two types, light and dark. Light sesame oil is made from unroasted sesame seeds and has a nutty flavor. It is especially good for quick frying, skillet cooking, and dressing. Dark (Asian) sesame oil is made from roasted sesame seeds and has a much stronger flavor than light sesame oil. It should only be used in small quantities to add flavor to food; Not suitable for cooking. Refined sesame oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit and semi-refined sesame oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Olives – Olive oil is a monounsaturated oil that is extracted from ripe olives on trees. The color can range from light amber to green with flavors ranging from mild to very strong. Olive oil is classified according to its acidity and oil extraction process. The oil called "virgin" is cold-pressed (a process that does not use heat or chemicals) and contains low levels of acidity.

Vegetable – Vegetable oil is an inexpensive all-purpose oil that is a blend of refined oils made from vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Most vegetable oils are made from soybeans and are high in monounsaturated fats, high in polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. Designed for light flavor and high smoke, it is recommended for deep frying, deep-frying, stir-frying, and baking.