Smoke Point
Resources > Term > S > Smoke Point

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
+ -

A fat or oil’s Smoke Point, is the temperature at which wisps of smoke appear, signaling that the oil is breaking down from the heat. Cooking in oil past its Smoke Point, gives food an off flavor and can be unhealthy. When oil smokes, many of the fatty acids have been destroyed and free radicals (toxic molecules) have been created by the excessive heat.

In general, temperatures above 320˚F (160°C) cause Unsaturated Fats to form Trans Fat, a type of fat not normally present in oils that can clog arteries and increase the risk of cancer. Continued consumption of burnt oils can lead to atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, and the development of birth defects.

Culinary Uses

The Smoke Point of different fats and oils is often used as a Visual Clue in cooking. Smart Kitchen's exercise on The Smoke Point Heat Test covers all the particulars.