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Mad Scientist
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# 110989 22-Oct-2012 09:01
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This thread is two pronged

The background is this:

No oil = death but thankfully even vegans get essential oils from plants

Monounsaturated = good
Omega 3, 6 is better
Saturated is bad
Trans saturated medium chain is perhaps not so bad but cys fat is bad

HOWEVER: Extra oil = bad in every sense

SO ...

1) Is EV Olive oil bad if you use it to pan fry? (I know you musn't use it to deep fry)
If EV oil is not the best which is?

2) I hve tried Lupi and Pams - both are rancid compared to the sweet locally grown (but twice the price) ones ... anyone has access to latest consumer mag tests or KNOW (not guess please) which imported one is still fresh when it hits your kitchen?


Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

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2120 posts

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  # 704562 22-Oct-2012 09:34
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Olive Oil isn't so much a 'frying' oil, more of a flavor oil, you use it to add flavor to dishes or when sauteing onions for a dish where you will add more ingredients to the pan like a spaghetti sauce.  

Don't use Extra Virgin oil to fry, if you do, you're in for a bad time.  It's not made to be fried in and will make your food taste gross, also will ruin the oil flavor because it's not made to be cooked like that.

Grapeseed oil is great because of its extremely high smoking point and a light taste so works perfectly as a fry oil.

Or just use canola, its cheap and effective.

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Master Geek

  # 704563 22-Oct-2012 09:35
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1) In general it is best not to use extra virgin olive oil to fry as the smoke point is too low (~190'C). For frying I generally use refined canola oil (smoke point ~ 240'C).

2) The most recent consumer comparison of Olive Oil I can find is from 2008. The three very best are all from NZ (The Village Press Frantoio, Olivo, Peta Mathias). They have two "very good" imported ones (Borges, Pams). I assume the variability in quality of any imported product is going to be huge due to the variability in time from production, storage conditions, etc.


- Use cheap refined Canola for frying and general cooking. Works fine and is only 6% saturated, minimal trans.
- Use a good NZ extra virgin olive oil when taste is important. As not using for everything doesn't cost too much.


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  # 704568 22-Oct-2012 09:46
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Olive oil seems to bugger up frying pans from my experience.
It makes a sticky gunk that doesnt seem to come off at frying temperatures.

So as above : Olive oil = taste/dressing
Rice bran oil/Sunflower - handles heat - neutral flavour

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  # 704569 22-Oct-2012 09:48
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I would not use olive oil where I didn't want the taste, e.g. in baking, but I do use it for shallow (pan) frying almost exclusively. If I want crispy I use the oven/grill.

Last night I made a Mexican roast lamb. The spice mixture was mixed up in olive oil for basting onto the lamb. Cooked for about 5 hours at 120 deg: the skin comes out beautiful and the meat falls apart when you look at it grumpily. YUM.

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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.

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Master Geek

  # 704583 22-Oct-2012 10:21
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Good quality EV olive oil, as others have stated, is for that spicier peppery-er flavour and is not suitable for pan frying at a higher temperature.

If it's that flavour you are wanting have it available in a spouted bottle to drizzle on once cooked...

I generally use rice-bran oil for pan-frying (both the spray variety and bottled stuff - they both have their places!)

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  # 704586 22-Oct-2012 10:30
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I tend to use rice bran oil for pan fying as well, and olive oil when I want the extra flavour.


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  # 704623 22-Oct-2012 12:21
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Canola for light frying. Rice bran and grapeseed are ok but canola gives a better fry flavor. Small amounts only anyway.

Olive oil for chocolate cakes. Rich flavor and no olive taste gets past the chocolate.

Olive oil for salads. Sometimes flaxseed oil - very expensive but nice flavor.


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Master Geek

  # 704627 22-Oct-2012 12:33
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We use Australian Red Island Extra Virgin found at Countdown as it doesn't have far to travel and is cheaper than the overpriced locally produced product. So far we haven't had any problems with it. For frying we use rice bran oil or canola oil.

Even buying locally produced olive oil cant guarantee its freshness. Nearly bought a locally produced olive oil at a farmers market, supposedly the bastions of organic and freshness and turned out to have been bottled nearly a year before. Was last years harvest and hence priced cheap to clear, but I had to ask to get that information.

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  # 704644 22-Oct-2012 14:48
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NZRobin: overpriced locally produced product.

I can tell you that the local stuff isn't overpriced compared to the cost to produce it, get it analyzed and taste tested, in order to receive the NZ olive mark. There are different qualities of oil, and you do get what you pay for with olive oil. Locally produced olive oil with the red NZ olive mark on it will have be cold pressed to a certain standard, and will have only been pressed once without the use of chemicals or heat, and will have been taste tested to make sure it's taste is up to the required standard and not rancid or tainted. I am not sure if there are many in the super market that have this sticker on them, but they are the ones that you know are of a high standard, as they have had to pass strict tests.
The imported cheap low quality olive oils may have been pressed several times and had chemicals or other processes used to release more oil. Many can also be quite old, and I am not sure if the imported ones in clear bottle have pressing dates on them, and as someone said above, can possibly be rancid, as it is stored in light bottles. Only buy olive oil that is in a dark bottle, and preferably in a box too so no light can get in. Also only buy oil that is less than 2 years old. The fresher the better, as new pressed oil is a green colour, and it turns to a urine yellow colour as it ages. The best time to buy is from June onwards as it is picked, so if it is less than 6 months old it should be at it's best and still green in colour.

Also there is nothing wrong with buying older oil, as long as it has been kept in a dark cool place, it can be kept for years. Just that the 'best before date' is when it is still at it's best. So anytime up to 2 years is when it should still be at it's best. So if it is 18 months old, it should still be at it's best. You may pay a little bit less because it is getting older You don't know how old some of this imported oil is as they many don't have a pressing date on them.

Also I would recommend buying either a single variety oil, such as koroneiki, which has a good flavour, but these can be hard to find and more expensive as they are more popular. Somewhere like Moore Wilsons is a good place to buy oil as they have a good selection of smaller producers oil. Supermarkets are unlikely to stock many small producers oil, as small producers won't have the quantity to supply them.

As others have said use rice ran oil for cooking. The low quality 'olive oils' should also perform ok for cooking. The high quality olive oils however shouldn't be used for cooking and will smoke if you try. They are for adding flavours to salad, and dripping bread etc.

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  # 704706 22-Oct-2012 18:47
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Most imported extra virgin olive oil is anything but.

Don't buy budget brand grapeseed oil as the quality is poor and the price almost the same.

Macadamia and avocado oils are nice but they can be expensive.

Monounsaturated = good
Omega 3, 6 is better

The modern diet is saturated in omega 6, and omega 3 from plant sources is only a small fraction as effective as from meat and fish oil.

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  # 704714 22-Oct-2012 19:03
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bfginger: Most imported extra virgin olive oil is anything but.

There was talk about the words 'extra virgin' only being allowed to be used for those oils that had been tested o meet those standards. But I don't think the super markets would like that.

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Ultimate Geek

  # 704731 22-Oct-2012 19:29
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bfginger: The modern diet is saturated in omega 6, and omega 3 from plant sources is only a small fraction as effective as from meat and fish oil.

It's not hard to get enough, and if you were still concerned, supplements without the risks of heavy metal contamination are also easy to obtain (e.g. Opti3 plus a variety of others).

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Ultimate Geek


  # 704896 23-Oct-2012 08:48
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Grapeseed oil for cooking. 


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