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Kitchen Notes: Smoke Points of Various Fats
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1629
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Igor wrote:
Quote:
"If you can find Rapunzel oils in your local health food stores, you should splurge sometime on a bottle of their organic, unrefined canola oil."


Isn't canola oil made from genetically-modified rapeseed? How can an oil that's made from genetically-modified ingredients be organic?

Canola oil was developed through selective breeding. Although this involves the manipulation of genetics, because it is an indirect process (and one practiced for as long as agriculture and animal husbandry has been around) it is not considered genetically modified. There are more recent variants of canola oil which have been developed using genetic engineering techniques and these varieties cannot be labeled non-GMO.
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Matt6543
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Isn't canola oil made from genetically-modified rapeseed? How can an oil that's made from genetically-modified ingredients be organic?

Virtually all canola oil that is not labeled organic is GMO. Nothing that is certified organic can be GMO. There are very few species that were actually created through genetic engineering. They generally just take an existing crop and splice in a section of DNA from some other organism to get some desired characteristic like cold-resistance or tolerance to Round-Up. So there are still heirloom varieties of these plants around that are grown on organic farms, at least until they all get contaminated with the GMO's. Canola and corn are two things that are best avoided if they're not certified organic, and soy is just unhealthy in general, but most non-organic soy is GM, which just makes it even worse.

As for the stuff about the oils, I'm kind of confused by this smoke point stuff. I'm trying to figure out what the healthiest oil would be for deep frying, and I know that you normally don't want to heat it to more than about 375 anyway, but I'm not really going to know if I accidentally get it hotter than that, plus I'm planning to reuse the oil because I can't really afford to just use that much oil once and throw it out, so I figure I should get the most stable thing possible.

So I guess what I don't understand is, what determines the smoke point if it's not just how saturated the fat is? Does it have something to do with the lengths of the carbon chains? I had always heard that coconut oil could stand extreme heat, which made sense since it's almost all saturated, but now I'm seeing that its smoke point is only 350. And when a saturated fat is heated too much, is it still getting oxidized and forming free radicals? I had been thinking that nothing bad would happen to a saturated fat when it's heated because I knew that saturated fats can't become trans-fats since they already have the maximum amount of hydrogen. But I guess any kind of oil will burn, so they can all be oxidized - but I have no idea what's actually being produced when fats are oxidized, other than CO2 and heat. It seems like most of the oils with the highest smoke points are high in monounsaturates like oleic acid. So are monounsaturates about as heat-stable as saturates? I had been thinking that refined coconut oil would be the best for deep-frying, but I guess not if the smoke point is only 350. I also don't want to use anything GM like canola or soy oil. So it seems like maybe palm fruit oil would be the most economical choice. Maybe peanut or rice bran would also be good options? I also don't want something that's going to impart a lot of its own flavor on the food. I don't think I can afford the high-oleic sunflower/safflower. I was also considering lard or tallow, but they actually seem to have a relatively low smoke point as well, plus in a quick search it didn't seem like organic lard and tallow are available, and cows and pigs are typically fed GM feedstocks in addition to all the nasty chemicals they get shot up with, not even getting into the issue of how the animals are treated at industrial feedlots. Cottonseed is another one that is always GM (and I don't think I've ever even seen it at a store - just on processed food labels). And "vegetable oil" is typically just soy and/or canola, depending on what it says in the ingredients list - often you don't even know what you're getting.

To the people saying that oil choices aren't that important, I definitely disagree with that. I guess if you're not using oil very often then it doesn't matter much to you, but fat is an essential nutrient, so we all need to be somewhat conscious of what fats we're eating. As far as overall consumption, I think the main concerns are to try to maximize omega-3 intake while minimizing omega-6 since those are so unbalanced in the typical diet - and since they are both polyunsaturated, that's not something you can tell from product labels; not to overdo it too much on monounsaturates, because most studies show them has having positive effects on cardiovascular health, but also being correlated with some types of cancer; and probably to try to get some MCFA's since they seem to be so beneficial, and I guess maybe I've heard about other specific oils having antioxidant, antimicroibial, immune-boosting, etc. effects. The politically correct idea has for a while been that saturated fat is bad for you, or at least that animal fat is bad, but it seems like the jury is still out on all of that. I've actually read that athero-/arteriosclerosis have little to do with cholesterol levels and more to do with sugar intake and insulin levels.

Then the issue of what oils you can heat up and how much you can heat them is entirely separate from overall fat consumption. Here we are talking about taking in carcinogens, and I don't think that's something where exercise is going to make much of a difference. From what I understand, it seems pretty clear that polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and that fats high in omega-3 like flax oil should never be heated at all, not to more than like 115 F or so (which of course makes me wonder about cooking fish). Then the monounsaturated and saturated fats are where things get fuzzy for me, as I was saying. So does anyone have a better understanding of this stuff than I do? I've even done some searching online and haven't really come up with a good explanation, although I don't know organic chemistry, so I haven't gotten into anything really technical.
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Matt6543
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Kitchen Notes: Smoke Points of Various Fats Reply with quote

Cooking For Engineers wrote:
I like cooking with extra light olive oil and butter. This is mainly because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (73%) while being low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (less than 10%). The refined nature of extra light olive oil mainly affects taste and smoke point, but does not reduce the nutritional benefits of olive oil. Butter, although high in saturated fat (66%), is low in polyunsaturated (4%) and contains a host of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and acids that are antimicrobial and antitumorigenic. Also, it tastes good.



