The Best Oils To Use For Cooking
When cooking, it can get pretty hot in the pan – up to 400 degrees. Not all oil 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 detrimental to our health. EAT SMARTER takes a look at 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's inside, especially the individual fatty acids. These fatty acids are responsible for creating 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 poisonous acrolein is produced.
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 the 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 the 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 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|
|Grape seed oil||190/ 374|
|Rapeseed oil||160/ 320|
Best Oils For Cooking: Olive oil
In theory, olive oil is great for cooking. However, it is important to take a look at 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.