Different types of cooking medium oils have different properties, flavor and optimum cooking temperature. Olive oil is one of the most healthy cooking medium oils and is ideal for frying. For most efficient cooking, olive oil must be heated at the right temperature. Olive oil must not be over-heated or else it might undergo some changes in its inherent properties and lose its nutritional value. Some general tips regarding the use of olive oil as a medium for frying are listed below:
1. Use the right frying pan
A frying pan or a skillet that has a lot of width and depth works best for frying purpose. Moreover the base of the skillet should be heavy and solid. This property helps in distributing the heat evenly and ensures proper frying of food items from all sides.
2. Do not use the oil miserly
If you use less oil, it will not make your deep fried food less oily. Instead chances are that food will absorb more oil and become soggy. When you are deep-frying, you must use ample oil so that food floats over finely.
3. Heat to 355 F
The optimum cooking temperature for frying in olive oil is about 355 F. Olive oil would start to smoke inside the pan if temperature is above 355 F. On the other hand, if the oil is not heated to the optimum level, it will penetrate into the food and make it soft and soggy. In order to know if the oil has reached the right temperature, you can use a cooking thermometer which is readily available at most grocery stores these days.
4. Small batches at one time
It is best to fry food in small batches. If too much food is added in one batch, it will not get cooked adequately and also might not get the desired shape because of less space.
5. Filter and reuse
Once you are done with frying, the oil should be left to cool down. Thereafter it is best to filter the oil using a fine muslin cloth or a strainer so that any remaining food particles are removed. Olive oil can be re-used after filtering and is known to retain its digestibility more than any other cooking medium oil. However, it is not advisable to reuse it more than five times.
6. Store olive oil properly
Olive oil must be stored in a covered jar or container in a cool and dry place. It should be kept away from direct heat from the sun. In case of too much heat, olive oil might smoke which deteriorates its quality and the oil breaks down faster. It should be reused only if it is properly stored and retains its nutritional properties.