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What Are the Best Tips for Frying with Olive Oil?

Olive oil is great for cooking a variety of meals.
Containers of olive oil.
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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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There are several tips for frying with olive oil that should yield the best cooking results. A deep, wide frying pan and large amounts of olive oil are best. The oil should be heated to the correct temperature, and only medium or small sized portions of food fried at one time. The olive oil can be reused several times by filtering it before storing in a suitable location where it is cool and dry.

When frying with olive oil, it is best to use a large, heavy skillet that is deep and wide. A skillet like this distributes oil evenly which leads to better results. Each type of olive oil has a different and distinct flavor.

Olive oil is far healthier than its vegetable oil counterpart, so using large amounts of it to cook with is acceptable. In fact, it is better to use a large amount of oil because the food will float and not stick to the pan. The rate of fat absorption will also be lower and the food will not become soggy.

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For frying, olive oil should be heated to a temperature of approximately 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Frying with olive oil that exceeds this temperature will cause the oil in the pan to smoke. The best way to correctly gauge the temperature is by purchasing a cooking thermometer. Alternatively, a small piece of bread may be placed into the oil. If it becomes golden brown in under 60 seconds, the oil is ready to use.

Only small amounts of food should be cooked in the pan at any one time. Too much food in the pan will affect the temperature of the oil. A combination of too many items in the pan and a temperature that is not warm enough results in soggy food.

After frying with olive oil, the remaining oil can be saved. Olive oil is expensive but can be reused four or five times. The oil should be cooled and then filtered to remove any particles, as they could affect the flavor of food fried in it later. Leftover particles can also burn when fried. The oil can be poured through a clean cheese cloth into a bowl or jar, which should then be sealed and stored in a cool, dry space.

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fBoyle
Post 3

Although foods can be fried in olive oil, the oil does heat up far too quickly than some other oils like vegetable or corn oil. I have burned olive oil a few times. I overestimated the time it would take to heat up. I think I've gotten a hang of it now. I just have to keep a very close eye on it and then reduce the heat a little once I put the food in the pan.

literally45
Post 2

@SteamLouis-- I didn't know either until last year. A doctor mentioned on TV that olive oil is perfectly suitable for frying because it has a high enough smoking point. I don't fry everything in olive oil though because it is an expensive oil.

Olive oil does not lend a different or strange flavor to foods. At least, I don't think so. But I'd probably avoid frying anything sweet in it. I don't think donuts fried in olive oil would work too well. But anything else like fries is fine. I actually mostly fry onions and spices in olive oil. It's usually my first step when making a meal.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I had no idea that I could fry with olive oil. I've always thought of oil as an oil for salads and dressings, best eaten unheated. But I know how healthy it is and I bet frying foods in it would make the foods a bit healthier than they would be fried in a different type of oil.

I just have one question, does olive oil give foods a particular type of flavor? For example, I know that walnut oil lends a different flavor to foods cooked in it. Is this an issue with frying in olive oil?

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