Also, regarding "does not reduce nutritional benefits," the refining is not altering the actual fats that make up the oil, so their nutritional profile would be the same, but those vitamins, antioxidants, etc. that you're talking about in the butter are exactly what is lost or destroyed in the refining process. A lot of the nutritional benefits of food come from micronutrients, but all we usually hear about are the macronutrients. Also, if the light oil is obtained by chemical solvent extraction, there could be remnants of the solvent left in the final product. Anyway, the reason EVOO is recommended so much is because being cold-pressed and unrefined, it is a whole, raw food, and the only commonly available oil that fits that description (actually, maybe it's not technically whole, since it doesn't include the meat of the olive, but you get the idea). Once it is solvent-extracted, heat processed, refined, etc., it's no longer raw - it's just pure fat without any beneficial phytonutrients, just like every other refined oil.

By the way, I can't find a feature to subscribe to this topic, so if anyone responds, maybe they could email me at "revolution is patriotic" at gmail (no spaces). Thanks!
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John
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Refined coconut oil Reply with quote

Does refined coconut oil have a higher smoke point temp.?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.ehow.com/about_5392760_refined-vs-unrefined-coconut-oil.html

/q
As cooking ingredients, refined and unrefined coconut oil have the same melting point---76 degrees F. However, refined coconut oil has a smoking point of 450 degrees F, whereas the smoking point of unrefined coconut oil is 350 degrees F. Because of its greater heat tolerance, refined coconut oil can be a better option for high-temperature cooking methods such as frying.

Read more: Refined Vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5392760_refined-vs-unrefined-coconut-oil.
/uq
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mclee@aretteorganic.com
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Tea Seed Oil Reply with quote

I use Tea Seed Oil (Camellia Oleifera). It has the following health benefits


HIGH SMOKE POINT 485F,
HIGH POSITIVE INFLAMMATION FACTOR RATING, +1125
HIGH OMEGA 9 (MONOUNSATURATED FAT) 79.55%
LOW SATURATED FAT 9.81%
NO CHOLESTEROL
NO TRANS FAT
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beauty
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!
My name is Regine. I am really thankful that I find this info. This really help me from my report dealing with FATS AND OILS...Anyway, I'm a college student from VSU...

Thanks!
Teasing
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chris aylmer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:00 am    Post subject: deep frying Reply with quote

I enjoyed the comments by Matt 6543 recently. I have the same dilemma of not knowing what type of oil to use for deep frying. There are so many different ideas about what is good and bad.

Use unrefined oil and it can smoke at the temperature that you need for deep frying potatoes. With the best of intentions, I tried unrefined red palm oil but this smokes at above 160C. OK for fish in batter, but at that temperature you get soggy chips/French fries and it can take 15 minutes to cook potatoes properly. It's also a messy hassle to filter palm oil after frying as it goes solid when cold. You should ideally filter oil after every use to avoid burnt residues of flour, batter and breadcrumbs from building up. When I switched to refined rapeseed oil at 190C, the potatoes cooked to a crisp golden colour in only 6 minutes and were so much better for it...the best I'd tasted for ages after persevering with the red palm oil for far too long. But now we hear that these refined oils are solvent extracted and processed at high temperatures to remove low smoke point fats. So they may not burn but they could easily still be vulnerable to lipid peroxidation with continued use and the formation of trans fats (if one seemingly knowledgable scientist contributer is correct). Who would want to throw the oil away every time you fry? It's so wasteful.
For now I will continue with refined high smoke point oils for deep frying (Maybe light olive oil rather than rapeseed)because the only thing I am sure of is that my fried potatoes are definitely much better for it! It's quick, so I use less power, waste less time and the potatoes are done crisply and perfectly. I can easily filter the oil the next day when it is cool.
For all other uses, I always use extra virgin olive oil: e.g. salads, drizzling over savoury foods and sauteeing. I also drizzle it over toast or dip the toast in the oil with garlic crushed in it, rather than spread butter(I do like unsalted butter on freshly baked bread). The taste of extra virgin olive oil is great, subtly hot and peppery without any greasiness, and it is good value now in supermarkets.

As far as the debate on saturated fats goes, I am not at all convinced of the tired old story that saturated fat is bad for your heart. It's gone into the nutrition bible and will take a generation or two to exsponge. It doesn't matter how many papers you quote....there is now real debate about this topic among nutritionists.
I am a pharmacologist by training and did an experiment on myself to see if I could find out what was happening to my cholesterol on high and low fat diets. I put myself on a high fat/very low carb diet for two weeks, followed by high fat/low carb for 4 weeks and then a very low fat /high carb diet for another 4 weeks. The saturated fat intake was 6 times higher in the high fat diets than in the very low fat diet. There was a control period of 2 weeks at the start. I had my lipid profile measured after each period. The best lipid profile was after the high fat/very low carb period. HDL was well up and triglycerides markedly lower, with LDL about the same as control. The ratio of HDL to triglycerides is considered a good marker of heart risk, the higher the better. There were similar results for the second period but less pronounced. With the low fat/high carb diet there was little difference to control. These results suggest that it is the carb intake that is most important for a good lipid profile and that high fat(including 6 times as much saturated fat) is not detrimental. I rest my case! Of course, maybe I should not be eating potatoes at all to cut down on carbs, but then we can't all be saints!

please see:

www.chrisaylmer.weebly.com

for full results
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yocona



Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject: Re: deep frying Reply with quote

chris aylmer wrote:


As far as the debate on saturated fats goes, I am not at all convinced of the tired old story that saturated fat is bad for your heart.


Then why not try frying in duck fat? It makes the most incredible french fries.
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JoePutman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: polyunsaturated fatty acids Reply with quote

The author commented that he liked cooking with light olive oil and butter and one of the reasons he listed were that both were low in polyunsaturated fat. That doesn't seem like a good thing to me, wouldn't you prefer they were high is polyunsaturated fat? Polyunsaturated fat is a good thing.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: polyunsat Reply with quote

No polyunsaturated fat is not a good thing - it is a very bad thing. Saturated fat is a good thing. Use natural fats that have been around for hundreds of years - butter, lard (not the hydrogenated stuff most stores sell), tallow, bacon grease. Cholesterol is not the evil it is made out to be. The brain and heart need cholesterol and cholesterol isn't absorbed from the food eaten. For those who think cholesterol is a problem - mine went from 201 to 165 in 4 months when I switched to a low carb high saturated fat diet and I lost weight. I have done a lot of research on this issue. The studies that claim saturated fat is bad and polyunsaturated fat is good ignore previous studies that say the opposite and are manipulated to say what they want it to say. Many of those studies are a subset. What subset means is that they do a study and if the results say opposite of what they wanted it to say and a small portion of it seems to say what they want the results to be, they publish only the portion that says what they wanted the results to say.

A good place to start researching this issue is: http://www.westonaprice.org

A heart surgeon (don't remember his name) recently came out and said that inflammation causes the cholesterol to stick to the arteries. In the absence of inflammation, cholesterol flows through the vessels like it is supposed to do. Inflammation explains why people with "good" cholesterol have heart attacks. I heard of a study that possibly correlates high A1C to heart attacks more than anything previously reprted
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anon
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: How to peel an egg Reply with quote

Replying to "a part-time chicken engineer" on how to peel a hard-boiled egg. After years of peeling off dozens of little chips of egg shell, I discovered the perfect way a few years ago. Here's how: After boiling, drain the water and fill the pot with cold tap water. Leave the eggs in the water for 30 minutes or so to completely cool. Take an egg, use your knuckle and put a dozen or so cracks all over the whole egg. Here's the magic part - hold the egg vertically with the pointy end pointing up. Hold the egg between both of your palms and slightly squeeze the egg while rolling it between your hands. After rolling 10 - 12 times, grab the egg and use your thumbnail to get under the shell. Keep unpeeling it all the way. Rolling it between your palms loosens the shell from the egg. After a bit of practice, you'll become an expert at removing the entire shell in one piece, I've been doing it for years. Note of caution - If you put too much of a squeeze when rolling it, you'll split that sucker in half, so be gentle. There - we've lifted the cloak and now you know the magic. Go impress your friends.
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Natalie
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Avocado Oil Reply with quote

HI there,

Wondering if you can specify on your chart that the avocado oil you have listed is the refined version. I sell naturally refined avocado oil and have had smoke point testing done on multiple virgin avocado oils on the market. They all claim smoke points of 500 degrees or more - which is inaccurate at best - and I'm trying to correct the misinformation online about avocado oil's smoke point. I would appreciate you updating your chart as it is commonly referred to as a source when stating avocado oil smoke point. If you have any questions of would like to see the data from the smoke point analysis I'm more than happy to talk with you.

Thanks!
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guest
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil good for sauteing? Reply with quote

Hi,

I am using Unrefined Seasame Oil and now I am planning to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, especially for sauteing. I would like to know whether it is better to stick with Unrefined Seasame Oil or switch over to EVOO. Also, is it necessary to switch of the stove/reduce to minimum heat when we see smoke in the oil, especially during sauteing?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the 'extra virgin' olive oils very frequently have distinct flavors - the regular olive oils less distinct / more neutral.

I made a caprice salad for Christmas dinner and we had a mini-taste testing to determine which oil to use - plain ole' 'olive oil' won out over extra virgin and a couple other 'infused' oils - so be aware of flavor shifts.

if the pan is emitting billows of smoke, yes it's too hot regardless of which fat you're using.
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