A Guide For Frying With Avocado Oil

When it comes to frying, it’s essential to choose the oil carefully. Let’s examine avocado oil and if it’s 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

Cooking with avocado oil.
Cooking with avocado oil

As a Certified Health Coach many clients ask me about oils including avocado oil. Therefore, I have researched this topic in the past and present. I use avocado oil all the time and have some in my cabinet. Let’s examine it closely starting.

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 down1. 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 oil2.

If an oil has a lower smoke point, cooking with it becomes more challenging, as you must be extremely careful when heating it3. 

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 smoke4.

Frying With Avocado Oil

There are various types of frying and cooking methods5. Knowing avocado oil has a high smoke point, what kind of frying and cooking can avocado oil be used for?

Frying eggs with avocado oil.
Frying eggs with avocado oil

Avocado oil can be used for the following types of cooking:

  • Stir-frying.
  • Deep-frying.
  • Searing.
  • Roasting.
  • Sauteing.
  • Baking.
  • Barbecuing. 

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

Oil smoking in a frying pan.
Oil smoking in a frying pan

As noted, avocado oil has a high smoke point important for frying6. 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 OilSmoke Point
Refined Avocado Oil520°F
Extra-virgin Avocado Oil480°F
Virgin Avocado Oil375°F
Unrefined Avocado Oil375°F
Avocado oil smoke points.

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 & FatsSmoke Point
Avocado Oil – Refined520°F
Safflower Oil – Refined510°F
Sunflower Oil – Neutralized489°F
Extra-Virgin Avocado Oil480°F
Pecan Oil470°F
Olive Oil – Refined470°F
Corn Oil460°F
Palm Oil – Fractionated455°F
Soybean Oil453°F
Peanut Oil – Refined450°F
Rice Bran Oil – Refined450°F
Sesame Oil – Semi refined450°F
Sunflower Oil – Refined450°F
Vegetable Oil – Refined428°F
Olive Oil – Virgin410°F
Coconut Oil – Refined400°F
Canola Oil – Refined400°F
Olive Oil – Extra virgin375°F
Chicken Fat375°F
Vegetable Shortening360°F
Corn Oil – Unrefined352°F
Coconut Oil – Unrefined350°F
Flaxseed Oil – Unrefined225°F
Oils and their smoke points.

Refined or Unrefined Avocado Oil For Frying?

If you’re frying at extremely high temperature, the type of avocado oil may make a difference.

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 point7.

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.

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 food8, it is not the only option available to you. It is typically is not the cheapest, so you may consider coconut oil a great option for frying.

Find out how it compared to olive oil in my article, Avocado Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? A Comparison.

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Oil & Food Articles

Extra Virgin Olive Oil vs Olive Oil: A Complete Comparison

The Complete Guide To Storing Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Go Bad? What You Need To Know

Can I Replace Olive Oil With Coconut Oil?

11 Reasons Why You Should Use Avocado Oil for Cooking

This is the Best Way to Store Your Olive Oil

  1. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health: Evaluation of Chemical and Physical Changes in Different Commercial Oils during Heating []
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health []
  3. IJETSR: A Study on Smoke Point and Peroxide Values of different widely used Edible Oils []
  4. Colorado State University: Cooking with Fats and Oils: Can they withstand the heat? []
  5. Wikipedia: Avocado oil []
  6. Wikipedia: Smoke point []
  7. Chicago Tribune: The best avocado oil []
  8. USDA: Avocado Oil []

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