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  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India
  • Harvesting Goodness Since 1995
  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India
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  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India

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Smoke Points of Oils: How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil For Your Needs

Cooking is as much a science as it is an art, and one key element to master is understanding the smoke points of various oils. Imagine you’re preparing a delicious stir-fry or frying hot, crispy pakodas, and suddenly, a cloud of smoke fills your kitchen. Not only is this a sign that your food might be burning, but it also indicates that your oil has exceeded its smoke point. Even in ancient times, when cooks used open flames and rudimentary stoves, they had an understanding of the properties of oils. In today’s kitchens, where we have access to a variety of cooking oils ranging from delicate extra virgin olive oil to robust avocado oil, the concept of smoke points remains just as vital. 

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, understanding smoke points can help you improve your culinary creations. From choosing cooking oil with the highest smoke point to gentle salad dressings, each oil has its place in the kitchen. By selecting the appropriate oil for your cooking method, you ensure that your food is cooked perfectly, retains nutrients, and remains delicious. But what exactly is the smoking point of oils? Let’s decode everything there is to know about the smoke points of oils and how they affect their health benefits. 

Table of Contents:

What is Smoke Point?

The smoking point of oils is the temperature at which they start to break down and produce visible smoke. This is an important aspect to consider in cooking because when an oil reaches its smoke point, it begins to degrade, releasing harmful compounds and destroying fats and health benefits. Additionally, the oil’s flavour changes, often becoming bitter and unpleasant, which can negatively affect the taste of your food.

There are different oil smoke points, ranging from oils with the highest smoke points to the lowest. For example, extra virgin olive oil has a relatively low smoke point of around 325-375°F (163-190°C), making it more suitable for low to medium-heat cooking or drizzling over finished dishes. On the other hand, oils like avocado oil and refined peanut oil have high smoke points, around 480-520°F (249-271°C), making them the best frying oils with health benefits.

If you are a home cook, you must know that choosing the right oil with the appropriate oil smoke point ensures that your food is not only delicious but also retains its beneficial fats and health benefits. By knowing the smoke point of oils, you preserve the nutritional integrity of the oil and prevent the formation of potentially harmful substances, making your meals tastier, healthier, and safer to eat. For 100% healthy cooking, you must choose cold-pressed oils which are extracted from seeds or nuts without using high heat.

How Are Oils Classified According to Smoking Point?

Refined oils aren’t all created equal, especially when it comes to cooking. A key factor in choosing the right refined oil is its smoking point, the temperature at which the oil breaks down and starts to smoke. This smoking point helps classify cooking oils into categories for different cooking applications.

  • High Smoke Point (400°F and above): These cooking oils are ideal for high-heat cooking methods like stir-frying and deep-frying. For example, the smoke point of peanut oil and the smoke point of sunflower oil are high, so you can use them to cook high-heat foods.

  • Medium Smoke Point (320°F – 400°F): Suitable for sauteing, pan-frying, and some shallow frying. This category includes grapeseed oil, virgin cold pressed coconut oil, corn oil, and extra virgin olive oil.

  • Low Smoke Point (Below 320°F): Best for salad dressings, drizzling, and low-heat cooking. Examples include walnut oil, sesame oil, and MCT oil.

By understanding the smoke points of oils, you can choose the most appropriate cooking oil with healthy fats, ensuring delicious and safe results.

Are High Smoke Point Oils Good for Cooking?

Yes, high smoke point cooking oils are generally good for cooking as they retain their natural fats. Here’s why:

  1. Versatility in Cooking Methods: High smoke point refined cooking oils are ideal for a variety of high-temperature cooking methods such as frying, sautéing, searing, and grilling. They withstand higher temperatures without breaking down the fats.
  2. Prevention of Harmful Compounds: When refined oils are heated beyond their smoke points, they degrade and release harmful compounds, such as free radicals and acrolein, which can be toxic and contribute to health issues. High smoking point refined oils such as sunflower seed oil smoke point help minimize this risk by remaining stable at higher temperatures.
  3. Better Flavour Retention: High-smoking point refined oils maintain their flavour profile even at high temperatures, ensuring that your food doesn’t acquire a burnt taste.
  4. Improved Nutritional Value: These cooking oils do not break down at high temperatures, preserving their nutritional content better and providing beneficial fats and other nutrients.

When to Use High Smoke Point Oils:

  • Deep-Frying: Ensures crispiness without burning the cooking oil.
  • Stir-Frying: Maintains high heat for quick cooking.
  • Searing Meat: Achieves a good sear without smoking.
  • Roasting Vegetables: Prevents smoking and burning during high-temperature roasting.


