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May 7, 2010 08:56 PM

Smoke Points of common cooking oils

I thought some of you might appreciate this.

Fat Smoke Point °F
Unrefined canola oil 225°F
Unrefined flaxseed oil 225°F
Unrefined safflower oil 225°F
Unrefined sunflower oil 225°F
Unrefined corn oil 320°F
Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil 320°F
Extra virgin olive oil 320°F
Unrefined peanut oil 320°F
Semirefined safflower oil 320°F
Unrefined soy oil 320°F
Unrefined walnut oil 320°F
Hemp seed oil 330°F
Butter (clarified) 350°F
Semirefined canola oil 350°F
Coconut oil 350°F
Unrefined sesame oil 350°F
Semirefined soy oil 350°F
Vegetable shortening 360°F
Lard 370°F
Macadamia nut oil 390°F
Refined canola oil 400°F
Semirefined walnut oil 400°F
Extra virgin olive oil 405°F
Sesame oil 410°F
Cottonseed oil 420°F
Grapeseed oil 420°F
Virgin olive oil 420°F
Almond oil 420°F
Hazelnut oil 430°F
Peanut oil 440°F
Sunflower oil 440°F
Refined corn oil 450°F
Refined sunflower oil 450°F
Refined peanut oil 450°F
Refined Safflower oil 450°F
Semirefined sesame oil 450°F
Refined soy oil 450°F
Semirefined sunflower oil 450°F
Olive pomace oil 460°F
Extra light olive oit 468°F
Soybean oil 495°F
Safflower oil 510°F
Avocado oil 520°F

What's a pomace? {shrugs}

"Refined oils are extracted by solvent extraction for further refining in order to produce
clear oil that is free from rancidity and foreign matter. These oils are used as medium
cooking oils (225°F to 350°F), high cooking oils (350°F to 450°F) and deep frying oils
(greater than 450°F). Refined oils are bland and pale. They have negligible flavor and
aroma which makes them ideal for preparing delicately flavored dishes. Use for baking,
sauteing, stir-fry and wok cooking, baking, searing, browning, deep-frying and pan-frying."

"Unrefined oils are processed by cold-pressed and expeller-pressed methods. They
carry the true flavor of the plant from which the oil is made. The strong flavor of unrefined oils may overwhelm the dish or baked good that is prepared with them; however, strong flavor is not always undesirable and some unrefined oils are used as flavoring agents. (Generally, when there is a strong natural flavor and aroma, there is a higher amount of nutritional value.) These oils are typically called salad oils and are used for salad dressings, marinades, sauces and as light cooking oils for light sautes and low heat baking. As a general rule, they should not be cooked at high temperatures. (The one exception is unrefined safflower oil which is capable of reaching a temperature necessary for deep-frying.) Unrefined oils should not be used at temperatures above 320°F."

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  1. So I guess avocado oil tastes like guacamole?

    1. So what would be your main go to oil?

      One that was relatively tasteless, had a high smoke point, one that you could use for sauteing, pan frying and deep fat frying so i guess the smoke point would have to be above 375 degree F.

      All those characteristics plus fairly low in saturated fats and fairly high in polyunsaturated fats.

      15 Replies
      1. re: tonka11_99

        Refined peanut and grapeseed for frying, deep or otherwise, although olive oil, not EVOO, and not pomace, for pan sautéing. Soybean for baking with oil.

        Pomace is the pulpy oily residue from which olive oil has been extracted by either pressure or centrifugation. The remnant solid substance of the extraction still contains some oil. Oddly enough, from my understanding, grapeseed oil is a form of refined grape seed pomace. The word pomace refers to fruit pulp or solids remaining after extraction. Grape pomace is used to make marc or grappa. Have you tried grappa? Intense.

        Pomace is usually cheaper than other olive oil types and not so tasty, imo.

        Nice work on the post; it's a pretty frequently asked question on the cooking board here and this would be nice for posters to copy and save.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Why couldn't you use refined peanut oil or refined safflower oil as your go to oil? I am not really sure how expensive some of these oils are.

          1. re: tonka11_99

            Yes, that's what I mean, refined peanut and grapeseed, to clarify. Soybean is great also, and fairly cheap by the gallon. Depends on the buget as to whether I have all those oils in my pantry. Peanut oil is quite pricy now, as is grapeseed, but I don't do much deep frying, anyway. But those are my favorites, budget aside.

            What do you use?

            I edited my post for clarification.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Well, I have been using canola or vegetable oil but Soybean, grapeseed and safflower oil have much higher smoke points plus they are all low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated fats.

              I'm not even sure I have ever seen grapeseed oil. I assume these 3 oils are relatively tasteless due to their high amount of processing.

              1. re: tonka11_99

                Yes, quite tasteless, due to processing, plus the low sat and high polyunsat fat thing. I have never compared the taste of unrefined and refined soybean oil and couldn't tell you if there's much flavor in the unrefined version.

