When using frying as a cooking method, the oil has to withstand high temperatures, over the 300ºF. A very important factor to use this technique is to know the smoke point of the oils. But what is the smoke point?
The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. Warm the oil up from its smoke point until it reaches its flash point causes the oil to burn. When reusing the same oil, with each fry cycle the smoke and ignition points decrease, which causes a loss of quality for the product and as a consequence the same oil can be used less times.
Depending on the oil composition, some oils are more resistant to frying than others. For this reason, even if EVOO has a much lower smoke point compared to other oils, its composition makes it more resistant to frying than others, so it can be used more times than other oils.
This is due to the high content of antioxidants in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, than prevents it from degrading less and more slowly than other vegetable oils. Furthermore, it is more stable preserving all the nutrients for a longer time. Compared to canola or peanut oil, the EVOO produces less toxic compounds when frying and they take longer to appear, due to this high content of antioxidant compound.
When frying you have to take into account that the food itself absorbs oil, but the EVOO has a higher density that any seed oil, so that the food doesn’t absorb as much oil.
The benefits that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has compared to other oils used for frying are also due to the lower percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids and even higher percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid, one of its main components.
Furthermore, olive oil has a high nutritional value and therefore, it is of greater use for our body.
These are the smoke points of some oils:
|Extra Virgin Olive OIl (EVOO)||320ºF|
|Virgin Olive Oil (VOO)||419ºF|
|Olive oil (refined)||464ºF|