Smoke Point of Oils for Heathy Cooking

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

Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios

Cooking Oil Smoke Points ChartTrying 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 oils 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

32:1

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

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

242°C

252°C 

468°F

485°F 

74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9

0:0, 62% saturated fat  

Rice Bran Oil

254°C

490°F

21:1, Good source of vitamin E & antioxidants

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 emma on
    September 22, 2016 - 9:22am
    ireland ,

    the chart can be copied and pasted and printed off on word

  •  
    Submitted by Feral on
    February 11, 2017 - 2:45pm
    Binegar ,

    On a mac at least, if you press cmd + p whilst on the page that contains the table it takes you to the print screen. at the bottom it should say 'open pdf in preview' click this and then save as through preview...

    If you don't have a mac I'm sure there is a similar procedure you can do for PC's

    Good luck

  •  
    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.

  •  
    Submitted by Anmol Puri on
    December 12, 2014 - 5:55pm
    St Joseph , Michigan

    You did not mention Mustard Oil. It is widely used in Indian subcontinent for cooking. How good or bad is it for cooking?

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    December 15, 2014 - 1:30pm

    Thanks for pointing that out.  It does look like mustard oil has a high smoke point at 489°F.  Mustard oil has about 60% monounsaturated fatty acids (42% erucic acid and 12% oleic acid); it has about 21% polyunsaturated fats (6% the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and 15% the omega-6 linoleic acid), and it has about 12% saturated fats.

  •  
    Submitted by Hare Krishna match on
    February 13, 2015 - 12:56pm
    Sacramento , California

    Refined peanut oil rated as 2:1 is not accurate.

    Unrefined is 38:1 omega 3

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    February 19, 2015 - 5:42pm

    Thanks, we updated the chart. Thanks for letting us know!

  •  
    Submitted by Beth on
    March 23, 2015 - 5:56am

    I cook pancakes on a cast iron skillet on my stove....I usually use butter to cook them in, but it certainly gets smoky! I'm not sure what temp the skillet actually heats up to....what oil would you recommend I use instead of butter...I guess I could just go with avocado to be on the safe side...I don't want the pancakes to taste too weird!

  •  
    Submitted by sol kine on
    September 6, 2015 - 11:10am
    Laguna Beach, CA , California

    Howzitt and thanks for your work. Correction on Safflower Oil : (70-79%) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) smoke point 107°C- 225°F . Also, I agree with " Byaba on August 22, 2014 - 6:58pm..." Heating flaxseed oil (high in linolenic/omega 3) should not be recommended due to it's extreme heat sensitivity/volitility & toxicity potential.

  •  
    Submitted by Karen in St Louis on
    September 8, 2015 - 8:46am
    St. Louis , Missouri

    I am unable to pin (Pinterest) this excellent information because the image associated with it (your logo) is too small. Now I know why there aren't more pins for this great info. Are you able to add a larger image to the page?

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 18, 2015 - 10:14am

    Try again, we just added an image! Thanks for letting us know.

  •  
    Submitted by Obinna on
    September 21, 2015 - 4:15pm
    Lagos ,

    Thanks so much for this. It's so enlightening. Jon, you do so much work and I say, God bless you real good. However, I'd like you throw in some more light here concerning palm oil. Over here in Nigeria, that is one oil common in these parts. A good number of the vegetable oils are rather suspect. I had expected your response to an earlier post by someone on palm oil but you probably didn't notice it. So, what's your take on palm oil? I ask because it is my preferred oil for frying.

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 21, 2015 - 6:53pm

    You should check out Jon's detailed explanation of fats and oils here:  http://jonbarron.org/article/fats-and-oils-made-simple

    On this page, he adds, "Coconut oil has a great many health benefits, but it is not good for high temperature cooking. It’s smoke point is about 350 degrees F (177 C). Palm oil is very different from coconut oil in composition. Palm oil is 40% saturated and 60% unsaturated. The saturated portion of coconut oil is largely lauric acid, which is very healthy. The saturated portion of palm oil is palmatic acid, which tends to push up triglyceride levels – not so healthy. On the positive side, though, the unsaturated portion of palm oil is a monounsaturated oil, just like olive oil. But unlike olive oil, palm oil’s natural resistance to oxidation makes it a healthier and safer oil for cooking or deep-frying. The smoke point for palm oil is a much higher 455 degrees F (235 C). Then again, the smoke point for avocado oil is 520 degrees F (271 C). And rice bran oil, which is less expensive, has a smoke point of 490 F (254 C)."

  •  
    Submitted by Obinna on
    September 21, 2015 - 4:20pm
    Lagos ,

    Again, I think a clarification of how good these oils are relative to heating points will be in order Jon. For example,concerning the Mustard Oil, is it good, or bad for deep frying? If I want to fry like plantain or meat, is it okay to do so with palm oil? Is it better with mustard oil or canola? Or even coconut oil? It's simpler to understand it that way. Thanks.

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 21, 2015 - 6:54pm

    This is just a simple chart, you need to read Jon's articles to get more details, such as the one mentioned above:   http://jonbarron.org/article/fats-and-oils-made-simple

  •  
    Submitted by Imants Braslins on
    October 7, 2015 - 10:46am
    West Milton , Ohio

    You forgot the Margarine and deep-fryer shortening. But everything else is good.

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    October 8, 2015 - 1:58pm

    These hydrogenated fats should never be used, if you care about your health, at any temperature.

  •  
    Submitted by Carlos on
    November 29, 2015 - 1:45pm
    Peterborough United Kingdom ,

    Thank you for creating this list, I am now a lot more informed and will be more confident in choosing which oils to use.

  •  
    Submitted by tork on
    December 6, 2015 - 9:46am
    Toronto, Canada ,

    What is the difference between monounsaturated and monosaturated?
    Thx

  •  
    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    December 7, 2015 - 1:30pm
  •  
    Submitted by Udeme on
    February 11, 2016 - 7:43am
    Uyo. Nigeria ,

    Is it healthy to drink coconut oil?

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