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Old 02-14-2007, 01:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
I keep just EVOO as my only olive oil. It works well for light saute as well as other cooking and non-cooking uses. I don't use it for high temp sears or deep frying. For those uses, I go to canola.
That's pretty much what I do. Although I don't do any deep frying. I can throw a steak onto a naked sizzling hot cast iron pan but I'm too wimpy to deep fry.

Anyway, I keep ordinary EVOO (Star), somewhat tastier EVOO (Colavita) and Canola oil around. (We are occasionally gifted with more "gourmet" EVOOs which we use for bread dipping. Unless we decide they're not really any better than the Colavita, which I quite like - in which case we use those gourmet EVOOs up the same way we use the Star EVOO.) I cook with the Star EVOO all the time, even on fairly high heat - I just don't let it smoke. I often don't use oil when I sear; I use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. We use the canola oil when we cook Chinese and for stuff like popcorn where we really don't want any olive flavor.

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Old 02-14-2007, 04:43 AM   #12
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kPretty much what Andy said, especially about not being cancer causing.

I have probably 3-5 olive oils at any one time--all EVOO, and all different prices. They are different flavors--not "flavored", but "flavors". Some are floral, grassy, spicy. I have a big bottle of DaVinci (I think, and designated EVOO) that I fill a small bottle from for the stove. If I am getting something screaming hot (Chinese stir fry) I use vegetable oil. But for sauteeing chicken for chicken marsala, it is olive oil.
Costco has a Kirkland brand (in a square litre bottle) from Tuscany that is lucious. Their other Kirkland brand in the big bottles are also good, but the latter is a very nice dipping oil--and better quality oil.
Sam's has begun carrying Star brand which is also very good EVOO.
And "green" has nothing to do with the quality/extra virginness of olive oil.

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Old 02-14-2007, 10:02 AM   #13
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Late as I may be, let me join the fun anyway. To begin with, I agree completely with Skilletlicker on all of his/her posts. Just like Andy, I also use EVOO in all of my dishes that call for olive oil. What I find to a good extent irritating is the statement that EVOO should be used only for dressings, salads etc. but not for cooking. Now I could possibly go along with such a statement if the suggested substitute was anything else but olive oil. What on earth is the chemical difference between EVOO and olive oil? How did the latter acquire its higher smoking point and what have you that make it a superior alternative for cooking? Isn't it supposed to come out of the same olives that EVOO comes from? As such, it should be chemically identical to EVOO. The only justification for olive oil's lower status is that it has undergone some chemical treatment or another to improve some of its properties that were not too impressive at the time of pressing. Now if this chemical processing has changed its chemical nature to the point of having physical properties significantly different to those of EVOO, should we eat it at all?

I can understand why cost factors may make using olive oil in cooking the preferred alternative, especially for commercial establishments. However, to say that using olive oil in cooking is hygenically correct smacks of misinformation, perhaps deliberate as well.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by boufa06
What on earth is the chemical difference between EVOO and olive oil? How did the latter acquire its higher smoking point and what have you that make it a superior alternative for cooking? Isn't it supposed to come out of the same olives that EVOO comes from? As such, it should be chemically identical to EVOO.
Olive oil (just virgin, etc.) comes from either the second pressing of olives (EV olive oil comes from the first pressing) or from chemical agents used to extract the oil from the olives. In the sense that it comes from the same olives, it's still olive oil but it has different chemical properties. The fact that olive oil does not taste as good as EV olive oil is evidence of this. When oil is refined, the smoke point is increased. EV olive oil is the LEAST refined (first pressing), giving it its delicate flavor and aroma.

The science of the matter is that when oil smokes, it begins to decompose which can mean the introduction of carcinogenic chemicals (Alton Brown's deep frying episode had a good explanation of this using toy trains).

EV olive oil is probably the best tasting oil one can possibly consume, not to mention it's healthier, too. However, care has to be taken when cooking with it because of its low smoke point, that's all.

Again, I point you to this article: WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:20 PM   #15
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If I only used extra virgin oil for salads it would go

rancid before I finished it. I just buy a large can(less than 1 gallon) of a
good tasting, decent quality olive oil and use it. Not the best but far from the worst. It is much cheaper to buy in quantity, and I would rather use often instead of seldom and throw it away. I use other oil for stir frying, or other ethnic foods where the olive flavor isn't wanted. But the extra virgin olive oil is what I use most.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:25 PM   #16
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I only use extra-virgin olive oil for everyday use. Buy the Berio brand by the gallon at CostCo. Has a wonderful fragrance & great taste. Perfect for everything from salad dressings & marinades to sauteeing.

While I do use peanut &/or vegetable oil for wok stirfrying, & butter for certain recipes, my gallons of Berio work perfectly for me in all other applications.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BraiseMeUpBeforeYouGoGo
Apparently, EVOO should not be used for sauteing and high temperature cooking because extra virgin olive oil has a pretty low smoke point (the lowest among olive oils). When oil smokes, it decomposes, which leads to loss of flavor in addition to production of cancer-causing chemicals. I think that is the rationale behind labeling EVOO for "dipping and dressing" and regular OO for "sauteing and grilling."

WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?

I use evoo for sauteeing and everything else but stir frying. Like Cando, I have several good bottles going at once, with different flavor notes. I usually buy mine by the liter at Fairway.

It's a myth that you can't use it for high temp cooking.

It's smoke point really isn't that low and depends on its acid content. See here

Alton Brown himself says it has a smokepoint of 406. Here's his Good Eats smoke point chart.

Mario Batali deep fries in it.

The classifications of olive oils as "extra virgin, "virgin," etc also depend on the acid content of the oil.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:52 PM   #18
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Very interesting reading. I appreciate all the feedback!
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
Searing meats does not generate carcinogens.
I suspect you are right Andy. Since you quoted me before making this statement did you think that I was claiming it did? My point was that heating oils to temps above the smoke point is claimed by many serious people to release carcinogenic substances into both the air and the oil but that it is a a pretty silly reason not to cook at all with extra virgin olive oil. Rereading the post I see how I caused the confusion with careless wording.
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:49 PM   #20
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I know the topic is olive oil, (which I also put in my bath), but I wanted to add that there is a definite role for sesame oil, toasted or not. A few drops of this oil, added to the olive oil of choice, adds that fuller-bodied taste to a quick saute or stir fry. On it's own, it's the base for many Asian recipes. That is my third staple oil, after any good vegetable oil used for deep frying or other rudimentary needs such as rubbing down grills.

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