Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
5

Can we put olive oil low smoke point myth to bed?

by (9402)
Updated about 22 hours ago
Created April 19, 2012 at 3:44 AM

You frequently hear that olive oil has a low smoke point and is therefore not appropriate for frying. I think this is myth. Here is one source:

http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/heating-olive-oil

There are other similar sources. Also, Elevation Burger restaurants cook their french fries in olive oil and it seems to work well.

Where did the myth start? Can we put it to bed? Or can anyone provide any proof otherwise?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · June 03, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Do we know at what temps this happens for different oils?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · November 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

What about non-EV OO? I.e., the stuff labeled as "for cooking" which I believe is further refined?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · November 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Wow. Thank you!

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · November 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

RRRed should that read omega 6 count , or do you worry abut heating omega 3s, and if so, why ?

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

@Blitherakt - right. That commercial non-virgin olive oil (and the other seed oils) have already been cooked for you and had plenty of solvents applied to extract the remaining oil that cooks at high temps. The actual oil itself is now a toxic waste product. Sesame does have a significant Omega 3 profile, enough to keep me from using it as much as I once did.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

Whoa... My infodump got me an accepted answer?! Thanks! :)

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Yep, exactly. There are more volatile flavor compounds in XVOO than regular. Those are what smokes when pushing the extra virgin to too high a temperature.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · April 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM

EVOO, yes, heat minimally. More refined olive oil, heat as desired.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · April 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

macadamia nut oil and avocado oils are expensive but have higher smoke points 413 and 520 F respectively! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point –

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · April 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

macadamia nut oil and avocado oils are expensive but have higher smoke points 413 and 520 respectively!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · April 19, 2012 at 9:33 AM

That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with smoke point, but could be because EVOO and non-EVOO olive oil just taste different.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 19, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Commercial non-virgin olive oil has a smoke point between 350 and 400 degrees, in my experience. That's plenty high for most applications. For true stir-fry, you just can't beat sesame or peanut in my book... Sadly, peanut is right out; dunno much about sesame.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 19, 2012 at 4:35 AM

N=1. I can taste the difference between foods fried in extra virgin vs. those fried in plain olive oil, depending on the quality of the extra virgin oil.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c
2873 · April 19, 2012 at 3:54 AM

C'mon PHacks, I'm itching to add some Olive oil to my frying pan!!!

Total Views
13.7K

Recent Activity
Fe92338d21dcc6c6e6623c67d5df5445

Last Activity
67D AGO

Followers
0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

8 Answers

best answer

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
11
1646 · April 19, 2012 at 4:33 AM

Olive oil does not have a low smoke point. The "myth" of low smoke point, however, is due to imprecise terminology. When discussing olive oil, the immediate assumption or meaning for most people is "extra virgin olive oil", which is an entirely different animal than just olive oil.

XV olive oil is the first pressing of the fruit, and to be a true "extra virgin" oil, it must be pressed without the application of external heat. This methodology gives the first pressing the characteristic flavors of the oil. It's those flavor compounds that have the low smoke point. Cooking with a good, expensive extra virgin olive oil results in, at best, flavors that have a more neutral tone (like second- or third-press oils) and, at worst, a foul-tasting oil due to the breaking down of the heat intolerant compounds into bitter- or burned-tasting ones.

Plain olive oil has a much lower concentration of these compounds due mainly to two factors: a large percentage of the compounds go into the first, cold pressing, and most plainly named olive oils are second or third "hot pressings" where more lower quality oils are extracted. I have seen "Virgin Olive Oil" once or twice; it's claimed to be the second cold pressing. I've had it once in a side-by-side (by side?) comparison with XV and plain; I could tell the difference between extra virgin, but that was all.

TL;DR: Most people mean "extra virgin" when they say "olive oil" so the spirit is correct, even if the terminology is incorrect or imprecise.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

Whoa... My infodump got me an accepted answer?! Thanks! :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
9
78422 · April 19, 2012 at 4:07 AM

I think it's worth noting that there is a difference between Extra-virgin olive oil and Olive oil. Most places I'm familiar with that do fry in olive oil do it in a fairly low-grade, yellow olive oil that has a higher smoke point and fewer impurities. The point of EVOO is it's fruity flavour and heat absolutely does ruin that.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · April 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM

EVOO, yes, heat minimally. More refined olive oil, heat as desired.

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
7
95 · April 19, 2012 at 4:34 AM

Oliveoilsource.com is obviously a sales site devoted to promoting the sale of Olive Oil. Trusting any of their data regarding cooking or frying with olive oil is like trusting the data over at http://www.sweetsurprise.com/.

Of course they want you to feel like you can cook with it. I used to stir fry all my stuff in olive oil. More than once I filled the house with smoke. That just doesn't happen with ghee, coconut oil or bacon fat unless I accidentally leave the stove on for way too long.

Also, they spelled "macadamia" wrong on their page.

Anyways, if you're following their advice.... "It is annoying to counter these conflicting claims when most people would not fry with olive oil anyway. A cheap, flavorless oil with a high smoke point is usually recommended - something like canola, soy or peanut oil." ... you would be cooking with industrial seed oils. They completely sidestep the issue repeatedly if you actually read these lame articles.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · April 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

macadamia nut oil and avocado oils are expensive but have higher smoke points 413 and 520 respectively!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 19, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Commercial non-virgin olive oil has a smoke point between 350 and 400 degrees, in my experience. That's plenty high for most applications. For true stir-fry, you just can't beat sesame or peanut in my book... Sadly, peanut is right out; dunno much about sesame.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · April 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

macadamia nut oil and avocado oils are expensive but have higher smoke points 413 and 520 F respectively! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point –

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

@Blitherakt - right. That commercial non-virgin olive oil (and the other seed oils) have already been cooked for you and had plenty of solvents applied to extract the remaining oil that cooks at high temps. The actual oil itself is now a toxic waste product. Sesame does have a significant Omega 3 profile, enough to keep me from using it as much as I once did.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · November 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

RRRed should that read omega 6 count , or do you worry abut heating omega 3s, and if so, why ?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6
3
11254 · April 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

The smoke that often rose from my pans did not look mythological.
Butter, lard, and tallow are all much better. Indeed, since butter browns before it burns you get a nice visual cue (as well as smell) that you need to put whatever it is you are cooking in the pan.

Fe92338d21dcc6c6e6623c67d5df5445
2
20 · November 14, 2012 at 5:53 AM

It can be a little more complicated than that. There are over 700 olive varietals and they have different qualities throughout the harvest as they are picked. Also, some producers pick their olives earlier that will impact their Free Fatty Acid %.

EVOO has to have Free Fatty Acid % below .8. That will only get you to 330 degrees. Now, you can certainly deep fry at 330 degrees, I just prefer a much higher temperature. If your EVOO has been California Certified, it must have a Free Fatty Acid % below .5 (and they actually test it in order for producers to get a seal).

Free Fatty Acid % - Smoke Point Temp (degrees F)

0.04 - 425 degrees
0.06 - 410 degrees
0.08 - 400 degrees
0.10 - 390 degrees
0.20 - 375 degrees
0.40 - 350 degrees
0.60 - 340 degrees
0.80 - 330 degrees

So, ya, you can deep fry with alot of EVOO.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · November 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Wow. Thank you!

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · November 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

What about non-EV OO? I.e., the stuff labeled as "for cooking" which I believe is further refined?

Df09cec30bd0a3f5691fe21453349edb
1
10 · June 03, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The problem with cooking with a nonsaturated fat is that it breaks down into free radicals and this happens BEFORE it hits the smoke point. That's why you want a stable fat like coconut oil, lard, tallow or palm oil that is saturated (i.e. there are no open areas on the molecule for oxygen to attach and "oxidize" the oil), especially at higher temperatures.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · June 03, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Do we know at what temps this happens for different oils?

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c
1
10255 · April 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

no.............

6235e0b7e3c4c4b9df3d926829bc32f6
1
333 · April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM

Mark from MDA covered this recently. Basically he says EVOO is ok for cooking and only starts to transform at very high heat for hours on end.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · April 19, 2012 at 9:33 AM

That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with smoke point, but could be because EVOO and non-EVOO olive oil just taste different.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 19, 2012 at 4:35 AM

N=1. I can taste the difference between foods fried in extra virgin vs. those fried in plain olive oil, depending on the quality of the extra virgin oil.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081
1646 · April 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Yep, exactly. There are more volatile flavor compounds in XVOO than regular. Those are what smokes when pushing the extra virgin to too high a temperature.

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes