Flax Seed Oil vs. Canola Oil: Which has the Higher Smoke Point?

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Who doesn’t love to cook? Especially on the grill! We’ve all heard of and used different kinds of oils while grilling – especially vegetable oils. But, have you ever thought of comparing flax seed oil vs. canola oil? Which one has a higher smoke point? We’re taking a deep dive into this topic in this blog post – including the science behind smoke point and the decisions you need to make when choosing a cooking oil.

Let’s start with the most important question: What is a smoke point, and why does it matter? Smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and starts to lose its flavor. Generally speaking, higher temperatures are better for cooking, especially when it comes to grilling. Cooking oils with higher smoke points can withstand higher temperatures without burning.

Flax seed oil and canola oil are two of the most popular vegetable cooking oils. While they both have some things in common – both are neutral in flavor and have a high smoke point –there are significant differences between them.

The Science Behind Smoke Point

When it comes to the science behind the smoke point, it all boils down to free fatty acids. All cooking oils contain fatty acids – the lower the amount of free fatty acids, the higher the smoke point of the oil. Flax seed oil is relatively high in free fatty acids, which gives it a relatively low smoke point compared to canola oil.

Canola oil, on the other hand, is one of the most stable cooking oils, thanks to its low free fatty acid content. To put it simply – a higher smoke point means that canola oil can withstand higher temperatures without burning or losing flavor.

The Benefits of High Smoke Point Oils

High smoke point oils are ideal for deep frying, searing, and sautéing because they can withstand higher temperatures without burning. They also help to retain the flavor of the food you’re cooking, which is particularly important for grilled foods. Another benefit of high smoke point oils is that they produce less smoke, which can help to keep your kitchen (and your lungs!) clean.

The Pros and Cons of Flax Seed Oil and Canola Oil for Grilling

When it comes to grilling, both flax seed oil and canola oil have their pros and cons.

The Pros:

Flax seed oil:

• Rich in healthy fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health.

• Has a nutty flavor that can add depth to grilled foods.

Canola oil:

• Is one of the most stable cooking oils, meaning it doesn’t break down quickly and retains flavor better than other oils.

• Very light in flavor, so it won’t overpower the flavors of the food you’re grilling.

The Cons:

Flax seed oil:

• It has a low smoke point compared to canola oil, so it shouldn’t be used for grilling.

• It has a short shelf life and can quickly become rancid, so you should use fresh flax seed oil when cooking.

Canola oil:

• It can be significantly more expensive than other oils.

• It doesn’t add any flavor to your food – if you’re looking for a more flavorful oil, canola oil isn’t the best choice.


So, which is better: flax seed oil or canola oil? As far as smoke point is concerned, canola oil is the clear winner, with a much higher smoke point than flax seed oil. However, when it comes to grilling, both oils have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you want the healthiest possible cooking oil, flax seed oil is definitely the best choice. Its high omega-3 fatty acid content makes it a great option for vegans and vegetarians looking to get their fatty acid intake from foods. However, it does have a shorter shelf life than canola oil and should be used fresh.

Canola oil is more versatile. It has a much higher smoke point than flax seed oil and retains flavor better than other cooking oils. On top of that, it’s much cheaper than flax seed oil! The downside is that it’s not as healthy as flax seed oil and won’t add any flavor to your food.

No matter which oil you choose, be sure to choose one with a high smoke point in order to get the best results when grilling. And, if you’re looking for an additional boost of flavor, try adding garlic, rosemary, or your favorite herbs to your oil before using it for cooking. Happy grilling!


Lover of the outdoors and great food. If I'm not in my backyard cooking up a feast, I'm deep in the backcountry camping....and cooking up a feast! Follow along and let's create something great.

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