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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What is a low smoke point vs. a high smoke point, for cooking oils?

You mention on your website that that you should use lower temps to cook with olive oil and grapeseed oil for higher temps. Where do you draw the line for temperatures?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a glass bottle of olive oil and a fresh green olives

"Smoke point" is the point at which, when heated, an oil will begin to smoke. One of the main factors is how many impurities there are in a particular oil. While the oil itself will eventually burn, it is often the impurities that will burn before the oil.

Below is a list of different smoke points that I have collected over the years from a variety of sources. Hope this helps.

225° F
Canola Oil, Unrefined
Flaxseed Oil, Unrefined
Safflower Oil, Unrefined
Sunflower Oil, Unrefined

320° F
Corn Oil, Unrefined
Olive Oil, Unrefined
Peanut Oil, Unrefined
Safflower Oil, Semi-Refined
Soy Oil, Unrefined
Sunflower Oil, Unrefined
Walnut Oil, Unrefined

325° F
Vegetable Shortening, Emulsified

350° F
Canola Oil, Semi-Refined
Coconut Oil
Sesame Oil, Unrefined
Soy Oil, Semi-Refined

370° F
Vegetable Shortening

360° F

389° F
Macadamia Nut Oil

400° F
Canola Oil, Refined
Walnut Oil, Semi-Refined

405° F
Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

410° F
Corn Oil
Sesame Oil

420° F
Cottonseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Olive Oil, Virgin

430° F
Almond Oil
Hazelnut Oil

435° F
Canola Oil
Olive Oil

440° F
Peanut Oil
Sunflower Oil

450° F
Corn Oil, Refined
Peanut Oil, Refined
Safflower Oil, Refined
Sesame Oil, Semi-Refined
Soy Oil, Refined
Sunflower Oil, Refined

460° F
Olive (Pomace Oil)

465° F
Olive Oil, Extra Light

485° F
Grapeseed Oil

495° F
Soy Bean Oil

510° F
Safflower Oil

520° F
Avocado Oil, Refined

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet