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Olive oil....hoping to clear some things up.

Knight9

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Many people say olive oil has an extremely low smoke point so you should never cook higher than low to medium heat with it. I have seen varying smoke points as well so I'm not sure which is accurate.

Also...I know plenty of people who coat everything in olive oil before cooking and grilling....on high heat. Even steaks out on a grill etc. Isn't that exactly what we DON'T want and is UNHEALTHY because it denatures and oxidizes the fats?

How do you use olive oil when cooking and what rules do you follow? Keep in mind I know you can add it to shakes and use it as dressing but I'm talking about when you actually cook/grill with it.
 

Pheedno

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It is a low heat oil to cook with. Even professional chefs, whom boast olive oil marinade/dressing for cooking, are using butter back stage. It's ok for slow/low heat cooking, or even something you may have in pan for a short while on medium/high....but grilling or any kind of saute environment needs to be with a high smoke point oil in order to not oxidize....try grapeseed oil(this is what I use...learned in prep for culinary school) or a saturate
 

Pressing

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What about heating it? Should you ever cook with olive oil?

Surely heating such a fragile plant oil will render it inedible, toxic, and liable to result in oxidized serum lipids if eaten. Right? Not so fast. While subjecting extra virgin olive oil to high heat can alter the taste, it’s actually fairly resistant to oxidative damage from cooking. Let’s take a look at some studies to make sure:

In one study, the authors heated various oils to “deep-frying conditions” and checked oxidative markers every three hours. The olive oils made it 24-27 hours of constant high heating before reaching the maximum legal value of heat damage. Not bad, and it’s not like you’re going to use your olive oil to deep fry anyway.

Despite being heated at 180 degrees C (356 degrees F) for 36 hours, two varieties of extra virgin olive oil exhibited strong resistance to oxidative damage and retained most of their “minor [phenolic] compounds.”



Read more: Defending Olive Oil?s Reputation | Mark's Daily Apple
 

Pressing

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The Olive Oil Source, we believe that extra virgin olive oil smokes roughly between 400 and 365ºF (204 and 185ºC) depending on its free fatty acid content. Here is what the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) has to say about frying food with 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 or 210ºC) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (356ºF or 180ºC). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying

Heating Olive Oil | The Olive Oil Source
 

BigChef

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You can increase the smoke point of an oil by combining it with an oil with a higher smoke point. For instance mixing butter with extra light olive oil will give you a smoke point much higher than that of butter. The smoke point of oils and fats is the temperature when it breaks down and fails as a lubricant. When oil breaks down it forms a whole host of bad things, including stuff that can give you cancer.

Here is a list of Smoke point

Oil/Fat Fahrenheit Celsius

Canola Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Safflower Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Sunflower Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Corn Oil - Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Peanut Oil - Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Olive Oil - Extra Virgin 320°F 160°C
Safflower Oil - Semirefined 320°F 160°C
Butter 350°F 177°C
Olive Oil - High Quality, Extra Virgin 405°F 206°C
Olive Oil - Virgin 420°F 215°C
Corn Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Peanut Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Safflower Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Sunflower Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Canola Oil - Semirefined 465°F 240°C
Olive Oil - Extra Light 470°F 243°C
Canola Oil - Refined 470°F 243°C
Avocado Oil 520°F 270°C
 

Knight9

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You can increase the smoke point of an oil by combining it with an oil with a higher smoke point. For instance mixing butter with extra light olive oil will give you a smoke point much higher than that of butter. The smoke point of oils and fats is the temperature when it breaks down and fails as a lubricant. When oil breaks down it forms a whole host of bad things, including stuff that can give you cancer.

Here is a list of Smoke point

Oil/Fat Fahrenheit Celsius

Canola Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Safflower Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Sunflower Oil - Unrefined 225°F 107°C
Corn Oil - Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Peanut Oil - Unrefined 320°F 160°C
Olive Oil - Extra Virgin 320°F 160°C
Safflower Oil - Semirefined 320°F 160°C
Butter 350°F 177°C
Olive Oil - High Quality, Extra Virgin 405°F 206°C
Olive Oil - Virgin 420°F 215°C
Corn Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Peanut Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Safflower Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Sunflower Oil - Refined 450°F 232°C
Canola Oil - Semirefined 465°F 240°C
Olive Oil - Extra Light 470°F 243°C
Canola Oil - Refined 470°F 243°C
Avocado Oil 520°F 270°C

So would you grill outside with it coating your meat? How high would you.set the heat if sauteing?
 

JMAC 21

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I like to use olive oil for lower heat cooking, like sauteing, but coconut oil for high heat cooking.
 

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