Many people believe that you shouldn’t use olive oil when cooking over high heat. The truth is, you can even stir fry vegetables using extra virgin olive oil. Nevertheless, overheated oil gives food a burnt flavor, destroys nutrients, and forms harmful toxins; hence you need to choose your oil wisely.
Various cooking oils have different smoke points. This is because impurities and fatty acids in oil cause the oil to smoke, affecting its smoking point. In general, refined oils like corn oil have a higher smoke point than unrefined oils and are more suited to cooking at high temperatures.
Smoke point is a term used to refer to the temperature at which oil produces smoke and starts to burn. In this article, we will discuss various cooking oil smoke points and the top 25 cooking oils. We will also provide answers to common questions regarding these oils.
1. Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 190-207°C (374-405°F). Olive oil is among the most nutritious cooking oils available, plus it’s safe to use for most cooking methods.
Extra Virgin (Pure) Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 207°C (405°F). This oil is nutrient-dense and suitable for oven roasting, sautéeing, pan-frying, and stir-frying over medium-high heat. It’s also great for salad dressings, adding to cooked foods, and rich in vitamin E, but – it’s unsuitable for high-temperature cooking.
Virgin Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 210℃ (410°F). High in saturated fats and beneficial triglycerides, this oil is ideal for medium-temperature cooking.
Light Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 240°C (465°F). This oil is refined and has a neutral taste. It’s ideal for all types of cooking and baking.
Refined Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 240°C (465°F). Labeled as either “pure olive oil” or plain “olive oil,” this oil has a bland taste. Its high smoke point allows for high-heat cooking styles such as deep-frying and roasting.
Olive Pomace Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 238°C (460°F). Its high smoke point makes it suitable for deep frying in restaurants or industrial settings. However, it doesn’t have the flavor or health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.
Extra Light Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 242°C (468°F). It has a neutral taste making it ideal for cooking and baking.
High Quality (Low Acidity) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 207°C (405°F). Low acidity ensures the oil’s premium quality. It means the fruit has undergone little damage, thus giving a healthier product.
Is It Wrong to Cook With Olive Oil at High Heat?
No. Quality extra virgin olive oil is chemically stable, resists heat well, and doesn’t oxidize during cooking. However, overheating can affect the flavor and degrade its antioxidants.
Is Olive Oil a High Smoke Point?
While high-quality extra virgin olive oil has a high smoke point, since it has a low level of free fatty acids, low-quality olive oil has a low smoke point.
What Happens When Olive Oil Reaches Smoke Point?
It generates free radicals and toxins which are harmful to your body.
2. Canola Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 220-230°C (428-446°F). An excellent source of monounsaturated fat, it’s also high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. This oil is among the lowest in saturated fats. You can use it for pan-frying, sautéeing, and baking.
Smoke point: 204°C (400°F). This oil lacks nutrients such as antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamins.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). It contains both flavor and nutrients. Unfortunately, it’s very pricey and not easy to find.
This oil sports a nutty flavor and is suitable for salad dressings, frying, roasting, and baking.
Smoke Point: 190-232°C (375-450°F). Unlike refined canola oil, which is refined using a chemical solvent, an expeller press squeezes the oil from the seed. The oil is more expensive, though.
Smoke Point: 177°C (350°F). This oil goes through neutralization and bleaching during refining.
Is Canola Oil Refined?
This is a refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) oil that undergoes a chemical process during manufacturing.
Is Expeller Pressed Canola Oil Better?
This oil undergoes less processing, which doesn’t use chemical solvents; hence it has more nutrients.
3. Vegetable Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 205-230°C (400-450°F). This is a blend of many oils, such as corn, sunflower, and soybean. It’s excellent for frying because it has a high smoke point.
Smoke Point: 220°C (428°F). This oil is extracted using solvents, which results in a stable, colorless, easy to preserve oil, with no aroma.
Does Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil Have a Higher Smoke Point?
Refined vegetable oil has a higher smoke point than extra-virgin olive oil, but it can decrease due to cooking.
Will Vegetable Oil Catch Fire In the Oven?
No, this is not likely to happen.
4. Avocado Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 190-205°C (375-400°F). High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, it’s suitable for cooking in extreme temperatures; frying, roasting, grilling, baking, and in salad dressings.
Smoke point: 248°C (480°F). Ideal for high-heat cooking methods like sautéing and roasting.
