Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cool site that is worth a look: cookingforengineers.com

Is this slightly off topic perhaps? Heck no, for example, if you use the wrong oil in the kitchen, something could go boom, (I guess.) At my house, Karen, my girlfriend, generally uses olive oil in cooking because of its low saturated fat content, but I've always felt it was inferior for jobs like frying. Maybe, I thought, if I could just find the right type, it would work better, get hotter, etc. The olive oil I use smokes pretty easily, setting off the smoke detector, and imparting a burnt flavor.

So here's what a recent post in cooking for engineers has to say about this:
Fat Type: Smoke Point in °F Smoke Point in °C

Extra virgin olive oil 320°F 160°C

Coconut oil 350°F 177°C

Vegetable shortening 360°F 182°C

Lard 370°F 182°C

Refined canola oil 400°F 204°C

Extra virgin olive oil 405°F 207°C

Sesame oil 410°F 210°C

Cottonseed oil 420°F 216°C

Grapeseed oil 420°F 216°C

Virgin olive oil 420°F 216°C

Almond oil 420°F 216°C

Peanut oil 440°F 227°C

Sunflower oil 440°F 227°C

Refined corn oil 450°F 232°C

Refined Safflower oil 450°F 232°C

Refined soy oil 450°F 232°C

Extra light olive oil 468°F 242°C

Soybean oil 495°F 257°C

Safflower oil 510°F 266°C

Looks to me like the extra light olive oil should work fine for frying. I just need to buy the extra light type. Comments from experts on this are appreciated.


Anonymous said...

use vegetable oil for frying.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert, but I do love to deep fry, especially chicken and fries. I have tried different oils, but have settled on vegetable oil (not shortening).

1. It's cheap - you need a lot of oil to deep fry, and I don't like using it more than twice

2. It doesn't have much taste - many of the oils on your list have very distinct tastes which work well in sautes and stir frys, but not for deep fry.

I've never had anything go boom in the kitchen, but I did once have some oil boil over on my gas stove. There was a definite whoosh, and my son was very impressed. No damage luckily.