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Cooking in olive oil

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
From many articles that I read, olive oil looses its taste and smell after its boiling point. So why so many people recommend cooking food in olive oil?
Its more expensive, and without the taste, isn't there a little reason to use it?
post #2 of 19
I believe its burning not boiling point, and yes some people use evoo
for everything. The trick is, not to bring it to a burning or smoking temperature. A popular quote these days is "all olive oil is extra virgin, all pepper is white to avoid discoloration in soups, sauces and dressing, all sugar is caster sugar, all fruits and vegetables are unwaxed, all flour is 00".
Its a personal preference. Perhaps a purist point of view. You can definitely
successfully fry food in evoo. The thing that puts me off flavorwise is the
occasional bitterness. It just as well could be a sweet nut like finish, but
I suppose it depends on the particular extra virgin olive oil. Many cooks use
evoo just to finish, primarily because of the cost, as you mentioned. Use what you can afford. Finishing a product with evoo definitely enhances the
flavor profile of a dish, but, cooking something in evoo can not be replaced
by a drizzle after its done. Same goes with salt. Little by little I have moved
to sea salt. As a kid, mortens table salt, as a young adult mortens kosher salt, now sea salt. Most people won't know the difference, but now I do.
It has become trendy to season meat after its cooked, thats another personal preference, just one I don't agree with. Boy do I go on and on and
on and on.
post #3 of 19
Eugene, you posted your question about "olive oil". There are many types, EVOO being just one. There's pomace oil, the very, very last pressing of the olives, which gives an oil with less 'olive' character to it- perfect for frying or deep frying (and it's cheaper). There are other grades too, each with its own best uses.

Mario Batali has recipes for deep-fried items for which he uses olive oil (grade unknown). I'll bet he's using a lesser grade than EVOO.

Really good EVOO is not best used to cook with, IMHO- it's better for unheated use- drizzling over insalata caprese, making salad dressings (mildly seasoned ones that won't overpower the wonderful flavor) and for dipping (which I NEVER saw once in Italy when I visited, btw).

For you veteran CTers: Where's Papa when you need him?? :cry:
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmm. So I can use extra virgin olive oil and it won't lose its taste if I don't bring it to the burning temperature.
How can I cook without overheating the oil? Should I cook on low heat, or just remove the food after a short period? Someone told me once that you should first heat the oil until the boiling point, and only then put the food, is it ok not to do this with olive oil?

Any pointers on this?
post #5 of 19
If you bring evoo to smoking point, it becomes a transfat.
post #6 of 19
Better to use canola oil in those cases where the oil will be very hot like frying plus it doesn't have a strong flavor.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #7 of 19
Smoking point for extra virgin olive oil is about 410 degrees.
Plenty high enough to fry or cook with. Some of the boutique
extra fine evoo's have solids and tend to smoke at about 375.
Even then possible to cook effectively. Remember hot doesn't
mean burning. Chances are if you are too hot you will get flame.
The flame in the absence of alcohol are the oil particles burning and falling
back down into the food causing an unpleasant chemical or fuel type
flavor. Yes indeed food is fried with evoo in Italy. I think with research
you will find particular olive oils that seem to be made for finishing
or for the table. Anyway, just my thoughts.

s
post #8 of 19
Oh! guess the smoke or burning point of canola oil.
You would be surprised.
post #9 of 19
Here is a table of smoke points for your reference.

;)
post #10 of 19
Whoa weird I didn't even know there was an Avocado oil I need to get my hands on some...
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #11 of 19
I just met some folks who deal in avocado oil -- Olivado Gourmet Foods http://www.olivado.com. I was very impressed by the oil -- lovely mild flavor, and excellent cooking properties. They also carry infused avocado oils (chili, rosemary, basil, and lemon) and macadamia nut oil. The company that sells it here in the US is based in Florida, but the oils come from New Zealand. The Web site has lists of retailers all over the world.

As for EVOO -- as Mezzaluna suggested, it is such a waste to cook with the real thing. It is best used as a condiment at the very end. The lesser versions are better for cooking. (Yeah, I miss Papa, too. :( )
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #12 of 19

Avocado oil

If you are cooking health conscious avocado, coconut and macadamia oils are not so good. I believe they are mono-unsaturated, but it could be something else too. tasty though :-)
post #13 of 19
http://www.oliveoilsource.com/olive_oil_smoke_point.htm

Seems that everyone has different sources and information.
After rooting around, still couldn't find many sources that
agreed on burning or smoking points.
Won't disagree with all the different opinions, as my own
second choice for cooking is good lard.
post #14 of 19
You can cook with EVO of course. I do but even though it is EVO it isn't the best. Actually I buy it from Costco for abour $8 a gallon.

