The oil used depends on the type of cooking and the food. When it comes to frying, it’s essential to choose the oil carefully. If the oil used has a low smoke point, it can affect the taste and make the dish unhealthy. Therefore, is avocado oil good for frying?
Avocado oil is good for frying because it has a high smoke point between 500°F to 520°F. Avocado oil stays fairly stable when heated because it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat. Frying with avocado oil provides vitamin E and antioxidants like lutein.
This article will take a thorough look at why avocado is good for frying and its smoke point. In addition, I’ll explain the added health benefits of using avocado oil.
Why Avocado Oil Is Good for Frying Food
Avocado oil has an extremely high smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke and more importantly, burn.
While all foods have a temperature at which they begin to burn, the smoke point of an oil is important because of the chemical reactions that occur at this temperature.
When oil hits its smoke point, the fats in it start to break down 1. The resulting smoke affects the smell and taste of the food being cooked or fried in the oil. It creates an environmental problem, as the smoke permeates through the surrounding space.
However, the more significant concern is the chemical reactions occurring at this temperature.
As oil breaks down, it releases harmful compounds, including free radicals. Free radicals are carcinogenic and can be extremely harmful to one’s health. When released, these compounds enter the nearest available space, like the food being cooked in the oil 2.
If an oil has a lower smoke point, cooking with it becomes more challenging, as you must be extremely careful when heating it 3.
Additionally, if you are using an oil with a low smoke point for deep-frying, you may have no choice but to go over the smoke point. The ideal temperature for deep frying food is between 350°F and 375°F.
With avocado oil, there’s no concern about the smoke point being an issue. As the smoke point is in the range of 500°F to 520°F, there’s a very low risk you’ll ever have to heat the oil high enough for it to start to smoke 4.
Frying With Avocado Oil
There are various types of frying and cooking methods 5. Knowing avocado oil has a high smoke point, what kind of frying and cooking can avocado oil be used for?
Avocado oil can be used with the following types of cooking:
How about grilling? Grilling and barbecuing are different. Barbecuing uses a lower heat and slower cooking time. Grilling on a barbecue grill involves higher temperatures and shorter cooking times.
Barbecuing cooking temperatures are typically in the range of 200°F-300°F while the heat of the frill grate can range from 500°F-700°F depending on a number of factors.
Those factors include the height of the grate, amount of coals, gas control and if the lid is open or closed. If you’re using a low flame and an open lid, then a refined avocado oil may be used if the temperature is low enough.
Besides frying, many people use avocado oil for dressings or dipping.
Avocado Oil Smoke Point
As noted, avocado oil has a high smoke point important for frying 6. A common question asked is, why is avocado oil smoke point so high?
Avocado smoke point is high because it is naturally low acidic. The high amount of monounsaturated fat makes avocado oil more stable and less prone to oxidation making it suitable for high heat. Both refined and unrefined avocado oil have high smoke points.
The following are the different types of avocado oil smoke points:
|Type of Avocado Oil||Smoke Point
|Refined Avocado Oil||520°F|
|Extra-virgin Avocado Oil||480°F|
|Virgin Avocado Oil||375°F|
|Unrefined Avocado Oil||375°F|
Which oil has the highest smoke point? Refined avocado oil has the highest smoke point which is 520 degrees Fahrenheit.
The following are the oils with the highest smoke point to the lowest:
|Type of Oil & Fats||Smoke Point
|Avocado Oil – Refined||520°F|
|Safflower Oil – Refined||510°F|
|Sunflower Oil – Neutralized||489°F|
|Extra-Virgin Avocado Oil||480°F|
|Olive Oil – Refined||470°F|
|Palm Oil – Fractionated||455°F|
|Peanut Oil – Refined||450°F|
|Rice Bran Oil – Refined||450°F|
|Sesame Oil – Semi refined||450°F|
|Sunflower Oil – Refined||450°F|
|Vegetable Oil – Refined||428°F|
|Olive Oil – Virgin||410°F|
|Coconut Oil – Refined||400°F|
|Canola Oil – Refined||400°F|
|Olive Oil – Extra virgin||375°F|
|Corn Oil – Unrefined||352°F|
|Coconut Oil – Unrefined||350°F|
|Flaxseed Oil – Unrefined||225°F|
Refined or Unrefined Avocado Oil For Frying?
