Smoking Point of Oils and Fats

Smoking Points of Oils and Fats


In cooking, the smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke. It is the presence of the acrolein that causes the smoke to be extremely irritating to the eyes and throat. The smoke point also marks the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation. Therefore, it is a key consideration when selecting a fat for frying, with the smoke point of the specific oil dictating its maximum usable temperature and therefore its possible applications. For instance, since deep frying is a very high temperature process, it requires a fat with a high smoke point.

The smoke point for an oil varies widely depending on origin and refinement.  The smoke point of an oil does tend to increase as free fatty acid content decreases and degree of refinement increases.  Heating oil produces free fatty acid and as heating time increases, more free fatty acids are produced, thereby decreasing smoke point. It is one reason not to use the same oil to deep fry more than twice.  Intermittent frying has a markedly greater effect on oil deterioration than continuous frying.

Considerably above the temperature of the smoke point is the flash point, the point at which the vapors from the oil can first ignite when mixed with air.

The following table presents smoke points of various fats:

Fat Quality Smoke Point
Almond oil 420°F 216°C
Avocado oil Refined 520°F 271°C
Avocado oil Un-Refined, Virgin 375-400°F 190-204°C
Butter 250–300°F 121–149°C
Canola oil Expeller Press 375-450°F 190-232°C
Canola oil High Oleic 475°F 246°C
Canola oil Refined 400°F 204°C
Castor oil Refined 392°F 200°C
Coconut oil Virgin (Unrefined) 350°F 177°C
Coconut oil Refined with stabilizers 450°F 232°C
Corn oil Unrefined 352°F 178°C
Corn oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Cottonseed oil 420°F 216°C
Flax seed oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter) 485°F 252°C
Grapeseed oil 420°F 216°C
Hazlenut oil 430°F 221°C
Hemp oil 330°F 165°C
Lard 370°F 188°C
Macadamia oil 413°F 210°C
Mustard oil 489°F 254°C
Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F 191°C
Olive oil Virgin 391°F 199°C
Olive oil Pomace 460°F 238°C
Olive oil Extra light 468°F 242°C
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity) Extra virgin 405°F 207°C
Palm oil Difractionated 455°F 235°C
Peanut oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Peanut Oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Rice Bran oil 490°F 254°C
Safflower oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Safflower oil Semi refined 320°F 160°C
Safflower oil Refined 510°F 266°C
Sesame oil Unrefined 350°F 177°C
Sesame oil Semi refined 450°F 232°C
Soybean oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Soybean oil Semi refined 350°F 177°C
Soybean oil Refined 460°F 238°C
Sunflower oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Sunflower oil Semi refined 450°F 232°C
Sunflower oil, high oleic Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Sunflower oil Refined 440°F 227°C
Tallow  (Beef) 420°F 215°C
Tea Seed oil 485°F 252°C
Vegetable Shortening 360°F 182°C
Walnut oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Walnut oil Semi refined 400°F 204°C
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