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Using olive oil on high temperature

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi,
can you tell me what the real matter is with olive oil and high temperature?As far as I know it is not good to heat it up, because it burns easily. But now I started watching Gordon Ramsay videos, and he always uses olive oil for a hot pan. So how is it really?
Cham

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post #2 of 13
the problem is a definition of "terms" - how hot is "hot"?

overheated oils (or any fat) starting breaking down with an associated change in flavor - usually not an "improved" flavor

here's what I found for the 'smoke point' olive oils:

Extra virgin olive oil 320F
High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil 405F
Virgin olive oil 420
Extra light olive oil 468F

taking them past their smoke point is one measure of "too hot"

I use plain old olive oil everyday for cooking / sauting / frying.
and yes, inattention to the heating pan produces smoke, odor and icky brown goop in the pan.....
post #3 of 13
The smoking point of olive oil is 210 f.. according to olive oil manufacturers on their web site. always thought it to be higher.corn oil and butter normally break down at this temp. Ideal shallow pan frying is 180 f.. Olive oil unlike others keeps its nutrition content at this temp, where as other oils do not. According to most test conducted on it .Food should not be placed in a pan where oil is not hot enough as it will absorb the oil. Olive oil will cause a crust to form on the product therefore eliminating oil absorbtion.I am not talking blended oils just pure olive oil. After cooking it can be strained and used over more times then most other oils. Some other oils after a time can even form toxins. Hope this helps answer some of your question.
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post #4 of 13
Ed, your temps look like C than F and I question the claims about nutrients.

It also depends what olive oil type you're talking about.

Extra virgin loses its flavor when cooked over high heat. It has a lower smoke point than other types of olive oil . It costs quite a bit as oils go. Extra Virgin is the type of olive oil most people say not to cook with at a high temp and it's for the above mentioned reasons. It actually works pretty well for a lot of pan purposes.

However, you have to balance the cost of acquiring and storing those different types of olive oils against how much and how often you use those types of oils. You don't want to be throwing out rancid oil you never got around to using just because it's the type for high heat cooking.

For me, I buy a mainstream decent grade extra virgin for the bulk of my olive oil needs. And I use it at some high temp applications. I have a small bottle of boutique grade extra virgin for those special applications. That's the most economical method for me.
post #5 of 13
My error it is centergrade, I am so used to farenheit I made an f instead of c.. However if you go into olive oil smoke points on the web this is what you get
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post #6 of 13
If it smokes like a chimney and becomes as viscous as water.....you probably heated it waaayyy to hot. But the same can be said for all oils. :rolleyes:

For me I heat my pan over med high flame for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, add my oil, pan (or roll) the pan for good coverage and then my ingredients.

I use pomace, a blend of pomace and canola or a blend of Pure virgin olive oil and canola for all my sautéing. Never for things like stir-frys. That task is reserved for peanut oil. Much more resilient than olive or other oils.

I use Extra Virgin Olive oil or a blend with canola (usually 50/50) only when the heat is off to "finish" something like Marinara, in vinaigrettes but mixed only with a wire whip by hand, or drizzled on veg (hot or cold) as a finish to for an enhanced flavor. I do use it in the oil/herb mix for my home made croûtons or infused oils but it is on the heat only long enough to provide enough heat to steep the ingredients.
post #7 of 13
As Dill said, it's possible that Ramsay's not using extra virgin olive oil -- but that's doubtful. Ramsay uses whatever tastes best. It's been the fashion to saute in EVOO for some time, and if Ramsay's food is anything it's fashionable. Also what you see is not frying, what you see is sauteing and searing. The processes are different from frying.

To get a sense of what's going on, you have to understand the reality of a modern, high-end restaurant kitchen. Tasks are done at whatever is the maximum speed that will not degrade the product.

Pans are placed on a much higher flame than a home cook would use to preheat. Not because a higher flame is better, but because it's faster. (If it's any consolation those high flames are destroying the pan.) The cook lifts the pan off the flame, and pours in enough oil to do the job -- off the flame. The hot pan starts to temper the oil, but it takes a few seconds for the oil to come overcome its thermal inertia -- before it can overheat, the cook replaces the pan on the stove and gets the product in. Bang Bang, just like a 4,5,3 double play. The product lowers the oil's temp and the flame is adjusted to the optimum cooking temperature immediately. In the meantime, the bottom of the product has already seared and is ready to release with a quick swirl. And the oil only flirted with the smoke point. The presentation side is perfect, and the product finishes cooking on the bottom.

