It's common to hear that olive oil shouldn't be subjected to high-heat cooking applications like deep frying and searing because of its low smoke point. But does the science back that idea up? We looked into the existing research and did some taste tests of our own to find out from both a health and flavor perspective.
'oil' on Serious Eats
I've heard chefs on TV and in books say that combining both oil and butter in a skillet when you sauté lets you heat the butter to a higher temperature without smoking. Is there any truth in this?
On a molecular level, all fats are composed of triglycerides—a compound of three fatty acids bound to a molecule of glycerol.
Wait, sorry, did your eyes just glaze over? Yeah, mine too. Let's start over.
One of the most important things you'll want to consider when picking out a fat is smoke point. But what is it and why does it matter? Here's what you need to know.
Getting to know your fats can be a slippery business. If wading through the myriad bottles on supermarket shelves wasn't already a daunting task, then the latest word on saturated fats is enough to turn everything on its head. In this series, we'll be talking about what makes fats special, how to tell them apart, and how to pick the best one for the job.
I was first introduced to the Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil from Séka Hills by Chef Jesse Ziff-Cool. It was an exceedingly simple dish: A smear of gloriously creamy goat cheese on a crouton with a little slice of fresh California fig, a couple of thyme leaves, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of that oil.
That's a combination that's hard not to swoon over, but it was the olive oil that really blew my mind. Holy s*%t! I thought to myself. What is the gorgeous stuff? And how could something with such a mild flavor still taste so good?
Now, before you freak out, hear me out. I did a double take too when I first heard about using olive oil in a cocktail. For one thing, oil and water don't actually mix, right? No, they don't, but that's where the fun comes in.
There's no hard and fast rule for how many times you can reuse fry oil, but here are some ways to prolong the lifespan of your oil and identify when it needs to be replaced.
Savory sweets are hardly new, but Finger Lakes-based Stony Brook takes it up another level with their new line of squash oils. Each of the five nutty oils (Acorn, Kabocha, Delicata, Butternut Squash, and Pumpkin Seed) is composed of the oils from the roasted squash seeds and nothing else. The roasted pumpkin seed oil is incredible when drizzled over a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream and finished with a touch of Maldon salt.
Wasting food means wasting energy. How much? A study published in this month's issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology found out: roughly 350 million barrels of oil.
Infused vinegars were all the rage at last week's Fancy Food Show in New York City. But why buy chile-infused products, when it's just as easy to make them at home and control how much heat you want from the chiles? Take the smokiness from anchos, the fire of Thai chiles or the sweetness from red bell peppers. Other spices or seasonings can be added as you please, and the overall price will be considerably less. And why stop with just vinegar? Infuse oil, honey or alcohol too. Here are the basics for chile infusions.
Note: Why bother emulsifying your vinaigrette? Read about the science of emulsions. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] This recipes make a cup of vinaigrette. Extra vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator indefinitely. About the author: Become...
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Spotted at a street fair on University Place in Manhattan on Saturday, April 26. After the jump, more delicious evidence of fried chicken, done wrong....