While the high smoke point of oils is excellent for high-heat cooking, it’s also important to choose cold-pressed cooking oils as they have more beneficial nutritional profiles and desired flavours for different dishes. Refined oils may be cheaper but are not safe for healthy cooking. So consider checking the smoke point of oils and also how they are processed.

Smoking Point Chart for Cooking Oil

Selecting the right oil for your cooking needs involves understanding their smoking points. Using oils within their smoke point range ensures better flavour, nutritional value, omega fats, and safety. Here’s a handy chart to help you choose the best oil for your culinary creations based on its smoking points.


Flaxseed Oil

Unrefined Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sesame Oil

Canola Oil

Corn Oil

Refined Olive Oil

Refined Peanut Oil

Avocado Oil

Sunflower Oil

Smoke Point











Difference Between Boiling and Smoking Points of Oils

The boiling point and the smoking point of oils are two distinct properties that are important to understand for different reasons in cooking.

Boiling Point of Oils

The boiling point of cooking oil is the temperature at which it transitions from a liquid to a vapour at atmospheric pressure, similar to how water boils at 212°F (100°C). However, oils have very high boiling points, often exceeding 570°F (300°C). In practical cooking terms, oils rarely reach their boiling points because they start to smoke and break down long before they begin to boil. This makes the boiling point less relevant when you cook.

Smoke Point of Oils

The oil smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to break down and produce smoke. This is much lower than the boiling point of cooking oil and varies widely among different types of refined oils. For instance, the smoking point of oils like extra virgin olive oil is around 325-375°F (163-190°C), while avocado oil can have a smoke point as high as 520°F (271°C). When an oil reaches its smoke point, it starts to decompose, killing healthy nutrients, releasing toxic compounds and imparting a burnt flavour to the food.

Practical Implications:

Understanding these differences in the smoke point of oils is vital when you cook. For high-heat methods like frying or searing, select oils with high smoke points to avoid burning and preserve both the flavour and health benefits of your dishes. For low-heat cooking or dressings, lower oil smoke points, like extra virgin olive oil, are suitable and can add rich flavours without the risk of smoking.


How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil

Choosing the best cooking oil with omega fats depends on several factors, including health considerations, cooking methods, and flavour preferences. Here are some tips to help you make an informed choice:

  1. Consider Smoking Point: Select cooking oils with appropriate smoke points for your cooking method. Sunflower oil smoke point and peanut oil smoke point are high, making them suitable for everyday cooking.
  2. Nutritional Profile: Look for cooking oils that are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy. Consider cooking oils rich in omega-3 fats (e.g. flaxseed oil) or omega-9 fats (e.g. olive oil).
  3. Flavour Compatibility: Choose cooking oils that complement the flavours of your dish. Extra virgin olive oil adds a rich, fruity flavour, while sesame oil provides a nutty, aromatic taste.
  4. Health Considerations: Avoid cooking oils high in saturated fats or trans fats, which can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease. Consider cold-pressed oils with beneficial antioxidants, fats, and vitamins, such as vitamin E in sunflower oil or omega-3 fats in flaxseed oil. 
  5. Storage and Shelf Life: Some cooking oils, like groundnut oil smoke point and avocado oil, are more stable and have longer shelf lives when stored properly in a cool, dark place. To maintain freshness, consider buying smaller quantities of oils that you use less frequently.
  6. Dietary Considerations: For vegan or plant-based diets, choose oils derived from plants rather than animal fats. For those with allergies or intolerances, avoid oils derived from allergenic sources like peanuts or soybeans.

By considering these factors, you can select the best cooking oil to enhance the flavour and healthiness of your meals. Make sure to choose reputed brands that offer kachi ghani oils that are extracted without any additives like hexane and retain their natural heart-healthy fats. For 100% safe oils, check the certifications on labels and also the nutritional information such as trans fats, PUFA, MUFA, and other nutrients.  



Choosing the right oil ensures that your food retains its nutritional value, healthy fats, and flavour without the risk of harmful compounds. For the best benefits of cold-pressed oils, try AsmitA Organic Farms, which offers a range of farm-fresh, certified cold-pressed oils that are ideal for healthy cooking. Their oils, produced using cold-pressed methods, preserve the natural nutrients, fats and flavours, making them perfect for heart health and tasty meals. You can explore a range of oils from their website, which are available in both wholesale and retail quantities.


1. Which oils are best for frying?

Oils with high smoking points, like peanut, canola, and avocado oil, are best for frying.

2. Can I reuse oil after it has smoked?

It’s best to discard oil that has smoked, as it has broken down and may contain harmful substances.

3. How do I know the smoke point of an oil?

Check the label on the bottle or refer to reliable cooking resources for the specific smoke point of the oil.

4. Why does the smoke point matter?

Exceeding an oil’s smoke point can result in burnt flavours and the release of harmful compounds.

About the Author

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Sagarika kanukollu

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