The Full Report: The Smoke Point of Bulk Olive Oil & Other Edible Oils

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

The Full Report: The Smoke Point of Bulk Olive Oil & Other Edible OilsThe other day, I sauteed vegetables on my stovetop.  I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the pan, and I was in a hurry so I turned the heat up to get the food cooking faster.  Next thing I knew, I got sidetracked and smoke was billowing from the pan.  

How many of you have experienced this before?

This scenario can happen with any oil that you're cooking with, but some are more prone to it than others.  

Why is that?  It has to do with the smoke point of the oil.

Every type of oil has a miximum heat that it can withstand.  After it heats beyond that point, the oil begins to breakdown and smoke begins to waft up.  The hotter it gets, the more it smokes.  

This can also happen in a manufacturing setting-- not just your home kitchen.  If this happens in production, the result is wasted ingredients, a damaged product, and a number of other physical hazards.  

The best way to avoid this situation is to know the smoke point of the oil you're using, and not heat it above that temperature.  Otherwise, you could damage the flavor of your product and get yourself into quite a pickle in the warehouse.

The Smoke Point Of Various Cooking Oils

It's good to know the smoke point of a variety of oils when you're in the research stage, deciding which oil you'd like to use.  For example, if you will be using the oil to fry in high temperatures, you're going to want to choose something that has a higher smoke point.

Here's one of our favorite infographics on the smoke points of a variety of common cooking oils.

 

Who Decides Smoke Points?

There's a number of different people who can tell you that an oil has a particular smoke point.  The manufacturering mill, a lab technition, an experimenting chef.  

There's also a number of factors in the oil that can vary, causing that temperature to be off slighly.  This is more common in natural, unrefined oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it's not the same across the board with every lot of Extra Virgin you'll run in to.  Because of that, the exact smoke points of some of the oils are explained differently by different experts.  

It's best to use all of their debated information as a range to keep in mind.  This keeps you on the safe side.

The Smoke Point Reference Chart

Here's a common guide that will give you a basic smoke reference point for a number of different cooking oils.  This doesn't reflect specific manufacturers findings, so you may find different information on our spec sheets.  It is, however, a good guide in your initial research process.

 

Fat

Quality

Smoke Point

Flax seed oil
Unrefined 225°F
Safflower oil
Unrefined 225°F
Sunflower oil
Unrefined 225°F
Butter
  250–300°F
Peanut oil
Unrefined 320°F
Safflower oil
Semirefined 320°F
Soybean oil
Unrefined 320°F
Sunflower oil, high oleic
Unrefined 320°F
Walnut oil
Unrefined 320°F
Hemp oil
  330°F
Coconut oil
Virgin (Unrefined) 350°F[7]
Sesame oil
Unrefined 350°F
Soybean oil
Semirefined 350°F
Corn oil
Unrefined 352°F
Vegetable shortening
  360°F
Avocado oil
Un-Refined, Virgin 375-400°F
Canola oil(Rapeseed)
Expeller Press 375-450°F[5]
Olive oil
Extra virgin 375°F
Lard
  390°F
Olive oil
Virgin 391°F
Castor oil
Refined 392°F
Canola oil
Refined 400°F
Walnut oil
Semirefined 400°F
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity)
Extra virgin 405°F
Macadamia oil
  413°F
Tallow (Beef)
  420°F
Cottonseed oil
  420°F
Almond oil
  420°F
Grapeseed oil
  420°F
Hazelnut oil
  430°F
Sunflower oil
Refined 440°F
Corn oil
Refined 450°F
Peanut oil
Refined 450°F
Coconut oil
Refined with stabilizers 450°F
Sesame oil
Semirefined 450°F
Sunflower oil
Semirefined 450°F
Palm oil
Difractionated 455°F
Olive oil
Pomace 460°F
Soybean oil
Refined 460°F
Olive oil
Extra light 468°F
Canola oil
High Oleic 475°F
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)
  485°F
Tea seed oil
  485°F
Mustard oil
  489°F
Rice bran oil
  490°F
Safflower oil
Refined 510°F
Avocado oil
Refined 520°F

 

Reference Chart Source: Wikipedia

Topics: Comparing Oils, Quality Control

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