Generally unrefined oils have lower smoke points and therefore are not as good for frying or high temperature sauteing. For sauteing I use grapeseed or refined avocado oil.  You can raise the smoke point of butter or olive oil by mixing it with a higher smoke point temperature oil.  Since when you are sauteing or frying the oil will reach temperatures over 350°F, make sure you use an oil which will not break down (smoke) at that temperature or lower.  I usually give myself a cushion, so, for example, would only use oils above 400° to saute.

The following table from Wikipedia presents smoke points of various fats:

Fat Quality Smoke Point
Flax seed oil Unrefined 107°C 225°F
Safflower oil Unrefined 107°C 225°F
Sunflower oil Unrefined 107°C 225°F
Butter 121–149°C 250–300°F
Peanut oil Unrefined 160°C 320°F
Safflower oil Semirefined 160°C 320°F
Soybean oil Unrefined 160°C 320°F
Sunflower oil, high oleic Unrefined 160°C 320°F
Walnut oil Unrefined 160°C 320°F
Hemp oil 165°C 330°F
Sesame oil Unrefined 177°C 350°F
Soybean oil Semirefined 177°C 350°F
Coconut oil Virgin (Unrefined) 177°C 350°F[7]
Corn oil Unrefined 178°C[6] 352°F
Vegetable shortening 182°C 360°F
Avocado oil Un-Refined, Virgin 190-204°C 375-400°F
Canola oil Expeller Press 190-232°C 375-450°F[5]
Olive oil Extra virgin 191°C 375°F
Lard 192°C 390°F
Olive oil Virgin 199°C[6] 391°F
Castor oil Refined 200°C[6] 392°F
Walnut oil Semirefined 204°C 400°F
Canola oil Refined 204°C[1] 400°F
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity) Extra virgin 207°C 405°F
Macadamia oil 210°C 413°F
Tallow (Beef) 215°C 420°F
Almond oil 216°C 420°F
Grapeseed oil 216°C 420°F
Cottonseed oil 216°C[1] 420°F
Hazelnut oil 221°C 430°F
Sunflower oil Refined 227°C[1] 440°F
Coconut oil Refined with stabilizers 232°C 450°F
Sesame oil Semirefined 232°C 450°F
Sunflower oil Semirefined 232°C 450°F
Corn oil Refined 232°C[1] 450°F
Peanut oil Refined 232°C[1] 450°F
Palm oil Difractionated 235°C[8] 455°F
Olive oil Pomace 238°C[1] 460°F
Soybean oil Refined 238°C[1] 460°F
Olive oil Extra light 242°C[1] 468°F
Canola oil High Oleic 246°C 475°F
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter) 252°C 485°F
Tea seed oil 252°C 485°F
Mustard oil 254°C 489°F
Rice bran oil 254°C 490°F
Safflower oil Refined 266°C[1] 510°F
Avocado oil Refined 271°C 520°F


  1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k Wolke, Robert L. (May 16, 2007). “Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Fryer”The Washington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  2. Jump up^ Morgan, D. A. (1942). “Smoke, fire, and flash points of cottonseed, peanut, and other vegetable oils”. Oil & Soap 19: 193.doi:10.1007/BF02545481. edit
  3. Jump up^ Bockisch, Michael (1998). Fats and Oils Handbook. Champaign, IL: AOCS Press. pp. 95–6. ISBN 0-935315-82-9.
  4. Jump up^ Amit K. Das, et al, http://www.slideshare.net/amitkdas12/study-of-oil-deterioration-during-continuous-and-intermittent-frying
  5. Jump up^ Spectrum Organics, Canola Oil Manufacturer, http://www.spectrumorganics.com/shared/faq.php?fqid=34
  6. Jump up to:a b c Detwiler, S. B.; Markley, K. S. (1940). “Smoke, flash, and fire points of soybean and other vegetable oils”. Oil & Soap 17 (2): 39–40.doi:10.1007/BF02543003. edit
  7. Jump up^ Nutiva, Coconut Oil Manufacturer, http://nutiva.com/the-nutiva-kitchen/coconut-oil-recipes/
  8. Jump up^ (Italian) Scheda tecnica dell’olio di palma bifrazionato PO 64.

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