Cooking to the MAX

It’s a commonly known fact that the dials on your stove correspond to the awesomeness of food you are preparing. Why anyone would cook on less than max (for maximum deliciousness) escapes me.

Unfortunately, commercially available cooking oils are extremely pussy and usually only allow for a cooking setting of 6 – 8. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature where the fatty acids begin to decompose, and smoke can be visibly seen. This is followed by the hilarious flash point of an oil where the fatty triglycerides gain the ability ignite and combust.

The smoke point of commonly used cooking oils can be seen in the poorly formatted table below, with a more complete listing found here.

Oil

°F

°C

Butter

350

177

Canola

225

107

Extra Virgin Olive

320

160

Lard

370

182

Peanut

440

227

For reference, the auto-ignition point of diesel is 210°C (410°F).

From the chart, it’s clear that peanut oil is the most badass cooking oil available – it can handle cooking to the max. Unfortunately, not everyone can bear the badassery of peanut oil, let alone the entire peanut itself. Those who suffer from peanut allergies may settle for something milder, such as the mother Mary of cooking oil, extra virgin olive (or if you’re naughty, Canola oil, the politically correct name for Rapeseed.)

Personally, I don’t use any oil at all. Instead, two slices of bacon are fired up, coating my pan with a layer of delicious. Try it – you won’t regret it!

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