Oils Smoke Points

Oct 31, 2018 | Nutrition

Oils smoke points

It can be confusing to know which oils to cook with and how to ensure you get the most nutritional value from your food.

Most oils break down at high cooking temperatures.  Once an oil reaches its smoke point it will break down and release free radicals.  Free radicals cause damage to your cells and can cause inflammation within the body.  Read about oxidative stress here. Therefore it’s best to not heat oils. The fatty acid composition and stability of the fat can affect the smoke point of your oil, causing it to break down at higher or lower temperatures when exposed to heat, air, and light. Below is a chart of oils and their smoke point.

Cooking Oils / Fats

Smoke Point °C

Smoke Point °F

Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio

(plus other relevant fat information)

Unrefined flaxseed oil 107°C 225°F 1:04
Unrefined safflower oil 107°C 225°F 133:01:00
Unrefined sunflower oil 107°C 225°F 40:01:00
Unrefined corn oil 160°C 320°F 83:01:00
Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil 160°C 320°F 40:1, 84% monosaturated
Extra virgin olive oil 160°C 320°F 73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9
Unrefined peanut oil 160°C 320°F 32:01:00
Semirefined safflower oil 160°C 320°F 133:1, (75% Omega 9)
Unrefined soy oil 160°C 320°F 8:1 (most are GMO)
Unrefined walnut oil 160°C 320°F 5:01
Hemp seed oil 165°C 330°F 3:01
Butter 177°C 350°F 9:1, Mostly saturated & monosaturated
Semirefined canola oil 177°C 350°F 2:01:00 [ (56% Omega 9), Most canola is GMO.]
Coconut oil 177°C 350°F 86% healthy saturated, lauric acid
(has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties).
Contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Unrefined sesame oil 177°C 350°F 138:01:00
Semirefined soy oil 177°C 350°F 8:01
Vegetable shortening 182°C 360°F mostly unhealthy saturated, Trans Fat
Lard 182°C 370°F 11:1 high in saturated
Macadamia nut oil 199°C 390°F 1:1, 80% monounsaturated, (83% Omega-9)
Canola oil (Expeller Pressed) 200°C 400°F 2:1, 62% monounsaturated, 32% polyunsaturated
Refined canola oil 204°C 400°F 3:1, most canola in Australia is GMO
Semirefined walnut oil 204°C 400°F 5:01
High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil 207°C 405°F 13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)
Sesame oil 210°C 410°F 42:01:00
Cottonseed oil 216°C 420°F 54:01:00
Grapeseed oil 216°C 420°F 676:1, (12% saturated, 17% monounsaturated)
Virgin olive oil 216°C 420°F 13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)
Almond oil 216°C 420°F Omega-6 only
Hazelnut oil 221°C 430°F 75% monosaturated (no Omega 3, 78% Omega 9)
Peanut oil 227°C 440°F 32:01:00
Sunflower oil 227°C 440°F 40:01:00
Refined corn oil 232°C 450°F 83:01:00
Palm oil 232°C 450°F 46:1, mostly saturated and monosaturated
Palm kernel oil 232°C 450°F 82% saturated (No Omega 3)
Refined high-oleic sunflower oil 232°C 450°F 39:1, 84% monosaturated
Refined peanut oil 232°C 450°F 32:01:00
Semirefined sesame oil 232°C 450°F 138:01:00
Refined soy oil 232°C 450°F 8:1 (most are GMO)
Semirefined sunflower oil 232°C 450°F 40:01:00
Olive pomace oil 238°C 460°F 74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9
Extra light olive oil 242°C 468°F 74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9
Ghee (Clarified Butter) 252°C 485°F 0:0, 62% saturated fat
Rice Bran Oil 254°C 490°F 21:1, Good source of vitamin E & antioxidants
Refined Safflower oil 266°C 510°F 133:1 (74% Omega 9)
Avocado oil 271°C 520°F 12:1, 70% monosaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids)

Source: jonbarron.org 

Jon Barron’s Final Recommendation For Healthiest Cooking Oils:

“You can use virgin coconut oil (high in beneficial saturated fats and medium-chain triglycerides) for most mid-temperature cooking. However, coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees F (171 C), which means it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking. Other choices include virgin olive oil and even butter in small amounts.

Use avocado oil for high-temperature cooking. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point by comparison to other cooking oils. It will not burn or smoke until it reaches 520 F (271 C), which is ideal for searing meats and frying in a Wok. Another good cooking oil is rice bran oil 495 F(257 C).  Again, look for organic, cold-processed oil. Alternatively, ghee is also good for high-temperature cooking. Make sure to look for organic, grass-fed ghee.”


Sally Fallon recommends the following

Source: Nourishing Traditions


The bottom line is to avoid processed vegetable oils.  They are not the way nature intended.  They are highly processed and unrecognisable by our body.  Opt for organic, grass-fed butter or ghee for high-temperature cooking (especially on a stovetop when temperatures are very high).  Use organic virgin olive oil or coconut oil for salads and situations that do not require heat.

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