Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke, and once the oil has been heated past its smoke point, it is game over: you will impart a burnt or bitter flavor to foods, beneficial nutrients and chemicals components found in many unrefined oils are destroyed. Also, when the oil is overheated the fatty acids will break down turning into toxic fumes and substances that are unhealthy to ingest. So, keep an eye on that precious oil!
How does this translate into cooking temperatures? Well, sautéing on the stove equates to a temperature of around 300°F-350°F, deep-frying is usually around 350-375°F, and cooking/roasting in the oven 350-400°F.
Each type of oil has its own chemical composition, which means some oils are better suited for cold dishes or salads, while others will be better for frying, sautéed dishes, or even deep-frying. Keep in mind that Olive Oil, contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids which makes it fairly resistant to high heat.
If you want to maximize the beneficial nutrients found in many unrefined oils, like the fatty acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in Extra Virgin Olive Oils, then keep the smoke point (also called flash point) below 400 degrees F. Indeed, the Michelin Guide even suggests keeping it below 375 degrees F.
Our rule of thumb: use it in salad dressing, marinating, or for sautéeing and frying over medium-high heat for relatively short period of time, or simply at a lower temperature. Our favorites are:
Let’s do not forget those "No-heat" oils like our FassZination Walnut Oil or FassZination Pumpkin Seed Oil are best for making dips and marinades. Now, if you love butter but want a healthier approach, then try our SunMeadow Rapeseed oil for a butter-taste-like flavor!
To recap, we use our EVOOs (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) for cold dishes, salads or to drizzle for a finishing touch. Yes, and ice creams too! (try our Pumpkin Seed Oil, on that vanilla ice cream for a real treat).
Ideally, for frying purposes we recommend other vegetable or nuts oils that have higher smoke points (400 degrees F and higher) are better suited for cooking at higher temperatures, including sunflower oil, avocado oil, almond oil, corn or canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, etc.
Try a variety of our best high heat oils: