Posts Tagged ‘smoke point’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Heat The Pan

May 19, 2015


It is best to begin sautéing food in a pre-heated pan.

A hot pan allows the food to sear, or brown when the food hits the surface, rather than sit and soak up the oil while the pan comes to temperature.

Here a few tips to decide when its time to add the food to the oil:

Place the pan on the hot burner before adding the oil.  Pans with non-stick coatings should not be pre-heated without anything in them, as it can destroy the finish.

Drizzle a couple of drops of water onto the pan. Do they sizzle? If so, the pan is hot.

Is the oil flowing freely and coating the pan? Does the surface glisten a bit? These are signs that the pan is hot enough.

Add a tiny morsal of food or batter to the pan. When the food starts sizzling, you are good to go. You can also use a tiny amount of salt or flour for the same effect.

Some people use a wooden spoon or chopstick to test the oil. If it bubbles when you touch the wood to the pan, its ready.

Don’t allow the pan to over heat. Burnt oil doesn’t taste very good. If you see a little smoke start to appear, the pan is too hot. Remove it from the heat, and let it cool down a little bit. Take a paper towel and wipe the over heated oil from the pan and start again.

related post: Smoking Hot:

photo GIF: Come Alive |Glasshouse Images

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Smoking Hot

August 9, 2013


We love olive oil. It is heart healthy, tastes great and enhances our salad dressings and pastas, pesto and hummus, among other things. We use it for most of our cooking needs.
However, there are lots of kitchen chores where less popular oils are better suited to the task at hand.

All fats have a smoke point: the point in which the oil begins to smoke and burn when heated. Once oil reaches that point, it, and the food cooked in it not only tastes bad, but can also be bad for you. It starts to break down chemically and releases toxins and carcinogenic free radicals through the smoke.

Olive oil, in comparison to other oils, has a relatively low smoke point. It is not recommended for frying, searing, stir frying or roasting at high temperatures.

Canola oil has a much higher smoke point and has a neutral flavor that does not over power foods. Like olive oil, it also is low in saturated fats, and may help reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease.

Below is a guide to several different oils and their smoke points:
Butter          325 degrees

Olive oil      325-400 degrees, depending on quality

Coconut oil 350-450 degrees, depending on refinement

Corn oil       425-450 degrees

Canola oil   450-475 degrees

Peanut oil    450-475 degrees

Safflower oil 475-500 degrees (if refined)

photo: glasshouse images

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