Health Dangers Using Burned
I have fried with extra virgin olive oil for twenty years or more thinking that I was doing the best for my health. I recently read that you should not use the extra virgin because at high temperatures it is dangerous?? I am panicking now and wondering if I have harmed my health instead of improving it. I have burnt the oil on several occasions and never thought anything about it.
Extra virgin olive oil is the purest and healthiest of all olive oils. It is perfectly safe to fry with and reuse extra-virgin olive oil. You can take steps to make the oil last longer and realize when to discard.
Determining the ideal oil to fry with depends on a natural property of all oils called a smoke point. Extra-virgin is fine for frying, but a grade level olive oil, which is not as pure, has a higher smoke point and is better suited for frying.
You will want to clean used oil to make it last longer.
- Wait until the oil cools to room temperature
- Place a cheesecloth, coffee filter or a few layers of paper toweling over a strainer
- Position over a bowl or measuring cup
- Pour the used oil directly into strainer or if you used a deep fryer with a measuring glass or ladle
- If a strongly flavored food, such as fish or onion rings, was cooked in the oil, eliminate the flavor and smell from the oil by frying a few pieces of potato or citrus fruit, such as lemon, in the oil before filtering
The processes may allow three or five additional uses, but may also dampen the flavor and aroma of the oil. Simply add a little new oil to refresh.
The filtered oil should be kept in a container separate from unused oil. It will last up to a month stored in a cool, dark area, up to several months refrigerated and even longer frozen. It is normal and safe for cold olive oil to appear cloudy and/or solidify; it will return to its natural state at room temperature.
Olive oil cannot be reused indefinitely and signs of expiration include:
- Rancid odor or if the smell of the fried food remains, even after cleansing
- A dark color in conjunction with a bad smell
- Surface foam
- Smoke before 375 degrees
- Lack of bubbles when food items are added
If any of these signs are present or you are unsure if the oil is still good, take steps to safely discard.