Smoke point: 190°C (375°F). A very healthy oil but unsuitable for high-heat cooking.
Smoke point: 190°C (375°F). It has a strong avocado flavor, so it’s best suited in vinaigrettes.
Smoke Point: 270°C (520°F). It has a very high smoke point and is great for searing meats and frying food.
Smoke Point: 260°C (500°F). Ideal for searing, stir-frying, and baking at a high temperature.
Smoke Point: 250°C (482°F). A good source of vitamin E, omega-9 fatty acids, and lutein – promotes vision.
Can You Fry With Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil has a high smoke point, so it’s suitable for frying.
Which Avocado Oil Is Best for Cooking?
Cold-pressed (extra virgin) avocado oil is best since it retains all its nutrients and flavor during extraction.
5. Coconut Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 350°F (177°C). Good for sautéeing and baking, it doesn’t turn rancid since it is high in saturated fat.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). High in saturated and medium-chain fats, which boost your immunity, energy, and metabolism. It has a delicious flavor and is ideal for mid-temperature cooking.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Best for baking and sautéeing.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Unsuitable for serious frying due to its low smoke point.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). Sports a neutral flavor and aroma, and is great for baking and stir-frying.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Due to its high saturated fat content, high-quality oil withstands high temperatures, so it’s ideal for frying, sautéing, and baking.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Made from fresh coconut meat, this is the most affordable coconut oil and it’s great for baking, frying, and sautéing.
What’s the Difference Between Refined and Unrefined Coconut Oil?
Unlike refined coconut oil, unrefined coconut oil has a strong coconut taste and smell.
Can I Use Coconut Oil to Fry Eggs?
You can fry eggs with coconut oil using moderate heat.
6. Grapeseed Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 216°C (420°F). A good source of vitamin E, you can use it for frying, sautéeing, baking, and salad dressings.
Smoke point: 204°C (400°F). This oil is healthier because it doesn’t use high heat or solvents during processing.
Smoke point: 216°C (420°F). High in omega-6 but high intake might cause inflammation.
Smoke point: 204°C (400°F). Great for topical use since it contains vitamin E, and it’s rich in moisturizing fatty acids.
Does Grapeseed Oil Go Bad?
If placed in the refrigerator, grape seed oil will keep for around six months after opening, and three months in a cool, dark place.
Does Grapeseed Oil Reduce Wrinkles?
Pure grapeseed oil contains polyphenols that help reduce wrinkles.
7. Peanut Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 227-229°C (441-445°F). Ideal for cooking at high temperatures; pan-frying, deep-frying, grilling, and baking.
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). Popular in Indian cooking.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). Commonly used in restaurants to fry chicken and french fries.
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). It has a mild flavor making it suitable for salad dressings.
What Are the Benefits of Peanut Oil?
It is rich in unsaturated fats, cholesterol-free, low in saturated fats, and contains vitamin E.
Is Peanut Oil Tasty?
Peanut oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor.
8. Sesame (Seed) Oil Smoke Point
Smoke Point: 210°C (410°F). This all-purpose oil has a nutty flavor and is great for making sautés and roasts.
It’s rich in mono- and polyunsaturated acids (PUFAs) that help lower cholesterol, and low in saturated fats
Made using a natural process, it retains most of its nutrients and has a sweet taste.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Tastes different from toasted sesame oil because it comes from raw seeds. It’s unsuitable for frying but suitable for salads.
It has medicinal qualities, and many people believe that it can remove body toxins.
Smoke Point: 210-230°C (410-446°F). It has a high smoke point that’s ideal for deep-frying.
This oil comes from roasted sesame seeds. It has a lower smoke point and is best for stir-frying and sautéing meats or vegetables.
Smoke point: 210°C (410°F). It has a light, subtle flavor and is great for baking.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). It works as a flavoring agent in the last stages of cooking.
Smoke point: 210°C (410°F). It has a nutty taste that makes food flavourful.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). This oil has less flavor and scent, but a high smoke point that makes it great for sautés and stir-fries.
Why Is Dark Sesame Oil Unsuitable for Frying?
Because it has a strong smoky taste that might turn bitter when heated.
What’s the Best Alternative for Sesame Oil?
Any nut oil such as walnut oil.
9. Soybean (Soy) Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 234°C (453°F). Very rich in Vitamin K and omega-6 fatty acids, soybean also contains Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). Its high smoke point makes it suited to high-heat cooking.
