Avocado Oil for Cooking and the Smoke Point of Oils
Despite all of its benefits for our health, avocado oil as a cooking oil is a very heat stable and one of the best possible oils for high-temperature frying.
Here’s why it’s worth changing from all those unhealthy processed oils, like cottonseed, soy, corn and canola oil, and even the healthier ones like olive oil, to avocado oil for cooking and frying with.
The Importance of the Smoke Point of Oils
It is very important to consider the smoke point of the oil you are cooking with. This is the temperature at which the oil starts to be visibly smoking in the pan.
At this point, the structure of the oil begins to break down and not only are the nutrients lost and the flavor changed, but dangerous compounds can be created that are damaging to your health. Even a healthy oil like olive oil becomes unhealthy when it reaches its smoke point.
Some very beneficial oils, like flaxseed oil and pumpkin seed oil, should never be used for frying or high-temperature cooking as they have a very low smoke point.
Others, like cheap processed cottonseed oil (420 F), soy oil (unrefined 320 F/refined 450 F), corn oil (450 F) and canola oil (unrefined 225 F/refined 400 F), may have relatively high smoke points, but can have other health issues like inflammatory fat profiles and toxic residues left over from the solvents, deodorizers and extremely high temperatures used in their bizarre extraction process.
Besides all of this, none of these taste anywhere near as good as a high quality avocado oil, like this rich and buttery tasting cold pressed and unrefined oil I use in my kitchen.
The Smoke Point of Olive Oil
Many people use olive oil for cooking and it is a much healthier oil than regular vegetable oils (though not as healthy as avocado oil — see the previous page for a comparison). Unfortunately, olive oil’s smoke point can vary greatly, depending on its grade and level of processing.
Extra virgin olive oil, the type usually considered healthiest and best tasting, can have a very low smoke point, sometimes listed at only 220 Fahrenheit (105 Celsius), making it completely unsuitable for frying and even cooking at high temperatures in the oven.
Despite this, many people do use it to fry with, thinking they are being healthy. But in fact, once it starts smoking in the pan, extra virgin olive oil can become quite unhealthy and full of damaging compounds that lead to free radical damage in your body.
Other lower grades of olive oil usually have a higher point before they start smoking, sometimes cited as high as 430 F (210 Celsius). These are usually the ‘light’ varieties.
But even these are well below refined avocado oil’s smoke point, usually listed at 520 F (271 C), making it about the best possible oil for high-temperature frying.
Virgin avocado oil is often listed as having a similarly high smoke point. Independent testing though suggest these figures may be lower and it would be best to keep virgin avocado oil under 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit when frying with it.
There shouldn’t really be a need to go that high with it anyway. Charcoaled and heavily burnt foods have a whole other set of dangerous compounds worth avoiding so don’t fry your food at too higher temperatures, even if avocado oil is a very high smoke point oil.
Popular Cooking Oil Smoke Points
Here’s a list of common cooking oils and their smoke point in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. As you can see, avocado oil has by far the highest smoke point. It is also far healthier than soy, peanut or corn oil.
- Avocado oil — 520 F (271 C)
- Corn oil — 450 F (232 C)
- Soy oil — 450 F (232 C)
- Peanut oil — 450 F (232 C)
- Light olive oil — 430 F (221 C)
- Cottonseed oil — 420 F (215 C)
- Canola oil — 400 F (204 C)
- Coconut oil — 350 F (171 C)
- Extra virgin olive oil — 220 F (105 C)
Healthier Cooking with Avocado Oil
Cooking your meals with a good extra virgin avocado oil like this make sense. Not only do you have a far lower chance of creating dangerous compounds, even with high temperature frying, avocado oil benefits your health in other ways with its superior fatty acid profile, phytosterols and high antioxidant content.
To top it all off, avocado oil probably tastes far better than just about anything you’ve ever cooked with before. Better than olive oil and certainly much better than bland and unhealthy processed vegetable oils.
If you’d like to try avocado oil for cooking for yourself the next page has details on where find organic avocado oil online that is both higher quality and at a much lower price than in supermarkets.
Photo 1 credit with thanks: the prodigal untitled13