The temperature at which fats in cooking oils begin to break down, creating smoke as the oil is heated. When oil reaches the temperature at which it begins to smoke, a chemical breakdown occurs, resulting in the release of a gas and other byproducts from the oil. This chemical breakdown can cause the oil to develop an undesirable flavor. Oils with high Smoke Points, such as refined peanut oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil should be used for frying of foods where the temperature does not exceed 350ºF to 375ºF. For deep-fat frying use only oils with the higher Smoke Points such as refined peanut or corn oil, since this cooking method heats food contents to higher temperatures where smoking of the oil can easily occur.
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