What Oil Past Smoke Point Looks Like

What Oil Past Smoke Point Looks Like

This photo does not feature steam. If you are using oil in your heated food preparation, be wary of any precipitate as it more than likely indicates your oil exceeded its smoke point and has entered a zone of releasing damaging toxins into your food. Do not consume the items or inhale the fumes.

To clarify stove top heat settings, a good calibration is that most settings range from 200˚F at Low and 500˚F at High. If 10 mini-settings are within your range’s dial, for instance, that means each gradation – or dash mark – indicates a jump of 30˚F. So you achieve a 350˚F setting around the midpoint, at dash 6. Aiming to keep temperatures a little lower? Don’t exceed the 5th setting.

Able to go somewhat higher? Still keep in mind that water boiling at High leaves you with an entire 500˚ for which to account, so cool your mixture as needed and/or saute your flavors separately to top your dish with later.

You will likely keep better flavor and other health benefits in your meals that way, too.

Keep in mind that most oils do not enhance with age, and the oxidative process itself may impede its taste and benefits. If you keep several different bottles in the house, you can track it as well as go by your own smell and taste test, but this process can also begin with the olives before they are even pressed. If other vegetable, nut or seed-based oils are blended into your olive oil to achieve higher smoke points with ease, any polyunsaturated-dominant oils are still introducing less stable “free acidity” structures to your medley; and despite any low saturated fat content or other heart touting claims, they compromise the cooking integrity and health benefits of your oil selection.


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