Why It’s Safe To Grill With Olive Oil This Summer
July is National Grilling Month which gives us the best excuse to remind you why grilling with extra virgin olive oil is a healthy and safe way to make your summer feasts sizzle!
Grilling is a popular way to cook food, and there are many types of oils that can be used when grilling. Some people believe that using olive oil when grilling is the best option, because it has a high smoke point and doesn’t break down under heat like some other oils can. Extra virgin olive oil is also a healthy option, as it is high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. In addition to being healthy, extra virgin olive oil also tastes great when used for grilling. So if you’re looking for a great-tasting, healthy cooking oil to use for your next grill session, consider using extra virgin olive oil.
We loved a new article from Eat This Not That which talks us through the best ways to grill with extra virgin olive oil – whatever month of the year it is!
Why Choose Olive Oil For Your Grill?
The staple of the Mediterranean Diet that you use for salad dressings and stovetop cooking is also great for the grill. Bonus: Olive oil is also one of the 20 Healthy Fats That Help You Get Slim.
There’s Nothing To Fear About The Smoke Point Of EVOO
As noted by Eat This Not That, Olive oil was often ignored in favor of vegetable oil or even coconut oil for grilling, mostly due to the perceived smoke point. The smoke point is the highest temperature an oil can be cooked at before it starts producing a visible smoke. Once an oil is heated beyond its smoke point, it can break down and produce potentially harmful byproducts. Plus, it will affect the taste of your food.
Vegetable oil has a relatively high smoke point at 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Canola oil’s is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while coconut oil’s is around 350 degrees F. Other oils with high smoke points at 450 degrees include soybean oil, peanut oil, and corn oil. The ‘smoke point’ of an oil is the temperature at which it starts to smoke and break down and produce potentially harmful free radicals. Contrary to some beliefs, however, high quality extra virgin olive oil such as Morocco Gold is a great choice for many cooking methods as its smoke point is somewhere around 374 – 405 °F (190–207°C). As explained by the Olive Wellness Institute, Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains high levels of natural antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the naturally stable oil when heated, making Extra Virgin Olive Oil a very healthy option to cook with (including deep frying, pan frying, sauteing and oven baking).
Why You Can Grill With It
At its hottest, a coal fired grill can reach temperatures of around 450 to 650 degrees. At this high of a temperature, your food would burn before it actually cooked.
After letting the grill cool for a bit, there’s a way to test the temperature without a thermometer, according to Serious Eats: hold your hand about four to five inches above the grate and count the seconds until you feel like your skin will melt off your hand if you kept it there. It’s still at a high heat if you can only last 2-3 seconds (450-650 degrees). At 4-5 seconds, it’s at medium-high, which is about 375-450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for searing. By 6-7 seconds, your grill is at a medium temperature (325-375 degrees), which is perfect for slowly cooking your chicken and other poultry at longer cooking times.
“Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is perfectly safe to grill with. Its light quality and health-rich makeup make it a great substitute for butter or other oils,” Larissa Iracheta, Director of Quality at olive oil processing company Deoleo) tells Eat This, Not That!.
Not only can your refined EVOO heat up to the high temps on the grill, it also adds heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants called polyphenols to your food. Extra virgin olive oil is a much healthier option for grilling than some vegetable oils, like corn, canola, and safflower oil, which can trigger inflammation and weight gain.
Recipe Inspiration For Grilling With Olive Oil
Grilling with olive oil recipes is a healthier way to eat. The oil helps to flavor the food and keep it moist. It also prevents sticking and makes cleanup easier. When grilling with olive oil, it is important to use a good quality oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a higher smoke point than other oils, so it can be used at higher temperatures. It also has a more intense flavor that can complement the taste of the food. When grilling with olive oil, be sure to follow any recipe instructions carefully. The oil can cause flames to flare up, so it is important to monitor the grill closely. Grilling with olive oil is a great way to enjoy healthy, flavorful food. We have many great recipes at Morocco Gold which can inspire you to get that grill fired up this summer – why not take a look here!