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From sauteeing veggies to making our own salad dressings, oils are pretty much a pantry staple.

For many of us, we stick to the basics and use olive oil for pretty much everything. But, there’s a whole world of oils out there. Our favorites? Avocado oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil. And, while they can all be used for cooking, they have very different chemical compositions. Meaning? They should be used in a purposeful way.

To determine how to use each oil, we should consider the oil’s smoke point. If you see your dish smoking, it’s a signal that your oil is breaking down. And when that happens, it means that the oil is releasing chemicals that can give your food a burnt or bitter flavor. In some cases, the oil can also cause free radicals which are harmful to our health.

Save or pin this helpful cooking-with-oils chart.

Oil Smoke Points

Refined Avocado Oil 520℉
Unrefined or Virgin Avocado Oil 375℉
Refined or Light Olive Oil 465℉
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 325 – 375℉
Ghee 450℉
Refined Coconut Oil  450℉
Extra Virgin or Unrefined Coconut Oil 350℉
Refined Sesame Oil 410℉
Vegetable Oil 400 – 450℉
Grapeseed Oil 390℉

What’s the difference between refined and unrefined oils?

We recommend using unrefined oils because these oils haven’t been altered since their extraction. They regain more health properties and even retain the flavor of the plant they are extracted from. On the other hand, refined oils are often bleached or deodorized after they are extracted. 

There are also “light” (sometimes called pure or regular) oils. Light oils are still treated with chemical solvents to neutralize the flavor, making these oils lighter in taste and color, but not in calories. 


We want to know: how do you use oils in your kitchen? Share with us on social media @casadesuna.

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