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Dec 16, 2007 06:11 AM

Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Hi all,

So I've heard that when cooking (sauteing, roasting), using extra virgin olive oil is abit of a waste because the heat destroys the flavor of the oil, which has a low smoke point. On many cooking shows, however, I see many of the chefs using evoo regardless (except for Ming Tsai, who seems to use alot of grapeseed oil.)

I mostly use grapeseed and canola for cooking. Sometimes I use evoo for coating vegetables before roasting, but I feel this may be abit of a waste as well.

What do you all think?

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  1. I use EVOO for everything except deep fat frying--even things you're not supposed to use it for like wiping out cast iron pans after cleaning. I buy the Fairway house brand by the gallon and refill a cruet that sits on my counter; it's to hand, so it's what I reach for. I do have a more refined, much more expensive EVOO that I use for some salads and for dipping, but other than that it's the Fairway EVOO all the way.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Me too! As a matter of fact I am not sure I even have another type of oil in the house right now. My standard is Costco brand from spain, and my 'better' one is an unfiltered olive oil that I lugged back from a Spanish farm.

      An egg fried in evoo? Pure bliss!

      1. re: JoanN

        I agree. Since the availability and low price of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I won't concede to La Ray) at Costco, I use no other oil for cooking.

        I only have canola oil on hand for baking.

        I don't fry anymore, sadly.

        1. re: dolores

          I have been abbreviating Extra Virgin Olive Oil as EVOO on my recipe cards for 25 years.

      2. Ming Tsai is very specfic in his ingredient use, he has a child with major food allergies. He is a educator on the business for chefs to include rather than exclude. I understand that each recipe in his place has a printed recipe card fro patrons to view if they request to check for allergies.
        Grapeseed oil may figure into that.

        I tasted my first EVOO in Spain on a 2 week vacation, became used to "green" mayo. I wish I had that EVOO to cook with each time. I know whenI die and go to heaven, one of the dishes on my table will be tiny clams baked in fresh EVOO served with mounds of bread to sop up with!

        1. I think EVOO for everything is basically just a trend. And it's sort of sloppy cooking, in my humble opinion: if you are just adding EVOO automatically to everything, you're not really thinking about the flavor profile of your dish. Should everything that comes out of your kitchen really taste like EVOO?

          I use EVOO for probably 70 percent of my oil use, but I also use grapeseed oil for when I want something really neutral, and for some high-heat applications, and for some "American" dishes and all Mexican dishes, I use corn oil. I hate Canola oil -- I won't have it in my kitchen -- like a lot of people, I find it has an unpleasantly fishy taste, even at room temperature.

          Edited to add that I agree with fourunder -- TV chefs are just using it for the cachet value of looking like they only use the oil that's perceived to be "the best" -- it's intellectually lazy, because they don't have to actually try to educate people about how to use and choose oils. "EVOO on everything!" is a cop out for them.

          1. Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only a waste, but too strong to use for many dishes,

            It's amusing to me you started this thread. Just yesterday, I made comments similar to this in my suggestions to another for the use of Olive Oil by celebrity chefs. One notable celebrity chef states on his show he only deep fries in Extra Virgin Olive Oil as well........and I commented only one word comes to mind for me...........Liar. My feelings are many media chefs state to only use what is perceived to be only the best ingredients so quality is not compromised and add luster to their reputations. My thoughts are, It is always easy to spend other peoples money. With the prices of Olive Oils increasing every day, There is no shame in economizing or altering your cooking preparations. In fact, using less neutral oils is actually better suited for many different types of cooking or recipe preparations. Using Olive Oils in Asian cooking is not preferred and making some types of coleslaws are better suited with Canola or vegetable oils. Naturally it all comes down to your own preference

            For pan searing and cooking on the grill, I'm with you and I use Canola or vegetable oil. Roasting in the oven, depends on the dish and the browning I wish to achieve, n.g., for turkeys, I prefer butter to brown. The only time I do use Olive Oil is when I want to retain the oils in a dish, e.g., roasted vegetables or hot peppers. I will add additional Olive Oil to the finished dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fourunder

              Actually, now that you mention it, I realize I do use peanut oil when cooking Chinese dishes.

            2. When the trend first started for using olive oils, in North America, beyond that of the ethnic cooks who already knew how to use the oils, I recall there were experts from those ethnicities, remarking on the different uses of olive oil as opposed to extra virgin olive oil. They all seemed to agree that regular olive oil was for cooking and evoo (geez, I hate that term, and here I am, using it) is best for salads.