A cooking oil or fat shows changes its characteristics at various temperatures.



melt or pour or freezing point

The oil changes from a solid to a liquid.

cloud point

The oil is cloudy and viscous; this is typically seen just above the melt point.

smoke point

The oil begins to give off smoke; the oil may begin to undergo thermal decomposition with discoloration.

flash point

The oil begins to evaporate with release of ignitable gases; these may appear as tiny wisps of flame without ignition.

boiling point

The oil begins to bubble and actively gives off ignitable gases.

fire point

The oils spontaneously ignites.


An oil with a high smoke point is desirable for stir-frying.


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