Can You Fry with Olive Oil?

The oil we use to cook is an important component of each and every recipe we make.  If you are a food allergy family, this becomes an even more important component of every dish you cook.  For me, olive oil is my go to oil in cooking, for many things I do.  

can you fry with olive oil

Today I want to take a look at a question that people often ask me, which is “can you fry with olive oil?”.

Can You Fry with Olive Oil?

Olive oil is a great choice for frying, and is healthier than many other choices out there when it comes to frying food.

Olive oil is a great choice for many people with food allergies, as long as they are not allergic to olives, of course.  Olive oil is not considered a common allergen, and is not derived from any sort of nuts or seeds.

The thing that people most often talk about is the smoke point of an oil.

The smoke point of an oil is simply how hot you can heat an oil before it starts smoking.  Pretty straight forward.

For some reason, olive oil gets a bad name when it comes to this area.

The fact of the matter is that the smoke point of the olive oil we use every day which is called refined olive oil is from approximately 390 – 470 F which is actually quite high.

This means you will be able to fry whatever you want with olive oil without issues of smoking.

The confusion comes from the smoke points of other types of olive oil, like extra virgin olive oil, which can be as low as 320 F.

Is extra virgin olive oil ok for deep frying?

Extra virgin olive oil is OK for deep frying, as long as you stay below its smoke point of approximately 320F.

If your extra virgin olive oil starts smoking, the temperature it too high, and your food will have an acrid burnt taste.  To fry with extra virgin olive oil, be sure to heat the oil gradually, and be sure to use a deep frying thermometer to make sure you don’t reach the smoke point.

If you are going to fry at higher temperatures, you are better off with regular olive oil since the smoke point is higher.

Can you fry fries with olive oil?

Yes, you can fry fries with olive oil, as long as you are mindful of the smoke point.  Olive oil fries taste great, and are very healthy.

Consider seasoning your olive oil for French fries with things like garlic, fresh herbs, or crushed red pepper for a really delicious twist on classic French fries,

You should also think about an air fryer for French fries.  With an air fryer you will just need only a tablespoon or two of olive oil for your French fries and you won’t be able to tell they aren’t deep fried!

Can you fry chicken with olive oil?

Yes, you can fry chicken with olive oil.  Breaded chicken cutlets (that you use for things like Chicken Parmigiana) are an Italian staple food, and most often fried in olive oil.

Chicken cutlets dredged with flour are often also fried in olive oil in Italian cooking.

You just need about 1/4 of an inch of oil in the pan to fry chicken cutlets.  They will be nice and golden brown, and won’t stick to your pan.

Thin chicken cutlets used in most Italian recipes cook fast!  Be sure to pay attention to how brown your chicken cutlets are getting, and always make sure that they are cooked using a thermometer.

Why Choose Olive Oil for Frying?

Next the question is why would you choose olive oil for frying?

Besides its good smoke point, and the fact that it is not a common allergen, olive oil is good for you.

When we talk about oils and fats, we talk about different types of fats.

Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fat, which is the type of fat that is good for you.

Saturated fats aren’t as bad as trans fats, but they aren’t great either.  Trans fats are the worst types of fats.  You can read more about these types of fats here.

Besides what goes into the oil or fat, the processing of the oil is also important.  That is what makes trans fats so bad for you, when they are over processed.

Olive Oil is relatively unprocessed, and the good type of fat.

Since when we fry things the oil or fat we fry in is absorbed into our food, it is important to pick a good oil to fry in.

Olive oil is generally a good oil, with several health benefits such as reducing inflammation, and in includes a ton of antioxidants.

How to Fry With Olive Oil

I generally pan fry with olive oil versus deep fry.

This means that I need to flip the food while cooking it.

I start with a frying pan, and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Depending on how thick the food I am frying is, I may add a little bit more, since I want the food to be half way submerged.

I heat the oil on medium heat (this is what works on my stove, yours may behave differently), until I can flick a drop of water into the oil and it hisses.

Then I add my food, and flip it once the first side is golden brown.

This amount of time varies based on the food you are cooking.

Then, I always use an instant read thermometer once both sides are browned to ensure my food is cooked thoroughly.

I choose this method since olive oil is more expensive than different types of oils.

With a thin layer of oil in a larger pan, I can cook more food with less amount of olive oil, than if I was attempting to deep fry it in a pot.

So the answer to can you fry with olive oil is absolutely yes!

Olive oil is also a great substitute of oils like sesame oil and peanut oil.

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