5

votes

I see smoke when cooking with coconut oil

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I've started to cook with coconut oil but I am surprised to see that it starts to smoke really fast. Even when I make an omelet.

If it smokes then that means that it has reached its smoking point and that is bad, right? What is going on here? I understood that cooking with coconut oil is good and healthy. Maybe the problem is the quantity? I use one tablespoon.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:42 AM

Sesame oil has a very high amount of PUFAs in it which doesn't make it suitable for cooking. Why dilute the healthy coconut oil and reduce it's benefits? Maybe he's just using EVCO and the solids burn, or there's water in it, or the heat is just too high. No need to introduce seed oils IMO.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 16, 2011
at 12:21 AM

I've done that too. Burnt breakfast with a side of adrenaline. :)

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 21, 2010
at 10:05 PM

You may have been using a refined version of sunflower oil that had a higher smoke point. Even for a specific kind of oil, smoke points seem to be variable depending on the brand, but you can find a basic list for comparison at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 21, 2010
at 06:34 PM

Well then kaciula, if I were you I'd rather have that available coconut oil than no coconut oil, so just lower the heat a bit when you cook with it and you should be fine.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on March 21, 2010
at 01:09 PM

I like that story. :-)

232fb2b7be75692022d9dab82bae9835

(81)

on March 21, 2010
at 10:24 AM

It's hard enough to find any kind of coconut oil where I leave. The only one I can buy is the one from Now Foods.

232fb2b7be75692022d9dab82bae9835

(81)

on March 21, 2010
at 10:21 AM

I think it's medium. I just have a handle that I turn. It's on gas, not electric. If the heat is too high, then why when I used to cook with sunflower oil, I didn't get any smoke?

4310630972b25b6ed4fbd0fe7a7201d0

(840)

on March 21, 2010
at 01:15 AM

Only time I've seen smoking with coconut oil was when I was cooking with cast iron that had been seasoned with questionable oils.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 20, 2010
at 05:09 PM

Yes, tell us how high you are setting your heat... medium or even lower may suffice for an omelet anyway, right?

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 20, 2010
at 04:22 PM

I agree. I use medium heat and have never it smoke on me.

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7 Answers

best answer

1
Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on March 20, 2010
at 04:39 PM

Coconut oil has an unsually low smoke point considering that it is 90% saturated.

You can try mixing in a higher smoking point oil with your coconut. Enig and Fallon of WAPF recommend adding sesame oil in Eat Fat, Lose Fat, probably partly because the taste is more acceptable to many than other alternatives.

I second the recommendations for cooking at a lower temperature.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:42 AM

Sesame oil has a very high amount of PUFAs in it which doesn't make it suitable for cooking. Why dilute the healthy coconut oil and reduce it's benefits? Maybe he's just using EVCO and the solids burn, or there's water in it, or the heat is just too high. No need to introduce seed oils IMO.

3
Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on March 20, 2010
at 04:50 PM

Is it refined or unrefined coconut oil? Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point for smoke points of different oils.

I've succeeded in starting an all-out fire with coconut oil... luckily it was in a cast-iron pan and the vent was on high, so I just let it burn itself out. Still, not my greatest moment.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on March 21, 2010
at 01:09 PM

I like that story. :-)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 16, 2011
at 12:21 AM

I've done that too. Burnt breakfast with a side of adrenaline. :)

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 21, 2010
at 02:23 AM

Well, don't waste whatever oil you have left, just adjust your cooking temperature lower so the smoke point is not a problem when you cook.

Then next time use the recommendations above and buy a brand that has a higher smoke point or add a splash of sesame oil.

I find when I cook omelets in my old cast iron frying pan I can get that nice golden crust without any problems.

232fb2b7be75692022d9dab82bae9835

(81)

on March 21, 2010
at 10:24 AM

It's hard enough to find any kind of coconut oil where I leave. The only one I can buy is the one from Now Foods.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 21, 2010
at 06:34 PM

Well then kaciula, if I were you I'd rather have that available coconut oil than no coconut oil, so just lower the heat a bit when you cook with it and you should be fine.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 20, 2010
at 04:32 PM

This has happened to me too. Is it only the oil in the pan? I figured it was happening to me because of water in the food I was sauteeing evaporating rather than the actual oil smoking.

1
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on March 20, 2010
at 03:02 PM

My guess is that you have the burner up at the highest temperature. I would suggest keeping your pan at medium-high heat and give it another go.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 20, 2010
at 04:22 PM

I agree. I use medium heat and have never it smoke on me.

0
1f2828e831b3cd4f1e9c8b05ca706310

(0)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:18 AM

Refined oils will tolerate higher temps. You're probably using some high quality extra virgin, unrefined, unfiltered oil. Such an oil has more of the original plant materials in it, which are better for you but burn at a lower temp than purified oil that has had all the non-oil foody bits filtered or otherwise clarified out. This is why ghee is used for cooking, clarifying butter removes all the non-oil components which would burn and smoke at lower temps. And this is also why ghee can be kept longer than unclarified butter without refrigeration, it's the carbs and proteins that spoil (faster than the oil goes rancid.)

0
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on March 20, 2010
at 09:45 PM

Perhaps not all coconut oil is the same. I have never seen smoke coming from my skillet using Nutiva brand availble from Amazon or other places. But I never fry over high heat.

I also pan fry with Now Brands MCT (medium chain triglyceride oil) and never see any smoke.

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