Methods of preparing food from healthy to least healthy and the max heat temperature of each

A ranking of food preparation of healthiness including the max heat point in Celsius Boiling, Steaming, Stewing(Boiling), Blanching, Stir-Fry , Baking, Frying. The Higher the max heat point the unhealthier the food is.
Accuracy score :

Methods of food preparation from the most to the least healthy and corresponding heating temperature



Maximum heat temperature

Health benefits

No cooking (raw food)



For some food such as fruits, not cooking allows to preserve nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals while for some other food like meat, cooking is necessary to destroy microbes.


Water temperature < 82°C


These methods are healthy because the cooking temperature is most of the time reasonable enough to keep the nutritional value high, while eliminating microbes with no addition of extra fat.


Water temperature 85–93°C


100°C maximum


100°C maximum


Water temperature 100°C


75-80 °C in a slow cooker

120°C in a pressure cooker

135-150°C in an oven



120-150°C (e.g. meat and eggs)

180°C (e.g. bakeries)

200-230°C (e.g. meat and fish)



These methods are most of the time the best in terms of balance nutritional value conservation VS taste and flavour, however, higher cooking temperatures and long cooking time may destroy vitamins and minerals. In addition, many of these methods were associated with cancer incidence (e.g. searing).


In oven, at least 325°C for meat and poultry

Broiling, grilling, Coal barbecuing

287-398°C (burgers, steaks)

232-260°C (veggies and chicken)

107-148°C (ribs, briskets…)


Above 73°C, depending on the oil used (see stir-frying) and personal preferences


These two methods involve the use of oil and make the cooked food more caloric.


Should involve the use of an oil with a smoking point > 205°C: light/refined olive oil (240°C), peanut oil (230°C), corn oil (230°C), vegetable oil (205-230°C), sunflower oil (225°C) etc.

Deep Frying

Depends on the oil used (see stir-frying)


This method is the least healthy because it makes the food too much fatty and often leads to the loss of minerals and vitamins.


Although the above table gives a general indication on the health benefits of different cooking methods, cooking the same food product gives different results from one method to another. For example, a research on the best method of cooking anchovy showed that baking the fish in an electric oven between 160 and 180 °C for 20 min is better than grilling it at the same T° and time condition or frying it at 160-180°C with sunflower oil. Indeed, baked anchovy had the highest portion of unsaturated (healthy fat) and was less dry than the grilled portions. The fried portions had the least nutritional value.