Oil is to griddling as oxygen is to breathing. It’s probably the ingredient that you use more than anything else. It keeps your food from sticking to the Blackstone and can even enhance the flavor of your food! As you’ve progressed on your journey to becoming a griddle master you might have wondered – Which oil should I be cooking with?
Not to worry – the answers are here. Below are some of the most common oils to choose from and some information that will help make your decision easier.
The Smoke Point
The main difference to keep in mind when selecting which oil to use is the smoking point - the temperature at which the fats in the oil start to break down and release free radicals and acrolein (the chemical that gives burned food that rancid and pungent taste. Each bottle of oil you buy should have the smoking point listed on the bottle.
450 - 470° F smoke point - This is probably the most common oil used by griddlers. It a cheap option compared to your other oils and has a pretty neutral flavor and a higher smoking point.
350 - 400° F smoke point – Despite having one of the lowest smoking points for oil, it will give your food a very rich and flavorful taste. But while it may enhance the flavor of your food, you'll need to be careful what foods you choose to pair it with. This oil is best for food that can be cooked at low temperatures.
375-425° F smoke point – This oil is also not ideal for high-temperature cooking, but you can use it for almost all your other cooking. Olive oil, like coconut oil, is unique in that it is one of the only oils that can noticeably enhance the flavor of your food. By cooking with Olive Oil you can add a little Mediterranean flavor to your meals.
520° F smoke point – (This is Chef Todd Toven's personal favorite) It is similar to olive oil but has a much higher smoking point. This oil is best for high heat cooking, searing, sautéing, etc. without having to worry about the oil breaking down and ruining your food. This oil will add a slight hint of avocado flavor to your meals.
300° - 350° F smoke point - While not an oil, it is still made from fats and so it also has a smoke point. While not the healthiest choice – it does add a lot of flavor to your food! Try using it to cook pancakes, steak, vegetables, and when toasting bread. If you want to use butter to cook at high temperatures make sure you add your food quickly so the butter doesn't break down as fast.