If you’re frying at extremely high temperature, the type of avocado oil may make a difference. Therefore, what avocado oil is best for frying, refined or unrefined?
Refined avocado oil is better for frying than unrefined. Refined oils have a higher smoke point than unrefined. Refined avocado oil has a smoke point between 500°F to 520°F while unrefined has a smoke point of 375ºF.
Unrefined avocado oil is filtered for impurities after the extraction process. Other than that, it’s pretty much left alone and it maintains its flavor. Unfortunately, it has a lower smoke point making it less desirable for frying or cooking at higher temperatures.
Refined avocado oil is deodorized or bleached after the extraction process. Refined has less flavor and odor but has a higher smoke point 7.
Which Oil Is Healthiest For Frying?
Avocado oil is healthiest for frying because it has the highest smoke point of the oils available preventing the release of harmful compounds. Avocado oil is rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and antioxidants.
Many people have asked me about coconut oil for frying. A common question asked in my health training sessions, is avocado oil better than coconut oil for frying?
Avocado oil is better than coconut oil for frying because it has a higher smoke point than coconut oil, 500°F compared to 400°F. Avocado oil contains more heart healthy monounsaturated fats and fewer saturated fats than coconut oil.
Although coconut oil is a good alternative to avocado oil if it’s the only option available to you. Its smoke point is higher than other oil like olive oil. It also delivers several health benefits like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
While avocado oil is undoubtedly a healthy option for frying food 8, it is not the only option available to you. Avocado oil typically is not the cheapest, so you may consider coconut oil a great option for frying.
Find out how avocado oil compared to olive oil in my article, Avocado Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? A Comparison.
Health Benefits of Frying With Avocado Oil
Avocado oil health benefits:
- High smoke point for frying: Refined avocado oil has a smoke point up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rich in oleic acid. This is a type of omega-9 fatty acid and helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease 9.
- Heart healthy: It promotes good heart health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
- High in lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant essential for eye health. It reduces the risk of ocular problems, like macular degeneration, cataracts and other problems caused by aging 10.
- Help the body absorb essential nutrients. This includes vitamins A, K, E, and D, beta-carotene and lutein. Research studies have shown avocado oil may help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, pain and stiffness.
- Rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants offer a range of health benefits, including fighting off free radicals 11.
Is avocado oil good for frying chicken? Avocado oil is good for frying chicken in a pan or deep frying. Avocado oil’s smoke point is up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit which is more than enough for the typical deep-frying temperatures of 325-375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is unrefined avocado oil good for frying? Unrefined avocado oil is good for frying because its smoke point of 375 degrees meets or is more than the typically frying temperatures of 325-375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I use avocado oil instead of olive oil for frying? Avocado oil can be used instead of olive oil for frying. It is better than olive oil for frying because it has a higher smoke point.
Find out if olive oil or sesame oil provided the most benefits in my article, Sesame Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Wrapping Up Frying With Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a good choice for frying due to its high smoke point, ensuring the oil does not degrade at high temperatures and leak harmful chemicals into the food.
Other benefits of this oil include its high amounts of oleic acid, lutein, antioxidants and other beneficial substances.
The low acidity and high amounts of monounsaturated fat helps keep the oil stable 12 while exposed to high frying temperatures.
Read Next – More Oil & Food Articles
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- Acta Scientific Nutritional Health: Evaluation of Chemical and Physical Changes in Different Commercial Oils during Heating
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health
- IJETSR: A Study on Smoke Point and Peroxide Values of different widely used Edible Oils
- Colorado State University: Cooking with Fats and Oils: Can they withstand the heat?
- Wikipedia: Avocado oil
- Wikipedia: Smoke point
- Chicago Tribune: The best avocado oil
- USDA: Avocado Oil
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: An overview of the modulatory effects of oleic acid in health and disease
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Free radicals, reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress and its classification
- ScienceDirect: Stability of avocado oil during heating: Comparative study to olive oil