Become a Better Cook! This Just Maika Cooking: Cook’s Notebook section will focus on everything related to using high smoke point oils and cooking with them connected to all my recipe posts, updated frequently.
High Smoke Point Oil
What is a High Smoke Point Oil?
These oils can withstand high heat at 400 degrees or more before releasing smoke. In addition, when an oil is heated or reheated past its smoke point during high-heat cooking, it releases free radicals according to Perumalla Venkata and Subramanyam in a study in the Toxicology Reports. Free radicals are "highly reactive and unstable chemical compounds" when they react with oxygen causing harmful compounds that should not be consumed. I recommend Avocado or Canola (rapeseed) Oils. Check Wikipedia’s Smoke Point Chart for a list of oils and their smoke points.
Perumalla Venkata, R., & Subramanyam, R. (2016). Evaluation of the deleterious health effects of consumption of repeatedly heated vegetable oil. Toxicology reports, 3, 636–643. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2016.08.003
Heart Healthy Oils
To prevent the risk of heart disease, it's good to learn about the compounds that make up cooking oils. As we learned from above, higher smoke point oils are healthier and a great way to prevent the consumption of free radicals that can be harmful to our bodies.
Sometimes small amounts of oil can go a long way in cooking, especially when using the sauteing, baking or roasting methods instead of deep frying.
if you are concerned about making good choices when finding the right oil to help control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, visit the American Heart Association website.
Frequently Asked Questions
In nutrition, they are fatty acids that stay liquid at room temperature due to their single carbon-to-carbon double bond. These fats include olive oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, avocado, and most nut oils. Like, polyunsaturated fats, these fats are healthier choices.
They are fatty acids that your body needs but can't reproduce in nutrition. You may be familiar with two of the type of popular types of polyunsaturated fats, which are omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. You'll find these fats in safflower, corn, and sunflower oils. Like monounsaturated fats, these fats are a healthier choice, since replacing them with saturated fats can help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides, which in high amounts can be a sign of diabetes and cholesterol problems.
In nutrition, they are fatty acids that can be solid at room temperature and are found in animal products, such as beef, pork, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs, and even some plant-based oils like palm and coconut oil. Compared to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats, are "saturated" with hydrogen bonds, which at some point can cause artery blockages.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) which in turn reduces the risk for diabetes and cholesterol problems. Healthy fats are considered to be found in some plant-based oils like olive and canola (rapeseed), nuts like walnuts and almonds, seeds like pumpkin and sesame, and fish like salmon and sardines.
A plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (common vegetable oils, walnut, flaxseed, chia, hemp, etc) was found in a study to decrease heart disease by maintaining a healthy heart rhythm and reducing blood clots.
Source: Blondeau, N., Lipsky, R. H., Bourourou, M., Duncan, M. W., Gorelick, P. B., & Marini, A. M. (2015). Alpha-linolenic acid: an omega-3 fatty acid with neuroprotective properties-ready for use in the stroke clinic?. BioMed research international, 2015, 519830. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/519830
At the top is olive oil, and the second is avocado oil since both are monounsaturated fats.
These are "bad" fats that have been popularized in the news since they are widely used in restaurants and processed foods, since they are economically cheap to consume in addition to giving food a more desirable taste and texture. The characteristics of trans fats include solid at room temperature due to the process of adding hydrogen to liquid fats, such as vegetable oil. Many states and countries have banned the use of trans fats. Learn more from the American Heart Association.
Cold-pressed oils are oils with little to no processing using a machine to extract the oil from a seed or nut at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) or lower, compared to the cheaper method of being chemically washed and then extracted at temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit due to the machines' friction, this method creates oils that are expeller-pressed oils. Common cold-pressed oils are coconut, soybean, rapeseed, flaxseed, and almond.
Oil in the Air Fryer
What Type of Oil to use in an Air Fryer?
When using the air fryer, it is recommended to use a high smoke point oil, like canola (rapeseed) or avocado oil. You can argue that one has better health benefits than the other. That is up to you.
