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Apr 20, 2007 12:44 PM

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for deep frying

Looking for a somewhat cheap olive oil that I could deep fry with for some Mario Batali recipes, doesnt have to be the best quality

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  1. Costco has a kirkland brand 5 qt. size for under $30 -

    1. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and might not be the best choice for deep frying. More processed olive oils are cheaper (regular olive oil or light or extra light) and have higher smoke points and are a better choice than EVOO, though there are better oils for deep frying altogether.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        All very true. Batali, though, says very often that he only uses extra virgin olive oil for deep frying. You have to be very careful to monitor the temp and keep it lower than you would for other oils.

        1. re: ccbweb

          Thie International Olive Oil Council says olive oil has a smoke point of 210 degrees C (410 F). However, the smoke point of olive oil can vary depending on the amount of free fatty acids in the oil. Very high end olive oil with 0.40% - 0.50% free fatty acids, and a smoke point of 360F - 375F, if it has been stored propperly. Olive oil with 1.00% of free fatty acids has a smoke point of 330F or below, which can yield "soggy" fried food.

          1. re: Chef D Quizzing

            Mario said people like you would say this............:)

        2. re: chowser

          Many professional chefs, including Batali (at Del Posto), are using rice bran oil for deep frying. The smoking point is much higher (closer to peanut oil) and very very light. The Japanese has been using rice bran oil to make tempura for quite a while. I got turned on to rice bran oil from a discussion on fried chicken eats on the SF board. This oil is amazing for frying. I'm a convert.

        3. I fry with olive oil all the time (I live in Spain, it's all about the olive), but I prefer using a virgin or light oil, not 100% extra virgin, mainly because the results are generally better and the cost is much lower. Here, you can get regular olive oil in different strengths flavorwise (light or strong). You can also reuse olive oil--it holds up better than other oils (though you shouldn't mix recycled oil with new oil). I can't stand deep frying in any other oil now.

          If you are set on extra virgin, some specific olive varieties (like Picual) are better for deep frying than others. I'm not sure how well-marked this is on packaging in the US, though.

          1. Italians have always fried in Olive Oil. For authentic taste and result, if a recipe calls for it, by all means try to use it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Fleur

              That is an urban legend. For deep-frying Italians will often use a vegetable oil.

              1. re: bropaul

                You have to be careful with the EVO - it's true, the chemical composition of the oil changes when it is heated above the correct temperature -- it's bad for you!

                1. re: bropaul

                  I have lived in Italy, and studied cooking in Italy. It is no "urban legend". It very much depends on which part of Italy one is in.

                  In the South of Italy, in Naples and Sicily, frying is always done in Olive Oil. For millenia no other oil existed, except Almond Oil, which is totally unsuitable for frying.

                  If anyone is an expert on Italian cuisine, it is Mario Batali.

                  1. re: Fleur

                    The same is true in Spain--olive oil (though not extra virgin) is the oil of preference for frying. Only (some) EVOO has a low enough smoke point to cause health concerns at very high temps. Refined or semi-refined olive oils have extremely high smoke points (even higher than grapeseed and peanut).

              2. I'm in the camp that recommends deep frying in olive oil for certain foods. I've had success and have found EVOO to be a pretty stable frying medium, lending wonderful flavor to certain foods. See my report below for a piccolo fritto. I used Trader Joe's brand oil. Enjoy!