In this article, you will find which oils are the healthiest to cook with at high temperatures.
Which oil is best for cooking at high heat?
High-heat cooking needs high-heat oil. That means a type of oil that has high smoke points. The smoke point is the temperature at which oil starts to smoke, burn and break down. When cooking oil starts to smoke, it not only adds an unpleasant taste to your food, but the food also loses some of its nutritional value and becomes extremely unhealthy – especially for your heart.
Factors to consider when choosing high-heat cooking oils
Not all oils are suitable for high-heat cooking. Fitness Buffhq explains why some oils are better for high-heat cooking than others.
1. Oils are predominantly made of fats produced by the process of extraction and pressing. Oil can be extracted from different types of foods, including seeds and nuts like sunflowers, flax, almonds, ground nuts, walnuts, and vegetables & fruits such as olives, avocados, and coconuts. Each type of oil has a unique chemical composition that determines its properties and the smoking point. Smoking point is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your cooking oil.
While some oils are suited better for salads because of their low smoke point and flavor, others are suitable for cooking at high temperatures.
2. Another factor to consider is whether the oil is neutral or flavored. For example, coconut oil, olive oil, and butter all have intense flavors that will be added to the taste of your food. See whether you desire that flavor for the type of dish you’re making, or you may want to use a more neutral oil like refined avocado, grapeseed, or canola, all with high enough smoke points to get the job done.
3. Also, you may want to compare the prices of different oils. Just because oil is expensive doesn’t mean it is the best! Oils like canola are often used in restaurants because of their balance of cost and effectiveness. And expensive ones, like olive oil, are saved for making a delicious salad dressing.
Healthiest High-Temperature Cooking Oils – Our recommendations
- Oils with high smoke points are suitable for high-heat frying and stir-frying. These include:
2. Oils with moderately high smoke points are good for sauteing over medium-high heat. These include:
3. Oils with low smoke points for use in salad dressings and dips:
Examples: Flaxseed, pumpkin seed, and walnut are best used in salad dressings and dips.
Some oils, including avocado, grapeseed, olive, and sesame, are versatile enough to be used for frying or in salad dressings.
The healthiest oils are those that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oil and olive oil. These types of fats can help lower your risk of heart disease when used instead of saturated fats.
However, not all oils are created equal when it comes to cooking. Some oils can handle the heat, and some can’t.
Cooking tips when using high-heat cooking oils
- The first step is to preheat your pan correctly. Heating your oil too quickly or for too long can burn it, which not only tastes bad but also can become unhealthy. Use the water boil method to determine when your pan is ready.
- Set the temperature of the heat source to the desired setting, and place the pan on it.
- Give it a couple of minutes; time will vary depending on the type of heat source (gas, electric, induction, etc.), but typically, two to three minutes is a good ballpark.
- Take some water on your hands, then flick some of that water onto the pan. If it sizzles and boils away, your pan is ready to go!
- At this point, you can add the oil as well as the food you’re cooking. Remember, the pan is hot, so don’t add oil until you’re ready to add the food; otherwise, it could burn!
- You may easily apply your chosen cooking oil directly onto a piece of food; we recommend using an oil sprayer.
Our chart for the right oils to look for and choose one that meets your needs and your budget:
The smoke point range varies from relatively low (325° F) to very high (520° F). Check out the following smoke point chart and choose an oil from the Green Section
|Oil||Smoke Point ºF||Smoke Point °C|
|Refined Avocado Oil||520ºF||270°C|
|Rice Bran Oil||490ºF||254ºC|
|Refined or Light Olive Oil||465ºF||240ºC|
|Ghee or Clarified Butter||450ºF||232ºC|
|Refined Coconut Oil||450ºF||232ºC|
|Refined Sesame Oil||410ºF||210ºC|
|Unrefined or Virgin Avocado Oil||375ºF||190ºC|
|Pork Fat or Lard||370ºF||188ºC|
|Chicken Fat or Schmaltz||375ºF||190ºC|
|Unrefined Sesame Oil||350ºF||177ºC|
|Extra Virgin or Unrefined Coconut Oil||350ºF||177ºC|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||325-375ºF||163-190ºC|
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”