All oils we use in the kitchen have an oil smoke point, defined by culinary expert Nick Sharma – author of The Flavor Equation – as “the temperature at which oil releases smoke, and begins to lose its flavor, taste, and health benefits.” Emily Lawrence credited it with saying, “Passing a smoke point is like burning money.”
And Dr. Joseph Provost, a professor of chemistry at the University of San Diego, warns, “The oil that is heated past the smoking point, may cause a change in the taste of food, make it smell bad, and can ignite causing chaos and damage.” Read also 9 things you need to know before serving chicken nuggets to your kids Early menstruation and obesity.. Today’s granddaughters pay the price for grandmothers’ use of pesticides Reducing calories or carbohydrate units… Which is better for losing weight?Sleeping and showering with cold water.. 7 things that ensure you burn fat without effort
German nutritionist Karen Laurents recommended not to exceed the smoking point of oil when frying, as “fatty substances decompose at a temperature of more than 230 degrees Celsius, and the rise of smoke is clear evidence of that.”
Difference between frying pan and oven
Provost stresses that the rule applies to the use of oil in pots that are placed on the stove top, such as a frying pan, but the situation is different when cooking in the oven, because there are many things that contribute to absorbing heat, such as the pot, food, water, sauce, or the moisture of meat or vegetables.
But when cooking on the stovetop, be aware of low-smoking cooking fats, such as butter that starts to smoke at 120-150°C (250-300°F).
7 temperatures of common oils
Provost says, “Because the oil temperature scale is not available to everyone, smoking points are a measure.” Although it is difficult to determine the temperatures at which the oil reaches the smoking point, “because of the different types of oil in terms of refining, and other factors,” he gave the closest degrees to smoking points. For 7 common cooking oils, in degrees Celsius:
- Canola: 205 degrees Celsius.
- Cottonseed oil: 215 ° C.
- Sunflower oil: 227 ° C.
- Corn oil: 232 ° C.
- Soybean oil: 238 ° C.
- Extra virgin olive oil: 238°C.
- Refined olive oil: 242°C.
6 factors affecting smoking points
According to experts, there are 6 factors that may affect the oil reaching the smoking point, including:
- Oil refining rate: Provost explains that “virgin or crude oils contain many flavor compounds that fall into the oil, causing smoking points.” Therefore, we find that the smoking point of extra virgin olive oil is much faster than refined, flavorless vegetable oils, such as corn, canola, and roti oils. the sun.
This is confirmed by the expert Laurents, saying that “natural oils contain more flavor and proteins, more than refined oils. They tend to burn faster.”
- The power and duration of the fire : In addition to the effect of the temperature of the stove on the oil when it is heated, Lorentz points out that “the period during which the oil remains on the fire plays a major role in the decomposition of fats, and then its combustion and release of smoke.”
- Food quality : According to Laurents also, “The quality of the food that is being fried affects the rate at which the components of the oil decompose. Acrylamide is formed at high temperatures in foods rich in carbohydrates. Oil also burns faster, when frying fish containing unsaturated fatty acids Omega-3.”
- The proportion of proteins and fatty acids : “Proteins and fatty acids are the most influential factor in reaching the smoking point, the more oil is in the oil, the lower the smoking point,” says Provost.
This is confirmed by the expert Laurents, saying, “Olive oil – for example – contains a large proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, so it has the ability to withstand heat, and therefore is suitable for browning, unlike sunflower oil, which is preferably added to cold foods, like power.”
- Saturated and monounsaturated fats : Oils in which “poly” polyunsaturated fats are high, such as canola, have a lower smoking point, followed by oils in which monounsaturated fats, such as avocado, are high, so the smoking point is medium. As for oils that are high in saturated and monounsaturated fats, such as refined palm and coconut oils, the smoking point is higher.
It is also useful to know that “animal fats, such as butter, have fewer smoking points than vegetable fats, due to milk solids that are prone to burning,” according to Provost.
- Frequency of use : Because the smoking point of oils decreases as a result of cooking, which requires disposal after a few times of frying. “Do not reuse frying oil more than twice, as reheating the oil breaks down beneficial polyphenol antioxidants, which can lead to the formation of carcinogenic compounds,” Kristi Del Corro, a registered dietitian at New York University, recommends.
Regarding the health effects of high-temperature cooking oils, “heating the oils past the smoking point has been linked to the formation of carcinogens,” del Corro said.
Dr. Provost spoke about “Acrolein”, as one of the components in oil smoke, which “can bind to amino acids in the body, causing changes in DNA, making it a possible carcinogen,” stressing that “the concentration and duration of exposure” are The basis for this effect. Those who cook a lot, burn a lot of oils, and then inhale the smoke are at greater risk.
The best oils
When it comes to cooking, certified dietitian Catherine Zeratsky recommends using oils with lower smoke levels, such as flaxseed and walnut oils, for salad dressings and sauces. As for oils such as avocado, olive and sesame, they are very versatile, whether for frying or for preparing salad dressings.