Smoke Point: A Decisive Factor in Baking

Smoke Point: A Decisive Factor in Baking

In order to achieve good results in the baking industry, every ingredient and process counts. One of the crucial elements is the smoke point of edible fats and oils. Want to know what this concept entails and why it is so vital for food producers in North America? Read on!

What is the Smoke Point?

It is the temperature above which a shortening begins to break down and visibly smoke.  Its temperatures range from relatively low, around 325 °F, to as high as 520 °F (MasteClass, 2021).

In the baking industry, where temperature is a key part of the process, understanding this point is essential to ensure the quality of the final product.

Its Importance in Food Repair

Imagine the following scenario in an industrial bakery. Sheets of puffy pastry sheets are being baked, and the choice of fat type can make the difference between an excellent and a poor-quality product. This is where the overheating point comes into play. Using fats with a high smoke point ensures that the baking process is performed optimally, without the fat breaking down and affecting the flavor or texture of the final products.

Cooking at high temperatures, and reaching a high fat smoke point, is not always a bad thing. For example, if you want to sear a steak or sauté vegetables, high heat is essential. But other times, it is preferable to maintain low levels. This is because if it is heated beyond that temperature, it starts to break down. In fact, this compromises not only its flavor but also its aroma and even its nutritional value (Salkeld, 2022).

Recommended Practices

Opting for fats with higher smoke points, such as European butter or butter substitutes, can ensure greater stability during the baking process.

Also, it is important to remember that not all fats are the same. Knowing the difference between salted vs. unsalted butter, for example, sets a precedent. The former may have a lower smoke point due to the presence of milk solids. In contrast, unsalted variants can withstand higher temperatures without decomposing.

Lard substitutes, specifically designed to have higher smoke points, can be an excellent choice if you are looking to reduce saturated fat content. This way you don't compromise on quality or flavor.

For good performance in the industry, it is important to know the main cooking oils and their superheat point (Salkeld, 2022).

See the list below:

- Extra virgin olive oil - 410 °F

- Coconut oil - 350 °F

- Butter - 350 °F

- Virgin avocado oil - 350 °F

- Canola oil - 435 °F

- Vegetable oil - 400 °F

- Peanut oil - 450 °F

- Corn oil - 410 °F

- Corn oil - 450 °F

- Clarified butter - 465 °F

- Regular/light/refined olive oil - 465 °F

- Refined avocado oil - 520 °F

Smoke Point as a Decisive Factor

To conclude, this point is a fundamental concept in the baking industry. Understanding its importance and applying best practices can make the difference between high-quality products and those that don't meet expectations.

So, if you want to find quality products, we invite you to visit our website. Check everything we have for the bakery industry.



Referencias bibliográficas

MasterClass. (2021, 4 de agosto). Cooking oils and smoke points: what to know and how to choose the right cooking oil.

Salkeld, L. (2022, 15 de diciembre).  What is smoke point and why should we care? The Kitchh.