Healthiest Cooking Oil & Smoke Points | Comparison Chart

Date: 04/17/2012    Written by: Jennifer Good

Healthiest Cooking Oil Chart with Smoke Points

Trying to find the healthiest cooking oil can be a daunting task.  One one hand, you want to cook with an oil that has a high flash (smoke) point, but you also need to use a cooking oil that has a healthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids--and even better if the oil is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins!  Knowing the smoke point of an oil is important because heating oil to the point where the oil begins to smoke produces toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.  Check out our healthiest cooking oil comparison chart below to help alleviate the confusion!

Considerations:  for high temperature cooking, select cooking oils with a high smoke point.  For low temperature cooking, or adding to dishes and salad dressings, chose oils with a higher Omega-3 fatty acids since they promote healthy cells and decrease stroke and heart attack risk.  They are also known for their anti-inflammatory action.  Although you need Omega-6 fatty acids to maintain cell wall integrity and provide energy for the heart, too much Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body.  Also, cooking oils high in Omega 9 is a good way to go. Omega-9 fatty acids are considered to be "conditionally essential," which means that although your body produces them, they aren't produced in meaningful quantities. Consuming omega-9 fatty acids such as oleic acid lowers the risk of heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, and aids in cancer prevention.

Cooking Oils / Fats

Smoke Point °C

Smoke Point °F

Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio
(plus other relevant fat information)

Unrefined flaxseed oil

107°C

225°F

1:4

Unrefined safflower oil

107°C

225°F

133:1

Unrefined sunflower oil

107°C

225°F

40:1

Unrefined corn oil

160°C

320°F

83:1

Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil

160°C

320°F

40:1, 84% monosaturated

Extra virgin olive oil

160°C

320°F

73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9

Unrefined peanut oil

160°C

320°F

32:1

Semirefined safflower oil

160°C

320°F

133:1, (75% Omega 9)

Unrefined soy oil

160°C

320°F

8:1 (most are GMO)

Unrefined walnut oil

160°C

320°F

5:1

Hemp seed oil

165°C

330°F

3:1

Butter

177°C

350°F

9:1, Mostly saturated & monosaturated

Semirefined canola oil

177°C

350°F

2:1
[ (56% Omega 9), 80% Canola is GMO.]

Coconut oil

177°C

350°F

86% healthy saturated, lauric acid (has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties).  Contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Unrefined sesame oil

177°C

350°F

138:1

Semirefined soy oil

177°C

350°F

8:1

Vegetable shortening

182°C

360°F

mostly unhealthy saturated, Trans Fat

Lard

182°C

370°F

mostly unhealthy saturated

Macadamia nut oil

199°C

390°F

1:1, 80% monounsaturated, (83% Omega-9)

Canola oil (Expeller Pressed)

200°C

400°F

2:1, 62% monounsaturated, 32% polyunsaturated

Refined canola oil

204°C

400°F

3:1, 80% of Canola in US in GMO.

Semirefined walnut oil

204°C

400°F

5:1

High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil

207°C

405°F

13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)

Sesame oil

210°C

410°F

42:1

Cottonseed oil

216°C

420°F

54:1

Grapeseed oil

216°C

420°F

676:1, (12% saturated, 17% monounsaturated)

Virgin olive oil

216°C

420°F

13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)

Almond oil

216°C

420°F

Omega-6 only

Hazelnut oil

221°C

430°F

75% monosaturated (no Omega 3, 78% Omega 9)

Peanut oil

227°C

440°F

32:1

Sunflower oil

227°C

440°F

40:1

Refined corn oil

232°C

450°F

83:1

Palm oil

232°C

450°F

46:1, mostly saturated and monosaturated

Palm kernel oil

232°C

450°F

82% saturated (No Omega 3)

Refined high-oleic sunflower oil

232°C

450°F

39:1, 84% monosaturated

Refined peanut oil

232°C

450°F

2:1

Semirefined sesame oil

232°C

450°F

138:1

Refined soy oil

232°C

450°F

8:1 (most are GMO)

Semirefined sunflower oil

232°C

450°F

40:1

Olive pomace oil

238°C

460°F

74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9

Extra light olive oil

242°C

468°F

74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9

Rice Bran Oil

254°C

490°F

21:1, Good source of vitamin E & antioxidants

Soybean oil

257°C

495°F

8:1 (most are GMO)

Refined Safflower oil

266°C

510°F

133:1 (74% Omega 9)

Avocado oil

271°C

520°F

12:1, 70% monosaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids)
High in vitamin E.