                Vegetable oil is straight soybean oil, normally, or possibly a blend of soy, sunflower or safflower, depending on the brand. My vegetable oil is straight soybean. Look at the label of your bottle to see the ingredient(s) your's contains.

                You didn't ask, but I can't tell you why it's called vegetable oil, rather than soybean, maybe "soybean" doesn't set so well with consumers, just as rapeseed oil is called Canola, which stand for Canadian Oil Low Acid. Sounds better, don't you think? I guess it's all about consumer perception.

                Grapeseed oil is available at markets like Whole Foods or Fairway in NY, probably Trader Joe's, or health food stores have it sometimes. Certainly not my local crappy Associated Market.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Well, I just got back from the grocery store and Safflower oil was about twice what regular oil is and grapeseed oil was prohibitive. It was actually with the EVOO.

                  However, Wessons 100% natural vegetable oil is 100% soybean oil which has a very high smoke point and is low in saturated fats. The cost is about what all the other oils was so I guess I use wessons 100% natural vegetable oil now.

                  1. re: tonka11_99

                    I tried the new oil (Wesson's) searing a Pork Tenderloin. I liked how the oil performed.

                    It was better than the canola oil I had been using. No smoke No scorching.

                    1. re: tonka11_99

                      Next time you are out and about stop at a local ethnic grocery store. I was turned onto grapeseed oil while shopping at a local Korean grocer in the DFW area. I could buy a liter for less than the same size bottle at my local Wal-mart or Kroger of vegetable oil. I know do a fair amount of shopping at the Korean store - while the front label may not be in English, if you turn the bottle is all in English. :-) Soy Sauce, etc is much more economical this way as well.

                  2. re: tonka11_99


                    You can find grape seed oil here and there. Not the most popular oils, but nothing difficult to find like walnut oil or avocado oil. All those information about saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats is only true when the oil is below the smoke point. Once you heat extra virgin olive oil above its smoke point, then its health benefit goes out the window. (I don't mean overheating the oil for a few seconds, I mean for an extended peroid of time)

                    1. re: tonka11_99

                      For high-heat frying or sauteeing, I like grapeseed or safflower oil, mostly because I really dislike peanut and canola oils. I hate the taste of one and the smell of the other. YMMV

                2. re: bushwickgirl

                  I'm an engineer so I got carried away with the project. I put it in a spreadsheet, added coulumns for temp in Centigrage, % saturated fat, % unsaturated fat and % Polyunsaturated fats. I just didn't have a good way of posting it.

                  1. re: tonka11_99

                    Yes, soybean oil is right up my budget ally these days. I've gotten away from using canola and have some peanut, which I'm conserving.

                    Just a random thought but it might be of interest to you, have you looked that the website "cooking for engineers?"


                    My brother is a structural engineer in Boston; only engineer I've ever known.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      Yes love the site. I am constantly amused at myself and other engineers. The details we will look into. {shakes head}

                      I am toying with the idea of making a sous vide chamber. Another possible project would be to make a really accurate electric smoker that controls temperature to 1 degree.

                      1. re: tonka11_99

                        "accurate electric smoker that controls temperature to 1 degree."

                        Now that would be detailed.

                      2. re: bushwickgirl

                        Despite the fact, I know that cooking for engineer website, the web address always make me read cooking-foreigners

                3. Did anybody ever answer, "Does avocado oil taste like avocados"?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tonka11_99

                    I don't know the precise temp but one of the selling points of camellia or tea oil (pressed from the seeds of the tea plant) is that it is supposed to have an INCREDIBLY high smoke point and to leave a lot foods fried in it tasting particualry "light" (It was long a particualr favortie of Buddist monks who beleive that the lightness imbued in thier food by the oil would assist in thier enlightement)

                    And no avacado seed oil does not taste much like avocadoes any more than grapseed oil tastes much like grapes.

                    1. re: tonka11_99

                      I'm waiting patiently for an answer to that one, too.

                      And there's the answer!

                    2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil appears twice and at two very different temperatures on this list (320/405) degrees. Is Pure Olive Oil meant at one point?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        yeah I stole most of the list off a website and it was like that. I would think the lower temperature is more accurate.

                        1. re: tonka11_99

                          That second listing for extra virgin olive oil is high quality low acidity extra virgin olive oil

                          1. re: tonka11_99

                            Oh, and good luck determining if your oil is refined or not from reading the label.

                            1. re: tonka11_99

                              Ah, well, do you mean EVOO would fry, if you were silly human enough to use it for that application, at the lower temp and pure olive oil at the higher? I think the list maker meant to assign the 405° to pure olive oil. A typo, no doubt.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                Current price for Pomace, Italian off brand, $7.99 for 100 oz. or about 3.8 liters, the pack size was listed as 100 oz. Now that's a giveaway. But you have to like the stuff.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  It tastes disgusting. Don't they process it with chemicals? It is third pressing, I believe.

                                  I hate canola oil too. To me, it smells like rotting fish.

                          2. a popular oil for frying these days is rice bran oil. Ive not tried and reading about it , it seems a bit of hype. Although I have friends in the business that love it.