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Cooking oil breaks down at high heat

Phil (PF13L130):

I am really enjoying my PowerFlamer PF13L130!

One other question I have since you are a scientist. As you know various cooking oils have various ‘smoking points’. I’ve read that once the oil has been heated past it’s smoking point it breaks down. In wok cooking, does it not matter that a wok is heated past an oil’s smoking point since the oil is placed into a hot wok and then immediately followed by the food? Is it possible to get the wok too hot for good cooking?  Thank you

Outdoorstirfry.com:  My understanding on cooking oil is that it does break down to carbon (smoke, fire,  soot).  The broke down material should not be any harmful to human body.  Otherwise FDA already banned it.

Phil:  Regarding the cooking oil breaking down, I was less concerned about any possible harmful effects it might have as I was how it effected the taste of the cooking food. Do you have a feeling for how hot the wok should be when cooking? I have an infrared thermometer that I’ve been using to see how hot the wok is getting  before I put the oil in and immediately follow it with the food and I’ve been finding that so far somewhere around 700-750 degrees F seems to be good. But the wok is capable of getting so much hotter with your powerful stoves! So I wonder what your experience is?

Outdoorstirfry.com:

You are much more advanced than I’m.  So far I’m still in try and feel, instead of relying on any advanced equipment.  Please tell me when you figure it out.