 

Jon Barron's Final Recommendation For Healthiest Cooking Oils:

The bottom line is that when possible, buy and use organic, unrefined, cold-processed vegetable oils. Use extra virgin olive oil in salads or to add to cooked foods, but not for high temperature cooking. Unrefined walnut oil is also good, but again only for low temperature uses.

You can use virgin coconut oil (high in beneficial saturated fats and medium chain triglycerides) for most mid-temperature cooking. However, coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees F (171 C), which means it is not suitable for high temperature cooking. Other choices include virgin olive oil and even butter in small amounts.

Use avocado oil for high temperature cooking. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point by comparison to other cooking oils. It will not burn or smoke until it reaches 520 F (271 C), which is ideal for searing meats and frying in a Wok. Another good cooking oil is rice bran oil 495 F(257 C).  Again, look for organic, cold-processed oil.

Additional Articles on Cooking Oils:

Click for Related Articles

Comments

  •  
    Submitted by Lortega on
    May 10, 2012 - 11:54am

    This article is the best, I have spent so muuch time investigating and trying to figure out cooking oils and you broke it down quite simply. Thank You!

  •  
    Submitted by Guest on
    May 10, 2012 - 10:52pm

    Thank you Jon for the most complete list
    of cooking oils I have seen. Very helpful.

    Best regards

    Toone Elzink

  •  
    Submitted by Krista on
    June 18, 2012 - 10:51am

    What are your thoughts on palm fruit oil? Besides being great for high heat cooking- it is also rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E- tocotrienols. Also has a better shelf life than a lot of other oils.

  •  
    Submitted by Sonja Sundqvist on
    January 9, 2013 - 4:15pm

    Thanks for this list! Good information here. I am just getting to know Camelina Oil, grown by Three Farmers, SK. The oil is non-GMO, cold-pressed, contains Omegas 3 and 6, Vit E. Smoke point: 475.
    Greetings,
    Sonja

  •  
    Submitted by Kyle on
    January 26, 2013 - 10:20am

    What is important to mention is that both omega-6 and omega-3 compete for the same metabolic enzyme in the body. Maintaining a ratio of these two is ismportant for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular health. Amounts of omega-6 injected has clinically been proven to be insignificant because almost all junk food contain omega-6 anyway--we are getting too much omega-6. As a result, omega-6 is a factor in affecting our metabolic and inflammatory state. Omega-3 has greater factors of health benefits then omega-6. Some authors suggest a ratio or omega6:omega3 from 1:1 to 4:1. Some even suggest 4:1. Typical Western diet would contain 10:1 to 30:1. Source: google

  •  
    Submitted by peter moss on
    March 9, 2013 - 4:29pm

    This list makes no sense. Several oils are listed multiple times. Safflower oil, for example, is listed as unrefined safflower oil, refined safflower oil and just safflower oil. What is just 'safflower oil'?

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 22, 2013 - 2:32pm

    There are different ways of processing oil; these differences are very important to understanding how they impact your health.  I suggest the following articles for a better understanding:  

    http://www.jonbarron.org/article/fats-and-oils-made-simple

    http://www.jonbarron.org/article/refined-death

  •  
    Submitted by TIRTHA DAS on
    March 10, 2013 - 8:16am

    which oil is better in respect of smoke pont ?(high or low)

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 11, 2013 - 6:04pm

    There is a brief explanation at the top of the page. For more information, here is a great article all about fats and oils:  http://www.jonbarron.org/article/fats-and-oils-made-simple

  •  
    Submitted by Julie on
    March 26, 2013 - 6:49pm

    Thank you so much Jon. I have done a lot of research on cooking with oils and your information seems to be the most accurate and very well explained.

