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Oil Smoke Point

Image of cooking oils

Why do we care about oil smoke point?

When cooking with oils, it’s important to be mindful of the smoke point to avoid burning and potential health risks. By staying within the recommended range, we can preserve the beneficial nutrients in our food. Follow these simple tips to cook with oils safely and effectively.

Not all oils are created equal. Showing my age but “Sol, oil’s ain’t oils

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂
Olive oil being poured into a glass dish.
Olive oil

Here’s a free download for you.  Like I always say, I’m not a Dr, but if you keep under the smoke point rather than go over, it’s got to be healthier for you, right? You can download your copy here

I’ve listed them from a cook’s point of view.  Here’s what I do that you might like to think about too. I keep a few different types of oil on hand. I know some may not want to do that, but I like to have options.

Oils I keep on hand

At any given time, if you visited my kitchen, you would find these oils in my pantry.

  • Rice Bran Oil (High heat frying or deep frying)
  • Sunflower Oil, or Peanut Oil I tend to alternate (High heat frying, cakes, wok)
  • Light Olive Oil (Higher heat fry pan stir fry, warm dressings)
  • Ghee (Higher heat usually in Indian food, searing meat at the start etc.)
  • EVO Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium and low heat, salads)
  • Sesame Oil, Toasted (for flavour rather than to use as an oil for cooking)

Then at different times, you’ll see others. For instance, in winter, I like to keep good quality truffle oil. Once you’ve had mashed potatoes with truffle oil or mushroom pasta with truffle oil, there’s no going back to plain and boring. 😜 Or summer, you’ll find walnut oil in my fridge to add to a salad oil.

So what do I use my oils for

You know when you put a frying pan on the stovetop, and your recipe says. “Set to medium-high heat”; you’ll be amazed at just how hot this can get. I did a little test for this post where I put my portable induction hotplate to a setting they term “fry 200°C” This would be classed as medium-high heat. After 5 minutes, this is what I got with my instant-read thermometer.

Temperature probe reading 380c.
Fry pan too hot for oil

When I teach cooking for something like steak, I always oil the food, not the pan. Place the pan on the heat and gently warm it up, and while that is happening, oil the steak. If you add your oil to the pan and then turn it on, your oil will be sitting there at a high heat for longer than is necessary.

Want to know more?

Here is an article to add to your knowledge on the subject.



  1. Hi Bec,
    I like to use Picky Picky Peanut Oil ( Australian grown and made) oil for high heat frying,I do not like the taste of rice bran oil.
    I try to support Australian owned and made as much as possible.
    For all other cooking I use virgin olive oil and avocado oil for salad dressings.
    Thanks for the great recipes and info.

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