They are both mild in flavor, which is great for versatile cooking needs. They both provided different nutrient needs, one costing more than the other. Avocado is more expensive.
Check out Consumer Reports: How to Choose a Healthy Oil for Cooking for more details on Avocado, Canola (rapeseed), Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Safflower Oils, and Ghee for their taste profiles, nutrition benefits, and what each is best used for.
Air Fryer Recipes You Must Try!
- Air Fryer Branzino with Lemon Potatoes and Vegetables (popular!)
- mouthwatering Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Pine Nuts Turkey meatballs
- Air-Fried Turmeric Herbed Tofu
- Air-Fryer Chicken Breast with Hot Honey Glazed Vegetables (viral hit!)
Why Avocado Oil for the Air Fryer?
These oils can withstand high heat at 400 degrees before releasing smoke. I recommend avocado oil, but alternatively, you can use a vegetable oil, like canola oil.
Recommended High Smoke Point Oils
Sauteing with Oil
When is my Oil Hot When Sauting?
The oil velocity should change by moving more freely around the pot when tilting the pot from side to side compared to when you had first poured in the oil.
You can test the readiness of your oil by tossing a piece of bread into the oil; if the old starts bubbling around the bread and browning takes about 60 seconds, you are good to go. If it begins to burn and smoke, your oil is way too hot!
Great Tip: Heat the pan first, then add the oil, helping with the non-stick process.
Why Not Add Cold Oil to a Cold Pan?
Room-temperature oils move more freely when poured into a heated pan. There is a layer that separates the oil from the hot pan. This is an advantage when wanting to create a non-stick surface for food. It's the same reason you do not place food in cold oil.
The pan and the oil must heat up completely to create a non-stick effect. For example, if you want to give an excellent brown sear on fish in a pan, you must heat up the pan first, then add the oil, wait for the oil to heat up, then add the fish.
The fish will not stick to the pan. Plus, uncooked food is usually cooler than the oil and pan. Once you add food to a pan, the pan's temperature and oil will cool slightly.
This is why it is important to have both the pan and oil very hot. Adding oil to a hot pan creates an invisible layer, and when stir-frying, searing, or browning, you won't have to worry about the food sticking to the pan or grill.
Oils Not for Cooking?
Some oils you technically should not cook with since the taste will change when heated. However, the oil police will not come after you if you decide to use them. These unrefined oils have stronger tastes and flavors and are best for adding to a recipe at the end, using it raw or to make vinaigrettes.
Olive Oil vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A good extra virgin olive oil has stronger characteristics in taste and is great for dipping breads, on top of hummus, vinaigrettes, etc. Regular olive oil has a more mellow taste, making it versatile in cooking despite its low smoke point.
A culinary favorite, the Graza "Drizzle" Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil
Toasted sesame oil, as its name suggests, is toasted sesame seeds, which gives the oil a more intensified nuttier taste. And this oil is mostly used to finish dishes, not to cook with it.
Common Cooking Oil Purposes Chart
For General Use
|Sesame Oil||x||x||Artisian / Toasted|
Popular Asian Brand
Frequently Asked Questions
Clarified butter removes most of the milk solids when heated, leaving a yellowish oil, whereas ghee is cooked more to achieve a nutter tone.
It is mainly found near the tropical belt in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Brazil. It is used worldwide for making margarine and processed foods such as pizza, doughnuts, and chocolate.
The fabulous La Tourangelle has released a trio oil set! This is great for giving extra flavor boost to your steaks, fish, and chicken breast meats when searing to baking. I would definitely use the infused garlic oil to dress hummus and curries by using saffron to infuse color and drizzle it over these dishes.
But don't stop there; use the garlic-infused oil for a quick balsamic or Caesar vinaigrette. In addition, the Herb de Provence would be excellent on roasted vegetables and chicken.
Cook's Notebook: Become a Better Cook!
Spicy Food Recipes
This article is solely educational and should never replace professional medical advice.