Fried chicken is a staple dish in many cultures worldwide, and it is often prepared using vegetable oil or peanut oil. However, with the rise of health consciousness and the popularity of olive oil, many people wonder if they can use extra virgin olive oil to fry chicken. In this article, we will explore whether or not it is possible to fry chicken with olive oil, its benefits and drawbacks, and the medical risks associated with using olive oil for deep frying.
Frying Chicken in Olive Oil: Is it Possible?
The short answer is yes, you can fry chicken in olive oil. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than other cooking oils, which means it can start to smoke and burn at lower temperatures. For this reason, it is important to use medium heat when frying chicken in olive oil. Additionally, you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil since it has a lower smoke point compared to regular olive oil. If you're going to fry chicken in olive oil, use regular olive oil instead.
How Much Olive Oil Should You Use?
When frying chicken in olive oil, it is crucial to use the right amount of oil. You don't need to deep fry the chicken, so you should use just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Using too much oil will result in greasy chicken, and using too little oil will result in dry chicken. So, it is recommended to use a moderate amount of olive oil to fry chicken to achieve the desired texture and taste.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Frying Chicken in Olive Oil
There are several benefits and drawbacks to frying chicken in olive oil. On the one hand, olive oil is considered a healthy oil, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, frying chicken in olive oil can result in a delicious and flavorful dish with a crispy golden-brown exterior and tender and juicy interior.
On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to frying chicken in olive oil. First, as mentioned earlier, olive oil has a lower smoke point than other cooking oils, so it is not ideal for deep frying or high-heat cooking. Second, using too much olive oil can result in greasy chicken, which can be unhealthy and unappetizing. Finally, there is some concern that heating olive oil to high temperatures can make it less healthy and potentially toxic.
Medical Risks Associated with Using Olive Oil for Deep Frying
While olive oil is generally considered a healthy oil, there is some medical research suggesting that it may not be the best choice for deep frying. There has been some research that suggests that olive oil produced higher levels of harmful compounds, such as polar compounds and trans fats, when used for deep frying compared to other oils, such as peanut oil and sunflower oil. The researchers concluded that the heating of olive oil to high temperatures during deep frying can produce potentially harmful compounds that may increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other health problems.
However, it is important to note that this research focused on deep frying, which is not the same as shallow frying or pan-frying. Shallow frying or pan-frying requires less oil and lower temperatures, which may reduce the formation of harmful compounds in olive oil. Additionally, the study did not differentiate between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil, which has a lower smoke point and may produce more harmful compounds when heated.
Does olive oil cause cancer?
The answer to this question is no, olive oil does not cause cancer. This is an important nutrition topic to understand as there have been a few conflicting studies over recent years.
First and foremost, it's essential to consider the type of olive oil you are consuming. There are two main types available in the market: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and regular or refined olive oils. EVOO is cold-pressed from olives with minimal processing while regular or refined oils go through additional chemical treatments like deodorizing that can remove some of its beneficial components such as antioxidants and polyphenols. As a result, when cooking at higher temperatures it’s best to use EVOO because other forms of processed oils can generate toxic compounds known as acrolein which has been linked to various cancers.
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
In terms of health benefits, EVOO contains monounsaturated fats which help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It also contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against certain cancers. In addition, studies suggest that moderate amounts of EVOO in the diet may potentially protect against colorectal cancer too!
When cooking with any form of oil - especially when frying food - it’s important not to heat it above its smoke point which can degrade its nutritional content making it less healthy than initially thought. For example, for EVOO the smoke point should be below 350°F/176°C; if you plan on frying chicken then opt for medium heat instead.
Bottom Line: Should you Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?
Frying chicken in olive oil is possible, but it is crucial to use the right amount of oil and cook at medium heat to avoid burning and smoking. While olive oil is generally considered a healthy cooking oil, there is some medical research suggesting that it may not be the best oil if you want to deep fry chicken. To reduce the risk of harmful compounds, it is recommended to use regular olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil and shallow fry or pan-fry chicken instead of deep-frying. Ultimately, following these tips can help you enjoy a delicious and healthy dish of fried chicken.