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 28, 2013 - 2:44pm

    Thank you Julie! 

  •  
    Submitted by Norma on
    March 27, 2013 - 8:11pm

    Are smoke points also relevant in baking - for example, baking a cake made with olive oil and baked at 350 F - or is this strictly of concern when cooking on a stovetop (frying/sautéeing)???

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 28, 2013 - 2:42pm

    Hi Norma,

    Yes, the smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke.  The smoke point also marks the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation.

  •  
    Submitted by Asif on
    September 6, 2013 - 3:11pm

    The oil doesn't know where the heat comes from - it doesn't matter.

  •  
    Submitted by Mike on
    July 1, 2013 - 12:35pm

    Rice Bran Oil in your chart is 490(254) not 495(257).

  •  
    Submitted by Anonymous on
    October 2, 2013 - 9:50pm

    Great list of oils, thanks. Will be useful for all the Chinese and Asian wok cooking I do.

    Thanks,

  •  
    Submitted by Jules Dionne on
    October 3, 2013 - 10:08pm

    I would very much appreciate having the oil chart in a form, ie Pdf that I could download/save for reference. I tried saving it different ways and did not succeed.

    Is that possible ?

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    October 8, 2013 - 6:34pm

    Good idea, we will have to work on that.  Can you print it for now?

  •  
    Submitted by S.Girija on
    December 9, 2013 - 5:38am

    some of my friends say that sesame oil while cooking if bubbles comes only pure sesame oil, otherwise it is mixed with other oils. Is it true.

  •  
    Submitted by Alexander K on
    May 28, 2014 - 2:42am

    Please revise the information/specs listed. Macadamia oil is way off... In contrary to what you listed, it contains a minimal of amount of Omega 9 and has mostly Omegas 3,6,7.
    Wrong information has bad consequences.... so... Please...

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    June 5, 2014 - 12:56pm

    Hi Alexander,  

    Actually, the chart is correct. Macadamia oil contains approximately 60% oleic acid, 19% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% linoleic acid and 1-2% α-linolenic acid.  Oleic acid is one of the two types of Omega 9 fatty acids, which is a main component of olive oil, macadamia oil, and other monounsaturated fats.

    If you find a resource that says otherwise, please send us that information.  Thanks!

  •  
    Submitted by Srini bhat on
    July 9, 2014 - 9:11pm

    How do I get the temperature while cooking ?
    For example what is the normal temperature while frying Indian dishes like SAMOSA & the like ?
    Thanks

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    July 11, 2014 - 4:29pm

    If you are frying, you are going to be at the highest heat possible. Frying temperatures are usually  375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or higher.

  •  
    Submitted by Srini bhat on
    July 9, 2014 - 9:13pm

    I see no omega3 to omega6 ratio for the coconut oil.
    Could you please provide the same
    Thx

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    July 11, 2014 - 4:36pm

    Coconut oil does not provide a balance of essential fatty acids because it does not deliver omega-3.  Unlike most vegetable oils, coconut oil is high in saturated fat. One cup of coconut oil has 218 g of total fat, with 87 percent of the fat content consisting of saturated fat. It also has 3.92 g of omega-6 fatty acids, but they only represent 1.8 percent of the total fat in coconut oil.

  •  
    Submitted by Byaba on
    August 22, 2014 - 6:58pm

    Cook with Omega 3 and Omega 6 rich oils, where do you get this crazy information?

    As soon as these oils are heated the health benefits of the Omega 3 and ^ are denatured, producing potentially harmful byproducts. You are better off cooking in lard, which is not

    I for sure will not be following the advice presented here

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 2, 2014 - 2:45pm

    Where did you see this information on this page?  We say the exact opposite.  Perhaps you should read the article again about what oils we recommend for cooking and ones for salads, etc.

  •  
    Submitted by Anonymous on
    October 5, 2014 - 7:58am

    Virgin coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook in, and not just because of its high smoke point. It is nature's richest source of medium-chain fats - that break down in our bodies to produce energy, are not stored as fat, and boost immunity and metabolism.

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