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IN THE PAN

The Best Oils To Use For Cooking

Which oil to use for frying? Which oil to use for frying?

When cooking it can get pretty hot in the pan – up to 400 degrees. Not all oils can hold up in these temperatures. As a result, the oil loses its taste and the ingredients in the oil decompose. But even worse, the oil can actually become very bad for us. EAT SMARTER will tell you what oils are the best to use while cooking and why you should absolutely know what the smoke point is.

You are standing in the kitchen, put the pan on the stove and turn the stove on. So far, so good. The next step is the tricky part. Which oil do you use? Which oil is the healthiest for cooking? Or is it better to steer away from oil altogether and use ghee? EAT SMARTER is here to tell you.

The Best Oils For Cooking: This Is What Counts

Margarine, olive oil or butter? The most important thing is what is inside, especially the individual fatty acids. These fatty acids are responsible for creating the hazardous substances when heated. The smoke point is what dictates at what temperatures the oils turn hazardous. When the oil or fat begins to create even the smallest amount of smoke, it has reached the smoke point. The smoke is created because the individual fatty acids begin to oxidize and break down. When this happens, the poisonous acrolein is produces.

The Best Oils For Cooking: Healthy Oils Burn Quickly

Some fatty acids split even at very low temperatures; these are mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids. If oil contains many of these fatty acids, its smoke point is very low. Therefore, the more polyunsaturated fatty acids oil contains, the less suitable it is for cooking. The problem is that many healthy oils contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. While these types of oils are healthy, they can lower cholesterol levels, strengthen cell walls and increase blood fluid. However, their smoke point is at just around 300 degrees. On the other hand, monounsaturated (such as oleic acid) and saturated fat only barely split even at high temperatures. If oil is made up of more than half monounsaturated fatty acids, it is good for cooking. Olive oil contains 72 percent oleic acid; canola oil (Rapsöl) contains about 62 percent. Harder fats, such as coconut fat, are also very heat stable. This is due to their high content of saturated fatty acids. But these also have a major drawback; they raise cholesterol levels.

Best Oils For Cooking: The Smoke Point Table

Oil Smoke point in Celsius/Fahrenheit
Argon oil 250/ 482
Soybean oil 234/ 453
Peanut oil 230/ 446
Sesame oil 230/ 446
Olive oil, refined 230/ 446
Palm oil 220/ 428
Palm kernel oil 220/ 428
Sunflower oil 220/ 428
Coconut oil 200/ 392
Butter 200/ 392
Grape seed oil 190/ 374
Butter 175/ 347
Margarine 170/ 338
Rapeseed oil 160/ 320

Best Oils For Cooking: Olive oil

In theory, olive oil is great for cooking. However, it is important to recognized whether the oil is cold pressed (also referred to as "native") or is refined. Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of about 160/320 degrees. Refined olive oil is processed more and pollutants and dyes are removed. Thereby the oil is very stable and can be easily heated to 200/392 degrees.

Which Oils Are Not Good For Cooking

Linseed, safflower, walnut and pumpkin seed oil are almost always cold pressed and have a very high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These oils should not be used for cooking.

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