I was cooking in a stainless steel pot with copper bottom. When I added canola oil and olive oil into pot, a flame started.

Afterwards, I scrubbed out bottom of pot. The pot looks normal now and I have cooked with it again.

Why did this happen? Was it the type of pot (I’ve been using this one for more than 30+ years.) Was it the two different oils combining?

  • 2
    the pot was probably just very hot.
    – Esther
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 4:39
  • Copper has high conductivity, so a copper bottom pot gets hot faster than other pots. As others have said, the pot was too hot. This happens faster with copper bottom pots. The copper gets hot very fast and the steel holds the heat very effectively. thecookwareadvisor.com/….
    – userLTK
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


You certainly heated the pot to be hotter than the flame point of one or both of the oils. In the future, be careful how hot you let the pot get before adding oil.

  • Do you know what the flame point of olive oil is? I was going to take a stab at an answer earlier but couldn’t find a reference for that. There’s a bunch of info on the smoke point of olive oil and EVOO, but I couldn’t find any on the flame point. Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 18:06
  • 2
    @fyrepenguin best I could find is this article, which claims about 425C as the autoignition point, and about 375C as the flame point for canola oil.
    – Esther
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 18:46
  • @Esther that was a great read! I’m a little sad they used regular butter and not clarified butter or ghee; I think it would’ve made for a better comparison (it also surprises me that they couldn’t get it to ignite). I’m a little surprised at how much higher the autoignition point of olive oil is relative to its smoke point. It smokes 30° lower than canola but ignites 30° higher. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 1:06

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