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). Good for medium-heating cooking methods like low-heat baking and gentle sautéing.
Rich in monounsaturated fats, low in saturated fats and offers you a long shelf life
Ideal for salad dressings, baking, and light frying.
Smoke point: 180°C (360°F). This flavorless oil has a light texture and is ideal for frying, baking, or in marinades.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Suitable for medium-heat cooking styles, including baking, sautéing, and salad dressing.
Is Soybean Effective Against Cholesterol?
Soybean oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats, which may lower cholesterol and minimize the risk of heart disease.
What Are the Health Benefits of Soybean Oil?
It helps boost skin health, prevents bone loss, and provides omega-3 fatty acids.
10. Sunflower (Seed) Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 227°C (441°F). Suitable for deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, and baking. It’s high in vitamin E and low in saturated fat, which might benefit heart health.
Smoke point: 227°C (440°F). This oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and low in viscosity. It also has a mild flavor and long shelf life.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). This oil is less heat-stable, thus well-suited to low heat dishes. It also retains more of its nutrient content, taste, and color, making it ideal for salad dressing.
It has a high smoke point, rich texture, and is cholesterol-free. Suitable for salads, sauces, baking, and grilling.
Rich in Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids, it’s ideal for high-heat cooking.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). This oil is the first press and superior to other cold-pressed sunflower oils. It also has a higher price tag.
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). This oil resists oxidation, is high in oleic acid, and nutritional value.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). This oil is unsuitable for home cooking. Instead, it’s best for industrial frying and packaged foods.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). Suitable for high-temperature cooking.
Does Sunflower Oil Have Negative Side Effects?
Though it has a high smoke point, sunflower oil releases toxic fumes when repeatedly heated to 82°C (180°F).
What Is High-Oleic Sunflower Oil?
This oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid, which may help lower cholesterol levels.
11. Corn Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 230-238°C (446-460°F). Corn oil has low levels of saturated and monounsaturated fats. It’s excellent for frying and baking at medium-high temperatures.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). It contains Vitamin E, linoleic acid, and may help minimize the risk of heart disease.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). You can use Mazola corn oil for various cooking needs – stir-frying, sautéing, salads – and enhancing your food flavor.
Smoke point: 178°C (352°F). When ingested, unrefined corn oil might lower LDL cholesterol. It’s excellent for frying since it can withstand high heat.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). A high smoke point makes this oil ideal for frying.
Can You Substitute Vegetable Oil With Corn Oil?
Yes, you can replace vegetable oil with corn oil in recipes.
Which Oil Is Similar to Corn Oil?
Any flavorless, plant-based oil such as canola or safflower oil.
12. Flaxseed Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). Flaxseed (linseed) oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can drizzle it over food, use it for salad dressings, and in smoothies.
Smoke point: 107 °C (225°F). Due to its low smoke point, this oil is ill-suited for cooking. Besides, it can form toxic compounds on exposure to high heat.
Excellent for seasoning your cast iron pan as it forms a double layer of seasoning when exposed to heat.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). Without refrigeration, this oil oxidizes quickly, becomes rancid, and bears an unpleasant odor. You can substitute flaxseed oil for other oils in sauces, salad dressings, and dips.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). This oil has a nutty flavor. Don’t subject it to heat as it turns bitter. Instead, use it in your salads and dessert toppings.
How Do I Store My Flaxseed Oil?
To preserve its nutritional value and taste, place your oil in the refrigerator.
Is Flaxseed Okay for Men?
Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which behave like estrogen found in women. The more lignans in your body, the more low testosterone-like symptoms your body is likely to exhibit.
13. Walnut Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). A good source of ALA. It has a very low smoke point and is unsuitable for cooking.
Smoke point: 204°C (400°F). Good for flavoring fish and steaks, tossing with pasta, and in desserts.
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). With its rich flavor, this oil is suitable for salad dressings, drizzling over soups, or seasoning meat.
Can You Cook With Walnut Oil?
It’s better to use it in salads or sauces because when heated, it becomes slightly bitter.
Can Rancid Walnut Oil Hurt You?
The oil tastes off and can mess your recipes. It might also lose some of its health benefits.
14. Safflower Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). An excellent source of vitamin E, it’s ideal for
deep-frying, searing, roasting, and baking. Also great in salad dressings as it has a mild flavor.
