We hear a lot about eating olive and avocado oils because of their health benefits or hazelnut and macadamia nut oils because of their flavor. However, your choice of oil may come down more to its cooking properties. It’s one thing if you’re just drizzling the oil over your salad or adding it as a finishing touch to a dish, but cooking with oils is a whole different story. When oil is exposed to high heat, it can go from a slight shimmering in the pan to smoking. At that point, the oil is actually burning – not something you want when you’re cooking because it can impart an undesirable burnt or bitter flavor. Not only that, it can be downright unhealthy because of the free radicals it creates that can harm the body.
So, before using any oil, check out its smoke point. Depending upon the type of oil, the temperature at an oil’s smoke point can range from as low as 325 degrees F to 520 degrees F.
|Oil||Smoke Point ºF|
|Avocado Oil, Virgin||375ºF|
|Butter, Clarified or Ghee||450ºF|
|Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin||350ºF|
|Olive Oil, Extra Virgin||350ºF|
|Olive Oil, light||465ºF|
|Pork Fat or Lard||370ºF|