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Thread: What is Best Surface Temperature for Frying Meats? page

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    westes's Avatar
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    What is Best Surface Temperature for Frying Meats?

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    I am reading about smoking temperatures of different kinds of oil. As I understand it, when an oil reaches its smoke point, it becomes unstable and produces carcinogens as well. So ideally you want to cook foods below the smoke point of the oil you are using. When frying meats, what is an optimal surface temperature for the skillet?

    I am thinking of using palm kernel oil which has a high smoke point of 450 degrees F. I would probably be using a cast iron skillet.

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    Related to this topic, I tried to cover the surface of a cast iron skillet with palm oil in order to recondition it. I put it in an oven set to 350 degrees F. The oil smokes, even though palm oil is supposed to have a smoke point of 450 degrees F.

    Has anyone else seen similar behavior for palm oil?

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    hmmm. I have never noticed any of my oils smoking but I cook on low heat mostly. I use beef tallow or rendered lard and duck fat for higher heat. I only cook in cast iron and used tallow for seasonings a long time ago. Try seasoning it on a lower oven setting! Sorry that wasn't much help was it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by longing2bfit View Post
    hmmm. I have never noticed any of my oils smoking but I cook on low heat mostly. I use beef tallow or rendered lard and duck fat for higher heat. I only cook in cast iron and used tallow for seasonings a long time ago. Try seasoning it on a lower oven setting! Sorry that wasn't much help was it?
    So beef tallow = cow fat and lard = pig fat? Where do you buy those? And I am really curious where you found duck fat.

    I wonder if the rendering process imparts any undesirable qualities to that fat?

    Would anyone happen to know the smoking temperature for the three types of animal fat she is using?
    Last edited by westes; 07-01-2012 at 01:48 PM.

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    If you reseason a cast iron pan properly there will be some smoke. The point is to completey oxidize the fat and turn it into a polymer layer. Animal fats are actually not good to use for seasoning beacause they are harder to oxidize. The best fats are actually flax and soybean oils. Check out this post. A commenter makes the case for soybean oil in the comments:
    Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To

    As to your original question, yes, it's generally best to cook under the smoke-point of the oil. Here is a list of oil/fat smoke points:
    The Science of Fats, Fatty Acids and Edible Oils Choosing the Right Oils and Fat

    Also, Mark did a post a while back about how olive oil is not as delicate as we've been led to believe. I'm not afraid to cook with it anymore, although I still don't use it often because I prefer the taste and cooking characteristics of other fats more:
    Defending Olive Oil’s Reputation | Mark's Daily Apple

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    the link above spoke very highly of MacNut oil. never heard of it. any other info on it? where to get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mosin46 View Post
    the link above spoke very highly of MacNut oil. never heard of it. any other info on it? where to get it?
    I'm guessing that they're referring to macadamia nut oil. Maybe MacNut is a specific brand. I think your best bet would be to buy some online. Or Whole Foods or something like that, although it will probably be more expensive there.

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