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Oil for high temperature

  • s

I occasionally pan-fry, and prefer my food well-seared. To do this, I heat the pan as hot as my old 1940s stove will get it. I've generally used olive oil to cook, but I know it's not the best type for very high heat. So, what would knowledgable hounds suggest?


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  1. I think that peanut oil works well at very high temperatures - it has a higher smoking point and doesn't break down as some others do. All fine and dandy as long as there's no peanut allergy problem to be considered.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      If I am not mistaken, allergies are triggered by the protein in the offending food, not the fat. So even people with peanut allergies should be able to use the oil to cook with.

      Mr. Taster

      1. re: Mr. Taster

        You could be right about that. I have a friend who's highly allergic to sesame seeds. But he can ingest sesame oil with no problem

    2. You're looking for an oil that has a high "smoke point." Check out the link below for a table of smoke points and go from there.

      Link: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Collec...

      2 Replies
      1. re: FlyFish

        Great chart. Thanks.

        1. re: FlyFish

          Yeah, nice chart, even though I got distracte by Holly's adventures at chef school. Since I doubt my stove could kick it all the way to 500, that light olive oil may be the one.

          I usually judge correct temperature by when the amount of smoke produced can no longer be cleared by open door, open window, and hood fan.

        2. For really high heat, I use canola oil from TJ's since it tastes better than Wesson or those other major brands. Peanut or grapeseed also seem to be popular. I think you can get the best deal on grapeseed at Middle Eastern markets.

          1. Grapeseed Oil.

            Offers nothing to the flavor but holds up under heat.

            1. Peanut oil for Asian cooking; Safflower for "western" food (the peanut oil flavor doesn't go with non-Asian dishes, IMO, and safflower is cheaper than grapeseed).

              1. I second grapeseed (especially for popcorn, a very very high heat use) and safflower; I use soybean for higher volume deep frying.

                I don't use canola at all, never quite being sure about the issues over what happens with it at high temps, and having other options available.

                Peanut and corn oils have too distinctive a flavor profile for my palate.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Karl S.

                  If it helps, Karl, and I see others are confused because they're mistaking smoking points and taste transference of different oils: grapeseed oil, rapeseed oil and Canola oil. Rapeseed is a plant found in Canada that was discovered to have a rather high smoking point and imparts nothing in the way of flavor. (Another poster called that grapeseed oil which does impart a very distinct flavor). Rapeseed oil as you might imagine has a marketing problem, so they called the oil from the rapeseed plant Canola--Canadian oil. Even that well document chart below says one has a smoking point of 435 F and the other 438 F. They are the same oil but one source is from the UK and I assume the slight difference is from the metric conversion

                  You must now fry a chicken or two in Canola oil and report back your findings vs. your current oils (if I can twist your arm to fry a chicken).

                  1. re: dk

                    What I was referring to was the inconclusive evidence (one way or another) alluded to, among many other places for many years, in the last part of this helpful Urban Legends discussion

                    Link: http://blessingsforlife.com/dietnutri...

                    1. re: Karl S.

                      Link below to the Urban Legend page on Canola, with a little further clarification.

                      Link: http://www.snopes.com/toxins/canola.htm

                2. m
                  Michael Rodriguez

                  Rice bran oil has become my favorite. Take a lok at this website: http://californiariceoil.com/.

                  It's flavor neutral and does not smoke until the pan melts. Good stuff.

                  1. Thank you all, lot of helpful stuff here. For higher temperature stuff, meat and fish, I want no additional flavor from the oil, so I guess safflower would work. Lower temperatures is where I do my hippie stir-fry, and I like the flavors of olive and sesame oils there.

                    Um, think I'll grill over coals in the yard tonight.

                    Again, thanks all.