Comparison of Oils for Seasoning ManGrates
We have taken another look into stable, high-heat-tolerant oils for seasoning our grates. As a refresher, because ManGrates are raw cast iron—with NO porcelain or chemical coating that can chip, breakdown and degrade the grates from the inside—oils and fats are needed to seal the pores of iron and essentially create a naturally non-stick surface as well as protect the iron’s composition.
Seasoning cast iron is really simple. Maintaining cast iron is really simple. The payback is even heat distribution and efficient grilling for a long time.
Initially we were told to look at flash points of oil properties. However smoke points are more important. If an oil is on the grates or in a pan and you see smoke rising, the temperature is too hot for that particular oil and the chemical makeup of the oil begins to break down and burn. That is the Smoke Point of an oil. The Flash Point is the lowest temperature at which the lubricant/oil’s vapor can ignite. At that point, which is beyond the smoke point, the oil’s fat has broken down and it’s already burned.
Additionally, the more refined an oil is then the higher the smoke point tends to be. An example: Extra light olive oil has a smoke point well over 460°F whereas extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 320°F. The same can be said for butter; clarified butter has a smoke point of approximately 470°F while the regular version of butter has a smoke point of 350°F.
When you look at the variety of resources online for more information on smoke points of fats and oils, there is a large variance in temperatures. Essentially how the oil has been processed and refined as well as the methodology and subjectivity of the smoke point test can cause different results.
The infographic below has taken an average of smoke point test results from several sources (some of which are listed with links on this page). Degrees are in fahrenheit.
- What’s Cooking America: Smoking Points of Fats and Oils
- Wikipedia: Smoke Points
- Centra Foods: The Smoke Point of Bulk Olive Oil & Other Edible Oils
- The Spruce: Smoking Points of Fats & Oils
- Baseline of Health Foundation: Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios