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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: 03 September 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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