What is high temperature cooking?

Answered on November 28, 2013
Created November 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM

I've been hearing a lot about the dangers of high temperature cooking. I understand that deep frying, grilling and barbecuing are high temperature. Baking can be as well. What exactly is high temperature cooking? I assume scrambling an egg isn't. Is that because the temperature doesn't get too high for too long? What about sauteeing? I don't know of any way to get my veggies to taste as good as they do when I sautee them in butter or coconut oil. So, what are the set of conditions that make cooked foods dangerous?

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on November 27, 2013
at 04:23 AM

I'll attempt to answer your question from the opposite angle:

Many people consider low temperature cooking to be at or below boiling water (100c). And advocates of this cooking method believe that foods exposed to heat should also be cooked in a moist environment -- steaming or boiling.

In your example, scrambled eggs (on a pan) would be considered high heat cooking, and the act of breaking the yolk would further expose it to oxidization. Perhaps a superior cooking method would be to gently boil the egg so that the yolk is still soft. Even better, some would argue, would be to eat your eggs raw!

Wet heat cooking will definitely not get your veggies crisp and browned, but you could try adding oils after you cook for an improved taste.

Ultimately, "the dose makes the poison," and it's not very Paleo to think that our ancestors never charred their foods, or that our bodies are not evolved to handle some amount of toxins produced by high heat cooking.

After reading Perfect Health Diet, I switched to steaming as my primary cooking method. But I still love a good BBQ.



on November 28, 2013
at 02:48 PM

I think the real problem is taking oils past the smoke point. Even the smoke point is arbitrary, toxic compounds are formed below it, just less. As snowman says, the dose matters. Dry heat in the oven? is fine. BBQ? fine. gently sauté' whatever? fine. stews? fine. anything boiled/steamed? finer. raw? finest. and by fine I mean low toxicity. scrambled eggs are less good than boiled not because they are pan cooked but because they are scrambled, exposing the food to a whole lot of oxygen. Deep fried anything? not so fine, but you can minimize it by using very refined high smoke point fats.


on November 28, 2013
at 12:34 PM

It is like that every food should not be cooked at high temperature, some required low temperature cooking some required high temperature cooking its all depend upon the food you cook how much temperature required.

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on November 27, 2013
at 05:29 AM

It is crazy, now I can't cook my foods with heat that is too hot. I figure a scorched GF steak is better eats for me than a McD's pink slime burger so I won't sweat the high heat. I'd think that the caveman of ancient times probably was thrilled to flame his recent catch.

IMO don't burn your food beyond recognition and don't worry about temps, sauté your veggies instead of eating Taco Bell. GLTY

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