The smoke point of soy bean oil | Everything you need to know

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  February 20, 2022

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Soybean oil is said to have a high smoke point, which is good for cooking. In ths article, I’ll help you to understand the concept of smoke point and how it matters for soybean oil.

To give the answer right away, the smoke point of soybean oil is 453-493°F or 234-256°C. It’s not the highest temperature any oil can reach though.

Smoke point of soy bean oil

Soybean oil is one of the most common types of oils used in the United States. Here are some ways to use it:

What does smoke point mean?

The definition of “smoke point” is the temperature at which the oil starts producing white visible smoke and stops shimmering. This is noticeable when cooking, as you can smell it and see smoke.

The situation indicates that the oil is breaking out, releasing toxic chemicals that may penetrate your food.

What happens when heat exceeds the smoke point?

You’ll know the oil has reached or exceeded the smoke point temperature when it starts to smoke intensely. This is normal if you’re cooking something in the wok, but that’s an exception.

When oil breaks down, it releases chemicals and free radicals that harm the human body. These chemicals are compounds known to cause cancer and other diseases.

Make sure to stay away from the smoke of overheated soybean oil and turn off the heat when the oil reaches the smoke point.

Besides making the food unhealthy, oil that’s broken down also gives out a burnt aroma and bitter flavor to food. If you let the oil smoke for a little longer, your food will quickly turn black and become ruined.

Also, if you cook with oil past its smoke point, any beneficial nutrients or phytochemicals are destroyed by the heat. So even a healthy refined oil becomes unhealthy and quite harmful to consume.

The bottom line is that the ideal condition for cooking with oil is when the oil hasn’t reached its smoke point yet.

A higher smoke point means we can use the oil for cooking in higher heat and for a longer duration.

So an oil with a high smoke point can be your best bet in the kitchen!

Why you need to consider the smoke point

Always consider the smoke point of an oil before you use it. The type of oil you should use depends on what type of food you’re making.

For example, you can’t use a low smoke point oil such as olive oil to fry french fries. The olive oil will burn and make the potato bitter and awful to eat.

On the other hand, if you’re making salad dressing, then soybean oil isn’t the best option. You should use this type of oil for baking, frying, and sauteeing.

Also read: use a potato ricer to easily add another dish to your arsenal

Refined oils

Soybean is considered a refined oil. It’s usually refined for 3 applications and hydrogenated.

And did you know that refined oil has a higher smoke point? This is because during the refining process, free fatty acids and impurities are removed. The impurities cause the oil to smoke.

In addition, soybean oil is a low-allergen food, so it can be consumed by most people.

The smoke point of soybean oil

The smoke point of soybean oil is at 234-256°C, which is equal to about 453-493°F.

If you compare these numbers to other cooking oils, you might find them rather high. This makes it excellent for baking and deep-frying.

Even so, soybean oil isn’t the oil with the highest smoke point.

Here are the smoke points of other oils commonly used for cooking:

Here, Cityline looks at 6 healthy cooking oils with various smoke points:

You may have noticed on the list that solid fats tend to have lower smoke points than liquid oils.

That is because solid fats usually contain more free fatty acids (FFA), which are very easy to break down.

Soybean oil for cooking

You don’t necessarily have to use the oil with the highest smoke point to cook. What’s important is to know the temperature of a cooking method you’re about to do and make sure you choose the oil that can withstand the temperature. You can choose the oil that you prefer taste-wise.

For example, here are some of the cooking methods and the temperatures they may hit:

Soybean oil’s smoke point is much higher than the regular cooking temperature. So you can use it for any cooking method without worrying that it might break down before your food is well done.

However, you might need to pay attention while cooking, especially if you let the stove stay on for a bit longer. The temperature may gradually rise and eventually, smoke will start to form.

To avoid this, you can lower the heat when you feel like your stove’s getting hotter.

Can you use soybean oil for deep-frying?

Many people love deep-fried foods and use a deep-frier to make delicious dishes such as french fries, potato wedges, or deep-fried chicken drumsticks. In this case, you’re probably wondering if you can use soybean oil to deep-fry food.

Soybean oil is cheap, especially when bought in bulk. So yes, you can use soybean oil to deep fry your favorite foods!

This oil is a good option because it’s high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. Its high smoke point makes it ideal for frying.

Also read: 2 important reasons to use soybean oil for teppanyaki

Other benefits of using soybean oil for cooking

A high smoke point isn’t the only benefit you can get from using soybean oil to cook!

Many other things could add up as you consider making this oil your main cooking oil. Find out what below!

Versatility

Apart from its high smoke point, soybean oil is also widely available and inexpensive. If you own a fast-food establishment or a restaurant, you should consider using soybean oil, as it’s considered the most inexpensive cooking oil around!

Not only can you use soybean oil in almost any cooking technique, but you can also use it as a salad dressing or marinade.

The flavor is neutral so it can go with any food. Soy doesn’t overpower the food flavors so restaurants can use this one oil for a large variety of dishes, which makes it versatile.

The oil can also be reused, so it’s efficient for big-batch cooking.

Promotes cardiovascular health

Soybean oil contains less saturated fats and a lot more polyunsaturated fats than any other cooking oil.

Saturated fats are the type of bad fats that could increase the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, polyunsaturated fats are the much better variant that may even reduce the LDL cholesterol in your body.

Maintain bone health

One tablespoon of soybean oil contains about 25 mg of vitamin K, which is about 20% of the recommended daily value. The vitamin is essential for wound recovery and maintaining bone health.

Studies found that vitamin K intake may lower the risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have many major benefits for our bodies. They can protect you from terminal illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

These fatty acids also play a vital role in fetal development, brain development, and the immune system.

Can be used as skin and hair care

Soybean oil also contains a high amount of vitamin E, which is very beneficial for the health of your skin and hair. You can use soybean oil as a natural moisturizer.

It can also protect your skin against UV rays, acne, and atopic dermatitis.

Try out soybean oil for cooking

Soybean oil is one of the most common oils to be used in cooking. It’s widely available and cheap, making it affordable for many people.

With a high smoke point and many other benefits, soybean oil has become one of the most favorite cooking oils in many households and restaurants around the world. Will it become yours?

Read more: What’s the ideal teppanyaki grill temperature?

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.