A couple weeks ago I was roasting some cauliflower for dinner and I used the wrong baking sheet, too much olive oil, and all at a rather high temperature. There were no flames to speak of, but it was still concerning. Fortunately, it wasn't a lof of oil, so it burned down quickly before setting my fan on fire -- whew; but the whole freakin kitchen/living room was filled with smoke. The water probably didn't cause the problem, but may have made it worse by causing steam and creating a "mist" with the oil...which then caught on fire. The fire should go out fairly quickly (especially in an electric oven) from lack of oxygen. Olive oil is 99% pure fuel; it does not produce smoke or soot and does not burn if spilled. The fire department concluded that the fire was caused by the spontaneous combustion of oil residue left on the towels and the lack of ventilation in the dryer. Olive oil has a much lower smoke point than other common oils, so it's more likely to break down and catch on fire. Keep in mind that opening the door will add oxygen. Burning olive oil will smolder and put itself out or at least give you time to put it out. And Then There Is The Fire Point. Once you’ve reached the fire point, it is not enough to simply remove the pan from the heat. If at all in doubt, call the fire department. People have used olive oil with cotton or linen wicks to cleanse the air around them and to keep flames burning for light for thousand of years. A good amount of oil ended up spilling in my oven and my apartment quickly flooded with smoke and an awful smell. Two days later the facility experienced a surplus of laundry and as a result towels, linens, and robes were placed in … So extra-virgin olive oil — aromatic, flavorful — has a much lower smoke point than something like an odorless, flavorless refined vegetable oil, … For the same reason that water eventually boils if it’s left on the burning stove for a long enough time: the temperature of the substance in question rises, and eventually a chemical reaction takes place. – derobert Jun 19 '11 at 5:42 I then poured a bit of grapeseed oil on it, and it immediately caught on fire. The smoking point varies greatly amongst oils, with factors such as the quality of the oil, the type of heat added to it, the size of the container, and the FFA (free fatty acid) content. When an oil does catch on fire, this is known as the flash point. Heating to this point starts to degrade the oil and breaks down its health-promoting compounds. This mainly stems from debate about olive oil's smoke point, which is the point at which the oil literally starts to smoke (and may catch fire if it continues to be heated). Olive oil has a smoke point between 365 and 420°F. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought grapeseed oil had a fairly high smoke point. If the olive oil lamp is spilled, the oil will not ignite like a petroleum fueled lamp certainly will… The flash point of a material is a good indicator of how likely it is to catch on fire if there is an ignition source nearby. After I turned off the oven and I could see through the … The flash point is bad enough, but if you reach the fire point””about 700°F – you are in for some trouble. The fire point is the point at which the vapors coming from the oil catch on fire rather explosively. Also, it should be noted that if your oven does catch fire, close the door and turn off the heat. No flames to speak of, but I thought grapeseed oil on it, and it immediately caught fire... 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