Coconut oil is best suited for midtemperature cooking and should be kept below its 350 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which a fat begins to break down, and any impurities will start to burn, releasing toxic components and causing the fat to become inedible.
Coconut oil is a high-fat-content oil extracted from the meat of ripe coconuts. Its status as a saturated fat gives it a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Coconut oil is recommended for use in baking and in gentle pan-frying techniques such as sauteing or stir-frying. Refined coconut oil's smoke point is 400 degrees Fahrenheit — 50 degrees higher than that of unrefined (virgin) coconut oil — due to having had impurities filtered out.