Which Oil to Cook With – as usual my post last night has brought with it a lot of charged comments, and a variety of questions brought about by confusion. Dr. Dean Cornish told us from his famous study that olive oil was not safe to cook with due to its low smoking point. Well now it seems that a new study says otherwise. (And all the Nonna’s past and present will be laughing their heads off over their napoli sauce.)
The key is that you use only organic, extra-virgin, cold first-pressed olive oil, which is rich in phytonutrients. In comparison to this pure oil, processed olive oils don’t necessarily offer any benefit at all. Some experts contend that refined olive oil has a smoke point of around 176oC degrees, while high-quality extra-virgin has a much higher smoke point, up around 210oC. In any event, olive oil maintains its nutritional integrity even when heated to high temperatures, and even as it creates those carcinogens.
To be on the safe side, use olive oil only for lower-temperature cooking. If you buy higher-quality olive oil, it has a relatively high smoke point – simply heat your oil in a pan and notice when it starts to emit smoke. You’ve found the smoke point, and you need to draw the line before that.
You can use avocado oil for high temperature cooking. (I’ll discuss coconut oil this week also.) Avocado oil has a very high smoke point by comparison to other cooking oils. It will not burn or smoke until it reaches 271oC, which is ideal for searing meats and frying in a Wok.
I will post on the different oils and their omega profiles this week also. And whether cooking at such temperatures is even a good idea. #CookingOilWeek