Many cooks rely significantly on olive oil, which is a coveted ingredient in many kitchens. It has a delicious flavor, a lovely hue, and a slew of health advantages. Olive oil is frequently used to lightly fry anything in a skillet, as a salad dressing, in vinaigrettes, and as a dip. However, it is rarely, if ever, seen being used to actually fry food.
Is olive oil suitable for frying? Deep frying, in particular. What kind of oil should you use if you don’t have any? What other ways can you utilize olive oil? Let’s take a closer look.
Is it possible to fry with olive oil?
Olive oil should only be used for gentle sauteeing rather than deep frying. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point of 165 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit), which means it can’t withstand high temperatures for long periods of time before smoking and burning. Smoking olive oil imparts a bitter flavor to anything you’re preparing, which no one enjoys.
Extra virgin and virgin olive oils have the lowest smoke points of all the olive oils. These are suitable for cooking methods that don’t require a lot of heat or a lengthy period for the oil to be hot. As a result, virgin and extra virgin olive oils should not be used for deep frying, roasting meats, or even baking.
Olive oils (extra virgin and virgin)
The free acids in virgin and extra virgin olive oils, which are largely represented by oleuropein, gradually burn and turn bitter when exposed to high heat. Acrolein, a chemical with a harsh, bitter odor and taste, is formed when the fat in the oil is broken down. It pervades your food and completely degrades the experience.
When olive oil is exposed to direct sunlight and mild heat for several weeks, this chemical can form. The process is oxidation, which results in the dreaded rancid oil odor and taste.
You can use high-temperature olive oil, but it’s a lower-grade olive oil. It’s known as refined olive oil (sometimes known as pure olive oil), and it’s filtered using a chemical process. This means that not only is the majority of the oleuropein and free acids eliminated, but practically all of the flavor is as well.
Why is the smoke point important?
The smoke points of various oils vary. Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter, for example, have a lower smoke point than processed, “raw” oils. They burn far more quickly and can’t be used for just about anything.
The greater the smoke point of the oil, the longer you can cook with it before it becomes acrid. Which is why, if your cooking technique includes deep frying and roasting, you should have a backup oil on hand.
This manner, you may use olive oil for most meals and heavy-duty oils for meals that require a lot of heat. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
What is the best oil for deep frying?
Because not all oils are suitable for deep frying or roasting, we’ve compiled a list of the most common and easiest-to-find oils for your high-heat recipes.
260°C/490°F rice bran oil
240°C/465°F refined olive oil
235°C/455°F palm oil
230°C/450°F soybean oil
225°C/440°F sunflower oil
205°C/400°F canola oil
Most stores carry these oils, so you won’t have any trouble finding a bottle to use whenever you need a heavy-duty oil. If you require a light coating of oil, these are also fantastic for grilling.
A few words on refined olive oil. It has the second highest smoke point on this list, as you can see. This means you can safely use it to bake, roast, and deep fry. But, like any other oil, it will eventually turn caustic; the process will only take longer.
If you solely use olive oil in your kitchen and have both extra virgin and refined bottles, make sure they are clearly labeled. Maybe even color-coded so you don’t use the extra virgin for roasting.
How to Keep Olive Oil Fresh
When it comes to a high-quality oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, you must be certain that it is well stored. The steps you must follow are straightforward, in fact, extremely easy. They must, however, be treated with respect at all times.
Olive oil should be stored in the following manner:
If possible, keep it out of direct sunlight and in the shade.
away from the source of heat
at around 21°C/70°F (room temperature)
in a tight-fitting bottle or container
If you’re extremely fortunate and have an entire tub of olive oil, store it somewhere cool but not entirely frigid. In the dark, at a temperature of 10-15 C/ 50-60 F. Always keep a tiny amount on the counter or somewhere easily accessible in a colorful glass bottle. Also, keep the majority of the oil secure.
Once opened, properly stored olive oil should last around 24 months. First and foremost, trust your nose. If it has a sour or strange odor, don’t use it.
Useful olive oil hints
Keep these suggestions in mind whenever you’re cooking with olive oil.
For mild frying or sauteeing, always use virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Sweating onions, softly frying eggs, searing halloumi, and searing salmon are all excellent ways to use this delectable oil without hitting its smoke point. The quick cook time is the key here.
Always add a couple of drops towards the end of the cooking process to give pasta and soups some more flavor.
To manufacture your own flavored oil, use extra virgin olive oil. In your oil, combine fresh basil, rosemary, and crushed garlic, and let it sit for a few days. The end product is a delectable blend of tastes that will complement any dish you prepare.
A dash of extra virgin olive oil can be drizzled over baba ganoush, hummus, or any other thick spread. Alternatively, make a dip with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In a nutshell, olive oil is excellent for a variety of uses, particularly light cooking. Use an oil with a high smoke point from the list we mentioned previously if you’re utilizing high heat.