It is well known that even the most dedicated followers of the Mediterranean Diet and those who only use EVO oil raw, sometimes take big skids and feel that irrepressible desire to get out of line. To rock their everyday life. To mess up the plans. Some more, some less but each of us knows, in our own unconscious, that EVO oil has much more potential than we think and that, therefore, it can be used for infinite different purposes. Even when, in fact, we are in the mood for an homemade fried… quick, easy, not so healthy but extremely yummy.
Deciding to use olive oil for frying means looking for a light, fragrant and crunchy breading; to use one of the most loved cooking methods and, above all, one of the most recreated in kitchens all over the world. An art handed down for centuries, already present when we talk about the Egyptians and the ancient Romans and handed down to the present day… to us, who make a conspicuous use of oil.
The frying oil finds space far and wide, thanks to its ability to adapt to all types of food … from sweet to savory, from meat to fish up to fruit and vegetables.
It is a cross and a delight for many as well as a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, its gluttony is immediately recognized, palatable to the mouth of many, and the exceptional alliance that is created in the moment of frying itself, as thanks to the high temperatures the oil is able to neutralize the possible bacteria present in food.
But not all that glitters is gold, in fact the other side of the coin turns out to be quite different … uncomfortable and unhealthy.
However, we must also know that a moderate consumption of fried foods is able, despite everything, to guarantee the correct functionality of our liver, also keeping the metabolism in motion.
There are few basic rules to follow and first of all the one that concerns us closely is: what is the best oil to use for frying?
Before revealing which are actually the best oils that produce the perfect frying, we need to open our eyes to a very important factor, called “smoke point”. It is nothing more than the temperature at which a fatty substance, therefore in our case olive oil, begins to transform, passing from a liquid to a gaseous state, evaporating. And even though we paid little attention to chemistry lessons in high school, in this case it would be a lesson that would come in handy as this smoke point, especially when frying our meal, could be potentially harmful.
And how can olive oil lead to all of this, you may ask? The gaseous molecules released by the oil itself produce a substance, such acrolein, which if inhaled causes severe damage to the liver and gastric mucosa.
Our tips to prevent this from happening are: in addition to consuming foods fried in oil in moderation, you must pay particular attention to full fill the pan with oil and to dip a few foods at a time, thus maintaining the correct (and safe) temperature for the your dream fry.
Let’s start and we would like to extract the “yellow card” from our pocket, to warn you about some oils used for frying, considered such an obvious choice but which instead, may surprise you – and not in a positive way!
The famous vegetable oils and in particular sunflower, corn and soybean oils have a threshold, called “limit”, which varies from 130 to 160 degrees Celsius. However, it must be kept in mind that the higher the smoke point, the longer the oil will take to eliminate its liquid component; this fact leaves us only to understand that sunflower oil and corn oil should, in fact, only be used at low temperatures, to obtain better fried food.
Another vegetable oil present in the kitchen of many Italians because it is suitable for use both as a condiment and in the preparation of desserts is soybean oil, which however has the same characteristics of the two oils described above and therefore is much less suitable for frying.
In general, however, vegetable oils that are in our case of sunflower, corn or soy are not recommended for frying as they are rich in those fats called “bad fats”.
From the top three of the least indicated, we automatically move on to the ranking of those that best satisfy our needs.
First of all, peanut oil is mentioned; better than the last mentioned, with a smoke point that can rise up to 190-200 degrees Celsius, if refined. Recommended for lighter and healthier frying, with a more delicate flavor.
So off to the fried fish, chips and those finger foods that are so popular and whet the appetite!
However – because there is always a but – its most valid competitor is the timeless EVO oil, aka extra virgin olive oil: thanks to the smoke point that reaches levels never seen before (about 210 degrees Celsius), to the high content of oleic acid and the very low percentage of so-called “bad” fats, it is able to give our fried dish a more intense flavor and, just think about it, it does so by maintaining the “classic” temperatures, that is around160-180 degrees Celsius. Despite the conflicting opinions that create conflicting feelings towards our beloved extra virgin olive oil, it turns out to be the only oil capable of giving crunchiness and lightness to your fried dishes and it does so while protecting your health.
We have always said it and you will always hear these words come out of our mouth: not all extra virgin olive oils are the same. If you want to keep your frying delicate, the advice we can give you is to use a lighter and softer extra virgin olive oil, with light final and barely perceptible bitter and spicy sensations. If you are interested in making a risky choice, you could instead focus on a more structured EVO oil but in any case already in an advanced stage of maturation, in such a way that they have partially lost those typical charged notes, thus making them more suitable for to fry.
It is important, however, to know how to recognize and choose the best oil for frying!
If fried dishes turn out to be a temptation to which it is difficult to resist, there are no economic or healthy barriers that hold … using the right oil for frying, it will be possible to enjoy a greedy and satisfying dish, without weighing on our health.
Assuming that yes, the frying oil can be reused more than once but when we realize that it tends to change color, becoming darker, this will mean that the fats inside are degrading or already are. When this happens, it is a good habit to know that you need to throw away the so-called
“exhausted” oil and change it, with a new addition of fresh olive oil.
What, however, perhaps not everyone knows is that the steps for the proper disposal of fried oil are essential for safeguarding us and the environment. Being a highly polluting liquid, it absolutely cannot be thrown into the sink, toilet or even sewer drains but the frying oil must be disposed of properly.
Our advice is to pour the oil, once it cooled down, into a special container and take it to the ecological islands made available by the municipality of almost all cities, in a recycling center or we also point out that many petrol stations or supermarkets provide for the free withdrawal of used oil.
In short, if you are gripped by that unstoppable desire to go out of your ways, do it thinking all around it … about your, the environment and the common good. At every stage, both in preparation and after enjoying your beloved fried meal, remember how the best oil makes you start and finish on the right foot.