THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE THE PRINTING OF MY LATEST COOKBOOK.
There are a growing number of panels who are reevaluating cooking oils and I have decided that there should be a college degree offered to those who have mastered the available information. The most significant reason for my study of oils is their ‘smoke point’. When oil comes to its smoke point, it is not transformed to a ‘Trans fat’ as I once believed. But it causes a release of carcinogenic free radicals and essential fatty acids are destroyed. The big problem with my research is that no one is agreeing on all cooking oil facts. There are those who now say that cooking with polyunsaturated oils is unhealthy because they are highly susceptible to heat damage. Yet many of these polyunsaturated oils have a very high smoke point. Then there are those who now believe that Coconut oil is not as unhealthy as once thought. All of this information has caused me to become even more confused. But as a result of my study, I have decided to change all of my recipes that included cooking with ‘EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL’ to now read ‘COOKING OIL’. EVOO has a smoke point of 320° and to add to the confusion, different types of olive oil have different smoke points. You may make your own decision as to which oil to use. Since the smoke point for Canola oil is 400°, it remains the oil of choice for my recipes baked in an oven of 400° or lower. I still use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in recipes not requiring heat. Here is a short list of familiar oils with high smoke points: Avocado/520°, Safflower/500°, Grapeseed/480°, Peanut/450°, Sesame Oil (refined)/450°, Corn/450°. The smoke point for butter is only 300° but I use it rarely at a high heat therefore I made no change. IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT USING COOKING OILS, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE where you will find several links (under resources) that I have found to be very helpful.