If you read Mezzaluna's post on this again you will see that you can save your EVO for something that does not require cooking, like salad dressing or for drizzling over a finished dish for example. Use one of the lower and less expensive grades for cooking where the flavor is less critical.

Jock
post #15 of 19
If I want to add an "olive oil" taste...I use olive oil. Even when heated...it does impart it's own flavor.

I don't mind using some lesser quality Evoo's when cooking. I've yet to reach a point where I couldn't taste the flavor that the evoo olive oil has brought to the dish.

Because olive oil (especially evoo) can be so bold...I don't always want to use an oil with this much flavor. Sometimes I'll use a lesser quality of olive oil, or vegtable oil, seasame oil, canola oil, coconut oil, fat, butter, etc. I don't always want that "olive oil" flavor in my dish. Sometimes just a vegetable oil works great and leaves the flavors be.

Personally, I don't feel bad when I cook with an evoo olive oil...then again I wouldn't go deep frying frenc fries in it either ;) you get my point.



BUT OF COURSE...

I am not a chef either :rolleyes:

take care...
dan
post #16 of 19
Monounsaturated fats include canola oil, avocado oil, Macadamia nut oil, or olive oil and monounsaturated fats are good for you. So good for you the American Diabetes Association recommends them. They all raise your HDL level.

"High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are also known as "good" cholesterol (think, H is for "Happy"). HDL helps remove cholesterol from your body, so the higher your HDL, the lower your chance for getting heart disease."

Health Benefits of Avocado Oil

Macadamia nut oils, as well as other nuts and their oils contain vital Omega-3 fatty acids that are lacking in most American's diets.

Any of these oils are better for you so long as they are not hydrogenated. It's the type of processing you need to be aware of. The more processed it is, the worse it is for your system.

I personally try to avoid corn products because over 85% of products on the grocery shelves are made from corn which has been genetically modified. I'd rather have a bit of high quality non-hydrogenated coconut oil (which is saturated) in my diet than corn or soy oil. Vegetable oil is made of soybeans, much of which are now processed also from genetically modified soybean plants.

Several years ago the vegetable oil industry tried to tell us that natural products were bad for us, so they started us eating margarine, etc. Now there's proof from us human test subjects that maybe a little artificial highly processed fat ingested over a long period of time is deteriorating our health. And so goes the story for numerous highly processed ingredients.

The key is balance and moderation. Get educated so you can make good decisions. The human body requires both HDL (less) and LDL (more) cholesterol. It wouldn't be healthy to drink a bottle of olive oil would it? Even drinking too much water (Hyponatremia) can kill a person.

My rule of thumb is: The closer an ingredient is to it's original integrity in nature, the better it is for you. You never read about organic vegetables being bad for your health, do you? The more processed, refined, partially hydrogenated, etc. it is, the worse it is for you.
post #17 of 19
Well, eugene, you've got a lot of information to digest in this thread. I assure you that the mistique associated with olive oil is often more show than go. There are differences in grades of olive oil but, except perhaps for the connoisseur, few people can recognize differences in one olive oil over another within a certain grade. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from the first pressing of the olives - that applies to all EVOO. However, olives harvested early in the season tend to have less acidity than those harvested later and the variations in acidity can make a difference.
Generally speaking, I wouldn't fry using EVOO. I do, however, use it as a spash, in dressings and as a dipping oil. Here's a primer that might help you begin to understand this beautiful ingredient and how best to use it:
http://www.hormel.com/templates/know...emid=40&id=573
Oh, one more thing. Olive Oil is fast becoming a major influence in the California agricultural industries and, IMHO, it compares with some of the best I've used from throughout the world.
Try to avoid olive oil snobs. Like wine snobs, they tend to bore others at dinner parties and typically know little more about the subject than what they've read in some gourmet magazine. :p
post #18 of 19
Thanks for the heads up. I want to try using this. I don't care if it is healthy most everything I make is horrible for me. :roll:
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #19 of 19
etc
I can go along with all of those but white pepper would be on my NO list and for me all pepper is black, since that's where the taste is, in the outer layer that is rubbed off in white pepper - just hot but no taste. what's teh point? Also, i find those little black gratings so appetizing, you might as well try to find white parsley not to "discolor" sauces and all that!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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