Types of Fats and Oils used in Hotels and Restaurants

The oils and fats used in the kitchen are extracted in some manner from plants and animals. The methods use affect the quality of the product and how they can be used in cooking.

Oil is a fatty substance that is liquid at normal or room temperature. Oils and fats used for cooking are extracted from fruit (Olive), seeds (canola, Sunflower), grains (corn), legumes (peanut), nut (Walnut), and other sources.

The Egyptians did the oldest use of oil and they used the sesame oil. In Greece, the olive tree was a sacred tree and a symbol of the city of Athens. Oil was not only for food but also used as a fuel to provide light and heat for many centuries.


  • Butter is the finest fat available in terms of flavour, mouthfeel and richness.
  • Even though there is nothing that can duplicate the taste of butter but some people prefer margarine.
  • Butter is normally 81% milkfat, 01% milk solids, 1.5 to 2.0% salt and 16% water.
  • High-quality butter will be creamy and without any grains.


  • Margarine is made from vegetable oils.
  • Contain milk or animal fats or fish oils, plus emulsifiers and colouring agents.
  • Oils are hydrogenated to form solids.
  • Its characteristics are similar to butter.
  • It is not suitable for frying.
  • Too soft to be rubbed into flour.


  • Comes from Latin word tallow.
  • Was used instead of wax for making candles.
  • It is stiff and melts slowly.
  • It is firm white fat and surrounds lamb or ox’s kidneys.
  • Used for sweet puddings such as Christmas pudding, jam roly-poly.
  • Used in savoury ones like steak and kidney and steaks and mushroom.
  • When mixed with flour it is one of the most satisfying winter foods.


  • Lard is pork fat.
  • Light and clean tasting.
  • Mainly used for frying.
  • Also used in the bakery because of its creaming properties.
  • Best lards are the ones rendered from the belly fat or the bacon big.
  • And from directly under the skin of the back.
  • To overcome the porky taste add drops of rosemary.
  • Used throughout South America and US.


  • Beef fat is processed in a manner to that of lard, but it is not its equivalent.
  • Beef fat can also be derived from fat deposits elsewhere in the animal.
  • The quality of this kind of fat is judged by colour and texture.
  • The process of producing such fat is similar to the production of lard.


  • This is the fat that runs along back of the pig over the loin.
  • Used primarily for larding dry meats such as veal and game birds.
  • Cut into strips called lardoons, fat can be inserted into the flesh using a needle to keep it soft while cooking.


  • Veal kidney fat is the leaf fat from veal carcass.
  • It is highly prized in many kitchens for its mild flavour.
  • Such types of fats are normally prepared in the hotel\’s kitchen due to its short supply.


  • Poultry fats are used in some kitchens because they have a very distinctive flavour and aroma.
  • These fats are commonly available commercially also and can be also made in the kitchen.
  • Goose or chicken fats are commonly used in pates to enhance the favours.
  • Roux from chicken fat is also commonly used in the preparation of velouteor turkey dishes.


  • Acquired from straining and reserving the fat that has dripped off a roasting joint or bird.
  • Drippings from different kinds of meat should not be mixed.
  • Beef drippings can be used to fry the beef stews.
  • Drippings from goose or duck are used for bean dished, roast vegetables, fried potatoes
  • Lamb drippings smell unpleasant.


  • These are fats which are winterized to assure a certain level of saturation.
  • Liquid pork or beef fat is allowed to cool slowly.
  • This type of fats will have relativelylittle flavour or odour.
  • Winterized fats can achieve high frying temperature due to its purity.


  • Shortening is a type of fat that has additives that enhance its usage in baked or as a frying fat.
  • All hard fats are shortenings.
  • They are capable of producing a crumbly shortcrust.
  • The white cooking fats may be made of blended vegetable oils or a mixture of vegetable and animal fats or fish oils.
  • They are bland light in texture and fluffy. 
  • The texture of white cooking fat makes creaming and rubbing easier
  • It is flavourless.

12. GHEE

  • A type of clarified butter made by heating ordinary butter to get rid of impurities.
  • Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream (traditionally made by churning Dahi).
  • Skimming any impurities from the surface, then pouring and retaining the clear liquid fat while discarding the solid residue that has settled to the bottom.
  • Spices can be added for flavour and the texture, colour and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, the milk source used in the process and the duration of time spent boiling.

13. Other most commonly used oils:

Groundnut oil, coconut oil, Mustard oil, Soya-bean oil, Sunflower oil, Olive oil, Corn oil, Walnut oil etc. are commonly used in the hotel kitchen.

Oil varieties are available in different grades and qualities. For example, olive oil which is rich and easy to digest is sold under various grades such as:

Virgin olive oil: Mixed with other oils and from the second or third press.

Pure: Mixed virgin and refined oils.

Extra virgin: The purest oil obtained only from the first pressing.

What is the Definition of fats and oils?

  • Fats can be defined as a soft greasy substance found in organic tissue.
  • The function of fat is to protect the vital organs of the body, to provide heat and energy and certain fats provide vitamins.
  • Fats can be divided into solid fats and oils.
  • Fats are a cooking medium.
  • Fats were traditional of animal origin.
  • The quality of solidifying naturally distinguishes saturated fats and unsaturated fats like vegetable oils.
  • They are the chief source of energy.

Other Interesting facts about oils and fats:

Pure oils are taken from a single vegetable species. Whereas the term vegetable oil indicates that they are a blend of two or more vegetable oils. Most oils sold today are refined oils, which means that during processing, their original taste and flavour have been removed.

However, there are still a few oils, which are processed by cold pressing, and are termed as virgin or natural oils as they still retain the taste of their vegetable origins. (E.g. Olive oil)

  • Used in marinades for vegetables, meats, seafood, kebabs etc.
  • Preservatives: Used in preserving Indian pickles, also to preserve goats’ cheese, meats, fish and herbs.
  • Used to make sauces: Mayonnaise, aioli, pesto etc.
  • Used as an ingredient in cold dressings: Vinaigrette.
  • Used directly in most of the basic principles of cookery like deep frying, shallow frying, sautéing, braising, searing etc.,
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