Smoke point: 266°C (510°F). A light-colored, neutral-flavored oil that’s great for deep frying.
Smoke point: 107°C (225°F). High in Vitamin E, this oil is superb in salad dressings since it has a mild flavor.
Smoke point: 244°C (471°F). This monounsaturated oil can withstand high heat and is great for deep frying.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). This oil is full of healthy fats, has a mild flavor, and withstands heat. It’s ideal for sautéing and frying.
This oil has high nutritional content. Use it to make vinaigrettes or for pouring over vegetables.
Smoke point: 232°C (450°F). Best for baking, sautés, and dressings.
Smoke point: 246°C (475°F). Ideal for cooking with high temperatures.
Smoke point: 169°C (320°F). Suitable for frying and baking at mid-level heat.
Is Safflower Oil Better Than Olive Oil?
While both contain healthy saturated fats, safflower oil has a milder taste and a higher smoking point.
Can You Use Safflower Cooking Oil on the Face?
Safflower oil makes an excellent moisturizer as it’s rich in linoleic acid, which helps to balance sebum levels. It’s also light, non-greasy, and gets into the skin fast.
15. MCT Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 160°C (320°F). Keto-friendly and viable for low and mid-temperature cooking.
Can You Bake With MCT Oil?
You can use MCT oil if your baking temperature is not above its smoke point.
Does MCT Oil Make You Poop?
MCT oil helps relieve constipation due to its fast absorption.
16. Almond Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 221°C (430°F).You can use almond oil for frying, grilling, baking, and salad dressings. It’s a great source of vitamin E, antioxidants, and also high in monounsaturated fat.
Smoke point: 221°C (430°F). This oil retains most of its nutrients, making it a healthier option for culinary purposes.
Smoke point: 215°C (420°F). This oil is less nutritious than the unrefined type, but it can withstand higher temperatures and is less pricey.
How Can I Use Unrefined Almond Oil?
To make salad dressings or to add a nutty flavor to cooked food or
Why Is It Not Advisable to Heat Unrefined Almond oil?
Because high heat can destroy its nutritional value.
17. Mustard Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 250°C (480°F). Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, boasts a spicy flavor, strong aroma, and a high smoke point. It’s suitable for vegetable sautées, stir-fries, and making pickles.
Smoke point: 177°C (351°F). Popular in Indian cooking, it retains most of its nutrients and is high in natural flavors.
Smoke point: 177°C (350°F). Teeming with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, this oil promotes heart health, boosts appetite, and hair growth.
Is Mustard Oil Good for Colds?
Mustard oil treats coughs and colds and helps to clear congestion.
Why Is Mustard Oil Banned for Use in the U.S.?
Because it contains erucic acid, which may affect heart health.
18. Macadamia Nut Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 210°C (410°F). A monounsaturated fat that’s ideal for frying food in high heat.
Is Macadamia Nut Oil Good for Cooking?
It’s a healthy oil containing unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E.
Can I Use Macadamia Oil if Allergic to Nuts?
The amount of tree nut proteins in the oil might not be enough to trigger an allergic reaction.
19. Crisco (Brand) Vegetable Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 180°C (360°F). This cholesterol-free oil is made from soybeans and is ideal for baking, searing, and roasting.
How Do I Store My Crisco Vegetable Oil?
In the pantry or refrigerator, if in a warmer climate. Allow it to return to room temperature for the best cooking results.
Why Is My Crisco Oil Cloudy?
This occurs when you keep your oil in the refrigerator as the oil thickens.
20. Wesson (Brand) Vegetable Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 234°C (453°F). This is an all-purpose oil that you can use for baking or frying.
What Is Wesson Vegetable Oil Made From?
Where Is Wesson Oil Produced?
Wesson Oil is blended and packaged in Memphis, Tennessee.
21. Rice Bran Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 260°C (490°F). This oil is nutritious, has a nutty flavor, and is ideal for cooking at high temperatures.
Smoke point: 204-232°C (400-450°F). May help slow down aging, lower cancer risk, and help with weight loss.
Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy?
Rice bran is a heart-healthy oil with antioxidants and micronutrients that aid in fighting free radicals.
Why Is Rice Bran Oil Economical?
Because food cooked in it absorbs less oil due to its light viscosity.
22. Palm Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 235°C (455°F). Also known as palm kernel oil, palm oil has no trans fats, but it’s high in saturated fats and is ideal for high-heat cooking.
