We all know that olive oil is one of the best oils out there due to its numerous health benefits. It is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids as well as very high levels of antioxidants known to protect us against heart diseases, aging and cancer. Extra-virgin olive oil has been shown to contain 500% more antioxidants than other oils.
Because of its relatively low "smoke point" - the temperature where it starts to break down and smoke, many people have in the past refrained from using it for frying.
That has changed.
You can now enjoy the rich flavours of olive oil in your fried foods.
The United States food safety and inspection service, a branch of the USDA, after an extensive research on suitable oils for deep frying, lists olive oil as one of the best oils for frying.
When using olive oil for frying though, you can maintain the properties of this high-quality oil by keeping a close eye on the temperature to prevent smoking. Using a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature can help ensure that the oil does not exceed its smoke point of around 320-375°F (160-190°C).
While olive oil can certainly be used for deep frying, it is best for sautéing or pan-frying, which are typically done at lower temperatures (around 250-325°F or 120-160°C). I personally use olive oil or palm oil for all my deep frying and the food comes out great, retaining its flavour.
When you are using olive oil for frying, it is important that you use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil as it has not been subjected to any chemical treatment or refinement process and retains its natural antioxidants. Also, it is a good idea to avoid reusing the oil multiple times as repeated heating can cause further breakdown and release of harmful compounds.
Deep-frying at high temperatures (around 350-375°F or 175-190°C) is particularly tricky because the oil is in direct contact with the food for an extended period, allowing for a higher formation of PAHs and HCAs. Therefore, it is recommended that you use oils with higher smoke points, such as canola oil, peanut oil, or sunflower oil, fif you are looking to fry for extended period of time.
Now that you know that you can use olive oil for frying, getting very high-quality extra virgin oil is important. Not all olive oil are made the same. You can get yours here.
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