For healthy enjoyment: Choose the right fats, because they don’t all like heat!
Depending on what you are cooking, choose an oil or fat which will withstand the desired cooking temperature. Fats and oils have different levels of stability when heated; we also talk about the smoke point, in other words the temperature at which the fat starts to burn, which becomes apparent as smoke develops. When cooking at high temperatures, for example for searing meat or when preparing vegetables in a wok, then cooking fats and oils with a high smoke point are especially recommended:
• refined safflower oil (smoke point 266 °C)
• refined – and often also referred to as “pure” – olive oil (smoke point 242 °C)
• refined colza oil – also strongly recommended by nutritionists (smoke point 240 °C)
• refined sunflower, coconut, corn, soya or groundnut oil (220 – 230 °C)
• palm kernel oil (220 °C) For gentle roasting, for example for fish or chicken breasts, or for preparing pan-roasted dishes such as roast potatoes or breaded dishes, the most suitable fats or oils are:
• grape seed oil (190 – 210 °C)
• concentrated butter (clarified butter; up to 205 °C)
• extra virgin olive oil (up to 190 °C) Butter and margarine can tolerate heat of around 160 °C and are often used in the preparation of egg and flour-based or breaded dishes, or for gently sweating vegetables.
Diet fats and diet margarines and most virgin or cold-pressed oils (such as virgin safflower or sunflower oil) are generally not suitable for frying! Always take note of the manufacturer’s information on the packaging.