Can you fry with olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you fry with olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?”, and how to select the right type of olive oil for the right job?

Can you fry with olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?

Yes, you can fry with olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying. The best oil for frying is the one that has a high percentage of monounsaturated fat that can withstand the high frying temperatures. 

Unlike polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats do not go rancid when exposed to high temperatures. 

The average temperature required for pan-frying is 248℉ or 128℃. The temperature range for deep frying is 320℉ – 375℉ (160 – 180℃)

While the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is much higher than these frying temperatures i.e 410℉ or 210℃. This means that extra virgin olive oil is safe for frying.

Varieties of olive oil

Different versions of olive oil are available in the market, depending upon the type and extent of the processing. Extra virgin olive oil is the cold-pressed varieties while the rest of the varieties contain both cold-pressed and compressed oils.

Vegetable oil vs olive oil-Which is the healthies of the two?

Vegetable oil is heavily processed to remove odor and make it shelf-stable. This also results in a loss of essential nutrients. Olive oil is minimally processed especially its extra-virgin variety. This helps in retaining a lot of original flavor and micro-nutrients.

Vegetable oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which are polyunsaturated fats whereas olive oil has a considerable amount of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fats have been found to promote heart health and have anti-inflammatory properties. While omega-6 fats, when taken in large amounts, have pro-inflammatory effects on the body. When taken in optimal quantities. Omega-6  reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer and helps lower bad cholesterol.

Due to the least processing, olive oil preserves a rich amount of antioxidants like tocopherols, carotenoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols, and co-enzyme Q. 

Other than that, it also retains a decent amount of vitamin E and vitamin K. Vegetable oil does not have anti-oxidants due to the processing.

How to select the right type of olive oil for the right job?

Olive oil has a lot of varieties and each variety has a distinctive flavor and a specific smoke point that decides its intended use.

Extra virgin

Extra virgin olive oil is extracted by cold pressing from olives. As the name indicates, this variety has the rawest and hence the fruitiest and the most intense flavor. It works well with salad dressings, cold sauces, dips, and sauteeing. It has a smoke point ranging from 375 to 405°F.

Virgin

It is extracted as a result of the second pressing of olives and has a comparatively milder flavor to the extra virgin variety. It goes well for sauteeing on low-medium heat and for pan-frying. It has a smoke point of 390°F.

Pure

It is extracted via the second pressing of the olives or the chemical extraction process. It has a mild to neutral olive taste and can be used for roasting, baking, and frying. It has a smoke point of 410°F.

Light

It is made by combining virgin varieties of olive oil with refined commercial varieties of vegetable oils. Hence lacks the flavor, aroma, and health benefits of raw olive oil. It has a smoke point of 470°F.

How to bake with olive oil?

  1. Olive oil can be used in place of butter or vegetable oil to make muffins or quick bread. Some baked products are conventionally made with olive oil including biscotti, Mediterranean-style fruit cakes, and olive bread.
  1. Olive oil especially works best for muffins or loaves with a nutty and earthy flavor like pumpkin bread. Olive oil provides richness in taste and moistens the crumb.
  1. To substitute butter in baking, replace each ¼ cup of melted butter with 3Tbsp of olive oil. To replace vegetable oil, substitute an equal amount of olive oil in batter or dough.
  1. Do not use olive oil with a more pungent flavor in baking. Moreover, when the butter is supposed to be creamed with sugar as in cakes, substituting it with olive oil is not a good choice.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you fry with olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?”, and how to select the right type of olive oil for the right job?

References

https://www.thespruceeats.com/when-to-use-olive-oil-for-cooking-2355819
https://blog.queencreekolivemill.com/blog/is-it-safe-to-fry-with-olive-oil
https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/a20470582/cooking-with-olive-oil/

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.