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Old 01-12-2007, 02:05 PM   #1
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Smokepoint

Is it okay to reach this point? Do you ever want the fat to smoke, or is that the point where you turn the heat down?

Also, I've seen a phrase in a recipe "when the fat breaks, or starts to smoke...." - does "break" mean the same thing here?

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Old 01-12-2007, 02:13 PM   #2
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Some foods suggest you get the fat very hot before adding the food. Then you see the instruction, add the food when the fat starts to smoke. That little bit of smoke is OK. If you continue to let the fat heat up with no food added, the smoke will increase and the fat can catch fire and burn.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:22 PM   #3
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If you want to get a good sear on your foods, you need to let the oil come to a smoking point. When the "fat breaks" probably refers to when the oil starts to shimmer along the bottom the pan. I've never heard that expression before unless they are referring to butter and not oil.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:43 PM   #4
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for Wok cooking it`s often essential to reach "Peng" (chinese for the correct heat), as for Fats the only dish I know that requires that is Yorkshire pudding, but I dare say there are others also.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks much for your answers folks. To continue, can the fat "go bad" if you let it smoke too much? Will it alter the aroma or taste of the food you're cooking?

Ironchef, I don't remember exactly what context I read the "fat breaking" term - I got that out of ProChef (CIA book) tho.....
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:54 PM   #6
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The oil's flavor will change when it burns and it will negatively effect the taste of the food.
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:57 PM   #7
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I fry alot of fish using peanut oil which has a high smoke point...I normally drop the fish at about 370*/380* which gives me a quick "seal" then the oil will usually drop down into the 350*/360* range to finish...this is using a propane burner with alot of BTU and good recovery...Inside on a Viking gas range I have to use a long pan (cast iron) that covers 2 burners...Of course I could fry smaller batches...but that takes to long when cooking several pounds of fish...by the time I would finish everything else..some of the fish would be getting a little cool....Someone said.."Fried food is not bad for you..but bad fried food is"
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:24 PM   #8
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I never allow fat to reach that point. I look for the "wrinkle" point, where you'll see a wrinkling shimmer on the surface. That comes right before things start to smoke.

The "wrinkling" point is quite hot enough for me, thank you - lol!!
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
I fry alot of fish using peanut oil which has a high smoke point...I normally drop the fish at about 370*/380* which gives me a quick "seal" then the oil will usually drop down into the 350*/360* range to finish...this is using a propane burner with alot of BTU and good recovery...Inside on a Viking gas range I have to use a long pan (cast iron) that covers 2 burners...Of course I could fry smaller batches...but that takes to long when cooking several pounds of fish...by the time I would finish everything else..some of the fish would be getting a little cool....Someone said.."Fried food is not bad for you..but bad fried food is"
The question made me think about our deep fryers at work ------ starting to smoke = hit the stop button -- real quick. Then the next stage is flickers of flame coming from the surface of the oil = panic stations,vacate the premises, call the fire brigade LOL
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:50 AM   #10
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Smoke is not good as the oil at that point has changed scientifically. If my oil starts to smoke i'll clean the pot out and start over.
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