smoke point


The stage at which heated fat begins to emit smoke and acrid odors, and impart an unpleasant flavor to foods. The higher the smoke point, the better suited a fat is for frying. Because both reusing fat and exposing it to air reduces its smoke point, it should be discarded after being used three times. Though processing affects an individual fat's smoke point slightly, the ranges for some of the more common fats are: butter (350°F); lard (361° to 401°F); vegetable shortenings (356° to 370°F); vegetable oils (441° to 450°F)—corn, grapeseed, peanut and safflower oils all have high smoke points, whereas that of olive oil is relatively low (about 375°F).

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

QUIZ: What's Your Culinary Point of View?

Take the quiz to find out how you'd hook an audience on Food Network.

QUIZ: What's Your Culinary Point of View?

Click "start" to find out how you would hook an audience on Food Network.

Caption It: Big Points for Tailgate Food

Caption this photo of Jeff Mauro in a moment of football-fueled excitement.

From the Network's Point of View: Bob Tuschman on Searching for Stardom

Hear from Food Network executive Bob Tuschman as he chats about his role on the Selection Committee and dishes on how the series has evolved since its earliest days.

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption From Alton Brown's Point of View

Watch footage from Alton Brown's GoPro camera and browse insider photos to experience Food Network's The Next Iron Chef: Redemption from Alton's point of view.

What Is Smoked Paprika?

Find 1000s of Food Network's best recipes from top chefs, shows and experts. And watch videos demonstrating recipe prep and cooking techniques.

From the Network's Point of View: Susie Fogelson on 11 Seasons of Star Power and Culinary POVs

Susie Fogelson dishes on working on the Selection Committee with Bob, and she shares her take on the all-important culinary POV for finalists.

I've Got a Point to Prove! Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

Caption this moment from the finale of Food Network's "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off."

How to Smoke Meat


Get hearty, smoky flavor in your own backyard.