Is Palm Oil Bad for You?
Palm oil is widely used in restaurants though vegetable oils that remain liquid at room temperature like canola oil might be better options.
Why Is Palm Oil Popular?
It’s a high-yielding vegetable oil making its production cost-effective.
23. Red Palm Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 150-235°C (300-450°F). Red palm oil is ideal for high heat cooking. It resists rancidity due to its saturated fats and high antioxidant content and is also rich in beta-carotene.
Smoke point: 150°C (300°F). This oil has the highest concentration of vitamins A and E among plant-based oils.
Smoke point: 235°C (450°F). Refined oil contains fewer nutrients, which alters its taste and color.
What Is the Difference Between Palm Oil and Red Palm Oil?
Palm (kernel) oil comes from the seed of the fruit and red palm oil from the pulp.
Is Red Palm Oil Good for Baking?
Unrefined red palm oil is delicious, nutrient-rich, and boasts a carrot-like flavor, making baked products appealing.
24. Hemp (Seed) Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 165°C (330°F).The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil are not affected by high heat. You can, therefore, cook at temperatures slightly above the smoke point for up to thirty minutes.
What’s the Best Way to Use Hemp Seed Oil?
Drizzling it over your salad or vegetables.
Can You Fry With Hemp Seed Oil?
Since the oil has a low smoke point, it’s not ideal for frying.
25. Pecan Oil Smoke Point
Smoke point: 243°C (470°F). Boasts a mild nutty flavor making it ideal for dips or salad dressings.
What Is Pecan Oil Used For?
It’s best for deep frying, sautéing, and making sauces.
What’s the Best Way to Store Pecan Oil?
Once opened, keep the oil in the fridge as it goes rancid quickly.
How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil
Choosing the best cooking oil is not a walk in the park, as there are so many varieties to choose from. Besides, selecting the best oil depends on several factors. A healthy oil has:
- A high smoke point
- A healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
- Vitamins and antioxidants
Also, your choice will depend on the intended use. For instance, when selecting an oil for high-heat cooking, opt for one with a high smoke point above 204°C (400°F), such as corn oil, refined avocado oil, or canola oil.
Oils used for low-temperature cooking and salad dressing include oils high in omega 3 and omega 9 (oleic) fatty acids like extra virgin olive oil. They are also healthier since they boost cell health, lower the risk of a heart attack, and help reduce the risk of cancer.
Note that unrefined oils have a low smoke point and should not be heated. Examples include flaxseed and walnut oil. In general, the healthiest option is to use organic, unrefined, cold-processed oils, although they tend to be pricey.
Consider the flavor of your preferred oil too. Oils such as vegetable or canola are bland, thus have zero impact on how your food tastes. But extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavor and is more suited to savory foods.
Which Oil Has the Highest Smoke Point?
High smoke point oils include avocado (refined), olive, corn, canola, and grapeseed oil. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest smoke point among these.
Which Is the Healthiest Oil for Frying food?
Saturated fats like coconut oil are the most ideal for high-heat cooking since they don’t oxidize quickly.
Are Unrefined Oils Better Than Refined Oils?
Some oils like avocado present a higher smoke point when refined, making them ideal for high-heat cooking. However, the refining process removes beneficial fatty acids, so it’s best not to consume such oils for long. It’s better to buy expeller-pressed, naturally refined oils without chemicals, solvents, or lye.
Can You Cook With Omega 3 or Omega 6 Rich Oils?
High heat destroys the health benefits of these oils, causing them to produce harmful byproducts. They are best suited for salads.
Which Cooking Oil Is Best for Weight Loss?
Since all cooking oils are fats, none is ideal. Nonetheless, you can use olive, peanut, or mustard oil as part of a healthy eating plan.
As mentioned earlier, your choice of cooking oil depends on its intended use, nutritional benefits, and flavor. Nevertheless, whatever you use your cooking oil for; stir-frying, baking, or blending in a smoothie, don’t stock up. Why?
With time, heat, light, and oxygen exposure generate free radicals that may degrade the taste, odor, and quality of your oil. Always store your cooking oils in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator.
Finally, don’t pour used cooking oil down the kitchen sink as it will cause a blockage. Instead, place it in a leak-proof container and discard it with your garbage. Follow these guidelines, and you will enjoy cooking with your preferred oil.