There’s a lot to consider when deep-frying at home. French fries or samosas? Does the exhaust actually work? Where did you put that instant-read thermometer? And just how long will the apartment smell? But one question home cooks don’t need to obsess over: the best oil for frying. Once you’ve got that down, you can go to town thinking about all the other stuff.

So what is the best oil for frying?

The answer is simple: If you’re frying at home, you’ll probably want to use vegetable oil. While vegetable oil is a term that can be applied to any plant-based oil, what we’re talking about are the bottles that spell out “vegetable oil” on the label. Vegetable oil is usually a mix of different plant-derived oils—like corn oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil—blended together for maximum cost-effectiveness. (If you have an allergen or sensitivity, you’ll want to carefully examine the label so that you know exactly what’s in that bottle.)

While vegetable oil is not what we would reach for to make salad dressing, mayonnaise, or toum, we love it for frying. Why? There are four main reasons:

It has a high smoke point

Before we get started, what even is a smoke point and why should you care? The smoke point is the temperature at which a fat will stop shimmering—a sign that it is hot and ready to be used—and start burning, creating smoke and leading to a situation that’s not so tasty and potentially dangerous.

You don’t need to memorize smoke points (that’s what Google is for), but when choosing what type of oil is ideal for what purpose, it can be helpful to divide up the large world of cooking oils and fats into three big buckets:

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