Questions you never though ask about olive oil.
1. Do you heat the pan first and then add olive oil, or the opposite?
Traditionally, what the old wives teach us is to heat up the pan first, then put the oil in and after it’s heated up add the ingredients. This actually explainable because in the old times they didn’t have anti-stick pans and also, it gives the oil less time to burn. This improves your taste considerably.
2. Is olive oil NOT suitable for frying? Does it become unhealthy?
Absolutely not. Olive oil is not only safe for cooking, but it is recommended by scientists and olive oil experts for high temperature frying. This is also supported by scientific research.
For example, a study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested the effects of continuous heating virgin olive oil for 36 hours to measure how the oil degraded. The scientists said that “ we can conclude that despite the heating conditions, VOO (virgin olive oil) maintained most of its minor compounds and, therefore, most of its nutritional properties.”
The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) provides information about the maximum temperature that can be used when cooking with virgin olive oil.
“When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoke point (410ºF) 210ºC is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (356ºF) 180ºC. The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.”
Bottom line is, virgin olive oil can safely be used for cooking and even deep frying. The oil can be reused more than once, and the oil does not seriously degrade in normal household cooking.
3. What is the recommended daily dose? Can I add it to everything?
Erh, no. Olive oil is still a fat. That means that you will put on weight if you simply eat immense quantities of it. The recommended daily consumption is 25 ml which is around 3-4 tablespoons which is fantastic to get the antioxidants and nutrients and to reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. When can we say that the olive oil is of good quality?
Extra virgin olive oil is oil produced in a cold press process, which means that the machine must not produce heat to destroy its nutritional value. Check out the label to say that the percentage of free fatty acids is less than 0.8%. Also, when you see “Extra Virgin” it means that it is good. When it comes to taste, fresh olive oil is acidic, and “burns” your throat while having a grass-like taste.
5. Can the olive oil be reused after frying?
Well, it depends. If you are frying chips, then you should avoid using it for a third time. The fact is that the most you are using it, the most rancid it becomes and it also combines with other food ingredients.
Stating the obvious, when frying fish, you throw it away, do not reuse it.
Using fresh olive oil every time you cook is the healthiest option. However, if you need or must re-use it, here are some helpful (and healthful) tips:
- Strain it through a few layers of cheesecloth to catch any food particles before storing.
- Be careful with hot oil, though, because you can easily get burned.
- Shake off excess batter from food before frying it.
- Turn off the heat after you are done cooking. Exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity.
- Don’t mix different types of oil.
- Store oil in a cool, dark place.
- Avoid iron or copper pots or pans for frying oil that is to be reused. These metals also accelerate rancidity.