Oils and their uses

Rachel Ray is the devil. Yeah, I said it.

Fine, I’m overstating.

She does annoy the hell out of me though. Not the least of which with her EVOO. Just that she says “EVOO”, as though that’s a cute/legitimate acronym. I realize that it’s four whole words, and that’s so very cumbersome…c’mon. Additionally, Extra Virgin Olive Oil isn’t an all purpose oil, Rachel. Especially if you spring for the good stuff. If you spend $32 on it, (yeah, I know, it’s a problem. Quit judging), then you don’t want to dump it into the pan every time you want to saute onions. It’s for dressings. Bread. The occasional saute when you’re looking for that flavor. Not just because it’s so expensive, but because it has a relatively low smoke point.

If you’ve ever noticed the oil smoking in the pan when you have it cranked up to ripping hot, and you smell that sort of rank, acrid smell coming off it, and then notice, peculiarly, that your food has that taste as well… You have exceeded an oil’s smoke point. This doesn’t need to happen to you. You can find a chart of oils and their smoke points here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

Thanks Wikipedia.

You’ll notice that high quality olive oil has a relatively higher smoke point versus regular quality. But again, I’m not dumping my $32 extra virgin olive oil in a pan at a smoke point of 405 when I can use my $5 canola oil for a smoke point of 475. If I want the flavor, I’ll add some olive oil to the finished product.

Typically, I use
Canola oil for high heat cooking – sauteeing, searing, grilling, deep frying.
Olive oil for dressings, aioli, pasta sauce, and dipping delicious, delicious bread.
Nut oils for flavor when I need them.
Truffle oil at work when we’re getting all frou frou (though truffle salt brings more flavor at a lower cost).

That’s it.

One thought on “Oils and their uses

  1. Pingback: Impromptu Lunch | CookSmarts

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