Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). As a food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, and as a cooking oil. It is also used for lubrication and in cosmetics, where it is valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties.
It has an unusually high smoke point, both unrefined and especially when refined. The smoke point of the unrefined form is 400 °F (204 °C) and the refined form can reach 520 °F (271 °C). The exact smoke point depends heavily on the quality of refinement and the way the oil has been handled up until reaching store shelves and subsequent kitchens.
Avocado oil functions well as a carrier oil for other flavors. It is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Because the avocado is a year-round crop, some olive oil processing facilities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, process olive oil during the olive season, and avocado oil during the rest of the year.
As a culinary oil, avocado oil compares well with olive oil. It has a similar monounsaturated fat profile which helps to protect the oil from breakdown during heating. Avocado oil is naturally low acidic, helping to increase smoke point. A virgin avocado oil, characterized by a deep emerald green color (from avocado’s chlorophyll content) can safely be heated to degree of 375–400 °F (191–204 °C)—similar to a high quality virgin olive oil. A refined avocado oil, with a higher than 500 °F (260 °C) smoke point can safely be used to conduct almost any high heat cooking application including baking, stir-fry, deep-fry, sear, barbecue, roast and saute. Avocado oil is relatively new to the culinary world and is often mislabeled in regards to smoke point. It is important to note that like all oils, the more refined, the higher the smoke point. Virgin avocado oil does not have a significantly higher smoke point than virgin olive oil.
Like olive oil, avocado oil is one of few edible oils not derived from seeds; it is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit.