Smoke Points of Cooking Oils And Fats
Smoke Points of cooking oils and Fats play a very distinctive role in selecting suitable oil for specific food recipes. Generally, we prepare food recipes using cooking oils for deep frying, shallow frying, sautéing and oil seasoning and dressing.
For each method, thus the smoke point of cooking oil and Fats plays a vital role and makes your recipe unique and healthy.
The smoke point of Oil helps us to decide how the oil can be used. Using the correct oil for your cooking method is important for flavour and health. You may have observed and seen a smoky kitchen in your life and that happens when our oil selection is wrong for our cooking method.
What is the Smoke Point of Oil Means?
The smoke point of an Oil refers to the temperature when the cooking oil starts to smoke and this smoke comes out of the oil before reaching its boiling point.
Excessive heating of oil beyond its smoke point may lead to the formation of toxic or in some cases cancer-inducing substances and also create the burnt flavour of your dishes.
So it is important to have a fair knowledge about the smoke points and a perfect selection of cooking oil or fat for different healthy food preparations.
Each oil has a different smoke point, and it affects nutrition, flavour, and the best cooking method. If you’re using oil to sauté or fry food, the smoke point will be the moment when the oil smokes in the pan.
Why do Different Cooking Oils have different Smoke Points?
All types of Oils have different smoke points and these variable smoke points depend upon various factors like whether the oil is refined or not and whether the fats present in the oils are Poly unsaturated, Monounsaturated or Saturated.
At high temperatures, oils undergo various chemical and physical reactions including Oxidation, hydrolysis, cyclization, isomerisation and Polymerisation. And how and when these reactions occur depends on the following important factors.
During the refining process, many impurities and free fatty acids which cause smoke are also get removed. Thus refined oils have high smoke points but they are not good for health as they are chemically treated.
Types of Fats:
Oils which contain a higher percentage of Poly unsaturated Fats like Flaxseed oil, safflower oil and sunflower, tend to have lower smoke points.
Oils which have a high percentage of Monounsaturated Fats Canola, avocado and Olive oil) have medium-range smoke points.
And Oils which have a high percentage of saturated fats (Coconut and Palm Oil), tend to have high smoke points.
Higher ageing (from the date of extraction from oil seeds) and exposure to external factors (Air, sunlight & moisture), may lower the smoke point.
Smoke Points Of Different Oils:
On the basis of the above-mentioned facts, let’s know more about the smoke points of various varieties of cooking oils.
|Smoke Points of Cooking Oils & Fats|
|Oil Variety||Smoke Point (Degree Celsius*)||Variety of Oil/Fats||Best Used For|
|Avocado Oil||270*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Safflower Oil||266*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Sunflower Oil||254*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Ghee (Clarified Butter)||250*||Animal Fat (Dairy Product)||Sauté, quick pan-fry, bake, roast|
|Mustard Oil||250*||Unrefined||Sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Olive Oil||240*||Virgin Vegetable Oil||Sauté, pan-fry, grill, bake, roast|
|Palm Oil||235*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Soybean Oil||234*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Groundnut Oil (Peanut Oil)||232*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Rice Bran Oil||232*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Sesame Oil||232*||Unrefined||Sauté, stir-fry|
|Cotton Seed Oil||220*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Canola Oil (Rapeseed)||204*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sear, sauté, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, roast, grill, deep-fry|
|Grape Seed Oil||195*||Refined Vegetable Oil||Sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast|
|Coconut Oil||177*||Unrefined Cold Pressed||Sauté, pan-fry, bake, roast|
Smoke points of commonly used healthy cooking Oils in India:
In India, 80 % of the people are using refined oils as their main cooking oil but if we talk about the oils which are considered healthy and are being used in their natural forms, we will end us identifying major 5 types of oils which are extracted from different types of oil seeds.
These oils are Mustard Oil, Sesame Oil, Peanut Oil (Groundnut Oil) and Coconut Oil. It has been recommended by many doctors and dietary experts that we must use unrefined, unfiltered and chemical-free cold-pressed oils.
They are having their natural healthy ingredients intact as these oils are extracted by wood pressed method with natural sedimentation filtration process and are not free from any chemical treatment.
Let’s know more about the smoke points of these 5 varieties of oils along with their best suitable cooking purposes.
Sesame Oil Smoke Point:
The sesame oil smoke point is 232* Celsius and is best suitable for Sauté and stir-frying. Sesame Oil is extracted from White Sesame Seeds and Black Sesame Seeds and is widely used as a heart-healthy cooking oil in many Indian States.
Peanut Oil Smoke Point (Groundnut Oil Smoke Point):
Peanut Oil Smoke Point ranges between 232* to 235* Celsius and is best suitable for Sear, sauté, pan-fry, baking, roasting, grilling and deep-frying. Extracted from peanuts (Groundnut Seeds) and is one of the most used cooking oil in India.
Coconut Oil Smoke Point:
Coconut Oil is being used as cooking oil in southern states of India, Coconut Oil Smoke point is 175* Celsius and is ideal for Sauté, pan-fry, baking and roasting. In almost all tropical regions of India, coconut oil is used as edible oil.
Mustard Oil Smoke Point:
Mustard oil is the main cooking oil for all the common citizens of India specifically in the state of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states. Mustard Oil Smoke Point is 250* Celsius and is best suitable for Sauté, pan-fry, baking, roasting, grilling and deep Fry.
Ghee Smoke Point (Clarified Butter Smoke Point):
Ghee is one of the rich forms of cooking oil or fat which is used in India since ancient times and is considered the best edible oil or fat for daily consumption. Ghee Smoke Point is 250* Celsius and is best suitable for almost all cooking processes like Sauté, quick pan-fry, baking and roasting.
Smoke Point of cooking oil and fats plays an important role in cooking any kind of food recipe. No matter you are a food expert or a professional chef, you must always consider the smoke point of cooking oil and fats as an important parameter while opting for any type of oil or fat from the market.
Though the majority of families in India are using refined oils for their daily consumption, No doubt refined oils have higher smoke points in comparison to unrefined cold-pressed oils but the process of making refined oils left almost no nutritional value or natural oil nutrition which is otherwise intact in cold pressed oils.
Thus we must opt for cooking oils which are not refined, have more nutritional values, and maybe have little lower smoke points but are best suitable for our daily food preparations.