If orders for the product are coming in waves, it's possible that the ideal flame won't be adjusted. Whatever works best. Cooking is all about smooth, because smooth = fast. You can't hurry, because hurrying isn't smooth. "The hurrieder you go, the behinder you get," is as true in the kitchen as anywhere else. Besides, it's dangerous in there. Hot, sharp, and no shortage of temporary or permanently brainless idiots. Hurrying.

Timing. Rhythm. Anticipation. Dancing to the music of the food as the orders come in. Working with one or two other cooks who have responsibility for the same plate. I don't know how to describe it, other than say it's a lot like juggling chainsaws and ping-pong balls.

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post #8 of 13
Thermal inertia--now that's a really cool phrase! I like it and it applies to my work too :^)
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you for your answers!:)
post #10 of 13

This looks like an old discussion, however, I thought it would be important to mention...  I have switched to only using olive oil to finish off a dish, pour over noodles, make dressings, or coat fish/mushrooms before baking.  What I heard is using olive oil beyond a medium heat is not recommended because it actually starts breaking down the oil into toxic chemicals similar to what happens to petroleum to make plastic.

 

So, I've been using Safflower or Sunflower oil for all my stove-top cooking.  I believe Safflower oil is not only better for high heat, but I believe it is better for you.  It is higher in polyunsaturated fats, but it has Vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids. Whereas Olive oil is higher in Mono-unsaturated fats (the good fats).

 

Hope this isn't too late to help any of you still pondering on this issue.

 

post #11 of 13

I heard you shouldn't take oil above 400 and it can ignite after that point.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillbert View Post

the problem is a definition of "terms" - how hot is "hot"?

overheated oils (or any fat) starting breaking down with an associated change in flavor - usually not an "improved" flavor

here's what I found for the 'smoke point' olive oils:

Extra virgin olive oil 320F
High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil 405F
Virgin olive oil 420
Extra light olive oil 468F

taking them past their smoke point is one measure of "too hot"

I use plain old olive oil everyday for cooking / sauting / frying.
and yes, inattention to the heating pan produces smoke, odor and icky brown goop in the pan.....
post #12 of 13

FWIW...

 

Avocado oil   520°F 271°C
Safflower oil Refined 510°F 266°C
Rice bran oil   490°F 254°C
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)   485°F 252°C
Tea seed oil   485°F 252°C
Canola oil High Oleic 475°F 246°C
Canola oil Refined 470°F 240°C
Olive oil Extra light 468°F 242°C
Canola oil Expeller Press 464°F 240°C
Olive oil Pomace 460°F 238°C
Palm oil Difractionated 455°F 235°C[1]
Coconut oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Corn oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Peanut oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Sesame oil Semirefined 450°F 232°C
Soybean oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Sunflower oil Refined 450°F 232°C
Sunflower oil Semirefined 450°F 232°C
Hazelnut oil   430°F 221°C
Almond oil   420°F 216°C
Cottonseed oil   420°F 216°C
Grapeseed oil   420°F 216°C
Olive oil Virgin 420°F 216°C
Macadamia oil   413°F 210°C
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity) Extra virgin 405°F 207°C
Walnut oil Semirefined 400°F 204°C
Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F 191°C
Lard   370°F 182°C
Vegetable shortening   360°F 182°C
Butter   350°F 177°C
Coconut oil Unrefined 350°F 177°C
Sesame oil Unrefined 350°F 177°C
Soybean oil Semirefined 350°F 177°C
Hemp oil   330°F 165°C
Corn oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Peanut oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Safflower oil Semirefined 320°F 160°C
Soybean oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Sunflower oil, high oleic Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Walnut oil Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Flax seed oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Safflower oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Sunflower oil Unrefined 225°F 107°C
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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman View Post

I heard you shouldn't take oil above 400 and it can ignite after that point.
 


 


But only with a gas stove.  When the oil gets hot and splutters, it forms a fine mist (and I'm sure you've noticed that on your stove top) If the mist meets a gas flame, it will ignite, this usually doesn't happen with an electric or induction stove
 

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