Vegetable oil is a light-colored oil, made to be as flavorless and odorless as possible. It's made by crushing dried soybeans, then spinning to separate the oil from the plant matter, before distilling and refining it to remove as many impurities and other contaminants that could affect the flavor, color and aroma of the oil. So the result is an oil that's extremely neutral and thus highly versatile. It's equally good for making salad dressings and dips as it is for cooking, frying and baking.

Cooking With Vegetable Oil

One of the great advantages of vegetable oil is its relatively high smoke point, around 450 F, meaning that it's good for high-heat cooking methods such as sautéing and frying. Since most deep-frying is done at around 375 F, that means vegetable oil will stand up to typical frying temperatures without smoking or imparting a bitter, burnt flavor to the food. And because it's inexpensive, it won't break the bank to make a batch of homemade french fries. 

Because of its neutral flavor, vegetable oil won't contribute any particular flavor when using it to make salad dressings, dips, mayonnaise and the like. But you're not always looking for the flavor of the oil to predominate, so when you want a neutral oil, vegetable oil would be a good choice. It is also a great choice for baking, since you don't necessarily want to be able to taste the oil in cakes, quick breads and muffins.    

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