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Old 02-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #1
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ISO olive oil info

Now that I know what ISO stand for, I thought I'd use it I just hope I picked the correct forum.

What are the differences in olive oils and when do you use which type?
Sure, you see Rachel cooking everything with "EVOO", but when you look at the Pilippo Berio bottles the extra virgin says for dressing & marinating, the regular olive oil says for sauteing & grilling.... It makes you think using the evoo in a pan will burn or something. I've used both types when sauteing and didn't really notice a difference.

I tried search, but do you know how many posts contain the words olive oil

Thanks for any info.
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis
What are the differences in olive oils and when do you use which type?
Differences:
There are tons of analysis of this. The following is from one of the first sites the come up in a google search on "olive oil types."
Quote:
Types of olive oil

Generally, olive oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives. Olive oil comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved. Varieties include:
Extra virgin - considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the olives.
Virgin - from the second pressing.
Pure - undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining.
Extra light - undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavour.
When buying olive oil you will want to obtain a high quality EXTRA VIRGIN oil. The oil that comes from the first "pressing" of the olive, is extracted without using heat (a cold press) or chemicals, and has no "off" flavors is awarded "extra virgin" status. The less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria, it can be designated as "extra virgin".
What is pure and light olive oil? "Pure" olive oil is made by adding a little extra virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. It is a lesser grade oil that is also labeled as just "olive oil" in the U.S.
"Light" olive oil is a marketing concept and not a classification of olive oil grades. It is completely unregulated by any certification organizations and therefore has no real precedent to what its content should be. Sometimes, the olive oil is cut with other vegetable oils.
What I use:
The only type I buy now is extra virgin which is as much a flavoring as it is a cooking fat. If I don't want or care about the flavor, or intend to cook it so long all the flavor would dissipate then I'll use soybean or canola oil. A couple years ago I counted 12 open bottles of various types of oil. Now all I keep on hand is canola, soybean, and "EVOO."

This isn't the only way to look at it but it is what presently works best for me.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

So.... you do cook with EVOO? Here's an excerpt I got from of the sites you Googled up:

"How many types of oil you keep on hand is simply a matter of preference. If you wanted to keep your list to two, wed suggest an extra virgin for salads, marinades, serving with bread, and other uncooked uses, and a good-quality plain oil for low- to medium-temperature cooking. If you are willing to keep three olive oils active in your pantry, wed add a bottle of light oil for high-temperature cooking."
How to choose olive oil

That makes it sound like you (we) are wasting our money putting the extra virgin olive oil into a saute or fry pan doesn't it? But you did mention not cooking it long enough for the flavor to dissipate....
How long is that?
Can the flavor transfer to the food before it's cooked out? I'm thinking not after I read that and from what the bottles in the store read.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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First of all, that google search returns nigh on two million results. You have to ignore a lot of them and decide for yourself what to accept. Some do say not to cook at all with extra virgin.
  • "Can the flavor transfer to the food before it is cooked out?"
Try cooking a pot of beans and when they're tender split them into two pots keeping them both at a simmer. As soon as they're split add a couple tablespoons of good tasting "EVOO" to one of the pots. Simmer for another 20 minutes and see if you don't taste a world of difference.

But you might say it wasn't sauteed. Try a similar experiment with tomatoes. Chop or crush and then drain a can of whole tomatoes. Gently saute half of them in "EVOO" that tastes good to you and saute the other half in a flavorless oil such as canola. Can you taste the difference?

Alternatively, you could just think about what the differences might be, based on something you read on an internet site and a grocery store label.

I'm not promoting a philosophy or inviting an argument here; just responding to your original questions.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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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?
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #6
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good point, braise!
Last night Alton Brown was searing some scallops and said to use olive oil, but specified no EVOO, as it would burn.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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I appreciate the response and I wasn't trying to promote an argument either, just trying to get a good banter going so I can weigh all that's said and draw my own conclusions.
Enough people I see (on TV) use it, so it must make a difference, but you take a guy like me just trying to add a little pizzaz to his home fries or mushrooms and I start to dissect the labels as I'm looking at 10 different kinds on the shelf wondering which one to get for what I use it for.

I've got both kinds, the EVOO for dressings and marinades and the regular (plain) olive oil for sauteing and grilling in my cupboard right now. I'll have to devise a simple taste test for myself using both to cook with. But it's good to know the extra virgin doesn't break down or anything when used for cooking. That was one of my concerns, too.

edit: Ackk! I just type my response after two more replies and now I'm really confused... So it does breakdown and really shouldn't be used for any type of frying or sauteing?
I love this site! It's really good to try and learn from reading all your replies and past posts.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:53 PM   #8
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I really feel like I'm being sucked into a quagmire of nonsense. The prevailing argument seems to be:
  1. Don't use olive oil for any cooking because, like other oils, it tends to breakdown with exposure to heat.
  2. If you add it to a screaming hot pan and then sear protein in it, the surface of the meat will char to some extent causing carcinogens in both the food and the atmosphere. It will likely trigger every smoke detector in a typical household, and do unhealthy things to the oil.
Does 2 logically follow from 1? If that is what you gather from the information at hand, so be it. Like I said earlier, I'm not recruiting disciples.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:32 PM   #9
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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.

Mario Batali, a chef whose opinion I respect, uses evoo for all his cooking.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
I really feel like I'm being sucked into a quagmire of nonsense. The prevailing argument seems to be:
  1. Don't use olive oil for any cooking because, like other oils, it tends to breakdown with exposure to heat.
  2. If you add it to a screaming hot pan and then sear protein in it, the surface of the meat will char to some extent causing carcinogens in both the food and the atmosphere. It will likely trigger every smoke detector in a typical household, and do unhealthy things to the oil.
Does 2 logically follow from 1? If that is what you gather from the information at hand, so be it. Like I said earlier, I'm not recruiting disciples.
You can cook with olive oils with no issues. in some applications, you can cook with EVOO. You just have to watch your temps.

Searing meats does not generate carcinogens. Searing makes meats brown. Burning makes meats black. Black is not a desireable color in cooking. Brown is to be coveted.

Charring meats over a charcoal fire is known to introduce carcinogens into the food.
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