What is the smoke point of an oil and why is it important for cooking?

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What is the smoke point of an oil and why is it important for cooking?

In: Chemistry

The smoke point is the temperature that the oil starts to smoke & burn. Once the oil starts to smoke and burn, you’ve pretty much ruined whatever you’re cooking cause it’s going to taste like burnt ass.

That doesn’t mean you need to cook everything in an oil that doesn’t smoke until 450F, though, be cause then you’ll miss the flavors of different oils. I personally like to deep fry stuff in canola oil or sometimes just plain ol pig lard, but I saute veggies and stuff in olive oil because the flavor profile is different with the olive oil.

Smoke point or burning point is when a compound will self-ignite; spontaneous combustion

Oil fire is not as simple to put out as a cloth or wood fire and as such is more dangerous. For example, if you pour water on a oil fire, the water will rapidly turn to steam and effectively be a bomb throwing burning oil all around the place.