Recipe: SMOKE POINTS OF OIL

|June 11, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

The smoke point of fats –

Do you know what the “smoke point” of cooking oils and fats is?

Heat causes different reactions in cooking oils and fats; the hotter they get, the more they break down, causing them to begin to smoke and give off unpleasant odors. This is similar to burning; rendering it unusable because it begins to break down at the molecular level. Some oils are better than others for high-heat cooking, such as sautéing, deep-frying, etc.

A cooking oil or fats “smoke point” is the temperature at which it will begin to smoke. Having a high smoke point means that the oil or fat can withstand high heating temperatures before beginning to smoke.

Usually, oils that are vegetable-based have higher smoke points than animal-based fats like butter or lard. The exception to this is hydrogenated vegetable shortening – which has a lower smoke point than butter, and olive oil, which has a smoke point that is about equal to that of lard.

Also, since refining oils removes the impurities that can cause the oil to smoke, the more refined an oil is – the higher its smoke point. Usually it’s the lighter oils that have the highest smoke points.

Although an oil has a smoke point of XX degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius, it’s smoke point will not remain constant. The longer the oil is exposed to heat, the lower its smoke point becomes. Fresher oil has a higher smoke point than the very same oil that has been heated in a deep-fryer.

If you like to deep fry as well as cook, knowing the smoke point will save you money. Each time you deep fry, you lower the smoke point of the shortening/oil/fat irreversibly.

If your oil’s smoke point is just above 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) (the normal deep-frying temperature), there is a very good chance that its smoke point will drop below 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) after using it the first time. This makes it useless.

Save money by selecting one with a high smoke point:

OIL – SMOKE POINT (FAHRENHEIT)

Almond 420* F.

Avocado oil (refined) 520* F.

Butter 350* F.

Butter (Ghee) 375 – 485* F. (depending on purity)

Canola (unrefined) 225* F.
Canola (semi-refined) 350* F.
Canola (refined) 400* F.

Coconut 350* F.

Corn oil (unrefined) 320* F.
Corn oil (refined) 450* F.

Cottonseed oil 420* F.

Flaxseed oil (unrefined) 225* F.

Hazelnut oil 430* F.

Hemp seed oil 330* F.

Grapeseed oil 392 – 485* F.

Hazelnut oil 430* F.

Lard 361 – 401* F.

Macadamia nut oil 389* F.

Olive oil (unrefined) 320* F.
Olive oil (extra-virgin) 406* F.
Olive oil (virgin) 420* F.
Pumace 460* F.
Extra light 468* F.

Peanut (unrefined) 320* F.
Peanut oil (refined) 440 – 450* F.

Rapeseed oil 438* F.

Rice bran oil 490* F.

Safflower oil (unrefined) 225* F.
Safflower oil (semi refined) 320* F.
Safflower oil (refined) 450* F.

Sesame oil (unrefined) 350* F.
Sesame oil (semi refined) 450* F.
Sesame oil 410* F.

Shortening, vegetable 325* F. (emulsified/hydrogenated)
Shortening, vegetable 356 – 370* F.

Soy/soybean oil (unrefined) 320* F.
Soy/soybean oil (semi refined) 350* F.
Soy/soybean oil (refined) 450* F.

Sunflower oil (unrefined) 225* F.
Sunflower oil (semi refined) 450* F.
Sunflower oil 440* F.

Tea oil 486* F.

Walnut oil (unrefined) 320* F.
Walnut oil (semi refined) 400* F.

There are a number of factors that will decrease the smoke point of any fat:
The length of time the oil is heated
The presence of foreign properties (batters, for instance)
The presence of salt
The combination of vegetable oil in products
The number of times the oil was used
The length of time the oil is heated
How the oil was stored (exposing it to light, oxygen, temperature)

The importance of knowing the smoke point will also warn you of the flash point and fire point. Most oils reach the flash point of about 699* F. – tiny wisps of fire begin to leap from the surface of the heated oil. If the oil is heated to its fire point (700* F. for most oils), the surface will ablaze.

NEVER TRY TO EXTINGUISH A GREASE FIRE WITH WATER. THE WATER WILL SPLATTER AND SPREAD MORE QUICKLY. SMOTHER THE FLAMES WITH A TIGHT-FITTING LID OR A SHEET OF ALUMINUM FOIL. IF THE FIRE IS OUTSIDE THE PAN/COOKING VESSEL, SUFFOCATE IT WITH BAKING SODA OR HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER IN YOUR KITCHEN THAT IS FORMULATED FOR GREASE FIRES.


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