Cooking would be difficult without oil. But with so many different kinds, it’s hard to know which oils can withstand a high cooking temperature, and which fizzle out.
When it comes to choosing cooking oil, the key is knowing which have high smoke points and which do not. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it will start to smoke and break down. When cooking oil starts to smoke, it can lose some of its nutritional value and can give food an unpleasant taste.
Oils with a high smoke point such as avocado, sunflower and sesame are great for stir-frying or deep-frying. Those with a moderate smoke point such as grapeseed, refined canola and coconut are better for sautéing. Finally, oils with a low smoke point such as flaxseed, walnut and extra virgin olive oil are best for mixing in dips or salad dressings.