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Aug 9, 2005 11:56 AM

Oil for high temperature

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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.


      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).