If you are frying an egg or stirring, you can by default pour extra virgin olive oil into the pan. Olive oil is good for you! But if you cook with it at high temperature on the stove, you use this healthy oil wrong.
10 things you do not know about olive oil
Oils of any kind have something called smoke. point. The oil smoking point is the temperature you will smoke. But there is more to the release of a few bursts of smoke. The smoke rising from the tray is proof of changes that occur in your food on a chemical level and affect its taste.
When every oil is heated to the point of smoke, the compounds that contribute to its fragrance are destroyed and change the flavor of the oil. And when it comes to extra virgin olive oil, even warming to moderate temperatures can reduce the presence of these floral, fruity notes that you are looking for in good EVOO.
"We recommend consumers to keep expensive olive oil with complex tastes for finishing and cold use instead of cooking [in order] to preserve its flavor," said Joseph R. Profachi, Executive Director of the North American Olive Oil Association told us by e-mail.
There are so many different types of olive oil there, and if you're cooking with it, we suggest using refined or virgin olive oils that have less taste and a slightly higher smoke point than the extra virgin (over 400 degrees versus 375 EVOO, approx.). While frying olive oil, which is not extra virgin, of average heat is probably good, you do not want to turn the oven knob all the way to high, otherwise it may start to smoke. Tempting, as you can raise the temperature over time, do not overheat your olive oil. Try one of these simple 20-minute recipes.
UPDATES: This article was originally published on January 22 and was updated on January 24 for clarity and includes comments from Mr. Profachi.