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Old 04-14-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hayward, CA
Posts: 1
Smoking Oil Problem

Hello Everyone,

I am a newbie cook. I have a problem with my cooking and that is I find myself smoking the oil I use too much. First, I am not always sure whether I am smoking the oil or not (maybe it is just steam from the water in the food). I find it hard to control the temperature of my oil (maybe it is my thin pan or the unstable canola oil I use). When I put the burner to low, the smoke clears. When I put the burner again to medium it starts smoking a bit. Give it time and it smokes again. Then, I need to put it on low again. It's frustrating. I have this problem especially with my cast iron pan. I don't want to smoke to the oil, as you might know, it creates carcinogens in the oil. Should I just have check the temperature the entire time and gauge it? I wish their was a number or analog next to the burners to quantify the level you put it on.

Anyways, any help will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 04-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 20,685
Hi, Edward. Welcome to DC

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most directions say to heat oil until it's just smoking and then add food to the pan. Adding food will reduce the temperature of the oil so it will stop smoking. After that, it's most likely steam that you're seeing.

Let us know if you have other questions

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:00 PM   #3
Sous Chef
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 534
...smoking the oil or not.
your nose knows. sniff it out. if it stinks, it's burnt oil. if it not stinks, it's steam.

>>as you might know, it creates carcinogens in the oil
no, since I don't follow all the flake websites, don't know that.
the free radicals thing? if you wish to avoid free radicals, you must stop breathing, immediately.

long term over heating / reuse of overheated oils/fats makes for the free radical problem.
unless you're saving the burnt oil to fry something tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow +, you're okay, I'm okay.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Twin Cities Mn
Posts: 3,497
Welcome to DC . You may want to buy a thermometer to use. If you are deep frying, definitely. If it's shallow oil frying, you may need to tilt the pan so the oil is deep enough to check the temp.
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